Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Star Wars: I Miss Kubrick or How I learned…

28 years ago today, Sgt Pepper taught the band—oh no, that’s the Beatles and that was more like 38 years ago…28 years ago I went to a movie theater in downtown Boston with my high-school friend Tom Feldman, to see the new movie Star Wars. I was not that impressed. The story was in sections, the characters were not empathetic, and I missed the grandeur and panache of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddysey, my favorite movie at that time. At least if you’re gonna emulate, emulate with style!

What I didn’t understand was Lucas’s homage to serial movies of the late forties and early fifties that guys like him and Spielberg grew up enchanted by. I had the same lousy feeling after I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was waiting for a profound religious experience and instead all I got was good old-fashioned suspenseful entertainment.

I told my wife to expect our 16-year-old son, a major Star Wars fan, to be bummed by the latest in the Lucas entry of his monolithic epic saga—if I remember the many viewings of Star Wars and the evil of Darth Vader and the Empire as I think I do, then watching the germination of that kind of character from someone who was born of man and woman, untainted at birth, into the devil—that’s going to remind us all of the possibilities and the pitfalls we face. The key is how we all rise above; May the Force be with us! I’ll let you know.

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