STAR WARS (1977)

Principal Players

  • Luke Skywalker: Mark Hamill
  • Han Solo: Harrison Ford
  • Princess Leia: Carrie Fisher
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi: Alec Guinness
  • General: Peter Cushing
  • Darth Vader: David Prowse
  • Vader's Voice: James Earl Jones
  • C3PO: Anthony Danniels
  • R2D2: Kenny Baker
  • Chewbaca: Peter Mayhew

    Crew

  • Director: George Lucas
  • Screenplay: George Lucas
  • Art Direction/: John Barry, Norman Reynolds, Leslie Dilley, Roger Christian (AA)
  • Film Editing: Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew (AA)
  • Visual effects: John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, Robert Blalack (AA)
  • Costume Design: John Mollo (AA)
  • Sound: Don MacDougall, Ray West, Bob Minkler, Derek Ball (AA)
  • Original Score: John Williams (AA)
  • Producer: Gary Kurtz
  • Cinematographer:Gilbert Taylor
  • Special Effects:John Dykstra, John Stears, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, Robert Blalack

  • Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Creations: Benjamin Burtt Junior

    Star Wars was a carefully planned by George Lucas and producer Gary Kurtz as a real gee whiz movie for both adults and children. The film was made for a modest $11 million, as opposed to the $32 million apiece the sequels cost. Once its screening suggested that it had the potential to be very popular, it became the subject of one of the most carefully mounted publicity attempt in recent history.

    Star Wars borrows from a number of other successful films and is modeled on numerous 1930's style serials, most notably Flash Gordon(1936). Trivia buffs will note that C-3PO is based on the robot Maria in Metropolis(1926); the bombing raid on the Death Star had its origins in The Dam Busters(1954) and 633 Squadron(1964); Luke's return to his Aunt and Uncle's burnt-out homestead was borrowed from The Searchers; the films final victory celebration was borrowed from Triumph of the Will (1936). In fact Star Wars is nothing short of a self-consciously manufactured fairy-tale. George Lucas' Star Wars is a myth for our times just as surely as George Stevens' Shane was back in 1953. The movies greatest strength lies in its' reliance on narrative. Specifically, it relies on the most basic storytelling form known to man, the heroes journey. What is inspired in this narrative is Lucas's decision to take this journey into the last truly unexplored region known to man - space. We become involved in his story for the same reasons we became involved in all our favorite childhood stories, the characters are so easy to recognize and identify with. Lucas manages to get us to believe in and identify with not just those characters that are recognizably human but also the other alien lifeforms they encounter. Ultimately it is this ability to create and develop believable characters that makes Star Wars so successful, without it all the films undeniably dazzling special effect would have been meaningless. With that said, one of the film's greatest contributions is undeniably its' special effects. Unlike its most recent predecessor, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, which drew heavily from silent film techniques (relying on stationary cameras and moving objects) Lucas' special effects rely on the development of a revolutionary new computer controlled camera developed by John Dyksra (who had been Douglas Trumbull's assistant on 2001) Although the film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards (including: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor: Alec Guinness and Best original screenplay) it only won 7, all in the technical area (art direction, sound, editing, Costume design, original score, visual effects and a special achievement award for sound effect creations).