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The simple pleasures of Star Wars

As The Force Awakens hits cinemas, what made the original Star Wars so appealing?

By Will Brooker  
The queue outside the Leicester Square Theatre in London for the 1977 premiere of Star Wars © PA

The queue outside the Leicester Square Theatre in London for the 1977 premiere of Star Wars © PA

The Cold War period of the mid-1970s was a time of paranoia, disillusionment and uncertainty. Just a few years earlier, President Richard Nixon had resigned following the Watergate scandal, and the United States was still struggling to learn the lessons of Vietnam. The movies offered a reflection of these doubts and fears: the various terrors…

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