I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies nor have I ventured into the culture surrounding them. My few impressions of Star Wars came from my calculus professor in high school who loved Star Wars and kept an orange construction barrel that was painted to resemble R2D2 in the back of his classroom. When we had substitute teachers we would crawl in it and have races around the classroom. None of my friends or family were ever a part of that craze, so unfortunately enough for the world of Star Wars, he has become the main model for my representation of a Star Wars follower. I picture them to be a lot like him: geeky, socially inadequate, and outdated.
Due to the fact that none of my friends, siblings, or cousins were ever part of this world, I am forced to assume that Star Wars is more a thing of the past. While it is obviously a huge franchise, I don’t ever hear about kids these days getting into Star Wars. No offense to any devout Star Wars groupies, but it seems to be the love of yesterday’s geeks. Geeks
these days have massively multiplayer online role-playing games to obsess over. My impression is that it has a cult-like group of devout followers, like the Harry Potter, Star Trek, and Twilight. In my Star Wars warm up, I came across a site that ranked Star Wars as the “Best Film with a Cult Following.” This was recognized by individuals who vote online, so obviously the Star Wars followers are well known. When you talk to someone on the inside of such a cult, they know all about every character, every detail of the plot, and maintain firm stances on internal conflicts or rivalries. For those of us on the outside, they always seem a little crazy. There is something shared within the group of followers that can never be understood by an outsider. Star Wars is no different. But I believe that Star Wars reached its peak following years ago.
I think the franchise became so huge because in 1977, the movies were spectacular and presented a brand new universe, full of excitement and special effects to audiences. It captured the attention of audiences with its novelty. Additionally, the plot seems to have clear lines as to who are the “good guys” and who are the “bad guys.” We love things that are that simple, just ask anyone who lived through WWII. But while this element of the story is very clear cut, there is an exciting plot that has been able to keep audiences intrigued for six long film’s worth of action. The films provided enough content for people to become actively involved and form opinions and rivals within the culture. Lucas hit the perfect balance between the simplicity of a clear hero and the complexity that keeps audiences intrigued. I think this intrigue has changed over time, because the movies have become somewhat outdated. A lot of the original appeal that hooked audiences was the novelty of the movies. Today, we are not particularly impressed by 1970s’ special effects or creativity. Even Gordon recognizes its widespread dismissal as childish and corny. While the films may be hailed as one of the greatest films ever made, audiences today are no longer interested in talking robots and glowing swords.
If I had to kill Jar Jar Binks, R2D2, C3P0, or an Ewok, I would kill the Ewok. I honestly do not know who any of these characters are or what their importance is to the World of Star Wars, but the first three are specific characters while we just have an Ewok. An Ewok means there’s more where he came from, the one on our ship is just another old Ewok without a name. Maybe we could convince another Ewok to join our crew when we get to Tatooine.