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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

WORLDS AT WAR

I was not impulsively compelled to the STAR WARS hype like many perhaps slightly younger movie enthusiasts of my generation and friends who secretly dress up as Darth Vader awaited the first midnight viewing. Many of those friends attributed my lack of excitement to my teetering toward the edge of the viagra generation -- I just cannot pull one anymore for fantastic special effects extravaganzas like warring over the universe and noble gothic virtues. 

In reality, it has more to do with grandiose medieval preoccupations of world order by George Lucas than youthful enthusiasm. Lucas may be a foe of George Bush but they share the same epic vision of the world at war as long as neither man is required to personally take up arms and can send other peoples children or hire actors to fight and die. Okay, I'll grant the apologists that Lucas uses light sabers and celluloid effects rather than laser guided bombs and innocent lives and there is a difference.

Honesty, I am more prone to get excited about the upcoming release of Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS with Tom Cruise at the end of June. Yes, Cruise has been acting a bit strange lately. Dreamworks is freaking out about his behavior of Oprah's show. But, while many kids were growing up thinking about the Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, and the fate of the Galactic Empire I was a bit more grounded with drama here on earth. 

I recall in the late sixties being profoundly effected when, as a child, my family popped corn in a covered soup pan on the stove and gathered around the black and white 20-inch TV forged from non-organic orange plastic. To watch H.G. Wells chilling depiction, in the 1953 Bryon Haskin movie, of an invasion from outer space, the chill in my spine may have been seeded by the constant hysteria of the cold war fear in America -- none-the-less it was based more in reality than the fantasy universe of pure invention.

Also, as a kid I remembered how there were really two different polar approaches to science-fiction and at the time we viewed them as either fantasy sci-fi where everything was located in a space and time of pure invention and than there was the sci-fi of the internal world that we lived and touched everyday. THE TWILIGHT ZONE series on TV or classic old films such as DONOVAN'S BRAIN best exemplified the science fiction of the mind that made us examine our own predicament on earth. WAR OF THE WORLDS was another great classic that caused us all to react and then reflect.

Maybe greater reflection what is missing for me with STAR WARS. And we'll have to wait to see if Spieberg can reach that wonderful mix of suprise, invention, speculation of an unimagined future and the consequences of life on earth that makes for a great science fiction movie.

2 comments:

Walt Pitt said...

I think you mean George Lucas not Steve Lucas....

Executive Producer said...

George Spielucas... I mean Steve Lucasberg...