The new Star Wars movie – Episode VII is here at long last – 32 years after the last movie came out back in 1983.
Oh sure, we’ve had in-between movies and series that have come out, like the Clone Wars animated and CGI shows, but as far as the actual movies go, there have just been the six until now. These movies hold a special place in our lives and our hearts, as science fiction movies such as this are iconic in their scope, story, and the worlds they are set in.
I still remember the first time I saw Star Wars (now called “Episode IV: A New Hope”) back in 1977. I had no idea back then what this vision of George Lucas was – all I knew was it was another science fiction movie, and I am a huge sucker for science fiction, so I saw it. I was absolutely entranced by how awesome this movie was – the story, the characters, the space scenes – all of it! I loved it so much, I caught every showing in our small town, which was twice a night for 7 days.
Yep……..I saw Star Wars 14 times in the same week in 1977. I think I confirmed myself as being a sci-fi nut at that time.
Since then, I saw every one of the other five films first-run in the theatre, including when IV, V, and VI hit the screen again for the Special Edition run. Star Wars has a kind of chemistry that you just don’t find in many science fiction movies…….and it works oh so well!
In 1979, I got to see my other favorite on the big screen – Star Trek! It was 10 years since the original series was cancelled, and this was a big thing! A real to-do on your list that if you loved watching the adventures of the crew of the starship Enterprise, then you just had to go watch this. “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” is still one of my favorites for what it meant to me back in the day. Of course, many young movie-nuts these days will say stuff like it was too long or too boring, but to me, they just don’t get how special it was to us in those times. We didn’t have every other movie coming out with some screen-shattering CGI effects and booming sound…..we had to wait for good movies to come out, and trust me……..this…….was one of those movies.
Like Star Wars, I saw every single Star Trek movie in the theatres, first-run. Seems to be a running theme for me, and I’m all good with that. These are favorites that I’ll continue to enjoy. Heck……..I even watch Star Trek V on occasion just to make fun of how awful I thought that film was (and it was pretty bad). In fact, there is a guy who has a DVD of an MST3K version of the full movie of Star Trek V, and I do intend on picking that up someday, as it was side-splittingly good! We saw it at Big Sky Trek ’93 in Billings, MT, and we all were out of breath, clutching our sides laughing – yeah…….you gotta see this. That was also the year I got to see John DeLancie in person – even got an autograph and shook his hand! This guy is really cool in person, as much so as when he’s on screen.
If you ask me whether I prefer Star Wars or Star Trek over each other, I cannot give you a clear answer because they are both winners in my mind – both have their great points about them, and both tell great stories. If you have seen one, but not the other, I recommend you do see the other – enjoy them all – soak them in, as they are examples of great storytelling by some very talented people.
I have seen other great science fiction movies back in those times, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Silent Running, Dark Star, Mad Max/Road Warrior, Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica – but as good as these are, and very well done, they just don’t have quite the sparkle that Star Wars and Star Trek have for me.
Enjoy…….live long…….prosper…….and may the Force be with you. Now go have a taco.