Term Paper: Star Wars Culture

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[. . .] It provided a harmless and much needed escape for millions who wanted to believe that good was still going to be the winner.

THE UPSIDE

Those who became part of the American counter culture were given new life it seemed. There were so many different ways to be involved in the Star Wars phenomena that it took on a life of its own before long. People were willing to line up for weeks to get a ticket (Dateline: 04/19/99 (http://scifi.about.com/library/starwars/bl-swcriticisms.htm).They would sit in lines together and they would get to know each other much the way families who camp a lot get to know their fellow campers. The comrade that was experienced helped set the stage for what would follow in the future. Those who were hard core Star Wars fans not only knew every single line of the movie but they could also imitate the sounds during the fights with exacting accuracy. In addition children began to talk to their parents in the now famous voice of Darth Vader when they didn't want to do chores or go to school. What made matters worse is their parents would recognize the voice because they had seen the movie as often as their children had.

SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE BECOME PART OF SOCIETY TODAY

Evidence of the significance of the impact that Star Wars had on American society is still seen today. There are many sayings that come directly from the movie as well as things that can be seen which verify its impact on American society.

One of the most striking piece of evidence that Star Wars has had a generational impact on America is the fact that everyone in the nation knows what the statement, "May the force be with you" means. The statement is used universally to give someone good luck words of encouragement. If one is going on an job interview, or they are trying out for a team, or they are about to correct something that is very wrong someone invariably might say "May the force be with you." Translated from Star Wars speak it means may good vibrations and the protection of goodness assist you in your quest. This is but one of the sayings from the movie Star Wars that made its way into American society and American cultures.

A caian soc Eis ballfor" s ber w rnatila wve ofmost strong evidences that di

But I was going into Tashee station today to pick up some power convertors!" -- Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to his uncle Owen

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." -- Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in a recorded message

It's not wise to upset a wookie." -- Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to C-3PO (Anthony Daniels)

Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person--me!" -- Han Solo to Princess Leia

May the force be with you." -- Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) to Luke Skywalker

Your powers are weak, old man." -- Darth Vader (the voice of James Earl Jones)

You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." -- Obi-Wan Kenobi

TIDBITS

Theatrical release: May 25, 1977.

Estimated budget: $8.5 million.

STAR WARS was an original selection to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989.

Did you know... Star Wars: A New Hope http://scifi.about.com/library/starwars/bl-triviaanhc.htm

Interesting trivia about the Star Wars movies

Actors and Characters

Babylon 5's Bruce Boxleitner stated that he auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker.

Burt Reynolds was originally cast as Han Solo. It is rumored that he pulled out because he considered it too much of a gamble.

Other actors who were at one time or another involved with the casting of Han Solo were: Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, and Richard Dreyfuss.

Sissy Spacek was to audition for the part of Leia, but ended up swapping scripts with Carrie Fisher.

Jodie Foster was Lucas' second choice for Princess Leia after Carrie Fisher.

Harrison Ford deliberately didn't learn his lines for the intercom conversation in the cell block, so it would sound spontaneous.

When the stormtroopers enter the room on the Death Star where C-3PO and R2-D2 are hiding, one of them "accidentally" bumps his head on the door, complete with sound effects. (Picture from A Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Wars -- it's the stormtrooper on the right. This blooper appears in the Special Edition as well as the original release of the film.)

James Earl Jones supplied the voice of Darth Vader in a two hour recording session, but was not credited because he felt that he had not done enough work to get the billing. David Prowse, the actor who wore the costume in the movie, stated that he did not even know that his voice had been dubbed-over until after the movie was released, and reportedly was not happy about it.

Mark Hamill held his breath for so long during the trash compactor scene that he broke a blood vessel in his face. Subsequent shots were made from only one side.

Denis Lawson played the character Wedge Antilles in all three Star Wars movies, despite his name being spelled incorrectly in the credits as "Dennis Lawson" in Star Wars: A New Hope.

For additional information on the might-have-beens of Star Wars casting, try the Cast section of A Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Wars.)

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Did you know... Star Wars: A New Hope

Interesting trivia about the Star Wars movies

Production

Lucas had trouble securing funding for Star Wars -- most studios didn't think that people would want to go see it. Several studios passed on the film until Alan Ladd, Jr. At 20th Century Fox decided to take the risk. The film was made with a budget of about 10 million dollars.

Industrial Light and Magic, which today is the biggest special effects company in Hollywood, was created through the production of Star Wars.

The subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope did not appear in the film's opening crawl when it was first released. These were added in the later re-release to be consistent with the title crawl seen in The Empire Strikes Back.

The Director's Guild of America (DGA) didn't like the fact that there were no specific credits at the beginning of the film and requested that Lucas put credits at the beginning. Lucas refused, claiming that this would destroy the opening of his film. The DGA fined Lucas, who paid up, and promptly quit the DGA. Many other films have since used the method of having few or no credits at the beginning of the movie.

The months of long days shooting Star Wars, with George Lucas overseeing almost every detail of the film, finally caught up with him when he was hospitalized for hypertension. This experience probably contributed to his decision to hire Irvin Kershner to direct The Empire Strikes Back.

Legend has it that the Millennium Falcon was originally modeled after a hamburger with an olive next to it.

The Tatooine scenes were filmed in Tunisia. There is a town in Tunisia called "Tataouine." Some of the interiors of Luke's house were filmed in a hotel in Tunisia, but the exterior is an actual home in the village of Matmata, where caves and craters have been inhabited for a long time. (For additional information on locations of filming Star Wars, try the Tunisia section of The Star Wars Traveler.)

After the sets were constructed, Lucas went through them and had every single one of them "dirtied up." The R2-D2s were all rolled in the dirt, nicked with a saw, and kicked around a bit.

A scuba regulator was used for Darth Vader's breathing sounds.

References

Did you know... Star Wars: A New Hope http://scifi.about.com/library/starwars/bl-triviaanhc.htm

Star Wars culture, but don’t let that limit you.

Dateline: 04/19/99

http://scifi.about.com/library/starwars/bl-swcriticisms.htm

Jeff Strickler; Staff Writer, Questions about 'Star Wars' films? Read on...., Minneapolis Star Tribune, 02-21-1997, pp 07E.

Star Wars" despots vs. "Star Trek" populists http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/feature/1999/06/15/brin_main [END OF PREVIEW]

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