Prompt 091: Original Star Wars Debut
[This prompt begins the segment of prompts called "The 1970's."]
91. In 1977, the movie Star Wars became a massive success and made the Science Fiction genre a mainstream hit. What would it have been like to be in line for Star Wars on opening day? Who would you have gone with and how would you all have reacted to the new and extremely popular picture?
Personally, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for b-horror, monster and slasher flicks, and low budget science fiction. Whether it's films, books, or comics, I find myself gravitating frequently to those genres. Nowadays, I have pretty much stepped away from the fantasy genre, and I have avoided super hero films.
In the past 20 years, I think I've seen Iron Man 2, Watchmen (the original film, not the television series), Suicide Squad, and Captain Marvel. After seeing Watchmen, I pretty much swore off superhero films. I felt insulted by Watchmen, it was so terribly done. And every time I considered seeing something, I couldn't shake the feeling I'd be let down once again, based on my familiarity with the source material (I used to collect comic books regularly, and still do, though it's primarily "indie," short-run series from smaller studios). With the more recent viewings I'd made, I realized that the superhero genre is really something I'm just not interested in. Couple that with the fact that Disney now runs Marvel film studios, I deliberately avoid Marvel movies - and even the comics - as a rule. I don't feel I'm missing anything I really yearn for.
I would like to see some of the Dark Knight films eventually. I think - at least from what I've seen in clips - that those films are a little more attractive to me for whatever reason. They take the original material a bit more seriously, it seems.
When it comes to the original Star Wars film (um, let's not bring up any of the future films, unless we're talking about how awesome Empire Strikes Back was), yeah, I would have loved to have seen that for the first time at its opening. I think I saw it on VHS back in the day, and even on network television. I'm old enough to have seen Empire in the cinema as a kid, maybe 1st grade. I went with my dad, who also seemed to have a thing for science fiction stories - at least when I was a kid.
I would have wanted to take a date to the film, maybe a group date, with a bunch of other couples. Maybe being in high school or college-age would have been an ideal time to have gone. The film - upon first viewing - opens so many doors to other genres, other possibilities for film, for well-done special effects (pioneering at the time, just like Ray Harryhausen did with his stop-motion animation work for films like "Jason and the Argonauts" or the incomparable Sinbad flicks, his Golden Age being the '50s through the '80s), that Star Wars was destined to be continued, and mercilessly imitated.
I think being in my late teens or early 20's would have been an ideal time to be exposed to the original Star Wars. The late 70's were a pretty wild time, and I think personally I would have run with the times, been inspired by the film, and been able to develop some significant creative works in my own right. Combine that with the comics of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and I imagine I would have attempted some wild sci-fi tales of my own, in comics format.
Nowadays I reckon I scratch this similar itch with my video game and tabletop game projects. But today there's such a glut of -everything- in terms of entertainment, it's difficult to start out in these creative fields and expect to make a living unless you go for major studios like Disney. At the same time, there are numerous outlets for creative works, particularly cinema or television, with all the streaming online services available.
But to have been so intensely inspired before all these outlets were available? To be at the threshold of mainstream sci-fi cinema history? That would have been a significant time for me to be alive, personally. I feel it would have informed my personal and professional pursuits to a massive degree.