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Those with different values, obviously, might care to see it the other way round: It was Lucas and Spielberg who “saved Hollywood” from the decadence of the “sexdrugs-and-rock’n’roll generation” and brought old-fashioned good-versus-evil storytelling back to theaters. That’s not to say that Lucas’s critics don’t have a point. Artistically, the flaws and limitations of the Star Wars films — and of its many less distinguished heirs, from Independence Day to Tomb Raider — are inescapable. They are silly, indifferently acted, poorly thought out in some respects, and not infrequently inconsistent verging on self-contradiction. As Lucas’s saga progressed, moreover, the flaws have become more pronounced. When Lucas cannily gave the original Star Wars film the puzzling subtitle Episode IV — A New Hope, it wasn’t because he had a clear vision for a series of six (or nine) films. Rather, he was paying homage to the serial matinee adventures of his childhood, and wanted to evoke the sense of a larger canvas where in fact he had only hazy ideas for possible sequels and even hazier ideas for what was then a wholly hypothetical back story. As a result, the more Lucas has tried to extrapolate what happened before and after the first Star Wars film (A New Hope), the more problems have emerged. The Empire Strikes Back is widely regarded as the most complex and interesting film of the lot, but by Return of the Jedi the seams were definitely showing. The prequels brought a host of new problems, adding more fuel to the fire. Yet, despite these pitfalls, Lucas’s universe has had an impact on generations of moviegoers utterly out of all proportion to its formidable qualities as spectacle

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A Fans Guide to Star Wars  

A Fans Guide to Star Wars  

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