Star Wars (1977)
(PG) 121 mins

I’ll cut to the chase. ‘Star Wars’ is the best science fiction film ever made. “But Manbeef what about ‘The Empire Strikes Back?’” Okay yeah, well whatever. This was the best when it came out. ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ comes close, but this film takes it to the next level.

If you look at most sci-fi flicks, they’re very CGI heavy. While ‘Star Wars’ is no exception, there’s a good way to go about it and a bad way. For a bad way, look at the newer ‘Star Wars’ films. The computer imagery doesn’t enhance the story, it’s a distraction. This film does it quite well. It’s a clever mix between graphics and camerawork. What it does best is making it feel real…which is something a majority of sci-fi flicks have a problem with.

But when it comes down to it, science fiction isn’t that much different than any other genre. What makes the film work is the intriguing story behind it. Right after the epic yellow story-line scrolly thingies, we’re thrown right in the middle of a battle between the evil empire and the small group of rebels trying to squirm from underneath the empire’s powerful thumb. So of course, we immediately root for the struggling rebels, and we get behind the two droids and pray that they can complete their quest before Vader and the Storm Troopers get their hands on them.

And just as important as in any other genre: a strong cast of characters, which this film has in spades. Everyone can identify with Luke, a headstrong young man from a farm, eager to leave it behind. C3PO and R2D2 certainly make for an interesting ‘odd-couple’ if you will. Harrison Ford displays the same sort of brash arrogance that we know from Indiana Jones. And I can’t forget Leia, Obi-Wan, Vader and Chewbacca. They rule too. One thing that sorta bugs me: R2D2 just beeps and Chewy just howls. Yet everyone responds to them in English. Doesn’t that get difficult?

+4


Oscar Awards
Best Original Score
Achievement in Art Direction
Achievement in Visual Effects
Achievement in Sound
Achievement in Film Editing
Achievement in Costume Design
Oscar Nominations
Best Picture
Best Director (George Lucas)