Star Wars, episode 4.

Watching this movie with fresh eyes is difficult. I've seen it maybe 30 times, many of those viewings during my adult life. Lucas made a misstep adding some poor CGI, and I have seen that; I can't really fault him, though, for cleaning up some of the old footage with modern techniques.

But watching even the first movie, which was made when I was 4 years old, I stand in awe. The dialog is awkward enough to induce cringes, and I usually avoid it. But looking at some of the stills from the movie, I compare them favorably with new photos from the Hubble telescope. Once I again I feel the hope and excitement that space held for me when I was a child, so far hidden and lost now.

Most people think of The Empire Strikes Back as the lightsaber in Lucas's belt, and I won't deny the story is incomparable. But see Star Wars, I mean "the" Star Wars, with new eyes. Look at R2D2 and C3PO shooting away from the new (to us) Darth Vader's Star Destroyer, look at Obiwan suddenly appearing to save young Skywalker (no matter what you know about his future or his father's past), think of Han Solo ruthlessly shooting down a bounty hunter in a desperate act to save himself after listening to that language no one knows, and tell me THAT didn't somehow change you. Or Luke taking on a weird floating sphere that shot him in the butt, with only his light saber and his "feeeeeeelings" as Alec Guinness called them. Remember when mention of the "clone wars" alluded to something interesting, rather than a cynical way to try to capitalize on one of the coolest and most intriguing characters in the first trilogy?

And what about "the Force". Ah, the Force. Something we all know exists, deep in our Buddha nature. Something we could almost taste as children, but that is hidden and fearful to us as adults. Something that was even more powerful than SCIENCE, that power new to us as kids, that could create R2D2 and C3PO (and power the Looney Toons on tv) but could also kill Uncle Owen and Aunt Peru.

Yes, Empire was the best, but Star Wars ("The New Hope", as it is known by critics and people who don't care) changed me. It changed movie making, and not a single movie has been made that has had the same effect on creative story telling since, in my opinion.