Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Today is something called the "unofficial" Star Wars Day or "May the Force (the "4th") Be with You" Day.

Lucasfilm cites that the anniversary of the film's release is actually 3 weeks away.

But the actual release date anniversary is already taken up with the official "Towel Day," in commemoration of Douglas Adams and THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. I guess Mssrs. Adams and Lucas deemed that they would not share.

Regardless, it was 34 years ago this May 25th that the original STAR WARS movie was released. This was way back before it was called CHAPTER IV: A NEW HOPE.

The first time I saw it in a theatre was in an East Side Cleveland, Ohio suburb. I was there with my friend David Pogue. We were both young. I remember we had to call and get transportation to and from the mall where it was playing, so this was definitely early teen years. Good ol' David Pogue! I wonder whatever happened to that guy?

Anyway, the movie was fine. It was a lot of fun. I remember liking the jokes ("I forgot how much I HATE space travel!?) and being a bit confused by all that action -- the Y fighters, TIE fighters, X Wings, bla bla -- at the end of the movie. But, hey, this was 1977. Fast cuts and lotsa action on scale with the then-new MTV was fresh and maybe hard to follow for some kid raised on slower fare. I would have never thought that the movie was, like THE JAZZ SINGER, a watershed moment.

Since I'm waxing a little nostalgic, here is the unofficial "grandaddy of STAR WARS parodies" titled HARDWARE WARS. Ernie Fosselius's 1978 short parody is a lot of fun, and boasts veteran voice actor Pall Frees as the narrator. It's also extremely low budget, which is part of its charm.

"You can't destroy Basketball! Basketball's a peaceful planet"

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