Somewhere and Somewhen Else
Star Wars rocked my ten year old world. I can't even begin to describe the excitement of seeing Star Wars for the very first time. One of the things that made that movie such an amazing experience was the transitory nature of going to the movies in 1977. I have to remind my kids, one of whom is the same age I was when I first saw Star Wars, that back in the day when you saw a movie in a theater that was it. There was no DVD coming out dependably in 6 months. When it left the theater it was gone. So you watched movies differently back then. I think I was more alert than I am now. More anxious to notice every detail.
I think what was so groundbreaking for me about this film was that it conceived of a world without us. Most science fiction or fantasy I had read up to this point projected either forward or backward with our own civilization being the grounding point. It was either in a distant or imagined future or past. But Star Wars was neither. It occurred in "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."
In other words, from the opening words my mind was blown.
Star Wars is not, in the strictest sense, science fiction. It's fantasy dressed in science fiction garb. But what works in the story is that it transports the viewer into an entirely different world. It opens your mind to possibilities previously unimagined. And when you return to your own world you look at it differently.
What was your first encounter with Star Wars?