George Lucas Richard A. Blake - Essay

Richard A. Blake

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

"Star Wars" is original and surprising. It is witty, not only in its comic dialogue, but in its ability to spoof itself and the science-fiction genre without going for the cheap laugh….

Pointing out the "message" of such an avowedly entertaining film is to risk the humorless pomposity that plagues film journals. But even the most entertaining film can propose a message and, in fact, the message may even heighten the entertainment, as it does in "Star Wars."

Basically, the film is an expression of mid-20th-century romanticism, an act of faith and hope in the eventual triumph of old-fashioned humanity over the technology that surrounds it. The young actors are all rather dull characters, dehumanized by the society in which they live. They are extensions of their machines. As a parody of the humans, the robots are far more interesting people…. They argue, sulk, express affection, sacrifice themselves, have accidents and remain singlemindedly loyal to one another. C3PO, with his Jeeves English, and R2D2, with his buzzes and blips of computer talk, may be the best new comedy team since Rowan and Martin. In contrast to these sensitive marvels that man can create, man himself is pretty dull. (p. 568)

Richard A. Blake, "Two Histories of Film," in America (© America Press, 1977; all rights reserved), Vol. 136, No. 25, June 25, 1977, pp. 568-69.∗