One of my favorite stories he told had everything I liked in it. It had a princes and a brave hero. It had swordfights. It had space aliens and cannons and pirates and robots and danger - lots of danger - but the heroes made it out OK. I don't think he told this story more than once, but I remember it vividly. It was about a boy named Luke who came from a farm, and his friend Hans Olo, and their bear friend Chewbaka, and how they rescued the Princess from the evil Garth Vader, and how she got revenge.
Yeah, my dad told Star Wars as a story of his own (although he never claimed to have invented it), and let me tell you, the mental image I had of the story was very different than the film when I finally saw it years later. It wasn't wrong - he didn't change anything - but there were some things he couldn't describe or skipped or forgot. I think he'd seen the film once at that point.
This was before the sequels, mind you, or the prequels, or any of that. Star Wars for me, for a very long time, was a story and not a film.
Space OperaThe term "space opera" means something special. "Science fiction" is about science, about the potential future effects of things we have now, about a plausible way the world could be.
Space opera isn't about the future. It's about the present. It's about us.
All really great operas need a few things. They need to be noisy. They need to be dramatic. They need to be beautiful. And they need to speak to the heart... and not to the mind. No physics. No science.
Nobody goes to the opera because the plot makes sense. Nobody in opera acts exactly like a real person, but everyone acts like something inside every real person. The soul, maybe. The subconscious. The bit that wants to scream into the night and set things on fire instead of eating ice cream and watching reruns on Netflix. Nobody in real life has ever sung about their morning plans and hopes and fears the way Calaf sings in Act 4, but we somehow wish we could.
And, in the words of Anna Russel, you can put your opera where you like. Set it in the Roaring '20s or in the Wild West. It's just set dressing and costumes; nice to look at but it's only one part of the experience.
SagasStar Wars is often called a saga. Someone's rewritten it into an actual saga, if you're interested in that sort of thing. It's excellent.
Anyway, sagas are usually stories of one family, with mythological additions, later authors, and side-notes. Characters from one saga show up in others. In this case, this is the saga of the Skywalkers. The scope is galactic; the focus is one chain of people, one small set of events. You could re-write the story to take place in Feudal Japan or Iceland. Take away the laser swords and the starships and the saga doesn't change because the people in it are still people.
|Mos Eisley, Claire Hummel|
The Last JediI liked it.
Spoilers start below.