December 14, 2015

EP. 101 — A Cultural History Of Star Wars (So Far)

Take a trip in your mind back to May 18th, 1999. Bill Clinton was the president, ‘Livin La Vida Loca’ and ‘No Scrubs’ were at the top of the music charts, and there was hope that ‘The Phantom Menace’ would be a great movie. Then the next day happened; the movie was released, and a bit of our collective innocence was forever lost. 

There are videos of fans losing their shit with anticipation lining up to see the movie, and their reactions leaving the theater two hours later. Most said they loved it, but you can hear the twinge of doubt in their voices and see a blankness in their eyes, as if the brain was fighting itself, literally incapable of believing that the movie sucked. And in the coming years we obviously came to a consensus about the prequels: they were the most vile of garbage and George Lucas was persona non grata in the film industry.

It’s sixteen years later and we now hope we’re in a different place, but it’s easy to feel the parallels between where we are now and where we were in May 1999. We have no idea what ‘The Force Awakens’ will bring us later this week. We hope for the best, but also hope we’re not too cynical in expecting the worst. 

On this week’s podcast, Jack O’Brien is joined by Cracked executive editor Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) for a deep dive into the history of Star Wars and how we got to this very moment. They discuss what the original trilogy got right, where the prequels went wrong, and the complicated genius of George Lucas.

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