OK – so there were sci-fi movies before the Star Wars Box Set came out – I admit it freely. For me, however, it was the Star Wars series – along with E.T. (to be reviewed soon) that really began science fiction movies for me. The Star Wars Box Set – which only came out in its full form recently – is the grandaddy must-have for your box set collection. It might be admitting to my inner geek – but I kinda bought it on the first day it came out!
If you don’t know something about the Star Wars story then you’ve been living under a rock. The entire saga is set in space in the future. Mankind has split into two broad factions which are in irrevocable conflict – which we’ll summarize as good and evil. On the good side you have Luke Skywalker, Obi-wan, Yoda and the Force – a group also know as the Jedi. These guys are the underdogs, the forces of the Republic, fighting the forces of the vastly better equipped baddies.
The Jedi are so popular that a bunch of clowns are filling it out as their official religion when they fill out the census every year. Funny, right?
On the side of evil, we have Darth Vader and his dark Emperor along with a cast of baddies known collectively as the Empire.
You then break it into six movies – here are the discs you get in the Star Wars Box Set. They are in chronological order although they weren’t made in this order – the second three movies were made first! Weird, right?!
- Disc One – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Disc Two – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Disc Three- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Disc Four- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Disc Five- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Disc Six- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Disc Seven – NEW! Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III
- Disc Eight – NEW! Star Wars Archives: Episodes IV-VI
- Disc Nine – The Star Wars Documentaries
Okay – it’s a little hard to mention everyone famous and awesome in the Star Wars Box Set because there are too many. Frankly, a lot of them became famous through this series and went on to spend the rest of their career trying to shake that one role. So here are a few
- Mark Hamill – starring in the classic first three movies as the hero Luke Skywalker, Mark got UBER FAMOUS then never really found any other big roles. And hey – he didn’t need to – we love him!
- Harrison Ford – starring as the amazing Han Solo, you just can’t beat him for loveable rogue. Of course, he’s gone on to be Indiana Jones and all kinds of other rock star roles.
- Carrie Fisher – starring as the beautiful and gutsy Princess Leia. The original hairstyle that dominated the 80′s.
- James Earl Jones – while you rarely see his face, you will never forget James as the voice of Darth Vader. Maybe because you didn’t see his face, he’s gone on to find other dramatic success.
- Natalie Portman – 2nd series – it’s hard to imagine anyone else as taking over from Princess Leia – but Natalie kind of manages as Princess Padme. She rocks.
- Frank Oz – again you don’t see his face but you’ll never forget the voice of Yoda.
OK clearly I’ve picked my favorites and ignored all the others – trust me there are dozens of amazing actors that bring this thing to life in an unforgettable way.
Finally, it’s worth a mention of the amazing by kinda crazy George Lucas. This guy is clearly made of money and takes only his own advice. He doesn’t appear to care what the millions of fans think, incessantly tinkering with the movie as new technologies make new remakes / scene tweaks possible. And you know what – that’s what makes the new Star Wars Box Set kinda interesting. I mean – what will George have done to it this time? Is it always an improvement? Debatable. Does it keep it interesting? For sure.
OK so I started with the Star Wars movies pretty much when they came out in the late seventies when I was barely old enough to go to the cinema. Looking back, you have the kind of basic special effects that mark that era – slow pans of plastic models for spaceships, goofy light saber effects and a mannikin for Yoda. And you know what? It doesn’t matter at all. Somehow it all goes together and just works. The stories are awesome, the characters are awesome – everyone wants to be Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader or Obi-wan.
So it’s no surprise that my first move on buying the latest Star Wars Box Set is to set up a time to screen them for my kids. This box set is the first time all six movies have been together as well as the first time it’s been released in the high-definition blu-ray format. And what can I say – I love it!
So clearly I think the Star Wars Box Set is a cornerstone for any movie collection. Whether you’re into the first three or the second three or the original SFX or the upgraded ones is kinda immaterial to me. What you have here is a tried and true classic, a MUST HAVE for you and your children (or your best friends of you have no kids). We’ll be watching them every year no doubt, convening a Star Wars Box Set weekend screening complete with ice-cream, popcorn and your choice of crazy beverage. Care to join us?!