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Friday, December 25, 2015

Star Wars

Well, we all have Star Wars fever now. You can make your own opening crawl here.

Here's your pop culture conundrum for the day: If trees make air, how do people breathe on Hoth? Or Tatooine? Or Jakka? (If there are fertile areas on those planets, why not live near the trees?)

I did see the new Star Wars picture. Good stuff. I like the idea: If you're not sure how to please the audience, why not just remake the first picture? I think everyone wanted another taste of the "old vintage"...

Confession. A while back, I documented the time I pissed off Orson Welles after talking to him for less than twenty seconds. Now is the time to reveal how I insulted Mark Hamill within a minute of meeting him.

This was before the first Star Wars film had come out. I was in the Avco theatre complex in Westwood, hopping from screen to screen, watching movies all day. (A friend worked there.) Before the feature (Silver Streak, if memory serves) came the trailer for Star Wars.

I had heard positive advance word about Star Wars. Yet, truth be told, that first trailer seemed unimpressive: It was weird and druggy and badly assembled. I hated the music, the narration and the ad copy.

Two guys had entered the auditorium just as the lights came down; they sat fairly close to me. One was in his 20s, the other was much younger, perhaps 13. They resembled each other, so I presumed that they were brothers. After the trailer, they started to leave.

I could not help interjecting. "Wait. You came in here just to watch one trailer?"

The older fellow responded. "I'm in the movie. It stars SIR ALEC GUINNESS." Yes, that is how he said the name: In ALL CAPS. And he said it that way several times, always with the deepest reverence, always emphasizing what an honor it was to work with SIR ALEC GUINNESS, because SIR ALEC GUINNESS was the greatest actor in the world.

I presumed that this young man could not have had a major role in the film. If he had played one of the leads (I reasoned) surely he would be on a first-name basis with SIR ALEC GUINNESS. Probably an extra or a bit player, I thought. He's star-struck. It's cute.

I told him: "Well, I read some interesting things about this movie. But frankly, after seeing this trailer -- man, I don't know. But I hear Close Encounters is going to be great."

The fair haired young man shot me a look that said "DIE." And off he went.

Later that day, I caught the trailer again and had one of those Elmer Fudd "Dat wuz da wabbit" moments. The young fellow who had sat near me was featured prominently in several shots. Despite his star-struck attitude toward SIR ALEC GUINNESS, that fellow I had annoyed must have been a lead actor in Star Wars.

Sorry, but I still don't care for that original trailer (embedded below). Keep reading this blog and I'll tell you more hair-curling tales of famous people I ticked off within seconds of our first meeting.

Most oxygen comes from diatoms and other algae, not from trees. As long as there are oceans, somewhere, or even some damp sand, it'll be fine. It's not like there's a lot of animal life to consume the oxygen, is it?
Good Call Joseph, a very bad trailer. Too many low budget student shots (the lit actor against a black background) while the voiceover magnanimously chortles about bigger than life events. And the music???? I wonder why it was so backwards, maybe they went over budget and were desperate to create a buzz?
But that Alec Guinness, he was amazing.
Get well soon Joseph. I had a stent inserted in 2001, no trouble since thank God. As for the trailer, I found it quite funny but perhaps that was not the makers' intention.
Rais, Perth, WA Australia.
Took Ms Vandal's suggestion and checked out the post and the Star War's clip. You're absolutely right--the promo was cheesy. But not worth having a heart attack over :0). Amazing what a soundtrack can do. Even the action scenes seem far more puny than I remember. We've been spoiled, methinks. Ahhh, but it was fun at the time.

Get well, soon.

Not a Lucas fan, so Star Wars was never a favorite of mine, but that trailer is shockingly bad! I did go see it at the time, of course, but could never get over the horrifying Princess Leia hairdo and ugly sack dress made worse by forcing her to go braless. (she spoke of that in her one-woman show)

That "lead actor" was a fool not to stay for Silver Streak!!
Addendum to your story:

After finishing shooting Star Wars, Lucas needed a break from the film before he could start editing the thing. He decided to visit Steven Spielberg who was shooting the climax of Close Encounters in Alabama. Lucas mentioned to Steven how much he worried about how Star Wars was going to turn out, but he raved about what he could see Close Encounters was going to turn into. Steven suggested that he and Lucas exchange a 1% ownership share in each of their movies. Lucas agreed.

That suggestion made Steven filthy rich.
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