As the final installment of the “Star Wars” sextet of epic film sagas opens, still you’ll find people who in 28 years of these movies have never seen even one of them. Or, worse yet, who saw the original film in 1977, shrugged and simply moved on.
To quote a well-known imperious personage, we find their lack of faith disturbing.
This is not an entreaty for those who somehow have escaped the nearly irresistible allure of The Force to suddenly run down to the nearest store and do intergalactic battle with a couple of 10-year-olds for possession of the last light saber on the shelf.
But as “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” began entertaining tens of thousands here in the East Valley and nationwide since midnight, we note two certainties of cinema, as the Associated Press reported in Monday’s Tribune:
- Anyone who has ever enjoyed modern movie and TV special effects — from animated characters that look and move like real beings to seeing outer space much the way it actually looks — should pay tribute to “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and his Industrial Light & Magic corps of technowizards.
- Anyone who uses a cellular phone, a personal computer, a stereo or has ever gone in for medical imaging also owes Lucas, who made available quite cheaply many of the technologies he and his team invented for his movie series.
As the AP’s Greg Sandoval reported, Lucas spent millions to develop a complete digital editing system for his movies that he virtually gave away. Those technologies today drive billion-dollar companies that employ thousands.
Take or leave the last of Lucas’ epics if you will, but his genius and relative largesse gave modern moviemaking much of its how-did-they-do-that quality, enhancing the entertainment experiences of at least a couple of generations.