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Star Wars: A Myth for Our Time

Star Wars, George Lucas’ lavish space opera, is a fantasy for our times, this generation’s Wizard of Oz. Nevertheless, whereas Lucas’ film was almost universally praised for its costuming, sets, technical perfection, and wondrous special effects, its plot was largely dismissed by reviewers as corny or hokey, strictly kids’ stuff. “The film’s story is bad pulp, and so are the characters of hero Luke and heroine Leia,” says Richard Corliss.1 “I kept looking for an ‘edge,’ to peer around the corny, solemn comic-book strophes,” writes Stanley Kauffmann.2 And Molly Haskell sums up the critics’ objections: “Star Wars is childish, even for a cartoon.”

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