Wednesday, October 11, 2023



[Back in 2018, there was a social media challenge on Facebook in which a person posted a picture a day for 10 days of 10 films that made an impact on them. However, I went a step beyond and posted an explanation as to why they made that impact. For the sake of posterity, they're being reposted here in their entirety (with some modification where warranted)]:

Day 2 of 10 movies that had an impact on me. 10 films that inspired you, 10 days, one image. I was nominated for this challenge by Andrew Baldwin. I won't be challenging anyone to share but if these posts inspire you to do so, by all means...go to, go to.

This film is seminal to GenX and the generations that followed. Most adore it, some are "meh" about it, few cannot stand it. Yet George Lucas' long shot, little-film-that-could became a juggernaut for a nation feeling the weight of historical/cultural strife and cynicism; providing an antidote that was both throwback to a simpler time and a timely reminder of (there's that word again) hope. It was one of those forever films, and that's not hyperbole folks. In fact, this film in a sense paved the way for yesterday's choice, even though "Superman: The Movie" (1978) lagged in pre-production hell for a couple of years before this film debuted. With its themes of plain "good versus evil", it was dismissed by the critics at the time as Saturday morning kiddie-fare (harsh, but understandable given that its inspiration was steeped in the serials of the thirties and forties). Debatable as to whether or not it was intentional, further scrutiny showed that it is replete with mythological themes and constructs, wholly recognizable to the collective Jungian unconscious (even noted mythology scholar/expert Joseph Campbell gave it his seal of approval).

For some, "Star Wars" is Han Solo (Harrison Ford), the mercenary shoot-'em-first cynic who undergoes a character arc to come (or return) to the hero that lies beneath the cool exterior. For others, it's Princess Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher), an ahead-of-her-time (or perhaps, of-her-time) heroine of equal measure who was anything but a damsel in distress. Many others view it as Obi-Wan Kenobi (the late Sir Alec Guiness) and Darth Vader (James Earl Jones/David Prowse/Bob Anderson)...both father figures of a previous generation locked in battle, both figuratively and literally passing their sins and conflict onto the next generation.

But the image [above] is "Star Wars"' core essence; a bildungsroman for a young farmer named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who epitomizes 70's (or any other time's) youth. Dissatisfied with society and "the way things are", locked into place by family responsibility and circumstance, looking wistfully off into the distance for adventure and excitement (things he would be admonished later for craving), accompanied by John Williams' (there's that other word again) iconic theme, seeing the twin suns, one shining brighter than the other, not realizing that they (would come to) symbolize the choice as to which path he would take; a mirrored opportunity to rectify the error of his (then unknown) progenitor.

In my opinion, this image represents every child's...every person's...hope for a life full of adventure and fulfillment. While the events of the latest film in the series would mar it's finish, the image here is still serves as powerful a testament of the desire to truly live as any put to film.

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