I’ve had the DVDs of episodes IV, V and VI for about 8 months after borrowing them from my cousin. As any other single lonely girl would do on a Friday night after her parents refused to hang out with her, I forced myself to pop the DVDs in, hoping they weren’t ruined or melted after enduring a brutal Texas heat in the trunk of my Toyota Corolla for 8 months.
I was equally nervous and excited about watching STAR WARS. On one hand, I knew that this was going to be one of the most overrated experiences of my life, but on the other, I knew that I would understand pop culture just a little better, and not be left out like the other 10% of people living in America that hadn’t seen STAR WARS*. Oh to finally be accepted! No longer would I be criticized for working at a Film Festival and not watching arguably one of the best series of movies in the history of cinema! Would my film critiques and opinions matter now, Stephen Jannise**?!?
And so I watched, enjoyed and Wikipedia-ed episodes IV, V and VI, marveling at how one set of stories had revolutionized and influenced a generation of nerds. However, the legacy of the film lasts not simply because of the visual effects or the stellar cast like many people think. What makes the impression on haters and nerds alike is the lasting story of good vs. evil, the depth of every character, human and non-human alike, and the shock that James Earl Jones brings about when he (like Maury Povich does everyday) tells Luke that he IS the father. Also, the characters were incredibly relatable! I don’t know about you, but I want a friend as loyal and as unintelligible as Chewbacca. And I’m ESL, so sometimes I phrase my sentences like Yoda.
In conclusion, did STAR WARS completely revolutionize my movie-going or aspiring filmmaking experience? Not really. Will I laugh a little bit louder at George Michael Bluth’s garage light saber video? Maybe. Most importantly, did this film ignite an unknown attraction to a young Harrison Ford? Absolutely.
Now to watch the less-hyped episodes I, II and III. It’s okay; I can keep these in the trunk of my car until 2015.
-Linzy Beltran, Assistant to the Executive Director
*This 10% includes immigrants and newborn babies. I made this up.
**Former Film Program Director at Austin Film Festival