Its premiere marked the final goodbye to the classic hollywoodmortally wounded by the brutal bites inflicted on the box office two years earlier by the “Jaws” of steven spielberg and that the fight against the galactic empire of a group of rebels only ended.
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One of the premises of Hollywood before “Star Wars” It was taking for granted that movie box offices were for adults. Although there was an important production of films for young people and children, the big studios did not take this audience too seriously.
The success of movies like “The Godfather” by Coppola, were setting the trend at the box office. Movies with complex plots and content not suitable for all ages, directed by established filmmakers in whom the dazzling “star system” of the time shone.
With the premiere of “Star Wars”its director George Lucas showed that a production with a simple plot and a youth theme, made by an almost unknown filmmaker and without great actors in his credits, could be a gold mine.
In front of the screens, Lucas brought together crowds of young people and adults accompanying their younger children, who made the film a before and after. A phenomenon that forever changed the rules of the game in Hollywood.
From that moment on, the great box office successes (“blockbusters”) would have simpler plots and would be built on special effects that made it possible to realistically construct images hitherto exclusive to the imagination. On the other hand, it changed the schedule of releases, reserving the big box office hits for summer entertainment.
In addition, it made its director a multimillionaire, who renounced part of his salary in exchange for the rights to all the iconography generated for the film (“merchandise”). A practice that has become one of the most lucrative parts of the film business.
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A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY: THE UNIVERSE OF GEORGE LUCAS
But what was the secret of the success of “Star Wars”? With a very simple plot, which is just a small variation of a story repeated since time immemorial and framed in a universe indebted to the aesthetics of “Flash Gordon” by Alex Raymond, it is difficult to guess the formula that made the “Star Wars” phenomenon still alive almost half a century later.
Nor does the originality of the leading trio stand out. First, Luke Skywalker, is a character sunk in the tedium of a vulgar and anodyne life, to whom fate reserves a fundamental role in the future of the universe. For his part, the cynical and opportunist Han Solo, is a mercenary who puts a price on his services. The triangle is closed by a woman, Princess Leia, a feminist heroine.
As tradition dictates, the relationship of the protagonists also has a romantic connotation.
With these unpromising elements, george lucas built its own original universe. With spaceships, which unlike those that previous science fiction had shown us failed and were full of fat. Exactly like the car that waited for the spectator at the door of the cinema.
The particular mythology of Lucas had its best complement in the secondary characters, examples of all kinds of galactic races, who gave shape and color to the world devised by their creator. In addition, “Star Wars” incorporated a technological touch, much to the taste of lovers of technical advances that were beginning to develop, with the presence of androids and robots. machines that unlike the existentialism and complexity of the Hal 9000 of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, by Stanley Kubrick, they gladly interacted with the protagonists without asking them uncomfortable questions.
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“STAR WARS” 45 YEARS LATER
In the presentation of the film in 1977 the viewer was warned that “starwars” was only the fourth episode of a saga. An ingenious way to justify later installments in the series. They would answer the questions raised by the premiere. That is, and forgive us if someone still does not know the plot, the origin of the totalitarian empire that ruled the universe and the fate of its inhabitants after the fall of the emperor.
In total, nine parts of the saga have been released (the last in 2019) which, as expected, have caused reactions of all kinds. On the one hand, the purists, who think that only trilogy original deserves to be taken seriously and they consider subsequent films anathema. Others, on the other hand, consider that the saga has evolved according to the market and that each era is reflected in its corresponding episode.
The truth is “starwars” has brought generations of viewers to theaters. The premieres of the new installments are an event that attracts a loyal audience, who comes dressed as their favorite characters and surrounded by the paraphernalia that forms the particular mythology of the film.
“STAR WARS” AND POPULAR CULTURE
Books, comics and series television have revitalized the “Star Wars” universe, in a trend that seems to have no limits. In addition, it has marked a good part of modern science fiction films, transforming the usual dystopian darkness before “Star Wars”, into a luminosity that anticipates a happy ending for the heroes of the films.
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Over time, the phenomenon has transcended screens and literature and has been incorporated as a part of popular culture. Thus, in an age of immediacy and hyperconnectivity of social networks, very few are oblivious to some of the phrases and situations that are repeated in the film. Fundamental premise that serves to understand and value comments of all kinds, including political ones, and the jokes and graphic montageswhich in the form of “memes” come insistently to our smartphones.
In short, 45 years traveling through galaxies far, far away, accompanying heroes with whom we identify and who promise us a happy and cathartic ending, far from the harsh and tedious reality that sneaks into our daily news. May the force be with us all.