best films: #63: STAR WARS (1977)

Looks as if we’re closing in on the big ones now — as the list continues to roll on, the latest entry is probably considered by many a “Top 100” feature (although probably higher in most cases). Star Wars, beyond just being one of the most well-loved, obsessed over, and referenced films of all time, is a highly enjoyable sci-fi adventure flick that, at its core, is a great showcase for innovative filmmaking and the effectiveness of great action-movie chemistry. First of all, I must confess that growing up in the ’90s, my initial viewing of Star Wars was definitely the 1997 theatrical resurgence of the trilogy (which I know by many purists standards is total blasphemy). But rest assured that I was quick to pull out the old VHS copies of the original cuts of the films that I found lying around my dad’s movie collection. And thanks to a brilliant, if brief, performance by the incomparable Alec Guinness (as Obi-Wan Kenobi), the fun banter between the since-superstar Harrison Ford and the unendingly funny Carrie Fisher, and the impossible-to-forget characters aplenty (R2D2, C3PO, Chewbacca the Wookie, oh my!), Star Wars is an everlasting testament to how much fun it can be to take part in a community of filmgoing. Though the overblown spectacles of recent years that have captured the attention spans of audiences lately lack a certain magic, there’s something to be said for the excitement of being a part of the droves of people watching a spectacle as entertaining and intriguing as this groundbreaker.

Standout Performance: Though I’m partial to Ford’s acting in general (probably more partial than most movie snobs), I’ve got to hand it to Fisher. Retrospectively, I’ve found she gets funnier and more entertaining every year.
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