Star Wars

It hasn't reached Germany yet, but it already casts its shadow -- a "Star Wars" fever that has vigorously shaken America for the past seven weeks. The whole nation is captivated by the new sequence of what began in 1977 and has now become a four part film epic. Star Wars is about the resistance of a benign planet against the powers of evil. The latest episode is entitled "The Phantom Menace," and within seven weeks, it has brought in more than 300 million dollars. Stores are filled with replicas of the Star Wars characters, stationery stores offer about a dozen coloring books that are each dedicated to a particular hero, restaurants name their desserts after Star Wars characters, and the community of fans on the Internet is split up into factions depending upon the characters they wish to love or hate. There are at least two men behind the movie's popularity. One is the screen play writer and director, George Lucas. The other is John Williams, who is one of the most successful film composers of our day. His signature melody of Star Wars has gained about as much fame in America as has the fanfare-like beginning of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in Germany. Our author, Georg Hirsch, has discovered some parallels between the spectacular science fiction drama and the work of another German composer.

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