David on Star Wars IV: A New Hope

Note that I use the film's current "offical" title grudgingly; in my heart—as I'm sure it does in countless others—it's still simply Star Wars, that fresh new ray of light that invoked a tectonic shift in the film industry, set new box office records, and acquired a mind-bogglingly enormous fan base around the world. Not to mention it gave rise to the biggest merchandising take in history, making its creator one of the wealthiest filmmakers alive.

What can I say that hasn't been said, or reveal that hasn't been known, for decades? All I can do is reminisce about my own experiences. I feel fortunate for having been an adult when it was released; I had the unique opportunity of seeing it on a genuine big screen, at a time when smoking was permitted in theaters. This may sound bad, but the cigarette smoke actually made the film more spectacular: the lightsaber fights became three-dimensional, with streaks of light slicing through the theater from front to back. It was a genuine thrill.

Strange to think Lucas was so convinced he'd made a flop that he flew to some tropical island to escape the bad press. But then again, given how things went with his prequels, it may have been oddly prescient...


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