This in-depth look at the original Star Wars trilogy tells a full story that reveals how and why
Star Wars has become such a cult classic and movement. Author Mark Clark’s entertaining and informal tone makes for an engaging read as he looks at
Star Wars through the perspective of pop culture, movie history, and as a business enterprise.
Clark reveals the genesis for the
Star Wars concept: George Lucas’s childhood fascination with Adventure Theatre and
Flash Gordon, and, later in his life, Dune and Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress. In addition to tidbits about Lucas’s life and determined, dedicated efforts in the making of
Star Wars, Clark provides a mini bio of cast and crew, including the directors Irvin Kershner and Richard Marqand, who directed
Empire and Return respectively.
While Clark does point out that the ‘‘cinematic virtues’’ of the Star Wars trilogy were debatable, and the
movies were not ranked with the likes of Vertigo or Citizen Kane in well-known film ranking lists, the trilogy impacted society in other ways that changed the course of filmmaking and the ‘‘orbit of mainstream sci-fi’’.
Star Wars’ high standard of production raised audience expectations, making them less forgiving of narrative lulls and sketchy visual effects.
Not only did Star Wars lead to a galore of merchandising; its far-reaching cosmic powers influenced disco and techno-type music with John Williams’ now-famous musical score. Clark provides
a plethora of trivia regarding spoofs and Star Wars-inspired movies (national and
international) as well as gives the lowdown on quotes and misquotes. One of the
most famous (mis)quotes may be ’’Luke, I am your father’." In reality, the quote is ‘‘No, I am your father.’’
While all the behind-the-scenes look at the trials and tribulations of movie-making is fascinating and reveals the impact that this movie has had on culture,
Star Wars FAQ also offers an intriguing look at American history and culture. In examining how
Star Wars impacted culture, Clark establishes the social and political mood with references to the Hollywood’s history from World War
I onward, technological advances, tax laws of the 1970s that allowed tax credit on production costs and reinvigorated the industry. Also, given the political situation of the 1970s and the global energy crisis, civil rights movements and terrorism, the audience was looking for something more than just upbeat: reassurance.
Star Wars provided them with what Clark calls ‘‘a beacon of positivity’’.
Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed the Movies lives up to its title with a comprehensive and in-depth look at the creator, cast, history, and trivia about the movies.