"A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away," reads the opening title of STAR WARS, introducing not only this one film but, in effect, a whole new wave in Hollywood filmmaking. From this point on, American films changed--for better or worse--as did audience expectations. STAR WARS left
viewers craving more; "bigger and better" spectacles became the rage for years afterwards, although much that followed paled in comparison. It soon became common to hear casual fans conversing about previously arcane special effects in a critical and knowledgeable manner.
There's no denying the appeal of this historic blockbuster. What's fascinating from a cinematic point of view i...