May the Fourth be with you dude crew!
Star Wars holds a special place in many hearts for a myriad of reasons, but its true magic comes from its ability to speak to numerous generations. Every entry in the series (yes, I mean every entry) has set the world abuzz with fan theories, controversy, and sales records of byproducts. Conventions, video games, action figures, lego sets, and more have absolutely littered the merchandise industry since A New Hope was first released in 1977. The space opera also taught viewers about the power of good. Friendship, loyalty, and courage were valued traits in the universe that made every kid want to be a Jedi beacon of hope in a dark galaxy. The definitive battle between good and evil spoke to all on a special level and created a movie phenomenon, the effects of which will be felt for generations more to come.
The galaxy placed far, far away a long time ago broke ground in story, special effects, and fan culture. Sci-fi was nothing new to the world at the time; after all Star Trek and Flash Gordon were two huge serials at the time. Star Wars showed something different though. The Galaxy was not full of sleek and efficient star ships with issues that could be resolved cleanly. The Star Wars universe can be downright grimy. Sure, the Empire ships look shiny enough but who wants to side with space nazis? The good guys in the form of the rebellion were constantly fighting an uphill battle in terms of resources, equipment and personnel. The rebels had a princess, some good pilots, and Luke Skywalker, a whiny farmboy who would later turn into a Twitter God. When we are shown the insides of rebel bases there is grease and filth all over the ships and high tech blinky lights. Soldiers come back from fighting the empire with blood caked on their brows as Stormtroopers raid the rebels’ meager excuse for bunkers. And yet they survive. Despite their overwhelming odds they destroy one of the largest weapons the galaxy had ever seen. Despite having a loose leadership with questionable rogues among their ranks, they overthrew an empire. And a whiny moisture farmer from the outer reaches of the stars matured to become one of the most defining heroes of our lifetime.
Along with a unique setting, the saga also introduced Industrial Light and Magic to the movie world. The Lucas science fiction required groundbreaking special effects for the time, so much so that he created his own sfx studio to create them. Most notable in The Empire Strikes Back, Industrial Light and Magic has created some of movies’ most incredible movie scenes to date having worked on over 300 films. Lightsabers that look run of the mill these days were absolutely mesmerizing back in the day, and we have these movie geniuses to thank for that.
The rule of two is a Sith philosophy created by the fictional Darth Bane. It states that there can ever only be two Sith at a time: a master and an apprentice to rule the galaxy as student and mentor, otherwise there will be chaos. While this may be true for the dark side of the force, it could not be anything from it for the light side. Star Wars has introduced us to some of the best buddy adventures ever, from the rag tag but loveable team of Han Solo and Chewbacca to the melodic beeps and hypochondriac chatter between C-3Po and R2-D2. Friendship is a core pillar of the series that has consistently showed strength and love even in the darkest of situations. Even in the darkest moments, these characters would never abandon each other and work stronger because of it. There have been plenty of buddy comedies before but this space opera took commitment and fellowship to a new level.
Star Wars is an amazing epic that is easy to love and hard to say goodbye to. Perhaps that is why they keep making new episodes for better or for worse. Though George Lucas may have tried to undo his legacy with the sup-par episodes one through three, it looks like the franchise may have new breath in it thanks to J.J. Abrhams and the creative minds at Disney. Only time will tell but one thing remains certain: Star Wars is a cultural icon that should not be missed. Or as Chewie would say, “RAWWWR!!!”