18 October 2009

If they only knew...

1977.  An end to movies as entertainment only.  The start of movies, of entertainment, as everyday life?

(Click image to view larger size)

  (This Dallas Morning News. August 14, 1977 article shortened for blog. )

Oh, I think it can easily be argued that George Lucas is a mastermind of cinema. Few can dispute his genius with the camera and his talent for special effects. I certainly wouldn't! As a 5-yr old, I don't think I slept for weeks - Darth Vader haunted my dreams. My sister tormented me with heavy breathing and a force choke day in and day out.  Oh, the fun she had seeing me dart off in screams...

Of course, that just managed to turn me into one of those kids begging parents to shell out "an inflated $3.75" week after week...

But, I think fewer people consider Mr. Lucas' business genius. I do. Did you know that he traded writing fees for 40% of the revenue from Star Wars merchandise?

I had those star wars glasses, lunch boxes, and bubble gum cards. I'm not even remotely ashamed to admit that I still have those action figures. Not only do I have them - I know where they are - and I know which ones I have. I may not have my nappie, my baby blankie, my first lock of hair.... or even my high school diploma.. But don't even try to separate me from my Snow Trooper! In fact, I may have even shed a tear when Luke lost his leg to a gnawing puppy (just a few years ago) ...

I, myself, alone, may have made George a rich man...

And, if you put aside the business aspect... for good, or bad... no matter how you may view it... Star Wars signaled a change: an integration of movies into daily lives. Sure, there were blockbusters before Star Wars... and merchandising... But, to me and my generation, this iconic movie really is a tipping point. A point where movies became daily life for kids... when kids surrounded themselves in Fantasy... in a new world - all sparked by the imagination of George Lucas.

Life hasn't been the same ever since.

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