I mentioned the original Star Wars movie in the last post. What I didn’t mention is that I watched it a total of 24 times over a twelve month period. I did that because I was “starved” for entertaining science fiction that made an attempt to actually look like it had some chance of being real. The last decent contemporary science fiction file I’d watched was 2001, and that was nine years before in 1968. When Star Wars was released, it was like a oasis in a cultural desert.
The first I ever heard about Star Wars was right before it was released through critic Gene Shalit on the Today Show. Mr. Shalit was excited about Star Wars. Over about a week before it hit the theaters, he would do a number of stories and reviews of the movie. That got me motivated to see it the weekend of the release. I was immediately taken by the movie, so much that I took my dad and brother out the next weekend to see it. Folks now find much to criticize about the movie, but when it was first released, we all just accepted the entire movie and ignored whatever so-called flaws it might have (such as how a lone missile, with or without the Force, could blow up a major planet-sized weapon system called the Death Star). It was the idea of seeing all that tech flying around. Because movie tickets were only $2 back then and I wasn’t dating at the time, I watched the movie 24 times before it finally left the area.
And it was so much fun watching Carrie Fischer, as Princess Leia, the character with so much sass, who certainly wasn’t the screaming damsel in distress. If anything she was helping to save our ostensible heroes, such as when they were trying to get her out of the detention block on the Death Star and she shot their way out of it. She was a wonderfully fresh change to similar characters in other movies. I didn’t so much fall in love with Carrie Fischer the actress as Princess Leia the character.
To give you some idea what it was like to listen to Gene Shalit as well as the then-fresh faces from Star Wars, follow this link to the interview. It’s so much fun to watch it again.
I didn’t know Carrie, never met her, but I’m going to miss her none-the-less.