“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away.” If just reading that doesn’t give you chills, then you might not be a Star Wars fan. Ever since George Lucas first introduced us to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and countless other unforgettable characters, Star Wars has not stopped influencing our culture. This is why the series continues to be so important.
Back in the 90s, there were three original Star Wars films, and excitement brewing up the start of a prequel trilogy. Now, there have been three trilogies, with the final installment in the sequel trilogy, “The Rise of Skywalker” slated for release in December. There are also spin-off films, like “Rogue One” and “Solo,” and television series in development. We’re at a point when everyone has a Star Wars series they’re most fond of, from the older generation who saw the original trilogy to the millennials and Generation Z crowd who are into the prequels and sequel trilogy, respectively. Plus, we’re at a time when being a nerd is considered cool, so it’s the ideal time for a geeky franchise like Star Wars to gain even more of an audience.
Complain about Disney and their monopoly all you like, but you can’t argue with how much they’ve been able to help Star Wars remain a force. When their acquisition of the franchise was first announced, no one knew that they’d be able to make it work as well as they did. But their aggressive marketing strategy and the success of the franchise are no coincidence. They even opened a Disneyland attraction at the end of May, which has caused massive overcrowding. The quality hasn’t suffered either, with new films getting a far better reception than the mixed reception towards the prequels.
Our favorite pieces of entertainment don’t just occupy our minds for a couple of hours, they stick with us. Star Wars, especially the latest movies, have given characters that audiences across different backgrounds can relate to. Young men can identify with the struggles of Luke Skywalker, while young women can relate to Rey. It doesn’t matter if their stories aren’t exactly like ours. These kinds of experiences, of wanting to become someone great, are human experiences.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should at least know what Star Wars is. There are few media properties that have proved to be so iconic and have gained a fanbase that spans generations. Star Wars may feature distant planets and strange alien creatures, but it will always feel close to our hearts.