Friday, September 4, 2015
It works if you can forget "Episodes I, II and III"
I was fourteen years old when Star Wars hit the movie screens for the first time (it was called Star Wars- that Episode I A New Hope crap didn't take hold until some years later.) Like so many of my generation, I was transfixed by the experience of watching what seemed at the time to be nothing short of magic. I'll always be grateful that I was able to experience the original film-- 35 times in five weeks- before George Lucas decided to "fix" and "improve" (come damn close to ruining) it.
I can remember there being NO Star Wars vehicles, action figures, etc. that first Christmas after the original film was released (1977.) I do not remember it being a problem, since whiffle bats worked great as light sabers and GI Joes were perfectly good stand-ins for our favorite characters. Seems strange now, but back then it was not automatically assumed that films would come with a built-in merchandising campaign. By "Episode VI" (gag) stuffed Ewoks were on the shelves BEFORE the film showed up, and Sears was devoting an entire page of it's wonderful Christmas catalogue to tie-in stuff.
I'm so glad I wasn't a little kid in the late-90s, and I could take that three-serving steaming bowl of crud Lucas dumped all over us with a grain of salt. I will probably give Episode VII a try, because what the heck....but I can't help but note that all of these home movies date from the late-70s and early-80s, and not the turn of the century.....hmmm.....