George Lucas, taking it to the bank for 30 years…

It’s hard to believe that 30 years ago today (May 25th, 1977), the original Star Wars film first opened in the United States.  This strange little low budget film ($11 million) changed the way in which we would experience movies.

Two years previously in 1975 the summer blockbuster was created when Jaws was released.  Jaws did have the advantage of a monster best selling novel to propel audiences into the movie houses. 

However, Star Wars was a complete original.  Director George Lucas cribbed together everything from Joseph Campbell to Kurosawa and repurposed it in the frantic style of the movie serials of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Part western, part Flash Gordon the film hit a resonant note with the audience and they flocked in putting over a half a billion dollars in 20th Century Fox’s coffers.  George Lucas was clever enough to retain the sequel and merchandising rights and went on to make five more films in the series and billions in action figures and Star Wars bedsheets.

In the process of squeezing every last drop of blood from the franchise, Lucas also managed to destroy the original magic of the first film by inserting additional scenes, updating special effects, changing plot points and even the title – the film is now officially known as “Star Wars Episode Four: The New Hope. 

Along the way George Lucas became the empire he raged against in the first film.

Still all of the cynicism about Lucas and his practices cannot erase the memory of my first viewing – a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away - of this motion picture masterpiece. 

2 Responses to “George Lucas, taking it to the bank for 30 years…”

  1. Promod says:

    Watching the original Star Wars movie during the initial theatrical run was an amazing experience. The next two films were welcome, but then Lucas should have stopped for artistic reasons.

  2. Hello webmaster…I Googled for star wars action figures, but found your page about George Lucas, taking it to the bank for 30 years……and have to say thanks. nice read.

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