I had experienced true convergence. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of my obsessions. Star Wars was coming to Disneyland. I was in high school and completely consumed by all things Disney and George Lucas when I first heard about Star Tours, a new Star Wars-themed attraction slated to open at Disneyland in January of 1987. Disney’s fabled Imagineers would be joining creative forces with the Maker himself to finally give the residents of our mundane galaxy the chance to blast off with R2-D2 and launch our own assault on the Death Star? I thought my head was about to explode just like that doomed battle station. No pun intended, but how could the stars have aligned so perfectly?
Posts Tagged ‘George Lucas’
As an educator at the Secondary level, it’s imperative that you keep your students engaged and interested in the curriculum, as you navigate the distractions that life may provide at any given moment. While attending college to become certified as a high school English teacher, I was constantly told that students need to be met where they are at in their lives, and heard catch phrases like “edutainment” to describe the pedagogical approach that many are encouraged to pursue.
This is one of many reasons why incorporating Star Wars into the curriculum is all at once gratifying, exciting, and rewarding. It’s wonderful to see how integrating the saga can inspire students to explore other worlds, analyze complex themes, examine characters and characterization, and think critically about that galaxy far, far away. Navigating the saga encourages empathy and creativity that is essential to molding young minds to become something greater than themselves. Just as Luke Skywalker looked into the twin suns of Tatooine for an outlet to other worlds, and to find his place in the universe, each student is encouraged to make similar connections for the betterment of his or her own world. Star Wars is an excellent avenue for this.
This is the house that Star Wars built. Technically it’s the house, soundstage, vineyard, observatory, and Lake Ewok that Star Wars built, but you get the idea.
This is the place where every bit of legend George Lucas has and continues to produce comes to life. Not many people have walked through the gates at Skywalker Ranch and those people include mere mortals like Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron.
Star Wars is my favorite World War II movie. The saga is headlined by actual World War II veterans and tells the story of dictators, democracy, and empires. It is filled with Second World War sound effects, uses World War II props, features spectacular World War II dogfights, and is backed by a film score straight out of the golden age of Hollywood.
Star Wars might just have more in common with a World War II movie than science fiction flicks. I’ve been making such bold claims for years now, after I started casually seeing references to World War II in various Star Wars books, documentaries, and interviews. One day, I started writing them down, until I had collected hundreds of ideas, stories, and quotes. Armed with these notes and pure excitement, I took the stage at Star Wars Celebration VI to share how “a long time ago” influenced the “galaxy far, far away.” Thanks to Star Wars Celebrations, I’ve shared some of these stories with audiences in the United States and Germany. Now I get to share them with everyone on the Star Wars Blog.
The Godfather had a profound influence on the landscape of American cinema after its release in 1972, and the Star Wars universe was no exception.
The Godfather is a masterful exploration of the human side of the mafia and the toll it takes on ones soul and family and was directed by Lucas’s longtime friend and mentor Francis Ford Coppola.
The underworld is a prominent feature of the Star Wars universe, from bounty hunters and mercenaries to the bumbling criminal bureaucrats of the Trade Federation and the criminal largesse of the Hutts.
Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sunday in the Park with George was inspired by the concept and the painting of Georges Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” But here I’m referring to another George — Lucas, of course — and another park, this one being built in George Lucas’ longtime hometown, San Anselmo, California.
So I’m writing another blog. What have I been up to? Well, I’ve had a series of long conversations with Edward (Ed) Summer, which are being published in interview form in the next three issues of Star Wars Insider. Most fans have never heard of Summer, though he’s in at least one photo in the book The Cinema of George Lucas. I first met Summer at the Barney Greengrass deli on the Upper West Side of New York City while doing research for that book. As a result, he allowed us to publish from his collection a photo of George Lucas and Frank Frazetta, outside the latter’s home, probably the only photo of them together (with Summer in it, too).
It was never any secret that George Lucas was a fan of Akira Kurosawa’s. In the first installment of this column, we looked at the inspiration of The Hidden Fortress on Episode IV, but that’s not where the influence between Lucas and Kurosawa ended. By the late seventies, Kurosawa was a legend, but couldn’t get the money to finish his epic film, Kagemusha.
To George and Mellody,
Congratulations on the exciting news! We wish you all the happiness in the world.
Your Lucasfilm family
The Clone Wars is such a big deal that there were two Season 5 preview panels, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, at Star Wars Celebration VI. I love the show, so I went to both. On Saturday attendees were treated to an amazing surprise. GEORGE LUCAS SHOWED UP! Yes, the creator himself briefly came out and talked some Clone Wars with Supervising Director Dave Filoni and VFX Supervisor Joel Aron.