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Thanks for the Memories: Star Wars Turns 30
Written by: Alex Sandell

30 years later and George
still has me playing with toys.

This May many around the galaxy are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the original Star Wars.  I am one of them. 

I'm old enough to have watched all 3 Star Wars' films during their initial theatrical runs in '77, '80 and '83 and clearly remember spending the 3 years in-between Episodes IV and V and Episodes V and VI hanging out with friends at the park, riding bike, drinking Capri Sun from those strange silver pouch things and having a great time talking about what was to come next in this wonderful saga George Lucas had created. These discussions -- many of which I still remember almost word for word -- are some of my most treasured childhood memories.

It's hard to believe that those days began 30 years ago and ended only 6 years later. It's hard to believe that there was a gap of 22 years between the sequels and the prequels and hard to imagine how these 3 films, prior to the prequels, managed to stay as vibrant, fun and relevant each year as they were the year that they were released. The memories grew more nostalgic with each passing year -- my friends and I grew up and started hanging out at the clubs, driving cars and drinking way too much beer -- but the movies never seemed to age and our love for the films remained as strong as it was in the summer of '77, or '80, or '83.

Now even the prequels have come and gone and the movies still maintain all their luster and charm. 30 years later and those friends I rode bike with in the park are now married, starting families and debating entering rehab for the sake of their children, but we're still having a great time discussing that wonderful saga that George Lucas created. Sure, the conversation has changed some -- will we show it to our kids in order from episode 1 - 6, or show them in the order that they were released? Will destroying the surprise that Vader is Luke's father wreck it for the next generation, or will knowing only make the original that much more powerful? The debate has changed, but the films remain the same (not counting the tweaks made for the Special Editions).

What other series has ever done that? Is this a one-time phenomenon? People have been claiming that this movie or that movie is the next "Star Wars" before the original trilogy was even complete -- but those movies have all been forgotten. What is this allure that Star Wars has over 2 generations and quite possibly a third (if my generation, as parents, has anything to say about it)? What has kept it so beloved over the course of three decades? If those questions could be answered, they wouldn't ever be asked.

Mock him, criticize him, tear him to shreds in a moment of weakness (Greedo didn't shoot first, goddamnit!), but George Lucas created something unique that will stay with us forever. Something powerful enough to withstand the test of time. George Lucas, love him or hate him, created something magic.  George Lucas created something kids will have a great time discussing on playgrounds for many decades to come. Hopefully drinking something other than Capri Sun. Seriously -- I hate that shit.

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2007 Alex Sandell/Cerebellum Inc. [All Rights Reserved]. Copy this without my permission and the Force is so not with you. Seriously, if you copy this without asking, you're lamer than Shrek 3. You're Matrix Reloaded level lame -- and that's fucking lame, dude! Oh, and I'll sue you.










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