this is why people think george lucas was a visionary, this is why they gave him countless wads of cash to make a fairy story about incest set in space. with comedy robots. because visually this film - originally made in 1970 - is groundbreaking. it hasn't aged at all, not in nearly 40 years which is basically amazing. i would compare it to moon which was released this year, so that's pretty good going.
lucas' vision doesn't end there. this film makes a fair few predictions about the future that hold remarkable truth. despite the setting of a far distant future, it still has the general public spending their life watching bland, mind-numbing television. it has people blindly following religion without question. it's a clever film.
unfortunately, it has a whole bunch of problems. the pace is willfully slow. this is an extension of the narcotically muted life that humans lead in this universe, but ends up holding the beats of the film back so much that it becomes soporific. it's cleverly done, but damages the film.
the script is pretty poor. again, this can be blamed on the sedatives that every character is constantly loaded with. and makes sense. the unfortunate side effect is that there is no flare, no flow... but then, that's served lucas pretty well so far. i don't think the star wars fan-base would ever attribute their obsession with The Saga to the poetry of greedo's monologue.
so it's an impressive film. i'm a bit sad that Lovefilm sent me the updated, re-edited version (2004). as with all his great films (star wars 4-6), george lucas has thrown the original cut away, and refilled it with silly little cartoons that destroy the integrity of the film. oh well.