The stranded dreamers of Star Wars ’77


Star Wars (1977)
Dir. George Lucas

Hobbits in space maybe, and the ultimate home movie for sure (attested by both nostalgic collective fawning and toxic collective ownership (abetted by the same nostalgia)) and beyond the promises it makes (and arguably keeps) while leaning into its own janky naivete there’s nothing to be said. There’s never been a time in my life that I’ve been enamoured with this one or the followup, and this sacrilegious outsider perspective hardly reveals any new paths: the way it moves is kind of brutal for wonder, and skimming through the desert dive bar I found myself less likely to believe that the cosmonauts were bounty hunters than I was the randy Satan had been accounted for and catalogued as a thing called a ‘Devaronian.’

The poor bastards are stranded in this thing like something happened to them out in space and now they’ll never see their families again. Like they’re dreaming this whole thing up, or just telling one another that’s the case and some time soon they’ll wake up. The production notes explaining this away as the director needing to fill the bar with as many costumes as he could doesn’t so much demystify their appearance as add to their sense of being forgotten, discounted. Is this the grim reality of the film’s return to a childhood utopia, from the one who dreamed about running away and having adventures that no one else has ever had. Like dreaming takes time and if you spend too long in it you might never wake up.

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