By Anna

“Better run through the jungle,” or ride an Imperial speeder bike through because the chicken walkers are after you and “two hundred million guns are loaded.” Maybe Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) didn’t mean to give the impression that they were on Endor fighting the evil Empire, but that’s what I always think of when I hear that song.

CCR and Star Wars define my youth. A youth not in revolt, just encouraged to be in revolt by my parent’s music and favorite movies. There was never a time in my life that I can’t remember Star Wars. I never had the revelation of its magnificence after seeing it for the first time because there never was a first time—it was just there.

As a young girl my favorite episode was (and still is) “Chapter V: The Empire Strikes Back.” It’s the height of Leia and Han Solo’s flirtatious arguing and eventual statements of love. Leia says, “Han, I love you.” And Han responds, “I know.”

What a man!

It also made me afraid of carbon freeze, of friendship betrayal and losing the one’s I love.

Then, as a college junior I took “Modern Mythmakers.” We watched “Chapter IV: A New Hope” and an interview between Joseph Campbell, leading expert on myth, and George Lucas. Lucas employed every ancient aspect of myth in his story, which hadn’t really been done before on screen: Luke Skywalker as the hero denying his future, angry at his past, learning from a master, going on his quest and eventually defeating the evil empire.

But it’s not really the mythmaking that Lucas and Star Wars are valued for, it’s the special effects.

“All the big studies have been trying to make another Star Wars ever since (pictures like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Independence Day and The Matrix are its heirs)” says Ebert. But if you ask me, no one has yet done it.

Ebert also points out that critic Mark Leeper told us that this “was one of the first films to pan the camera across a star field,” and it was that exact dramatic panning in the opening credits for which Lucas was fined and resigned from the Directors Guild rather than obey their wish for traditional opening credits.

What a badass!

In all its simplicity, cheese-ball lines and loveable sidekicks it bridges the gap between casual moviegoers and film connoisseurs because it captures the fear, love and hope felt by its audience and gives it a name: Star Wars.

What a moniker!

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