Yoda? Is that some kind of dessert?

So, apparently, there has been a battle between the very essences of good and evil raging in a galaxy far, far away. But this galaxy’s distance from my own has caused its happenings to be rather irrelevant to my life. I’ve seen its effects all around me–some of my friends and extended family were integral to the Force’s eventual success (or so I assume? Does the Force eventually succeed?). But those closest to me have remained relatively unscathed–and thus, so have I.

The phenomenon of Star Wars franchise even spreads to bakeries: fans create cupcakes decorated as the major characters in the movies.

My only direct exposure to the Star Wars phenomenon was one Thanksgiving. I was around eight years old. Our family was in the glutted stupor that comes between dinner and dessert, so we decided to turn on the television to see if anything good was showing. We came across Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and decided to watch. My parents had seen the original Star Wars Episodes and were curious about the new set. I remember liking the movie fine, but I don’t remember much of it. The rest of my exposure to Star Wars  has come from parody movies. The opening scene of the movie Airplane! and the entire parody movie Spaceballs have given me enough information to understand most pop culture references to the franchise.

The ubiquitous nature of the franchise astounds me at times. When I tell people that I haven’t seen most of the movies, the stares I get can be quite outrageous. My best friend’s twin brother is obsessed with Star Wars: he can tell you almost any fact about the movies. My 13-year-old cousin still reads Star Wars comics and occasionally plays with his Star Wars lego set. A search for “star wars” on YouTube returns 85,200 results, including this rather funny “Jedified” spoof of Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” music video. I probably wouldn’t understand the craze except for the fact that I’m a little obsessed with another similar franchise: Lord of the Rings. These types of stories draw audiences. People always want tales of heroics– they want things to turn out right in the end. They want to see evil defeated with a new hope for the future–no pun intended.  There is something in the hero that allows audiences to live vicariously through his adventures. And audiences write fan fiction and play with toy lightsabers in order to further achieve this thrill.

As for who I would vote off of the Millennium Falcon, I would have to go with C3PO. My reasoning is arbitrary: Jar-Jar Binks is just adorable, so I wouldn’t want him dead. The Ewok is similarly cute. Also, being flesh-and-blood,  both of these creatures would be difficult to kill–they possess human qualities and I might not be able to live with myself. R2D2 is a fun, happy, little robot. I wouldn’t want to disassemble him. C3PO, on the other hand, is rather annoying. He whines and complains and is constantly scared. In a moment of crisis, it would be better to be rid of him–he’d hinder more than help the cause.

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