Grosse Point Geek, Motion Picture Maniac and All Things Film editor Phil Hobden explain in their own words just WHY Star Wars is important to them whilst sharing their favourite moments and characters! First up…
Motion Picture Maniac
These days it’s rare for a film to overwhelm me with butterflies, make me feel different upon witnessing its gargantuan scope and, dare I say, epicness, but there are some films that still do it for me, Lord Of The Rings is one, another is Star Wars. Like a drug I would feel alive while watching it, like my imagination activated at the very thought of it, Star Wars doesn’t make you doubt your imagination, it invigorates it, pumps life into the gears that spin your mind; its lack of limitations creates the impression of a world that could exist somewhere and by watching – you too become involved in the situation. It has a theme for just about everyone, is about everything – not just space fights, and reeks of the sweat and passion that went into its making; it’s literally like watching a dream come true.
I don’t remember seeing Star Wars for the first time, in the comprehension of my mind it was something that was just always there; like the ability to speak. I remember seeing Alien for the first time, The Terminator and Jaws, but not Star Wars, perhaps my parents presenting it to me at an age in which I was yet to create memories caused some kind of biological attachment, and why, for the rest of my life, the idea of sci-fi, the concept of a story the size of a galaxy, the characters and creatures, the space ships and battles, all of it became a sedative from the gloom of the real world. Monsters, aliens and intergalactic civil wars are my cup of tea, Star Wars is the kind of film that just hands me everything I want on a plate and, as a piece of the beginning of my life, it will always be a part of my life.
Boba Fett: I must guiltily admit I was slightly more fascinated by the villains than the heroes, I always thought they were just cooler and more fun to watch, if I had to pick a favourite character it would have to be one that makes me want to call out every time they appeared onscreen, if you ask me tomorrow I may have a different answer but for now, I’ve gotta go with Boba Fett, I mean come on, that voice (the original of course), that helmet, the jetpack, his presence; if I could only have one action figure from the Star Wars universe to display – it would be him.
I apply that same philosophy to picking a favourite moment, by tomorrow I will have a different answer so for now I’ll just pick the one that is currently on my mind – the last moments of Rogue One, Baze Malbus allowing a grenade explosion to engulf him, Jyn and Casian embracing on the beach accepting their impending deaths, Darth Vader massacring a group of rebels, the image of the Death Star hovering above the clouds, the music that goes along with it all, those moments will stay with me forever, I know they’re recent but I don’t care, that ending topped many well loved Star Wars moments for me so that’s what I’ll go for.
Grosse Point Geek
Of the thousands of films i have seen, Star Wars is without doubt my favorite. I first saw it when i was four, i was utterly enthralled back then and forty years later nothing has changed. It is quite simply the greatest film ever made and the reason why i love films so much.
There are all told eight entries in the franchise, (with a ninth due for release later this month). The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are both staggeringly brilliant, The Force Awakens is great but its a bit of a remake of the first film, then there’s Rogue One which is really good and of course we have the decidedly iffy prequel trilogy that had moments of brilliance but iscatastrophically hampered by a terrible script, dreadful acting and THE worst love story in movie history.
So why is Star Wars so important? – well for a start its the blockbuster franchise by which all fantasy action films are judged against – come the end credits of any big budget summer film and i guarantee someone somewhere will say the immortal words “it wasn’t as good as Star Wars”. Its the reason we have the likes of The Matrix, Jurassic Park , Alien, Indiana Jones, Mad Max and The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, moreover it paved the way for every groundbreaking special effect and film making technique we see in modern films today.
But most importantly (for me at least) it played a massive part in the childhood of a four year old little boy called William Strong, who in the summer of 1977 begged his Mum and Dad to take him to the local cinema and watch what will always be the most exciting, wonderful and awe inspiring film he would ever see.
Han Solo scoundrel, smuggler, rogue, gets the girl, bags all the best one liners and owns the coolest spaceship in the galaxy -lets face it lads we all wanted to be this guy.
Star Wars: A New Hope – The chasm leap. Having lost Han and Chewie, Luke and Leia are running for their lives and suddenly find themselves trapped before a huge chasm in the Death Star – all whilst being pursued by a load of pissed off storm troopers who are closing in fast – but just as they think all is lost Luke finds a rope and grappling hook on his utility belt, throws it over a nearby beam, grabs Leia and swings them both to safety – awesome.
Star Wars. A New Hope was released a year after I was born and for me felt like it was tied to almost every stage of my life. Return Of The Jedi was the first film I ever watched in the cinema and even now, some 30 years after I recorded it from ITV onto a Scotch VHS tape I can still remember the exact position of the advert breaks that interrupted by copy of this film for years. I had the toys – everything from the Ewok village to the B-Wing, from Boba Fett to “That thing from the Cantina scene”. And I played with them – toys that now are worth thousands in pristine condition would often be missing a leg from a brutal lightsaber showdown with Luke or Vader.
I bonded at University with my fellow course mates when we back to back watched the original trilogy (Widescreen version son a 14” TV no less).
I longed for more Star Wars films and then felt deflated as I endured The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars.
I loved The Clone Wars on TV, then Rebels after. And I was there on opening night for The Force Awakens and Rogue One as Star Wars finally made the big screen return we longed for since the 80’s.
I’ve played the games, worn the T-Shirt and now, at the age of 7, I’ve started to slowly to bring my daughter into the fold (we started chronically with The Phantom Menace – the most kid friendly Star Wars).
So Star Wars has been there with me from the start. It shaped the films I watched, the games I played and the people I connected with. Long may it continue…
Han Solo: Come on – He shoots first, flys the coolest ship in the galaxy (and won it in a card game), has the bestest side kick ever and answers ”I Love You “ with “ I know”. NOBODY is cooler or tougher than Han Solo.
Star Wars: A New Hope – Few cinematic moments have defined a film series better than the opening of A New Hope. The Blockade Runner storms overhead, followed by a Star Destroyer. Onboard there’s panic, they take positions and the doors explode open. Laser blasts, people fall to the floor then the shadowy figure of Darth vader enters. From that moment you know that he means business.