All about Star Wars, Star wars


Return of the Jedi was the first Star Wars film I saw. The corner video store in Nagercoil, the town that I grew up in, didn’t stock Star Wars or Empire Strikes Back. But the Jedi movie impressed me enough for me to get wrapped up in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars, now referred to as Episode IV: A New Hope, was released in 1977, the year I was born. So was Annie Hall. And both movies have aged, Annie Hall more gracefully than Star Wars. But the Jedi movie’s speeder bike chase through the giant redwood trees in Endor captivated my imagination. I marvelled at the way the sequence was created and it was an adrenalin shot straight to the heart. I was not a Star Wars virgin anymore and I could count myself among the initiated. Another take away from the movies are the pivotal scenes Luke Skywalker has with Yoda. And that is how I became a believer.


If you think about it, Star Wars is about the triumph of good over evil. Even our great epics are. The rub always lies in how this is done and the Star Wars franchise has a circuitous way of going about it. Six episodes have been done so far with the first three being preceded by three prequels. Episode IV, V and VI are about Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo and their adventures against the Empire. The Jedi are the last line of defence against the evil Empire and are headed by Yoda. Darth Vader (Dark Father) is determined to end the Jedi rebellion and is pitted against Luke.


Episode I, II and III portray the life of Anakin Skywalker and how he is recruited by the dark side known as the Sith. Since the prequels were made after the original three, they are loaded with special effects, some of the best done in Hollywood so far. Star Wars is also often referred to as a space opera. It has biblical themes of love, revenge and sibling affection. The relation between the Master and his apprentice is also featured prominently, first between Luke and Yoda and then between Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi.


The Star Wars franchise was influenced by everything from Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai movies to Flash Gordon books. It was the brainchild of George Lucas, whom critics dubbed as a wunderkind along with Steven Spielberg. Star Wars also ushered in the era of summer blockbusters along with Spielberg’s Jaws. The imagination of youth was captured once and forever. Queues often ran for miles and people flocked to see the franchise again and again. Children too were enamoured by the light sabre duels. Lucas repeatedly revisited the franchise and even re-released the movies in the US and other countries after adding special effects, which were not possible during the original release.


Now, it’s time for one more movie to be released. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a movie directed by JJ Abrams. The trailers reprise the music of the inimitable John Williams and also feature Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford from the original movies. This is the seventh episode in the franchise. JJ Abrams who was the co-creator of The Lost series on television, debuted with Mission Impossible: 3 to critical acclaim and box office success. He also revived the Star Trek series and becomes the first person to straddle both universes.


The Force Awakens starts 30 years after Episode VI. There is intense speculation among fans about the role of Luke Skywalker as he is not shown in the trailer. This franchise is being re-introduced to a new generation of fans.


The famous beginning, ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far way’ is set to hit screens again.


Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for the ride!



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