The Forgotten Secret of Star Wars Guest post by Author Jason Anspach
I love a lot of things about Star Wars. From the snap-hiss of a lightsaber to the insanely cool visual of s-foils locked into attack position. I adore the brash rogue who makes good in Han Solo, the imposing presence of Darth Vader, the enthusiastic wonder of Rey, and the criminally underrated character of Lando Calrissian.
Now, I know I’m not alone in my love for this franchise. Star Wars has become part of our cultural pantheon. But there’s something about the 1977 release that gets overlooked in the way books and movies are created and consumed nowadays.
I’ll give you a hint:
And then BOOM! John Williams’ fanfare turned up to eleven and there was no looking back.
To fully understand how important those words were to the people sitting in theaters throughout that amazing summer, we need to remember the feel of science fiction at the time. It was often dark, bleak, and carried a morality tale about the hubris (and eventual downfall) of mankind the way Yoda carried his gimer stick.
Don’t believe me? Think back to Planet of the Apes (1968) – “You maniacs! You blew it up!” Logan’s Run (1976), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Soylent Green (1973).
Classics. Entertaining, all of them. But also, kind of a drag. And it went back to films like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Each one focusing on the shortcomings of mankind, the foibles that spelled our demise. Couple that with the real life legacy audiences lived through like the energy crisis, Vietnam, the U.S.S.R., Iran, inflation and–Whew!–depressing, right?
Enter, A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
What those nine words did was tell the audience that they could relax and enjoy what came next. It gave the moviegoer permission to forget about whether this could scientifically happen or not, whether it spoke as an allegory for the problems of the day. It was about getting lost in a fantastic adventure. (This is why the prequels suffered. Also, midichlorians).
What Star Wars did in 1977 was give audiences permission to have fun at a sci-fi movie. And with that established, everything exploded. Audiences hissed at Darth Vader, cheered when the Death Star exploded, and argued over whether Han, Luke, or neither would win Leia’s heart throughout the years leading to The Empire Strikes Back’s release.
As a writer, I try to take my cue from Star Wars’ iconic opening line. Just like the late 1970’s, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. We’ve experienced long wars, political and social turmoil, economic hardship, and bad music.
There are plenty of writers, directors, and politicians determined to beat us over the head with how much things can suck.
I write a paranormal noire series about a fake-it-til-you-make it Detective named Sam Rockwell living in the 1950s who specializes in working with Returns, or ghosts who come back with unfinished business. It’s a funny world of an America lost that never existed outside of old Hollywood movies, but hey, that’s the point.
I write ‘til Death because I believe there’s a lot of us out there who want to open a book and know that, for however long they choose to stay in the world of the page, they’re allowed have fun. Based on the feedback I’ve received from my readers, and the love showed for Episode VII, I think I’m right.
Jason Anspach is the author of ‘til Death and ‘til Death: Second Impressions, released April 22nd! Both are on sale at amazon for $0.99 for a limited time. He plays the Barbarian Barabosa on the Sci-Fi Writers Playing Old School D&D Podcast and talks indie publishing with co-host Kevin G. Summers at LiteraryOutlaws.com.
Jason is level 60 in Battlefront and lives in a blue collar city nestled in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and their six woklings.
Twitter: @Jonspach Facebook.com/authorjasonanspach
Price: $0.99 from April 22 – April 29, $2.99 after
Description: Sam Rockwell is a fledgling private investigator specializing in Returns, or, recently deceased ghosts with unfinished business. After his no-nonsense father is murdered and comes back, Sam takes the case hoping for a big break and a chance to win the heart of his Girl Friday. Short on experience and long on the swagger of the dog-eared pulp fiction he keeps in his desk, Rockwell sets out to find his father’s killer only to find himself caught up in a deadly game of Cold War Intrigue at its most horrific as the Doomsday Clock inches closer to permanent midnight in this witty throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood noire.
Title: ‘til Death: Second Impressions by Jason Anspach
Price: $0.99 from April 22 – April 29, $2.99 after
Description: Wisecracking Private Detective Sam Rockwell is running for his life, but that doesn’t keep him from taking the case of a Return who’s slipped past Heaven’s radar and overstayed his time on earth. Together with his fiancé, Amelia, Sam brawls and dances his way through San Francisco to unravel a zany mystery where nothing is what it seems at first blush.
The laughs and silver screen thrills of Jason Anspach’s signature 1950s Cold War tale of Hollywood noire are back in this madcap sequel as Sam and Amelia return once again to right wrongs, solve crimes, send the dead off to their proper eternity, and maybe, set a date for their wedding! The Maltese Falcon meets It’s a Mad Mad Mad world in this smart and witty paranormal romp.