What Makes Star Wars So Damn Special?

What Makes Star Wars So Damn Special?

Video: The new Star Wars movie made enough money to fund a Death Star because basically any human with access to a movie theatre went to go watch it. Or so it seemed like it. In truth, there are still a lot of people who don't understand why Star Wars is so special. Why does Star Wars stand out, apart and above every movie franchise ever made? Why is Star Wars so Star Wars? Oscar Boyson attempts to explain and does so in a clever way. He first cites the obvious influences on Star Wars (like films by Akira Kurosawa) and details how even characters we love and plot lines we enjoy and fight scenes that we find spectacular are basically lifted from films that came before it. He then delves into what makes Star Wars so special: it's because it feels like we could be in the galaxy far, far away. The dialogue sounds like us, the world is dirty like ours, the robots and all the science-y fiction-y have likeable personalities and of course, it's just damn fun (and came around at the perfect time).


    It's no Star Trak. LOL amirite? Updoots on the left! Beam me up Spotty?

      I'm more of an Ipec fan myself but that can take its Toll on you!

    I always thought it was simply the telling of a classic story, in a way that showcased the technology of the day. Star Wars was one of the first movies to do CGI, which was just starting to break through, but it didnt try to oversell it. The models used for all the spaceships were crafted incredibly, and lent a sent of realism in an absurdly fantastic setting.

    In effect, for me at least, Star Wars was a great bridge between physical and CGI effects, showcasing both what was the standard, and what was to come.

    The prequels were the first to have a fully CGI character as a main character with Jar Jar Binks, and whether you think he worked or not (personally, he was no more annoying that C3-PO), it was still a reflection of how technology was moving forwards.

    What this new movie sells in those terms, I dont know, maybe how subtle the effects can now be, but the whole 7 movies are a great showcase of how far special effects have come. But they mostly work because they were good stories in the first place, told in a very grand opera sort of way.

      I was under the strong impression that there is no CGI in the original Star Wars. All physical models and traditional special effects. In fact, I'd bet money on it.

        Would you not classify any/all images on monitors in the Millennium Falcon/Star Destroyers Computer Generated Images?

        Also, the visualization of the Death Star trench run... its wire-frame, but still CGI.

        If so, hand over the cash! ;)

        Last edited 12/01/16 12:24 pm

          Thanks Sevrin :) Saves me typing a response.

          Nice list of what did what and when.


          Westworld is recognised as the first feature length film to use it, Star Wars was second. Started taking off after that slowly, until it was almost mainstream by the mid 80's.

          99.9% sure the guys that did the Star Wars stuff ended up becoming Industrial Light and Magic.

            I guess the difference is they used computers to represent computers and models/matte paintings/makeup/prosthetics to represent all the physical stuff. Whereas we think of CGI in modern movies as being used for practically everything.

            Really good CGI (think Jurassic Park quality) is fine but so many films skimp on it and you wind up with dodgy looking stuff on screen that breaks your suspension of disbelief and pulls you out of the movie. That didn't happen for me during the first couple Star Wars flicks, it definitely did in the next couple.

            Thankfully Force Awakens looked great, *most* of the time the CGI was completely seamless. I think it helped that they tried to use a lot of physical effects where they could.

            Back on track - A huge part of Star Wars success (aside from marketing) was getting the cast right. Harrison Ford at his peak... While the movies may have been more about Luke, Han Solo stole the first trilogy.

              Yeah, good points. Its mostly on reflection that I realised the Star Wars movies have represented key turning points with effects in general, and it may actually be most significant this time around that they are using traditional physical effects, or that the big CGI is so subtle - the crashed destroyers on Jokku for example. Its really nice to see big movies go back to the physical style, it does a lot more in selling the story than bodgy effects. Mad Max is another modern example.

              CGI is tricky. You can point to Tron, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, etc where its done well (for the time) and is a successful core to a movie, and gloss over the bad ones like Catwoman, or focus on being picky - the 100 Smith fight in Matrix Reloaded gets panned for example. In its day it was great though, there just werent any other movies that did what that scene did.

              Did Jar Jar work as a character? Probably not. Was he significant for movies overall? Most certainly.

                I definitely agree. Mad Max: Fury Road is another great example. Gotta love the fact they did whatever they could in camera and only laid the CGI on top of that.

                Yeah you're right, some of the early CGI looks ropey and fake but at the time it was amazing. Mainly because it was much, much better than the "cheap" work of it's contemporaries. It might look dated *now* but it looked state of the art *then*.

          No, I would want to see evidence that the computer screen graphics were not conventionally animated, that being a much cheaper option at the time. But If you can give me a reliable citation, I'll gladly send you the 5c. ;)

    I loved the first 3.. the first one in particular.. all others since then have been a let down.. some a bigger let down than the other.. but all a let down for one reason or the other. The latest was also a let down, for me.. it felt more like "A New Hope" rewritten for a new audience.

    It's the same as with Avatar - a B-grade movie plot with a blockbuster budget that doesn't challenge anyone at any level. i.e Mass market dross of the highest order.

      You ever thought that maybe its because... I dont know.... People actually enjoy watching Star Wars movie. B grade by your hipster standards. A grade by the rest of the normal population who isnt up themselves

      Last edited 12/01/16 11:19 pm

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