My Star Wars Generation

By Lance Ulanoff  |  Posted 2007-05-25 Print this article Print

George Lucas's sci-fi classic electrified young imaginations. Now we're all reaping the benefits.

I destroyed the Death Star at least 1,000 times between the ages of 12 and 13. I imagine most boys did the same back in 1977. We all hopped in our imaginary X-Wing and dropped those two bombs down the chute to send Peter Cushing and the rest of the Death Star crew into oblivion.

That was the power of Star Wars.

I remember sitting in the theater, stunned by what I was seeing on that big screen. Although the film was set "a long time ago in a land far, far way," I quickly dismissed the historical reference and imagined it as my own future. I was awed by the hyper-speedy space ships, the intelligent autonomous robots, the light sabers—all of it. Despite all of the sci-fi accoutrements, the movie itself had a Western look and feel to which I and others could relate. This was the genius of George Lucas: By marrying science fiction with an old-fashioned Western and a World War II air battle, he made crazy high tech palatable to the broadest possible audience.

He likely inspired an entire generation of sci-fi writers, scientists, moviemakers, and tech journalists like me. In fact, this legion of people—who may still be in the movies thrall and could aptly be called the Star Wars generation—are just coming into their own and influencing society in, Im certain, countless ways. Theyre writing books, building businesses, running Web sites, making movies, and inventing tech gear—all of which probably owe a little nod to Lucas, Luke, Han, and Obi-Wan. There is a downside to all this. Its the disappointment I and others in the Star Wars generation feel when we look at how far we remain from the SW ideal. When Lucas wrote Star Wars back in 1973, we were only a year or so removed from Apollo 17, our last flight to the moon. How could Lucas or anyone else know that we wouldnt stray further than just outside our own atmosphere for the next 35 years (and counting)?

Read the full story on PC Magazine: My Star Wars Generation Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
Lance Ulanoff is Editor in Chief and VP of Content for PC Magazine Network, and brings with him over 20 years journalism experience, the last 16 of which he has spent in the computer technology publishing industry.

He began his career as a weekly newspaper reporter before joining a national trade publication, traveling the country covering product distribution and data processing issues. In 1991 he joined PC Magazine where he spent five years writing and managing feature stories and reviews, covering a wide range of topics, including books and diverse technologies such as graphics hardware and software, office applications, operating systems and, tech news. He left as a senior associate editor in 1996 to enter the online arena as online editor at HomePC magazine, a popular consumer computing publication. While there, Ulanoff launched, and and wrote about Web sites and Web-site building.

In 1998 he joined Windows Magazine as the senior editor for online, spearheading the popular magazine's Web site, which drew some 6 million page views per month. He also wrote numerous product reviews and features covering all aspects of the computing world. During his tenure, won the Computer Press Association's prestigious runner-up prize for Best Overall Website.

In August 1999, Ulanoff briefly left publishing to join as producer for the Computing and Consumer Electronics channels and then was promoted to the site's senior director for content. He returned to PC Magazine in November 2000 and relaunched in July 2001. The new was named runner-up for Best Web Sites at the American Business Media's Annual Neal Awards in March 2002 and won a Best Web Site Award from the ASBPE in 2004. Under his direction, regularly generated more than 25 million page views a month and reached nearly 5 million monthly unique visitors in 2005.

For the last year and a half, Ulanoff has served as Editor, Reviews, PC Magazine. In that role he has overseen all product and review coverage for PC Magazine and, as well as managed PC Labs. He also writes a popular weekly technology column for and his column also appears in PC Magazine.

Recognized as an expert in the technology arena, Lance makes frequent appearances on local, national and international news programs including New York's Eyewitness News, NewsChannel 4, CNN, CNN HN, CNBC, MSNBC, Good Morning America Weekend Edition, and BBC, as well as being a regular guest on FoxNews' Studio B with Shepard Smith. He has also offered commentary on National Public Radio and been interviewed by radio stations around the country. Lance has been an invited guest speaker at numerous technology conferences including Digital Life, RoboBusiness, RoboNexus, Business Foresight and Digital Media Wire's Games and Mobile Forum.

Lance also serves as co-host of PC Magazine's weekly podcast, PCMag Radio.


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