May the Force Be with You

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Oct 29, 2016 02:46
Today I watched an online talk show. The host, Mr. Gao, went to the Letterman Digital Arts Center, and made this episode about Star Wars. On the show, the Golden Gate Bridge could be seen in the background, so I guess that the place is located in San Francisco. He said that he was very privileged to go there, because the former owner George Lucas usually didn’t allow strangers inside.

One of the strange things about the place is that there are no visible parking lots because they are built underground. Lucas wanted the place to be futuristic, so he thought that if the parking lots were built on the ground, they would be an eyesore. Mr. Gao showed us what the recording studios at Lucasfilm were like. He was surprised to learn that many Star Wars sound effects were actually produced using discarded junk such as bicycle chains. It’s also interesting that lightsabers don’t glimmer themselves, but will reflect the light of a camera.

The Star Wars series is very influential in the US and many other parts of the world. It’s said that, however, at the beginning, the first Star Wars movie was predicted by many franchises to be a failure, and was only shown in approximately 200 cinemas. Unexpectedly, the debut caused a sensation. The series was, purportedly, part of inspiration of the Strategic Defense Initiative, which partially led to the downfall of the USSR, because the Soviet Union desperately wanted to compete with the US in this field, but ended up wrecking its own economy.

In China, the Star Wars series is far less popular than the Marvel movies. Last year, the Chinese box office of the Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” was much smaller than expected. Unlike in many other countries, there isn’t a Star Wars obsession in China, perhaps because China hadn’t liberalized at the time when the series was in its heyday, so there were very few people who knew of them.