The 10 Tiny Details that Made Star Wars Matter

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The first time I saw Star Wars I was really freaking scared.

I was 7 in the spring of 1977, and I had already been traumatized by Young Frankenstein. Yeah, I ended that one out in the lobby. So uppermost in my mind, as we drove out to the Burlington (Mass.) Mall Cinema, where Star Wars was playing, was whether or not I could gut out the whole thing.

As it happened that turned out all right. Though it was touch and go for a while there in the trash compactor scene. The problem wasn’t staying in the theater, the problem was getting me out of it.

It really wasn’t for the obvious reasons. I probably could not, at the age of 7, have explained to you what exactly Star Wars was about from a logical point of view. I don’t think I grasped the tactical importance of blowing up the Death Star, or what Princess Leia was a princess of.

The big deal for me was the world. And the world-building in Star Wars happens at the edges of the screen as much as in the middle. It was in the tiny details. What sold me on the whole production was the idea that if you turned the camera around at Uncle Owen’s moisture farm on Tatooine, you wouldn’t see George Lucas and a bunch of key grips standing around in Tunisia. You’d see … more Tatooine.

Here are 10 of those details

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