Published on Sep 5, 2014
Rare 1977 Alec Guinness Interview on Star Wars on Parkinson Talk Show
Published on May 14, 2014
In this interview made in 1999 Bill Moyers discusses with George Lucas how Joseph Campbell and his concept of the Monomyth also known as the Hero’s Journey and other concepts from Mythology and Religion shaped the Star Wars saga.
The original Star Wars is a mixture of 1950’s popular culture: the Wizard of Oz, Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress, Flash Gordon serials, and Westerns. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg took these influences and molded them into a fantasy epic to great success. Yet, what’s the essence of the success of the Star Wars franchise? What are the main motifs of the Original Trilogy that make the history compelling?
George Lucas, the creator of the franchise, is not of much helping explaining even the genesis of the story, let alone its cultural impact and significance. Lucas goes back and forth between claiming he had a grandiose vision of the whole thing from the beginning, to admitting he made Star Wars up as he went along. The Phantom Menace is more a reflection of Lucas inner demons than an extension of the original theme: Anakin and Darth Vader are self-insertion. Lucas trough his professional career searched for a balance between the light side of legacy and the dark side of merchandising and ended selling his soul to the White Slavers.
Lucas is the driving force behind the Star Wars mythology but A New Hope is great despite of him. He was a contributor among many.
I was coming out of my teens when I saw A New Hope for the first time. It was a successful movie but the big merchandising impetus really came with The Empire Strikes Back some years later. A New Hope was meant to be a B summer movie and George Lucas commercial drive is what propelled Star Wars into a Merchandising Empire.
Whatever makes A New Hope special cannot be found solely on the movie itself but in the social and historical moment when it appeared. Star Wars drove the cultural wave of oriental mysticism and martial arts just when they were taking the West by storm.
The new reboot by Disney just rips off the original story arc from A New Hope instead of breaking new ground: playing safe with their multibillion dollar investment.
The Force Awakens, a big budget Disney TV movie for Star Wars fans and a safe retragetting of Star Wars to new customers: children, girls in particular. The Force Awakens forces the plot and breaks consistency with the ending of Return of the Jedi by bringing the story line back to the beginning of A New Hope, and at the same time, pretending to be a continuation of the story by just relabeling things. The new elements are the perfect woman, and disregard of plot coherence in favor of continous action and simplicity. Why old fans find the new version acceptable is baffling. Maybe just old boys clinging to lost youth.
A Mary Sue or Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities. Often this character is recognized as an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment.
The term “Mary Sue” comes from the name of a character created by Paula Smith in 1973 for her parody story “A Trekkie’s Tale”:15 published in her fanzine Menagerie #2.The story starred Lieutenant Mary Sue (“the youngest Lieutenant in the fleet — only fifteen and a half years old”), and satirized unrealistic Star Trek fan fiction. Such characters were generally female adolescents who had romantic liaisons with established canonical adult characters, or in some cases were the younger relatives or protégées of those characters. By 1976 Menagerie’s editors stated that they disliked such characters, saying:
Mary Sue stories—the adventures of the youngest and smartest ever person to graduate from the academy and ever get a commission at such a tender age. Usually characterized by unprecedented skill in everything from art to zoology, including karate and arm-wrestling. This character can also be found burrowing her way into the good graces/heart/mind of one of the Big Three [Kirk, Spock, and McCoy], if not all three at once. She saves the day by her wit and ability, and, if we are lucky, has the good grace to die at the end, being grieved by the entire ship.