There are few things that can compare with the technological advances that the entire Star Wars series accomplished with each movie. George Lucas’ Lucas film and Industrial Light and Magic have revolutionized the Sci-Fi genre by bringing fantasy worlds to the big screen and making them seem real, even possible. People of all ages get submersed into fantasy and for an hour and a half… they believe.
#1 –Set Industry Standards That We Get to Still Enjoy Today
Since 1975 they have been the industry standard for visually stunning film. Creating new processes along the way that broke the conventional rules held before it. They did what no one else could do and quickly became the industry standard when studios wanted to create fantastic worlds. Using camera tricks, make up and CGI they created some of the most fantastic scenes that we know and love. Audio was equally important to Lucas. He realized that audio and video went hand in hand with the movie experience. It was so important to him that he created his own sound standard THX. THX has become an industry standard for cinema high fidelity. Industrial Light and Magic are responsible for producing special effects on over 300 films. All the Star Wars movies, Harry Potter, Marvel Universe, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones just to name a few. They are also the original founder of Pixar.
#2 – Reality Imitating Art
When Star Wars first hit the screens in 1977 I was young and completely enthralled with the thought of space. Space travel. Space people. Space. Seemed really cool to a 4 year old. The Droids that were introduced in that movie, which mimicked what was portrayed as the future and not too dissimilar than the Jetsons, had them basically taking care of mundane duties to allow the human counterparts to focus on more “human” endeavors. Fast forward 38 years and look what we have, aside from a whole new story to pay attention to. One of the main droids in the new movies is not CGI(!!!) An actual robot (created by Sphero) playing a droid (BB-8) that moves in reality as it does in the movie. This is one of those things that the geeks out there are going to be calling out (including me). Reality imitating art.
#3 – Movie Production
Lucas, although not behind the scenes anymore, was a leader in forwarding production techniques specifically in the digital realm. Because there is an expectation of how the film will physically look coupled with the fact that the machine known as Disney is the production house, no expense will be spared to bring eye candy to the masses. Specifically with higher resolutions (more pixels, more frames), larger color gamut (realistic scenery), and the ability to finally bring to the screen a continuing of the stories I grew up with, as well as a current director (JJ Abrams) that has proven he can tell a story. These movies are things that audio/videophiles wait for. This allows them to truly see and hear the difference. Characters and colors pop right off the screen while the audio fully immerses you with lasers and space ships whizzing by.
#4 – Feel Like a Kid Again!
As a child, I remember waiting in lines that wrapped around the building to see each of the movies. Each one increasingly surreal and believable. I have spent my entire life watching these movies and they hold a special place in my heart. When I watch them today I escape for two hours and I once again feel like that young boy full of wonder and amazement.