It’s Star Wars Day, much to the delight of many and to the groans of people not impressed with puns. There’s so much that has already been said about the franchise, so I’m going to talk about Star Wars by… not talking about Star Wars, and instead talking about its cultural influence. Of course, there has been a lot that’s been said of that as well, but as the title suggests, Star Wars had its impact on the industry as well, for many reasons. Most of them having to do with Lucasfilm. The following films would not exist as we know them today without Star Wars, and some might not exist at all. The franchise’s impact on the industry is, of course, far wider reaching than what I am going to cover here. From groundbreaking effects (that still hold up, by the way), to some iconic imagery, to the simple act of putting the credits at the end (leading to the ever popular Post Credits scene), so much was different after that Wednesday in late May of 1977. Here are six films that would not exist without Star Wars.
And I am talking about the Original Trilogy… we’ll get to the prequels later.
John Williams’ Ten Most Classic John Williams Moments
valeriemclean1919 Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Jaws, John Williams, Jurassic Park, Movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Superman, The Olympics About Film, About Music 0 Comments
So this week I watched AFI’s 44th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award, which this year went to composer John Williams. Even if you don’t know his name, you know his music. From Harry Potter to Indiana Jones to Star Wars, he is the modern master of the lietmotif, and has written some of the most iconic film scores ever. At 50 Academy Award nominations, he is the most nominated person alive (only edged out by Walt Disney at 59). Many things were said at the event, but one stood out to me the most. Harrison Ford came on stage and spoke about a moment in Raiders where Marion’s Theme was prominent and how it wasn’t where it was expected. He expected it to be when Indiana and Marion reunited in Nepal, but noted that that scene had no music. The scene he eventually pointed out was the cut from the truck that Indiana thinks Marion is on exploding to Indiana later drinking with the Nazi Monkey. He was getting very close to an idea I’ve had about film for a long time, the “John Williams Moment”.
A “John Williams Moment” is a moment in a movie where the scene is carried by the music. Many people don’t think about how music effects our engagement in a film– and I’m not talking about characters outright singing, but what others might call “incidental music” or the orchestral soundtrack. So many classic movie moments are classic because of the powerful music that underscores them, a lot of that music being composed by John Williams. It’s when the power behind the scene comes from its score, and there’s so many for so many movie composers. You don’t have to be John Williams to have a John Williams moment.
But he’s had some pretty good ones.