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Pop Culture Icon in the Making
 PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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So I have a question for those who were around to see it, and speculation for those who weren't. How, exactly, did Star Wars become the cultural icon it became? All the adults I know who saw it in theaters either didn't like it, or only enjoyed it as a one time viewing like so many other movies. I don't know anyone who says they felt the magic as they watched Star Wars for the first time.

All I know is that for me as a kid, Star Wars just was. It always had been and always would be. There was never a discovery of an amazing thing, it just had always been.

So what about Star Wars made it into the success we know today? What made it tick for enough people that it took the world by storm, and where are those people, because unfortunately I don't know any. Neutral
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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  Proudfoot
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It's certainly interesting that one movie turned into such a huge, generation spanning phemomenum.

My view is that there is a number of factors. The first being it's initial appeal as an idea. To adults, Star Wars is and was all about the characters, location, storyline and the sheer scope of the galaxy far far away. To children, Star Wars is and was without a doubt cool, lightsabers, space ships, aliens. What's not to love when you're a kid? Obviously some children will have picked up on the things that drew the adults attention and vice versa.

The second factor is the constant flow of Star Wars material that is released. With the release of the special editions Star Wars gained a whole new crop of fans, and reignited the passions (and in some cases wrath) of those who saw the originals. Since then there has always been a raft of products on the market, keeping Star Wars on people's minds.

My third factor ties into the second. With the amount of Star Wars material on the market it is so easy to "dip in" to the saga no matter how interested you are or how much time you have. 2 hours, watch a movie, 20 minutes pick up a comic or watch a TV show. A day, read a book!

I am sorry for the long post and hope it all makes sense.
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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:14 pm Reply with quote  
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  GrandMaster
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I think it has something to do with Star Wars being easily accessible sci-fi. It is easy to understand for the average movie-goer. There wasn't all that much sci-fi available on a screen at the time (Star Trek had been off the air for almost a decade by then).
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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Weren't movies boring in the 70s? I heard that Star Wars stood out in stark contrast to the rest of the movies in that era.
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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:29 pm Reply with quote  
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  Corellias Dream
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I'm pretty certain I saw Star Wars on its original release, but I don't specifically remember (I was nearly 11 at the time). It's exactly the kind of movie that Mum used to take me to, I just can't recall any specific memories. I do remember going to see ESB and i was familiar with the Star Wars storyline, which is why I'm sure I must have seen the first movie on its cinema release - at the time, there was a delay of about five years between cinema release and TV debut, and home video players very rare - so I can't have seen Star Wars anywhere else but the cinema.

There hadn't been a sci-fi movie like SW for a good while. The effects were something new - Luke's landspeeder was totally awesome (come to think of it, I do have a vague memory of being impressed with that on first seeing the film) and the way the fighters twisted and turned in space during the battles was new. Before that, spaceships tended to fly in straight lines, usually from one side of the screen to the other. Visually, it was dazzling, with the spaceships and aliens, and the novelty of things being a bit grubby and dusty. Before that, sci-fi tended to be glossy and pristine - think of the ships in 2001 or the look of the original Enterprise. Star Wars was a galaxy that was lived in - where tech that looked fabulous to us (like Luke's landspeeder) was something that could get old and worn out like an old car.
With all the innovation, Star Wars was also hugely fun. It had action, humour and adventure, a great villain, and the heroes won. The storyline is perhaps unsophisticated compared with the other films, but we didn't have them to compare with. It worked very well as a standalone movie and there had been a shortage of good, family-friendly sci-fi films in the 70's. Nearly all the s-f had been aimed at adult audiences. Not only was SW fun for kids, there was a toy line available. The movie made the toys popular, and the toys helped to keep the movie in kid's minds until ESB came out.


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 PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:45 am Reply with quote  
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  GrandMaster
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Reepicheep wrote:
Weren't movies boring in the 70s? I heard that Star Wars stood out in stark contrast to the rest of the movies in that era.


I don't know about that - the 70s had movies like Rocky, The Godfather, Patton, 5 James Bond films, All the President's Men, Network, The Exorcist and Jaws.
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"But it was so artistically done."

“No. I am Ganner. This threshold is mine. I claim it for my own. Bring on your thousands, one at a time or all in a rush. I don’t give a damn. None shall pass.”

“Eventually, we all betray something, Tahiri. It’s what you stay true to that counts.”

"Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it."


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 PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:56 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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I vaguely recall hearing that the merchandising for Star Wars was at a level greater than previously seen, so I think that that may have had something to do with it. Perhaps it brought the movie more so into the homes of the viewers than before. People could re-enact their favourite scenes, have lightsabre duals, etc. Another factor is ILM. They didn't invent digital technology with Star Wars, but they did create new computers for effects (like what Dream stated) and camera techniques which sold the world better than previous SF films.
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