I see the latest Star Wars movie is out. I didn’t understand the first one in 1977 so I doubt I would understand the latest.
I remember taking our son, who was nearly 8, and sitting in the dark and wondering what was happening.
“Why is the human allied with that furry guy?” I asked, and he shushed me.
Was some of it symbolic or allegorical? Did it refer to our own foolish wars, past or present or future? What were their motivations? I didn’t know. Still don’t.
I could figure out some kind of oedipal tension between the old human and the kid, but the only person I could relate to was the Harrison Ford character, named Han Solo. In this huge universe, aren’t we all Han Solo?
I also liked Ford in “The Frisco Kid” (1979) about a Polish rabbi and an outlaw and some even worse outlaws in the west. The hairy creatures were real. The rabbi (Gene Wilder) asked the Han-Solo outlaw (Ford) what he was going to do next, and Ford replied in lascivious and bigoted language.
This was before Ford’s features became frozen permanently between fear and anger. He was young then.
Star Wars did have some sex appeal. We got a report about The Empire Strikes Back (1980) after our younger daughter went with friends from high school.
Apparently, one of the human characters was about to be killed in some outer-space way, and one girl shouted at the screen, “You can’t kill Billy Dee Williams! He be the sexiest man in the galaxy!”
I love some supernatural touches: Emma Thompson as the merciful angel, Meryl Streep as the spirit of Ethel Rosenberg, in “Angels in America.”
Generally I favor movies with reference to some moral code -- Orson Welles lurking in the shadows, Tony and Maria seeing each other across the gym, Clint avenging his buddy’s death in a “shit-hole” bar.
Movies have gotten away from me. Zombie films and Harry Potter films and extra-terrestial films.
Who needs new monsters? Trump and Cruz scare me enough.
I had a wonderful time on the #NYTReadalong Feb. 7 with Sree Sreenivasan and Neil Parekh, talking about the Super Bowl and the great paper where I used to work. Thanks to all the nice people who sent messages while I was babbling. The Readalong is Sunday, 8:30-10:15 AM Eastern, and the link is available after that.
has filed an interview with, of all people, me.
It's on his blog. (Just past photo of rat!) My thanks for his interest. GV
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see: