"Star Wars" is a huge part of my cultural mythology as it is for any self-respecting movie nerd. I saw it for the first time in May of 1977, the weekend it was released. I had been reading about it in the pages of Starlog magazine for months, so could not wait for it to come out. I remember riding my bike down to the State movie theater in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin on that warm Saturday to catch a matinee showing. As the lights went down in the theater, I glanced around at the scattering of the dozen or so other folks, all of us completely oblivious to the mind-blowing we were about to experience. Once that Imperial Star-cruiser rumbled down and across the screen, I knew, even as an eleven year old, that I was watching something very special. In the next week, I caught "Star Wars" another three times, but now the lines were around the block and it was playing in two of the three theaters in downtown. As the years rolled on, I could not wait for the next installment to come out. George Lucas had tapped into a universe that carried me out of my awkward teen-aged years to a place of high adventure and well, if you are reading this, then I don't need to explain it.
Star Wars: Uncut Trailer from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.
Fast forward to now. After episodes one through three. After the digitally massaged reissues. After the magic and soul was sand blasted by the machine that now is LucasArts. "Star Wars" has become that old friend you occasionally run into who used to be your tightest bro, but somewhere through the years, you've drifted apart and now it's just uncomfortable to see them still wearing that Flock of Seagulls t-shirt and smoking clove cigs. Yeah, there were some good times, but it's hard to get over the sting of when they dumped you and started hanging around their new bud, Jar-Jar.
Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.
"Star Wars: Uncut" made all that pain go away. Casey Pugh's concept was simple; let's remake "Star Wars" fifteen seconds at a time and everybody is invited. There was no criteria for how to remake it, other then "keep it real" and the hundreds of film makers that participated did just that. The range of creativity is astounding. The love and passion that every contributor conveys with their clips did what I would not have believed possible, they brought the magic back! God bless everyone of those furry little freaks, they gave me that feeling again. "Star Wars" is a product, a commodity, Lucas won't let us forget that. What this film does is remind us that no matter how tight the copyright laws and anti-piracy efforts, if a piece of art crosses over and enters the soul of a culture, then it belongs to us all. We own it now. It is our "Moby Dick", "Huckleberry Finn", our "Romeo and Juliet". This crazy patchwork retelling of Luke Skywalker's coming of age story brings the love back home again. If you love the original like I do, then pop some popcorn and fire up the Vimeo and be prepared to have your mind blown once again.