Star Wars is a franchise that has gripped the minds of people and the imagination of young boys since the 1970s. I encountered my first Star Wars films as a rambunctious, elementary-school student during the 1997 re-release of the original trilogy. Since then, I have seen all six of the movies in theater and on DVD but I’ve steered clear of everything else in an effort to not ruin Star Wars for me. I think it’s safe to say I’ve seen each of the films countless times, but I haven’t seen the original trilogy in a few years.
As a wee-lad I think it’s also safe to say my friends and I pretended to be each of the characters countless times, dueling with plastic light-sabers and fake guns because we were just that cool. Star Wars has become such an immense franchise because it has the ability to appeal to such a wide array of audiences. For the true Star Wars nerd, it gives them the ability to transport to a galaxy far, far away and interact with the characters. For the elementary school kid, it taps into their imagination and takes them to space, to an unknown land where they can run free with the idea of saving the universe. For the film and theater snob, it contains all of the elements; action, plot, incestual love triangles (for those of you who are into that kind of thing), and sufficient dialogue so they can stick their nose in the air and still enjoy the film. For the average Joe, it provides cheap thrills at the very least. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Obi-Wan avenge Qui-Gon’s death by sticking Darth Maul and his cheating double-edged light-saber Sith self? The appeal of the Star Wars universe is that it offers something for everyone and that it offers it on a platform that had never been seen before. The special effects and extent of the Star Wars stories were as original as they come. They took everything that anyone would want in a movie on earth and transported the setting to outer-space.
Unfortunately, the appeal of this universe has changed over time. The development of cartoons, TV series and the like has tarnished the Star Wars legacy as they take away from the mystique of the original six films. George Lucas’ genius created a world, a universe that had unprecedented appeal. This statement needs to be supported by nothing more than the fiscal success the Star Wars franchise has had and the rate at which it has infiltrated society. This can be seen by action figures, costumes, collectibles, and even government with the Strategic Defense Initiative under Reagan (I will not discuss the validity, success or credibility of Reagan and his presidency here). Now, it seems that the cartoon and TV spin-offs are just a bad marketing campaign that ultimately take away from the original story and adventures of the Star Wars films. It seems that Star Wars has morphed beyond a pop-culture, movie icon to extend into all realms of culture; demonstrated by the new spin-offs, video games and other installments. Something that wasn’t broken and should have been left untouched, was “fixed,” but not necessarily in a good way.
As for the hypothetical scenario of having to kill either Jar Jar, R2, C3PO or an Ewok for the Millennium Falcon to survive, what kind of monstrous question is this? Killing an Ewok would be the equivalent of ripping the head off of your sister’s favorite teddy bear, then giving it to your dog to completely demolish. Just like cursing in front of your grandma, it’s just something you don’t do. Jar Jar would be so clueless that killing him in order to survive would be like taking candy from a baby. Who wants to take candy from a baby anyways?, that’s just not cool. R2D2 has proved himself to be useful beyond measure. Fixing x-wings or hacking into computer’s to open doors, this little droid is a necessity for any Jedi.
This leads me to C3PO. Although he can be incredibly useful, he possesses a bit of an attitude. To answer the question, I would probably say that I would get annoyed with either his lack of optimism or backtalk and disable this droid. Nothing personal, but his lack of mobility would clearly hold the group back as well. This being said, I figure since C3PO was made by an 11 year-old boy in the first place, it wouldn’t be that hard for another technologically inclined Jedi to remake him after the mission was accomplished. Although the choice would be very difficult, I think it would ultimately be that C3PO gets the short end of the stick with this one and the boot from the Millennium Falcon.