Mel Brooks has made a career out of lovingly satirizing our sacred cows. Whether it is history (History Of The World Part I), The Nazis (The Producers) or classic horror films (Young Frankenstein), he has knack for finding the satire in the sacred.
30 years ago, he satirized Star Wars and other science fiction films in his own version of a space adventure: Spaceballs. The planet Druidia has an abundant amount of fresh air. President Skroob (Mel Brooks) from the very polluted Planet Spaceballs send his henchmen, Lord Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to capture the Druidian princess, Vespa (Daphne Zuniga). King Roland of Druidia (Dick Van Patten) must either give his planet’s air to the Spaceballs or lose his daughter. Enter Lone Star (Bill Pullman) who is sent by the king to rescue Vespa.
This movie is like most Mel Brooks movies. It borders on the absurd, takes easy pot shots at the revered and most of all, it makes us laugh.
30 years on, this movie is just as funny as it was in 1987.
May the schwartz be with you!
For the most part, when someone famous dies the response is as follows: their death is reported in the media, there maybe some smatterings of memorials on social media and then they are remembered during in memoriam section during the next awards ceremony.
When Carrie Fisher passed away suddenly from a heart attack at the end of last year, it was a shock to the cultural system. As an actress, writer and mental health advocate, she has been a part of our cultural landscape since 1977.
I recently purchased the Vanity Fair 40th anniversary Star Wars editions.
The one section of the article that struck me was a conversation that she had with John Boyega in 2014 when the original trailer for The Force Awakens was released. The backlash of having not just a black storm trooper,but also a black leading man did not sit well with some fans. Fisher’s response to the backlash and Boyega’s reaction to the backlash was simple: “you do you”.
Out of everything that I remember her for, it is the fact that she was her authentic self, warts and all. While some of us present a certain image depending on whom we are with, Fisher was not afraid to be herself, even if that meant revealing her demons or her less than ideal past.
She encouraged her fans to be themselves and not be afraid to reveal their own dark sides.
While I will always adore her as Princess Leia, it is her fearlessness that will continue to inspire me and her fans around the world.
RIP Carrie. Gone, but never, ever forgotten.
Happy Fathers Day to all of the amazing fathers out there, especially my own.
Luke Skywalker is one of our culture’s most recognizable characters. One of the three lead characters in the original Star Wars series, Luke, played by Mark Hamill is every man. Unlike Han (Harrison Ford) or Leia (the late and very missed Carrie Fisher), Luke is the character we can all relate to.
I could go on, but I think the video below says it all.
40 years ago today, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, hit theaters.
It was more than the average movie. It is more than just a science fiction movie set in outer space. Star Wars is revolutionary because it changed the way movies are made. Star Wars is part fairy tale, part social commentary and all around awesome. Before May 25th, 1977, no one knew who Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader were. 40 years later these characters, the world they inhabited and the actors behind the characters have become iconic in their own right.
I could go on forever on why I love Star Wars, but I think the trailer of A New Hope says it all.
Thank you, George Lucas for creating this world and introducing us to these characters. You have made multiple generations of fans happy and I hope you will continue to do so for many years.
Happy Birthday Star Wars, here is to another 40 years.
There is no greater indication of a loyal and loving fandom than the creativity of the fans. Whether it is art, music or fanfiction, it is amazing how we express our love of our favorite movie, book or television show.
Regular readers of this blog know that I can easily fangirl over Star Wars. My recent discovery of Star Wars Rap Battle has made me very happy. The best among the series is Han V. Leia and Han and Leia V. Finn and Rey.
I hope you enjoy the video and the series overall as much as I have. It has certain put a smile on my face.
Back in 1977, a new film hit theaters. It was called Star Wars. From the outset, it didn’t look like much. Just another science fiction film set in outer space with a Buck Rogers-ish premise. Some audience members and critics might have said at the time that it would quickly leave the theaters and only been seen in the wee hours of the morning when the television stations had nothing else to fill the airwaves with.
The thing about Star Wars, is that it is so much more than the average science fiction film. This film is a statement piece. Using Buck Rogers as the basic narrative, writer/director George Lucas turned the genre on its head and created characters that go far beyond the standard 2D characters that are sometimes associated with science fiction. Intertwining history, politics and fully developed human characters, Lucas not only changed the movie industry, but he created characters, catchphrases and worlds that are seared in our collective cultural consciousness.
My first memory of Star Wars is a take on the film as only Muppet Babies can do it.
My complete initiation to the fandom came later, when I was a teenager and the original trilogy was re-released for the 20th anniversary. I was hooked and since then, I have been a very happy fan.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of A New Hope’s release. While there is much to celebrate, there is also loss. Loosing Carrie Fisher and Kenny Baker last year was tough, but we remember them and we thank them for the joy and the memories.
May the fourth be with you.
The teaser trailer for The Last Jedi is out and all I can say is…wow. This movie is going to be good (I hope).
When Carrie Fisher passed away last December, it was a heartbreaking loss. But while her physical presence is gone, she is still with us in spirit.
Today was the first day of Star Wars Celebration, an annual event celebrating anything and everything related to Star Wars. This year also commemorates the 40th anniversary release of Episode 4: A New Hope.
With the anniversary of A New Hope and the release of The Last Jedi later this year, our thoughts are turning to Carrie and how big the void is since she left this world.
The tribute put together includes a short video and an appearance by Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, wearing a white dress (though not exactly like her mother’s costume, but close enough).
The video below is both heartbreaking and brings a smile to the faces of those of us who miss hear dearly.
I don’t know about any other fan, but I am preparing to bring quite a few bags of Kleenex when I see the The Last Jedi in December.
You are missed, Carrie. In the words of our mutual ancestors, z”l.
Fiction, if nothing else, is a dramatization of real life.
The late Carrie Fisher was one of those writers who was brilliantly able to translate her personal life to the page.
Her debut novel was 1987’s Postcards From The Edge. The novel opens with Suzanne Vale, a young actress with a Hollywood pedigree who is in a drug addiction rehabilitation facility. After leaving the facility, she returns to work, but Hollywood, being Hollywood doesn’t make it easy to return to normal life.
Writing about aspects of the human condition that affects us all-money, success, sex, addiction, our own insecurities, etc, Fisher proves once more why she is respected for her writing as she much as she is respected for her acting.
I recommend it.