Not Everyone Loves Star Wars, Not Even Jewish Princess Leia
35 Years ago today our writer fell asleep at the premier of Star Wars
Where does the time go?
For any of you reading this that were alive in 1977, which would make you at least 35 years old, it was a year of note in the history of the world.
It was during that year that Anwar Sadat pledged to regain Arab territory from Israel. How’s that coming along, Anwar?
"Eight is Enough" made its premiere on ABC-TV confirming the fact that as far as Dick Van Patten’s acting abilities proved, once was more than enough!
1977 saw alleged comic Jay Leno make his first appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show.
It was in 1977 that then US president Jimmy Carter pleads for a Palestinian homeland. Try the UN, Jimmy, it seems popular these days.
And, 1977 – May 25th – to be specific also saw the release of a small film that spawned a worldwide collection of awkward teenagers spending far too much time in their parents’ basements where they staged light-saber battles while mimicking the mighty bass of James Earl Jones.
Yup, that’s right. The original Star Wars, a film which arguably changed the entire genre of science fiction forever, made its way into movie theatres on that date.
Since it inception, Star Wars has spawned two sequels and three prequels, as well as countless spin-off novels, comic books, TV shows and video games.
It was also a life-changing experience for the young cast of the film which included a Jewish Princess portrayed by Jewish Princess Carrie Fisher, who, as a tribute to her Jewishness, apparently thought hanging bagels on her ears was the way to go.
Star Wars also gave Frank Oz, then known simply as the voice of Kermit and a few other Sesame Street characters, to actually take his hand out of the frog’s ass, and use his voice to give Yoda life.
For a young carpenter, trying to find a voice in Hollywood, Harrison Ford, he of the Irish father and Russian-Jewish mother, dropped out of college before doing some acting and later summer stock. He signed a Hollywood contract with Columbia and later Universal. After appearing in 1973’s American Graffiti, Ford hit the big time when he landed the role of Han Solo in Star Wars.
Sadly, Star Wars was the voice of a generation, a generation weaned on reruns of Captain Kirk throwing paper Mache rocks at bad actors dressed in even worse costumes. It led directly to a generation of socially awkward teenagers and young adults whose only social skills were speaking in Vulcan to one another, while challenging each other on which character did what to who in which film?
I’ll be honest. I was there, in a theatre in mid-town Toronto for the premier of the original Star Trek. I fell asleep before the film was an hour old. Once the gimmick of inter-galactic battles wore off, I found it boring, badly written, and generally ill-conceived.
Fast forward to 1990 when, in Las Vegas, I found myself sharing a blackjack table with Carrie Fisher - Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan herself. We began discussing her latest film at the time, the semi-autobiographical Postcards from the Edge, when through slurry speech and red eyes, the Princess, obviously in no shape to command a ship of any kind, thanked me for my interest.
When I mentioned that while I was a fan of hers and that particular film, I mentioned that I was less enthusiastic about Star Wars. My lack of enthusiasm was quickly confirmed by the Princess who rolled her blood-shot eyes before inserting a finger down her throat in a display of mock vomit.
Star Wars was epic. Nobody can argue that, and its effects still reverberate today. I just thank God that it’s now in a universe FAR….FAR….Away from me!