Does ‘Star Wars’ still have appeal? (Or, the musings of a ‘Star Wars’ newbie)

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Movies

Star Wars LogoLike with anything, I think the answer is a bit more gray than just ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

But let’s start from the beginning. As of September 5, 2013 I hadn’t watched Star Wars. Yes, nearly 25 years of my nerd-filled life had been void of this sci-fi superpower. Why? I’m not sure. I hadn’t been into sci-fi until recently, and I just never had the opportunity to watch it. This didn’t become a problem until I hit college.

And then I realized what a mistake admitting my Star Wars noob-ness could be. I’ve been relentlessly picked on about it from friends, family, co-workers, and even complete strangers.

And not without reason. Because, let’s face it: Whether you like these movies or not, they are a big deal. They set the stage for a lot of sci-fi movies and shows, and this series is still a cultural phenomenon. Not to mention the fact that they’re still making new ones.

So when I realized one of my best friends had the original trilogy (on the ancient technology called ‘VHS’), I had to watch it. This would be the year when I could finally start understanding all those references. This would be when I could finally say I had watched Star Wars.

Now, I’ve had a conversation or two about the series with a few different people. Some of them are huge fans, while others aren’t. I was worried that, because I hadn’t grown up with the movies, I wouldn’t find them as enjoyable as a lot of people. It’s an interesting thing to see sometimes, isn’t it? You’ve loved a movie since you were a kid, no matter how horrible it is. It’s the nostalgia that keeps you tied to it, not the quality.

But what about Star Wars? Does that fall into the same trappings, or is it different?

I don’t think it’s any different. I watched the movies and enjoyed them. I really connected with a few of the characters, and could care less about others (mainly Luke, because come on, he’s so boring). The plot was a give-or-take kind of thing, and I couldn’t help but watch just to see how it ended. I didn’t necessarily care what happened along the way.

This might be because I already knew a lot about the series. I knew who Leia ended up with, what her relationship was with Luke, and who Luke’s father was. Because if you don’t know at least that last one, even without watching the movies, you’ve probably been living under a rock.

The Muppet alien things were absolutely ridiculous, and I found myself laughing at the movies more than laughing with them. But that’s okay. That was all part of the experience. They were obviously interesting enough to keep my attention — I sat through six hours of them, after all — and I’ll probably end up finding episodes I, II, and III as well, just to see what happens in them.

The bottom line here, I guess, is that Star Wars still does have appeal, but maybe not for the right reasons. You really want to love some of the characters (Han! Chewy! R2D2!), but perhaps not the ones you’re meant to love (Luke and Leia in particular). The cultural impact of the series is its biggest draw, and I’m not sure that’s really a good thing.

Either way, though, I think Star Wars will be sticking around for a while, especially considering they’re already making episode VII.

My question for the Star Wars superfans is this: What is it about Star Wars keeps you coming back? What made it so amazing to begin with (because I honestly don’t know), and why do you think it’s had lasting effects? Do you think you would enjoy the movie today if you had watched it for the very first time?

  1. Jae says:

    You didn’t like Muppet Yoda? I hate—absolutely detest—CGI Yoda. Hate! He’s sooo fakey fakerton, it kills me. Sure a Muppet is a little bizarre, but there was something more real about him. Maybe because he was a real object. And maybe because I’ve always loved Frank Oz anyways.

    Empire remains my fav movie. Return probably #2. The prequels are… forgettable…

  2. Kaitlin says:

    What keeps me interested?

    Two Words:
    Han Solo.

    Also, Han shot first, curse it all.

  3. There was a point where I was hooked on “Star Wars”. And then…there wasn’t. The first (er…fourth…) movie spoke to us on so many levels – it was the hero journey, it was escapism, it was fun. But it got formulaic. It got kiddified in ways that it hadn’t been – and which Lucas then imposed on that first movie. It explained stuff, like ‘The Force’, that should have been left unexplained for better dramatic effect. And the ‘science’ in it was atrociously bad to the point of – well, I have a blog post stacked up now about the ‘pew pew’ lasers… As Muppet Stadler and Waldorf said ‘Rubbish!”.

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