I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars Movie. I was twelve when the first Star Wars movie was released. I remember going to the theatre with my brother, who was seven at the time, and being astounded by the special effects, and the sheer hugeness of what I was seeing on the screen.
When those first lines ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away…’ rolled across the screen, and that astounding music began to play, I was hooked. I sat there mesmerised, enthralled, and completely swept up in the story that was holding me spellbound in the theatre. Some of you who are younger are probably giggling at the idea that Star Wars: A New Hope was ever the highest pinnacle of science fiction theatre.
As an adult, I can now re-watch the movie and see the flaws in the story, the sometimes lacklustre acting, and the special effects that now seem dated and rudimentary. However I still enjoy it, and still remember that first time I saw it. Of course, we all waited with bated breath for the sequels, and I saw Return of the Jedi at least three times – once from the front row, where I had to turn my head to watch Darth Vader stalk across the screen.
When our kids were small, The Phantom Menace aired. We went along to the theatre with great anticipation, and once again, the special effects were amazingly memorable, and the story intriguing. There were a couple of down points – Anakin Skywalker, midichlorians and the comic relief. The Attack of the Clones followed, and then The Revenge of the Sith. Although it was good to see how George Lucas envisaged the rise of Darth Vader from Anakin Skywalker, there were clearly some issues with the both the story line, the screen play, and the acting. (Put it this way, Hayden Christenson is not one of my favourite actors, and some of dialogue still makes me cringe.)
One thing that stood out through all of the movies was the music. I loved the first film’s score, and still do. And in the newer three movies, it was wonderful to hear how the composer had woven Darth Vader’s theme music into Anakin’s theme.
No matter what you think about Star Wars as a franchise, or some of the individual bits and pieces of any of the movies, something about the story intrigues people. There’s the bones of a good story in there. In some ways it’s an eternal story – that of good versus evil, dark versus light, and the triumph of love over hate.
I watched the new trailer recently, and it looks as if there could be a really good story coming up in ‘The Force Awakens.’ There were enough hints in the trailer that the story might be complex and satisfying. I know many fans have been apprehensive about the transfer from Lucas Arts to Disney, and the memes have certainly abounded.
I write science fiction adventure, and the new film could give the written equivalent a bit of a leg up. Or not, depending on how it all works out. One of the good things about movies is the ability of the visual art to penetrate into every household. I think it’s possible that people who wouldn’t normally read science fiction might actually consider it after enjoying Star Wars. The key of course is whether the written science fiction they pick lives up to the thing they’ve watched.
I hang around on Goodreads a lot, and on several of the Science Fiction groups there’s a lot of passion about the type of science fiction that certain readers consider ‘valid.’ Some only like ‘hard’ sci-fi, and others only like space opera, or military sci-fi. Some consider that if it’s modern, it isn’t good, while others consider that if it’s an old classic it’s a disaster.
As far as I’m concerned, as long as the story’s good, I’m happy. I don’t really care whether it’s hard, soft, opera, military, or cyberpunk, but I do care that it has a plot, a story, and engaging characters. I don’t care if someone else doesn’t think it’s ‘valid’ under their definition of valid. I figure that if it’s fictional, generally has some form of ‘space’ in it, or some connection to space or the future, then that’s probably good enough.
Anyway, I seem to have rambled off a bit. So where am I up to? Right, Star Wars. I’m looking forward to the next instalment. I’ll be listening hard to hear what the composer’s done with the iconic themes, and I’ll be hoping for a great story.
In the meantime, I’ll keep on writing. I’m currently two thirds done on a disease-in-space conspiracy thing, three chapters into a fantasy (YA), have a variety of short stories under my belt, and recently woke up from a really good dream that I’m going to turn into a story. Just have to figure out the rest of the plot.