Do you remember the first time you watched Star Wars?
Thirty-five years ago today, Star Wars debuted in theaters, quickly smashing previous box office records and beginning one of the most iconic franchises in movie history, introducing the world to lightsabers, Darth Vader, the Jedi, and the Force. Equal parts science-fiction and fantasy, Star Wars has found a place in our imagination in the tale of Luke Skywalker’s journey to destroy the oppressive Galactic Empire and become a Jedi. Along the way we met his mentors Obi-wan and Yoda, created friendships with the swashbuckling smuggler Han Solo and his side-kick Chewbacca, and found his lost sister, the Princess Leia (or was he the lost brother?). And who can forget R2-D2 and C-3PO, the hapless participant droids without which Star Wars could not have been complete? The magic and the myth are as much a modern telling of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero of Thousand Faces” as any in our time, and so, perhaps, as simple as the story often appears, we should not be surprised that it has weathered the decades so well. [cont…]