May 25th, 2011: Star Wars (1977)

Cast and Crew:  John Williams (Score); Rick Baker (Make-Up); John Dykstra (Special Effects)

What It’s About: When Darth Vader (James Earl Jones/David Prowse) intercepts Princess Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) diplomatic ship in an attempt to secure stolen plans to the Empire’s newest and most horrific weapon, the Death Star, bickering droids C-3P0 (Anthony Daniels) and R2D2 (Kenny Baker) are the Rebel Alliance’s last hope.  By sheer chance the pair meet farm boy and pilot Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and through him the hermit Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness), formerly Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the last Jedi knights.  Can they, and the hot-shot pilot and smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), rescue the Princess and get the Death Star’s plans to the Rebel Allliance?

Why Watch it Today?: Star Wars was released today in 1977 to critical acclaim and tremendous box office, creating a sensation that is still with us in the form of endless follow-ups in nearly every medium.  Along with a handful of other early blockbusters, Star Wars changed the face of movie making and ushered in a new age of special effects and spectacle driven popular films.  Revisit the film today, preferably in its original version, to remind yourself what all the fuss was about-and to see how rough the edges still were at this point, and how many different cinematic predecessors writer/director George Lucas drew upon.

Where to Get ItPublic libraries, iTunes, Netflix (rental) or Amazon

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