As if right on queue there is a disturbance in the Force and the need again has risen for a rebellion against an evil party hell bent on domination and oppressing the weak. Funny how we see the same thing in everyday politics but without special effects. One can’t argue the fact that we are in need of a pleasant diversion to take us away from the sideshow politics that’s going on at the present time, and as popular as Donald Trump seems to be, he is no match for the power of the Force. Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens is the perfect diversion we all need at this time to take our minds off terrorist, refugees, climate change and the ongoing political theatre that plays out repeatedly on main stream news networks.
When Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope hit the movie screens nearly 40 years ago we were blown away by the special effects and for most of us, we were hooked the moment we saw the Imperial star cruiser filling the screen in the opening scene. The movie itself is an old Earth story brought to life in a galaxy far, far away. Take away the futuristic special effects and you have the story of a superior ruler who wants to enslave the universe with his army of storm troopers and a planet killing weapon. And then there is the resistance group who, with very little resources, manages to keep two steps away from being exterminated. It tells the story of beating the odds and believing in your inner self, that “Force” that picks you up when you feel low and hopeless. It tells the story of a typical teenager who wanted to waste time with his friends at Tosche Station instead of doing his chores not knowing his path in life had long been pre-determined. His wanting to leave the planet of Tatooine for better things but instead being caught up in the dreams of an old soldier destined to help a princess in distress. A princess who leads a rag-tag rebel group and after having no other choice, sends her two trusted droids to seek help. We all have heard of the great comedy teams, Abbott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and Laurel and Hardy, and now R2-D2 and C-3PO, who delivered just the right amount of humor through-out the film to keep you smiling, must be recognized as a legitimate comedy team.
That first Star Wars movie had all the elements needed to qualify as one of the greatest movies of all time, danger, heroism, betrayal, swashbuckling, and romance. Qualities that made movies like “Gone With The Wind” an icon in the motion picture industry. Add a light saber, star cruisers, blasters, X-wing fighters and a death star, cast some energetic bit part actors who had fun with the scripts, and you have Star Wars. Sci-Fi addicts were in a galaxy far away with episodes IV, V, and VI, and like all space geeks, craved for more. It takes about 3 years to produce one Star Wars movie, and in the rush to please the masses, Episodes I, II, and III were rushed to completion and turned out to be mediocre films. and while it fed the need, many saw the Force slowly making it’s way into movie hibernation, doomed to a life of folklore and treasured 6 episode box sets. There was talk of an episode VII but George Lucas, at this time in his life, decided that the franchise would stand a better chance of going on in new hands with fresh, young ideas. He sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney for a whopping $4 billion dollars and they immediately announced that there would be an episode VII. From that point the anticipation of the new film was enough to sell more than $50 million dollars in advanced ticket sales with the movie being compared to Avatar which so far holds the top box office record sales of almost $3 billion dollars worldwide.
With all the bad news around the world and the political posturing flooding the airways this is the perfect time for the movie industry to take us away from our troubles if only for a short while. Next stop, that galaxy far, far away. May the Force be with us.