Saturday, May 25, 2013

36 Years Ago Today: 5-25-1977 to 5-25-2013

Welcome to my new "Star Wars" blog ... launched thirty-six years to the day (May 25, 1977) after the original release of "Star Wars" the movie in theaters.  

That's "Star Wars" ...  

Not "Episode IV: A New Hope" ... just "Star Wars" from a time when there was one movie and only one movie.  Back before the dark times ... before the sequels and prequels ... a time before the magic was lost.

"Star Wars" - just ... "Star Wars"

I can still remember what seeing this poster in the marquee display at the Cloverleaf Mall twin cinema used to do to me, walking past it, seeing "STAR WARS" in those slide on black letters on the display out front ... it was enough to make a eight year old boy's heart race and imagination soar.

Years passed.


And yet, my love for this one movie never died.  It suffered, it faltered, sometimes it even went a little cold but it never died.  Over the many years since 1977 I've often thought back to that time in my life ... those wonderful years of 1977 to 1979 and having those memories I thought it might be nice, maybe even important, to share those memories with others who were there, with others who might have forgotten or who might want to remember again the magic that George Lucas brought to the silver screen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

So ...

I decided to start a "Star Wars" blog, filled with memories of my childhood and what it was like to be a seven year old kid when "Star Wars" hit the big screen in 1977.  I decided to do this because if I didn't separate the "Star Wars" memories from the rest of the things I wanted to talk about then the "Star Wars" memories would rapidly drown the "Angst and Speed" blog.

The three years of time that stretched from December 1976 to December 1979 will always be a golden age of childhood for me ... a special time of magic and wonder and excitement and awe.  This new blog of mine is called "The March of the Twelve Backs" and the title is taken from the name of the card stock that the original twelve Kenner Star Wars action figures used back then.  

The original "12 Back" card circa 1978 showing the super ultra-rare telescopic Lightsaber (very few figures arrived with these) and the first three vehicles designed for those new three and three quarter inch sized action figures.  The artwork was 

The action figures were in such demand, hell, anything with the "Star Wars" name on it let alone toys, were in such high demand that Kenner didn't even have pictures of the final figures to show ... so they did some beautiful full color artwork of the characters that would be represented by the action figures and put this artwork on the card backs of the original 12 action figures along with a description of what each figure was and the equipment that came with it.  Hence, the term "Twelve Backs."  I know, given thirty-six years later that there are hundreds of Star Wars figures out there from all six movies and all the other Star Wars related shows and specials and games and novels but back when "Star Wars" hit the big screen there were only twelve action figures.  Period.  And three toy vehicles.  Period.

Star Wars affected people around the world like a cultural supernova.  There was magic and awe in the air, people lined up around the block to get to see "Star Wars" and they saw it multiple times.  "Star Wars" was magic, pure and simple, and it was a real kind of magic.  I'm a huge fan of the original 1977 "Star Wars" movie ... the first release ... before George Lucas re-released it and stuck the tagline of "Episode IV: A New Hope" into the prelude scrawl across the stars.  For me, there was only one "Star Wars" and that was the original, 1977, unedited release.  Everything after that pretty much blew sweaty Bantha genitalia.

There was a very palpable magic in "Star Wars" ...  Lucas was hailed as a visionary at the time but as the decades would slowly prove George Lucas was much less a visionary than he was a revisonary ... often with terrible results.  Lucas said that when he made "Star Wars" he set about to "Give a fairytale to a generation that didn't have any fairytales."  

Of course, my generation had fairytales.  We had the classics like Aesops and others. 

What Lucas really meant was that he was going to give a fairytale to a generation that had no fairytales because the generation that he was talking about didn't believe in classic, traditional fairytales.  No.  That generation was the generation that spawned all of the bleeding heart liberals and tree hugging, environmental whackos and with tthat in mind Lucas set about to turn "Star Wars" into the biggest, whine-fest of a liberal fairytale that the world had seen.  What started out as a simple tale of good versus evil with good triumphing over evil must have really messed up Lucas' mind and laid his hippy spirit low ... After "Star Wars" became the cultural phenomenon that it did there was speculation and talk of how evil Darth Vader was.  Vader's rapid rise to one of, if not the, most iconic villains in movie history probably threw Lucas into overdrive to correct that perception.

How is "Star Wars" a liberal fairytale?


Taken as a whole, the six movies put together tell the story of Darth Vader, aka Anakin Skywalker, and how it just wasn't his fault that he turned out to be evil.  You see, in a liberal mindset, devoid of logic and thinking and filled with emotion, there really isn't any such thing as good and evil ... instead there's just different shades of gray.  No one is evil, no one is responsible for what they do or did, rather they're all victims of bad childhoods, not getting a pony for their 8th birthday, growing up in a single parent family, unfair child labor, competing in violent pod races ... to a liberal anyone who does something bad is never at fault ... instead, it's their circumstances which are to blame for their behavior.  

Liberals are the kind of people who, when one person takes a gun and shoots another person then the person who used the gun and pulled the trigger isn't to blame ... no, they are just the victim of all the bad things that happened to them in life and we must explore those circumstances, compassionately, in order to arrive at the real truth of the situation.  Oh, and it's the gun's fault for shooting the other person.  Liberals love to blame inanimate objects and give them animate traits and since liberals really can't punish a handgun they instead try to punish the company that made the handgun ... rather than punish the person who actually pulled the trigger and shot the other individual.  In the liberal mindset the real crime is that the gun exists in the first place.  If the gun had never existed or been manufactured then the person wouldn't have used it to shoot another person.

For some of you reading this, I've just introduced you to the incredibly stupid world of liberalism.  I've come to realize that most liberals are simply suffering from advanced mental retardation.  You cannot be a liberal unless you are severely mentally retarded because what they use for logic makes no real sense at all and defies everything else that we know is sound and true.

Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker is a perfect example of liberal logic.  

Anakin was from a single parent home and over the six different movies we come to find out that Darth Vader, once considered cinema's reigning black armor clad prince of evil, was not so much a tremendous villain as he was just a tremendous fuck up.  After he is thrust into greatness at Naboo he consistently fails to live up to expectations after that.  In the second movie he is shown to have severe mommy issues.  In the third episode he is refused what he wants, he breaks the rules of those who have taken him in and ultimately his greed and desires destroy everything around him.  He was supposed to bring balance to the Force, according to a prophecy, but instead he destroys the Jedi order ... almost.  

In Episode IV Vader is tasked with retrieving the stolen plans to the Death Star and he fails in that ... it's only when the plans come blundering back his way does he get a chance to redeem himself.  Often touted as the greatest star pilot ever, Darth Vader, given all of his experience in starfighters and his command of the Dark Side of the Force, can't even protect the massive Death Star from one single Rebel X-wing piloted by a daydreaming teenager (who we come to later discover is his son), a teenager who is only a fledgling in the powers of the Force and no where near the level of mastery that Vader is.  

In Episode V, Vader is tasked with finding the rebels and when he eventually does they escape!  Our heroes leave Vader, literally, empty handed at the end of the movie.  Oh, he caused the rebels a lot of grief in Episode V and even managed to split up the merry band of friends by giving Solo to Boba Fett but in reality Vader really didn't do any permanent damage to either our band of Rebels or the Rebellion.  In Episode VI, he is charged with protecting the Emperor and the new Death Star.  Vader fails again, on both counts.  In the end, after getting his ass kicked by his now acknowledged son, Vader wusses out, attones for his sins, turns sides, kills the Emperor and, well, the rebels win (with the help of lots and lots of tree hugging teddy bears with sharp sticks).

"Star Wars" (1977) is an amazing film.  

Taken as a whole, the story given to us in Episodes I to VI leaves a lot to be desired and ultimately disappoints in a huge way.  Someone said that when it came to Episode I: A Phantom Menace, that Lucas just went "pants wetting insane" and that's not hard to believe given that Episodes I to III pretty much were Lucas giving the middle finger to everyone who had believed in him since 1977.   Each of those five movies (Episodes I to III, Episodes V and VI) took the "Star Wars" name and franchise and ruined it more and more with each new movie released until by the end of the entire six part story the original magic that was "Star Wars" was pretty much dead and buried for all time.  Some of the highlights of Lucas' epic failure in even basic story telling include the fact that Vader built C3PO, Luke is Vader's son and Leia is Vader's daughter ... oh, yeah, and The Force is just like the flu, it's caused by tiny germs in your body.  The flu can bring you down and make you miss work but if you've got Mitochlorians in your bloodstream, you can jerk an X-wing out of a swamp and set it down on dry land.  Oh, almost forgot ... Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader was immaculately conceived ... no father, his mother just got pregnant with The Force or The Holy Spirit whichever you want to liken that to ala the Jesus story.

This Robot Chicken Star Wars skit had me rolling on the bed laughing because it was so true.   

The original 1977 "Star Wars" movie was (and still is) the best.  

By far.  


My new blog, "The March of the Twelve Backs" will be recounting the memories of the magic and awe that George Lucas brought into the world in May of 1977 ... the first and last time that he did so.  The blog will be about memories of a time when magic was real and of a time when that magic was everywhere.  If you were a kid way back then and you were lucky enough to see "Star Wars" in the theater back in 1977 then you know what I'm talking about and I think you'll like this new blog.

If you're one of those people who think that "Empire" is better than "Star Wars" or that the prequels were any good then I doubt you and I have very much to talk about.

Anyways, welcome to "The March of the 12 Backs"!  


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