With today, May 25, being the 30th anniversary of the release of "Star Wars: Episode 4: A New Hope" and as we are coming upon the 40th anniversary of the release of "SPLHCB", they seem to "come together" in some aspects. That being that SW and The Beatles are a couple of things I grew up on, I share this interview with you of Sean Lennon on his reflecting on SW:
Sean Lennon: Star Wars Memories
January 26, 2007
http://www.starwars.com/community/news/ ... 70126.html
Sean Lennon was so affected by seeing The Empire Strikes Back that he couldn't help but test his Jedi powers as a child. "I used to stare at my mom's station wagon for hours on end trying to levitate it with my mind," the singer/songwriter laughs. "It took me some time to stop believing in the Force literally. In fact, I'm not sure I've really stopped. I just don't try to levitate things with my mind anymore. Well, not that often anyway."
Lennon soon began building Star Wars vehicles, if not telekinetically hefting them. "My favorite toy was the 1:20 scale model of the Millennium Falcon that I built myself over the course of a month," Lennon says. "I inhaled a lot of modeling glue as a result, but it was worth it. The cockpit opened up and you could put Han Solo in there with Princess Leia, and have them smooch and stuff. I also built Darth Vader's short range TIE fighter. If only I had kept that stuff. I'm sure they're worth millions by now."
Even though he's long since lost his Star Wars models, he still has quite a few impressive items in his collection. "I admit it; I still have my Star Wars bed sheets," Lennon says. "But that's it, I swear. Well, I also have a lightsaber that makes a humming and crackling noise when it intercepts another lightsaber. Okay fine, I have two favorite items then. But that's all! Oh, and my Darth Vader Helmet; and the Princess Leia action figure given to me by Carrie Fisher. I may have an old bounty hunter doll as well."
Of the six films in the saga, The Empire Strikes Back remains Lennon's all-time favorite. "The scene where Yoda describes the Force to Luke is the closest thing I can remember to a religious experience in my childhood," Lennon says. "Star Wars is more than a series of films to me, it is the mythology of a generation. It is the Iliad, The Odyssey, The Bible, Hamlet, Ulysses, and all the other hero myths the world has ever produced. Joseph Campbell says it best in his book and interview series with Bill Moyers -- The Power of Myth -- that the Star Wars story is a timeless hero's journey that has been told and reinterpreted by countless generations in order to communicate important ideas about what it takes to be a human being."
"Besides being visually, technically, and aesthetically groundbreaking, the fundamental story of Luke having to face his destiny and becoming a man by destroying and thus liberating his father is universal," Lennon continues. "Han Solo in a way is an anti-hero type, but a hero as well. His journey is overcoming his selfishness and becoming a more caring person. Leia, in a way, is the only one with nothing to learn. Her story is a story of finding love, so in away she is also transformed. Basically Star Wars hits every necessary plot point possible to make for a compelling and meaningful story. Despite its visual theatrics, it is at its core, story-driven."
Composer John Williams' musical score also plays a crucial role in Lennon's appreciation of the films. "The music is as important as anything else in the film," Lennon says. "The music is its own character. Whenever it appears, it creates a certain impression, and is propelling the narrative as much as anything else. I have the original soundtrack on vinyl. It is a masterpiece."
Lennon's own background in music began at an early age, in a large part due to his musician/activist parents John Lennon and Yoko Ono. At age 9, he performed the song "It's Alright" on the Yoko Ono tribute album Every Man Has a Woman (1984), and was in the cast of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (1988). Years later he could be found playing on Lenny Kravitz's album Mama Said (1991) as well as playing in his band IMA for Yoko Ono's album Rising (1995). He then joined New York-based Japanese duo Cibo Matto in 1997 and released his debut solo album, Into the Sun the next year on the Beastie Boys record label Grand Royal Records. In 1999, he released the EP Half Horse, Half Musician. During this time, he also collaborated with a variety of artists including Esthero, Money Mark, Dopo Yume, Rufus Wainwright and Soulfly. In 2001, Lennon changed labels to Capitol Records after the demise of Grand Royal Records.
In 2006, Lennon released Friendly Fire -- a CD/DVD that included a film of the same name written and directed by Lennon and Michele Civetta. The film comprises 10 music videos featuring music from the CD, starring Lennon, as well as actors Carrie Fisher, Devon Aoki, Asia Argento, Jordana Brewster, Lindsay Lohan, Bijou Phillips, and Harper Simon. Click to watch the trailer to Friendly Fire.
When Lennon wasn't on tour promoting Friendly Fire, he managed to catch Revenge of the Sith. "I saw it in a theater in upstate New York opening night," Lennon recalls. "It's a lot easier to get tickets outside of the city so I had the theater virtually to myself. It was the best of the prequels. And seeing Vader in the end was worth the wait."
As much as he enjoyed seeing the evolution of Darth Vader in Episode III, his favorite scenes are still from The Empire Strikes Back. "My favorite scene by far is Luke and Yoda in Dagobah," Lennon says. "Isn't that everyone's? Yoda demonstrates the nature of the Force, passing on his ancient wisdom. Then Luke must deal with his second mentor's death. Now he has lost his parents, Obi-Wan and Yoda. He knows the meaning of life and is ready to face his destiny. And I suppose I identify with Luke too because of the whole having lost his father."
For Lennon, the Star Wars saga will always be something special. "Star Wars as a film must be up there with Citizen Kane and 2001: A Space Odyssey," Lennon says. "In as much as I aspire to make great art myself, masterworks like Star Wars are what we all aspire to on one level or another whether it's music or film or painting or anything. Star Wars is at the core of your identity and your world view. Star Wars is how you see the universe -- a place where fate and free will merge. It's all about the Force and navigating the dark side. You can use your life for good or for bad. It's up to you."
--On a side note, it is also a coincidence with these 2 anniversaries that in Paul McCartney's video for "Dance Tonight", we see Natalie Portman appearing as a ghost. Could it be the ghost of Padme?!