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Film Review - Star Wars
When you watch a movie that is a classic, it doesn't matter that you see the aging of the film over time. That's one of the interesting assets of Star Wars. Made in the mid '70s, it was a technological wonder pushing the Hollywood special effects industry to its limit. People watched this movie over and over again because they had never seen it before. But the real magic is elsewhere.
George Lucas, who also directed, borrowed heavily from most of the classic myths. There's the legend of King Arthur throughout, with the sword of the hero's father being passed down to him by a Merlin-like wizard. There is also a strong people-over-machines message here, and the evil galactic empire is the machine. The main representative of that empire, Darth Vader, is forever cloaked in a black suit complete with helmet and breath screen. The hero, Luke Skywalker, is young and innocent, vulnerable and, of course, wears white.
When people think of the craft of this movie, the visual effects come to mind, but the real magic is in the soundtrack. John Williams paints the mood of this movie with almost constant music. Close your eyes and you'll still know the emotion of the scene, even if no one is talking.
Ben Burtt is the unknown hero of Star Wars, creating all the sound effects for a universe that doesn't exist. Burtt believes sounds should be layered on top of each other; simple sound cues as the background sound of a spaceship can turn out to be more than 30 different sounds carefully mixed together.
Star Wars rarely is played in theaters these days. If you choose to rent it at a video store, see if they have the letterbox version. You'll be treated to a very beautifully composed movie. When they make the pan-and-scan square pictures for video, this movie really suffers. See it as it was in the theater.