#11 – Star Wars
No more iconic film has ever been made. The characters, dialogue, visuals, and score have been laser-etched into our collective consciousness. Star Wars’ sheer ubiquity, I feel, means that people sometimes devalue it as cinema; like Stonehenge, it simply IS. In fact, with prequels, sequels, side “stories,” and character-based spinoffs, Star Wars has practically become its own adventure sub-genre.
You already know about Star Wars. You already know how you feel about Star Wars as a franchise, you probably already know which Star Wars movie you like best, and you know which room in which to display your glass lamp full of vintage Star Wars action figures. (You don’t have a glass lamp full of vintage Star Wars action figures? Sorry, guess that’s just me.) So to make this column interesting to you, my beloved acolytes, I have wracked my brain (my Pope Pate) to find something NEW on which to focus.
visited on this film by its creator and the joys to be found in the “de-specialized” version, the only place where you can hear the original Oscar-winning sound mix.
Let’s revisit a few iconic Star Wars noises. Feel free to spray your laptop screen with spit as you try to vocalize along:
The ominous “khhhhhhhhh-khuuuuuh” of Darth Vader’s breathing, followed by James Earl Jones reciting his dialogue in the deep voice of a vengeful God!
The “hrummmmm, whoooosh, kkkrrrrrkkkrk!” of clashing light sabers!
Chewbacca’s expressive range of “hhhrrrarwhwrrraaaah” growls!
R2D2’s expressive range of “pweeeet-bliip-bbrrrr” beeps!
The “P-too, P-too, P-too” of blaster pistols firing!
That sound when the Rebels blowed up the Death Star, which I can’t even begin to try to write out! It sure blowed up real good and loud.
The Pope could go on and on. Besides the perfect casting, the ground-breaking special effects, the adherence to Joseph Campbell’s “Hero” template, John Williams’ best score, and characters that generations of kids have identified with, this movie is so great (and we have all watched it so many times) that I would be happy just listening to it. I would rather LISTEN to Star Wars than WATCH many recent films. There, I said it.
Star Wars’ Three Miracles: Pew pew pew, Boom boom boom, and “Bum bum bum, bum-da bum, bum-da bum…”
In nomine Lucas, et Ben Burtt, y spiritu Flash Gordon, Amen.