Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Richard LeParmentier has died

Who you ask?  Richard LeParmentier.  For folks of my age, his name may not be household level, but there's not a guy who was aware in 1977 who doesn't remember him:
Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader.  Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebel's hidden fortress...

And of course, his little rant was cut short.  Back in those magical days from 1977-1978, when our little Midwestern town waited an entire year for the movie to make it to our small screen, Star Wars was about as all consuming as the Beatles must have been in 1964.  It was all I, or just about any other boy my age, was thinking about.

Every scene was gold.  Remember, no DVDs, streaming videos, Youtube knock-offs, or even VCRs.  Once it was gone, it was gone as far as we knew.  I worked an entire year doing chores,  gathering newspapers for recycling, anything I could to raise enough money for the dollar per showing it would cost me to see Star Wars every day it was in our theater.  And against usual practice, our theater held Star Wars for an extra week!  I only missed a couple of showings.  Even when they played it back to back I stayed, at one point sitting in the aisles because the seating was taken (a year later!).  Yeah, pretty lenient back then with fire codes. 

Ah, but what a moment in my life.  Every character, every ship, every bit of the movie was etched into my mind for all time.  And few standouts leaped out at us like the haplessly swaggering Admiral Mott, one of the few who, at least for the moment, didn't appear overly frightened of the menace in black.  What a scene.  It perfectly displayed, in a subtlety that Lucas would eventually lose, that tension between technology and industry, and good old supernatural, dare I say, religious devotion.  

Thanks for the memories Mr. 
LeParmentier.  I know you did other things, and no doubt had all the moments that make a person's life what it is.  But for this young fellow, way back in the hazy, crazy 70s, you stood out in a film of gigantic proportions, and left a little bit of yourself for me to remember the rest of my days.  God be with you, and rest in peace. 


  1. So who was he? After reading your blog I still don't know the answer.

  2. Read the quote. Click the link. Watch the clip. There's not much more my limited resources can do to explain.


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