chapter  6
Star Wars: A Myth for Our Time
ByAndrew Gordon
Pages 10

Star Wars, George Lucas's lavish space opera, is truly a fantasy for our times, this generation's Wizard of Oz. Nevertheless, whereas Lucas's film has been almost universally praised for its costuming, sets, technical perfection, and wondrous special effects, its plot has been largely dismissed as corny or hokey, strictly kids' stuff. Ideally, the Earth must be in peril, there must be a quest and a man to meet the mighty hour. That man must confront aliens and exotic creatures. Space must flow past the ports like wine from a pitcher. Blood must run down the palace steps, and ships launch out into the louring dark. Lucas's achievement is to construct a coherent myth out of his pastiche of pop culture. The multiple cross-references, the archetypal characters and situations give it both reinforcement and deep resonances for an audience that may not consciously recognize the sources but will still respond emotionally to the conventions.