So: it really has been three decades since a certain science fiction film opened on a limited number of screens and just went on from there. I never got started on the preparations that would have brought me to the big anniversary convention, and can hardly say that setting these thoughts down is "the next best thing"... but it doesn't seem pointless to contemplate thirty years of Star Wars,
One thought that occurred to me early on was to wonder just what, if anything, from 1947 was remembered quite as well in 1977 as Star Wars
is remembered now even amongst special-effects spectaculars aplenty, and if that said anything. Then, I decided that might not be quite fair. There were those who remembered the science fiction movies of the early 1950s with great fondness thirty years later, right in the midst of the first "boom of the fantastic" that Star Wars
sparked, and that fondness endures to this day... and yet, it's still not quite the same thing. The difference, though, might well be simply that an industry
was built around Star Wars,
one that even The Day The Earth Stood Still
or The War of the Worlds
or Forbidden Planet
couldn't quite (or didn't need to) support... which does lead to somewhat more ambiguous thoughts. It might well be one thing to have got the kids of the late 1970s and early 1980s to pester their parents to buy merchandising for them, another thing altogether for at least some of those now grown-up kids to spend their disposable income on pretty much the same stuff...
No matter what that might say, though, I'd like to at least think
that Star Wars has continued to find new audiences, that it's not in the fix some "nostalgia properties" seem to be in to me. And yet... mixed in with that hopeful thought, I do seem to have a grim expectation that there are people from an old
audience out there making sanctimonious comments about how the "Star Wars industry" should have just stopped while it was ahead a good ten years ago now, and that obviously nobody can form cherished childhood memories about it now
when there are so many other things to get interested in. Of course, given that they've made those comments right where I wasn't expecting them for
ten years now, I can at least hope their dire warnings were intended to become reality through repetition... but to no avail. Beyond that too, as much as I worry that it might somehow be "blaming the victim," I can wonder if the complaints have clarified my personal interest in the saga. If trying to see the movies as just "the good guys versus the supercool
bad guys" leads only to dissatisfaction, then I would be sure to choose an interpretation that focuses more on all of the actual main characters... and for all I know, it also helps that nobody ever quite seems to even realise there are
other interpretations and attaches an "I can see the point trying to be made, but..."
to the front of their complaints.
I suppose one odd temptation with the anniversary is to wonder if there will ever be a "Star Wars: The Remake." I can suppose it won't happen so long as George Lucas is still with us, though, and that would seem to put it decades out... and after those additional decades, I'm willing to hope that even the noisy demands to "fix" everything will have faded. Of course, that might mean remakes won't
prove that the demands for a "grim and gritty" or "one hundred percent supercool"
Star Wars might, in the end, not satisfy even those who make them after all.
In any case, it's easy enough to say that Star Wars,
by being set "a long time ago" and "far, far away," hasn't dated the way other movies, even other science fiction movies starting off from the same time, may have. The sideburns on some people may catch a few eyes (and I suppose I've also wondered if Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor's hairstyles in The Phantom Menace
might one day shout "1999"), but that really seems about it. (To indulge myself with a moment's obscurity, I've seen some anime series from the late 1970s and early 1980s that don't seem "linked to a time" either... the only problem is that for all of the "classic" interest of those titles, once you're used to the changing visual style of anime, it can seem to date like clockwork all by itself.) Of course, even while some complain that computer-generated imagery dates very quickly, I did find some of the optical compositing of the Vintage Editions
to be getting creaky when I saw them last year.