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Friday, May 25, 2012

STAR WARS: 35th ANNIVERSARY

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."
STAR WARS: EPISODE: IV - A NEW HOPE
On May 25, 1977, a movie opened that would change the world as we know it...forever! STAR WARS is THE single most successful franchise in popular culture today. For the last 35 years it has served as inspiration for millions of filmmakers, artists, musicians and fans alike, influencing the world of film, literature, science and even religion, all over the world! As the creator, writer and director of the first Star Wars film, George Lucas is considered to be THE most significant and recognizable pop-culture icon. He  took all that he loved, from his boyhood love of Flash Gordon serials to his film studies and admiration of the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa and the works of Joseph Campbell and created a new mythology and the whole universe that is Star Wars.With the popularity of Star Wars and it's sequels, he was able to build a vast entertainment empire: Lucasfilm (based at the Skywalker Ranch near San Francisco, California), giving rise to other multi-media outlets such as LucasArts, Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light and Magic and THX Sound.
Star Wars remains a powerful force in popular culture today. It can be seen everywhere in countless books, comic books, movies, TV, music, video games, even food and beverages, everything! If you deny the power of Star Wars and it's fans and followers just look at The 501st Legion: Vader's Fist, an all-volunteer organization of Star Wars costume enthusiasts who also promotes fundraising, charity work and volunteerism. (Also check out The Rebel Legion) On the other hand to appreciate the power and influence Star Wars has on the world at large just visit The Jedi Church or The Temple of the Jedi Order which promote the "Jediism", which is an official religion in some countries.
Star Wars has always been a major part of my life, while I consider myself a Second Generation fan (as I was born after the original release of Star Wars), I was able to be a part of the original trilogy. One of my first memories was seeing Star Wars: Episode VI: - Return of the Jedi (1983) at a very early age, at one of the last few remaining Drive-In movie theaters in Ft. Worth, TX. I was completely obsessed with Star Wars during my childhood (and still am!) and my parents and grandparents indulged my obsession with lots of Star Wars toys and action figures. One of my favorites was a furry Chewbacca doll! I had Star Wars bedsheets, window curtains, and even child-sized furniture including a Return of the Jedi table and chair set (which I still treasure). My Dad worked in the electronics industry and we owned one of the earliest VHS players and I can remember watching the tapes of all three original Star Wars movies many times. I graduated high school in 1997, the very same year that the original trilogy was re-released in theatres as the Special Editions to which I have a strong love-hate feeling for considering the various changes made to the movies. Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999 while I was in college and I can remember being both excited and ultimately disappointed at the time.
Even to this day, I am still a die-hard Star Wars fan! My living room is adorned with posters and collectibles. I own all of the Star Wars movies in several different formats from VHS to DVD and Blu-ray. I enjoy watching The Clone Wars animated series on Cartoon Network. This Summer I will return to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for the annual Star Wars Weekends and riding Star Tours. I also hope one day to attend the annual Star Wars Celebration Convention. I'm currently playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMORPG, on my PC. Every few years or so there is always a big resurgence in Star Wars because of some new release or format but even after 35 years Star Wars is VERY much alive and well. If you are as much of a fan as I am then let's celebrate it's 35th birthday, thank you for reading my blog over the years and feel free to leave your comments or personal stories about your love of all things Star Wars and May the Force be with you...!

LINKS: Star Wars Official Website, Star Wars on Facebook, Star Wars on Twitter, The Force.net, Wookiepedia, The Star Wars Wiki