A long time….a long time.
Continuing a theme I started a few weeks ago in my blog post featured on Coffee With Kenobi, I've discovered another vintage era piece of evidence that points to the fact that George Lucas has had the story of the Prequels for many, many years.
The scope of time in the Star Wars universe is huge. Obviously from the first title card of “A long time ago…” we are set up to understand that this story is a huge one, and one that extends far beyond the confines of the movie theatre. When I was a kid watching Luke and Ben talk about The Clone Wars in A New Hope I assumed two things: 1: The Clone Wars happened a very long time ago and 2: Ben Kenobi was very, very old. The entire conversation is about three sentences, yet it set up for the next thirty or so years that the story of the Skywalkers was a long, long story. A second conversation later in the movie also confirmed this for me. When Tarkin remarks to Vader that the Jedi are “extinct.” Not a word you would normally use for something that occurred in recent memory.
So, fast forward to the 20-oughts and the prequels, and The Clone Wars TV show. Now the timeline of the Star Wars universe has been brought into actual definition. It can almost be plotted on a calender ‘fer Plo's sake. And I found myself thinking, “wait a second, how could all of this have happened so fast?' “How did we get from the Old Republic of Episode 1 to the Galactic Empire of Episode 4 in about 20-ish years?” “Wasn't this story supposed to be much longer, much broader?” “Maybe George took a shortcut?”
Then I was recently reminded that the Star Wars Saga IS about Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, not necessarily about the entire galaxy they live in.
This is a scan of the inner sleeve of the 2 LP set of The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack. A family friend found a copy in her house (in near mint condition!) and offered it to me. I haven't had this album in my possession in years, so it's already found a place in the Star Wars Room downstairs. (Thanks Chris and Grant!)
Note the highlighted portion of the scan:
Please keep in mind, I've read just about every important piece of literature on the movies so this little oversight (or selective brain freeze) is subject to your criticisms and jokes. I like to look at it as a reminder that when people are screaming that their childhoods have been raped because of the continuation of the Star Wars story, they should remember that the plan all along was to focus on the forty-year period that begins with The Phantom Menace. The middle part was Luke's story. The first part was Anakin's. We were always meant to have both stories. Deal with it.
Does forty years qualify as a saga? When I was a nine-year old seeing Star Wars for the first time I would have said no. But as a forty-seven year old? Who could say their life isn't a saga? I couldn't, and my dad isn't even a Dark Lord.
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