What’s all this fuss about Star Wars?

Such is the immensity of Star Wars' franchise that an entire episode of Family Guy was based on it.

Having spent my childhood in Tanzania, I had barely heard about Star Wars. In fact, I do not recall coming across any references to Star Wars. My only exposure to Star Wars comes from class readings and video clips viewed in class. As an outsider, the Star Wars phenomenon seems strangely similar to Twilight; there are people who absolutely love it and there are people who make an effort not to watch even seconds of it. I also think that it is a movie that is liked for its brilliant special effects and sets rather than its plot. The above view was confirmed by the article, Star Wars: A Myth for Our Time, by Andrew Gordon.

This is not to say that Star Wars has not been an enormous success. There are several reasons why it become such a huge franchise. Andrew Gordon’s article points towards the fact that it appeals to both young and old because it has an old-fashioned plot with “flat, archetypical characters: reluctant young hero, warrior-wizard, brave and beautiful princess, and monstrous black villain.” Furthermore, the plot draws on mythological roots that might pull people into stories. Gordon’s article elaborates that there is a clear-cut struggle between good and evil, and it is of significance that the characters and themes in Star Wars might resonate with people’s lives. For the most part, young audiences manage to get entertained by the special effects, and old audiences revisit Star Wars and might find deeper meaning in the complex plot such as Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker’s father. (The above mentioned piece of information is central to one of the most memorable scenes in film history.) Finally, sound business decisions made by owners of the Star Wars brand might have contributed to its commercial success. The advertizing of their brand might have been very persuasive and might have reached a large target population Over time, direct advertizing might have dropped, but people might be passing it on to future generations, because the meaning behind Star Wars became richer with time.

In the situation where a Jedi on the spaceship Millennium Falcon is flying to Tatooine with Jar Jar Binks, R2D2, C3P0, and an Ewok, a Star Wars fan might be likely to sacrifice Jar Jar Binks in order to save the rest. Through searching the internet about Star Wars characters it seems that R2D2 and C3Po are important characters who have saved the day at crucial moments. Hence, it would be a choice between an Ewok and Jar Jar Binks. Unfortunately, Jar Jar Binks would be the fans’ pick to be sacrificed, because an Ewok is strong and intelligent, whereas Jar Jar Binks is described to be helpless and clumsy, and always causes trouble.

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