Every once in a while I come across television shows and movies that make references to Star Wars and I can never seem to figure out what they’re talking about. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’ve never seen a single one of these films. This cultural phenomenon has been around since the late 70’s, yet I’ve had zero desire to get myself acquainted with it. In fact, I probably have a Star Wars IQ of zero if such a thing existed.
I do not know all the characters in Star Wars. I do not know what happens in each movie. One thing that I do know is that the six movies and the entire Star Wars franchise was and still is a huge success today. Television shows and movies to this day still make references to Star Wars. Star Wars parodies are still being made and shared virally. Even those who have never seen the movies have heard the names “Darth Vader” and “Chewbacca” at least once in their lifetimes. Sure, not everyone has actually seen the movies, but anyone who has access to the media must have heard about Star Wars from somewhere. This multibillion-dollar franchise has gained success not only through the movies themselves, but also through other Star Wars products such as toys, cartoons, videogames, books, apparel, and much more. Forbes has published many articles regarding the immense success of the franchise and the revenues it continues to bring in, one of which is written by Andy Greenberg and can be read here. It is safe to say that the Force is really with them on this one.
Since its first release more than 30 years ago in 1977, Star Wars can be compared to a disease that spreads and doesn’t plan to go away. I honestly believe that Star Wars was one of those generational things that luckily managed to survive. When the first original three were made, it was popular because it was innovative and original. During that time period no one has seen a movie with such a storyline nor have they seen a movie with such visuals and special effects. It was just so out there and that’s why people enjoyed it. This must have been a breath of fresh air for that generation. The American online film critic James Berardinelli wrote a thorough film review upon the release of the first Star Wars film in 1977 attempting to explain why Star Wars is so great. I believe this phenomenon still exists today because people growing up with these films in the 70’s and 80’s passed it on to their children and they inevitably grew up living and breathing Star Wars as well. Today, I think Star Wars is merely just a brand and people buy their stuff just because it’s “cool” to like things that originated from past generations like the 70’s. Over time, I don’t think people would be able to appreciate and understand the hype surrounding Star Wars now that we have better technology to create over the top special effects and visuals in our movies. I have to admit, I am one of those people who will never understand this craze. I can’t help but sit here and think that perhaps Star Wars and the whole franchise is overrated. Unfortunately, Star Wars is becoming a thing of the past. Why watch that when you can watch Harry Potter?
I think that if the fans had to sacrifice a Star Wars character, they would be willing to sacrifice Jar Jar Binks. Based on what I’ve read, Jar Jar Binks doesn’t have as big of a role in the movies as the other characters. In addition, his character garnered a lot of negative attention from critics because many believed that his character served no real purpose in the movies. Therefore, fans wouldn’t miss him as much if he died compared to the other characters.
As more sci-fi films are produced and the use of special effects in films becomes more advanced over time, Star Wars will only exist as a distant memory to future generations. Eventually the hype surrounding the franchise will fizzle out.