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Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us: A loving ode to a VHS galaxy not that far away

by Khyle Deen. Published Tue 10 Jul 2018 20:52, last updated: 11/07/18

As Ready Player One and Stranger Things prove the retro might of VHS era cinema, Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us is a universal and affectionate tale about the pop cultural remembrances stuck in all our R2 unit’s memory systems.

Like many a British kid in an ‘80s world of VCRs, Reagan and Atari, Mark O’Connell wanted to be one of the mop-haired kids on the Star Wars toy commercials.

Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman and of course Star Wars weren’t just changing cinema – they were making lasting highways into our childhoods, toy boxes and video stores like never before.

In this energetic and insightful memoir-through-cinema, O’Connell flies a gilded X-Wing through a universe of bedroom remakes of Return of the Jedi, close encounters with Christopher Reeve, sticker album swaps, a honeymoon on Amity Island and the trauma of losing an entire Star Wars figure collection.

A unique study on how a rich galaxy of movies continue shaping big and vital cinema to this day, Watching Skies is for all Star Wars kids – whatever their era.

It is about how George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, a shark, two motherships, some gremlins, ghostbusters, and a man of steel jumped a whole generation to hyperspace* (*action figures not included).



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