Who Lives In The Star Wars Galaxy?

It’s hard to say where old Hollywood ended and new Hollywood began. People in the industry don’t think of themselves as making history, they are just going to work. But the day in 1967 that Jack Warner cleaned out his desk at Warner Bros. studio, George Lucas and Frances Ford Coppola arrived on the lot.

The two young filmmakers were very different in demeanor. Coppola a legend at UCLA film school was 27, a loud boisterous mixture of mogul and marxist, who prided himself in dressing like Fidel Castro. He impressed film executives at first with his bravado, but later would upset them with his reckless overspending. Five years younger, Lucas, who went to USC, was quiet and introspective. The only guys at Warners who were below 30 and wore beards, they hit it off instantly with Coppola taking the mentor role. Lucas had made a thirteen minute science fiction film project called THX 1138, a dark look at a computer controlled future. Coppola convinced his protégé to extend it into a full-length film and talked Warner Bros. into financing it.

Over the next few months the wily Coppola played both sides. “I’m telling you this kid Lucas is making a great film.” Coppola told the Warner brass. “Don’t put pressure on yourself, they don’t expect anything,” He reassured Lucas. When they saw the completed THX 1138 the Suits were furious. “Francis what is this?” “I don’t know, I’ve never seen it.” replied the bewildered producer. To Lucas’s dismay the studio cut out parts from THX 1138 before they released it. “They’re cutting the fingers off my baby.”

THX failed at the box office and Coppola was held financially liable for $300,000, but the two filmmakers were given another chance to make a low budget movie at Universal. Impressed by the success of Easy Rider (1969) the old guard at the studio was reaching out to new talent, once again Coppola would produce and Lucas would direct. Lucas was encouraged by his wife Marsha to make the second project more positive. At USC he had studied anthropology learning that the American male has a unique mating ritual, he drives around in cars trying to pick up girls. Lucas combined this observation, with his own love of classic cars, his small town upbringing in Modesto, CA and his appreciation for top 40 songs played on the radio by disc jockeys like Wolfman Jack. The result: American Graffiti (1973).

The now beloved film got off to a rocky start. It was previewed in San Francisco to young crowd who adored it. After the show Lucas and Coppola waited for the Universal executives to come and congratulate them. Instead they were shocked by angry accusations that they had planted their friends in the crowd and American Graffiti was not releasable. True to their personas Coppola argued and Lucas stood quiet. Once again George saw his film taken away and cut up by what was in his view an interfering, know nothing studio. But there was one difference between THX-1138 and Graffiti; Graffiti was a hit, a highly profitable film that made Lucas a millionaire.

Now Lucas decided to return to science fiction, this time wanting to do a more positive story than THX. After failing to acquire the rights to Flash Gordon, he sat down to write his own screenplay. Influenced by the writings of Carlos Castaneda and the mythology of King Arthur, he based the characters on familiar figures. Luke Skywalker’s personality came from George Lucas himself, young, adventurous, and quiet from a small town, with a love of racing cars, or in this case space pods. Han Solo was based on . . . Francis Ford Coppola. He was loud, cocky, reckless, always in debt, going through a love-hate relationship with the younger Skywalker. And the empire was actually the Hollywood studios. George Lucas striving for his creative freedom as a filmmaker would parallel Luke Skywalker’s journey to win liberty from the empire, and both would achieve it thanks to Star Wars.

About The Author

Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of the audiobooks Fascinating Walt Disney and Tales Of Hollywood. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch says,” these two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining.” Hear realaudio samples of these great, unique gifts at http://www.hollywoodstories.com.

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Movie Review: Star Wars – The Heroes Journey

For those three or four among you reading this that haven’t seen what is likely the greatest movie ever made, allow me to introduce you to a tale that combines modern age technology with ancient mythology. In a tale that snaps you out of reality from the first opening credits, which are now famous around the world, Star Wars – A New Hope set the bar to heights that have not been reached since.
Borrowing heavily from a mythological archetype known commonly as the “heroes journey,” George Lucas expertly took this ancient myth and effectively transplanted it onto the modern movie screen. The hero, Luke Skywalker is the epitome of every hero in every story that has ever been told. Sometimes called the “reluctant hero,” this character is called, almost against his will, to go on a journey that will forever change his life.

Our story starts out with a fierce battle between imperial troops and a small, under armed group of rebels. The evil forces of the Empire quickly overtake the rebels, but not before they send out a distress signal, to an old Jedi Knight, an order long thought extinct.

The message lands on a seemingly deserted planet, inhabited only by farmers, bandits and mercenaries. The message is picked by young Luke, who has no idea what he is getting himself into. He thinks he knows the old man that the message is intended for. When Luke meets this strange old man, he learns about something called “The Force,” which is some mysterious energy which permeates everything. He also learns that here is a good side to the Force, and a bad side.

They must leave the planet at once, as the Empire, led by the Evil Darth Vader, who is a powerful practitioner of the bad side of the force, has learned the whereabouts of the droid, the small robot who contains the hidden message. And thus begins the classic heroes journey, as Luke and Ben set off to gather their forces together, and fight the evil empire.

They soon learn, en route to meet up with the rebels headquarters, that the Empire has constructed a “Death Star,” a very large space station capable of destroying entire planets. The Empire will use this powerful tool to keep rebel planets in line. Together with his new found skills in the good side of the Force, and with his new friends, Luke Skywalker must destroy the Death Star, before it’s too late. The DVD, which is a classic mythological story told to captivate a modern audience, should be in every DVD library.

by: George Hutton

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Star Wars Blu-Ray Review


We've waited long enough, the anticipated star wars blu ray film came out this friday and of course
 what everyone want to know is if it is worth all the hype?

The Picture quality is much more refined and clear than the original trilogy.
You can see every little detail of Chewy's luscious fur coat and the lightsabers
are brighter than ever. But the I feel that the second film Phantom Menace
could have used some work and didn't provide the same standard of excellence
he other two renditions had but what it lacked the audio definitely made up for.

As for Audio it is a huge step up front the original films. The iconic hum of swinging light
 saber blades Darth Vader slow deep respirator-assisted breathing and who could forget
 the pew-pew! of laser blasters.All of them sound much more crisp and precise, this is what sci-fi
should sound like. This is the epitome of sci-fi  highly recommended! 
For more reviews visit: http://www.starwarsblurays.blogspot.com
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