Star Wars 30 years old





When you can get ideological opposites like Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich to agree, you know you must have something that will stand the test of time.

That is what George Lucas managed to do with "Star Wars."

The current and former House speakers are just a couple of the two dozen fans and critics who offer their insights into the 30-year "Star Wars" phenomenon in a new documentary, "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed," airing at 9 p.m. Monday on the History Channel.

From the outset, the documentary proves to be somewhat different from the usual History Channel fare. Comedian Stephen Colbert and filmmaker Kevin Smith start the discussion by revealing how "Star Wars" defined their childhood and how "life would never be the same" after they saw the original film.

From there, the documentary expands the "Star Wars" legacy from a childhood fantasy into an enduring yet thoroughly modern American myth.

As numerous clips from the six films roll, scholars, journalists and filmmakers offer up their varying opinions about the inspirations and influences behind the scenes.

From the Bible to Greek tragedy to Shakespeare to Laurel and Hardy to "The Lord of the Rings," almost every era and genre of literature and cinema seems to be represented somewhere in the sprawling "Star Wars" saga. Dan Rather invokes Homer. Pelosi compares the story to a fairy tale. Tom Brokaw talks about the influence of American Westerns.


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