Today is “Star Wars Day.” You know, “May the fourth,” because it sounds like “May the force (be with you).” GET IT???
There has been plenty of “Star Wars” discussion this week as the people threatening to give us a seventh film in this storied franchise dropped a few casting details on the world. People like Oscar Isaac and Max von Sydow and Adam Driver will be joining old timers Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher for “Star Wars: Episode VII – Whatever Nifty Subtitle They Give It,” and we'll probably be hearing about it constantly as the film forges on through production and post-production.
To mark today's occasion, director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan offered up a video howdy, which you can watch below if these movies are your thing. In case it's not readily evident, they're certainly not my thing, but I can't very well be a geek on my own terms and stand in judgment of the “Star Wars” faithful. Go with God.
Instead, today I thought I'd work up a little piece similar to those we've done in the past on films like “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” namely, an Oscar report card on the entire six-film franchise that has become such a milestone in the history of cinema. I'll look at what they were nominated for, what Oscars they won, whether they should have won them and how they were recognized besides. Just don't make me say “May the Fourth be with you.”
Let's dig in…
“STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE” (George Lucas, 1977)
Naturally, a film like “Star Wars,” which became probably the most significant pop culture event in the history of movies toward the end of a stellar decade of otherwise adult-oriented filmmaking, was bound to make its mark at the Academy Awards. The film was nominated for 10 Oscars and won six, plus a special achievement award, all in below-the-line categories.
Many of those wins are difficult to argue with, beginning with Best Art Direction. The creation of a world was expert and evident throughout, John Barry and his team making magic in a variety of ways. Given the task at hand, the award for Best Sound Mixing also feels like a no-brainer. Plus, Ben Burtt picked up a special award for the sound effects, which didn't have its own category at the time. And John Williams' iconic music of course deserved any award for Best Original Score that it received that year.