Okay, so maybe not for my entire life. However, I was introduced to Star Wars at a very young age by my parents; possibly six or seven years old. I thought they were good movies, and very memorable. They have some of the most quotable scenes out of any movie I have seen. The movies themselves were full of adrenaline and emotion, and even the politics were exciting with Darth Vader around to force grip his Death Star commander.
Now that I reflect on this, Star Wars had a surprising amount of violence for a movie that was widely popularized and shown to young children. This probably had to do with Gordon’s point about murderous heroes being portrayed as “clean.” Since there was direct slaughter of rebels by the Empire, most of the death scenes were Luke killing
stormtroopers, or rebels and stormtroopers fighting relatively evenly. The emphasis on the good guys winning in the end as though all was perfect also pushed the thoughts of killing and war from the viewer’s mind, allowing for people of all ages to feel more comfortable watching it, as I did when I was young.
I think the marketing genius of Star Wars comes from that, as well as its defining contribution to the science fiction genre. Star Wars is a staple for the common people in regards to science fiction. They don’t need to go out and buy a bunch of comic books, or read old books. These people aren’t the “nerds” or the “geeks” that sit around all day fantasizing about alien galaxies. Star Wars appeals to them as well, but it also captivates audiences who may have never entertained thoughts about Death Stars or the Force. It does this through its appeal to the unknown, and through glorification of humans. We are the ones that end up conquering the other races, we make robots to do our bidding, and we spread throughout the universe. It is a tale of fantasy in which our side is the winning side. And everyone wants to be a part of that.
So much so that there is virtually nothing that has escaped the touch of Star Wars. There are entire series’ of books about it, websites, action figures, television shows, comic books, video games (of all kinds), board games, card games, role-playing games, and more. I think the ability of the Star Wars marketing team to act quickly and spread to these markets is what helps enable it as an enduring classic. It is because it is incredibly difficult, almost impossible, to grow up without hearing of Star Wars. Even if a person sticks to only one or two of those categories, they will still encounter Star Wars merchandise at some point or another.
If I had to get rid between four characters of Star Wars – Jar Jar Binks, R2D2, C3PO, and an Ewok – all stuck on the Millenium Falcon, I would have to choose C3PO. While an unfailing companion to Luke, he clearly has a greater attachment to R2D2, who also has more technical capabilities. Jar Jar Binks has proved himself to be a valued ambassador, and is a filler for the comic relief that C3PO is now unable to provide. Therefore, I would have to throw C3PO off of the Millenium Falcon, in the hopes that he would be found, reassembled, and returned to his rightful owners.