With the release of the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens there’s been a lot of excitement (understatement) about continuing the Star Wars franchise. Picking up where the original three movies left off, the new Star Wars introduced a whole new cast of characters to fall in love with and new story lines to unfold in front of our eyes. There’s a whole generation about to fall in love with Star Wars all over again, and as a lifelong Star Wars nut, it’s really exciting. However there are some out there, I’m sure you’ve seen them, who aren’t so excited for the new Star Wars movies. They’re on your social media pages talking about how they don’t care about Star Wars or have never seen the movies or find it weird that people can be so excited about it. Well this article is dedicated to those people. Sit on down children, I’m about to tell you why Star Wars is so important.
We have to go back to the very beginning of this major movie franchise that those under thirty take for granted a little. Star Wars for us has always been around, it’s a part of our general pop culture, and it was a phenomenon before we were even born. So we have no real way of understanding the feeling that those very first fans felt when it was first released. Our parents, uncles, aunts and even some grandparents flocked to the theaters to watch episodes four through six. This was something totally new and original they were seeing, it inspired the imaginations of millions of people to go into space travel, or write science fiction novels, or even become a costume designer. The point is it was a cultural landmark that almost the entire population could come together and see. They were all shocked when Vader said those famous words “I am your father.” Something that this generation takes for granted, because for most of us we were aware of the line before even seeing the Empire Strikes Back. Think back to the fandom that was/is Harry Potter; remember those feelings of growing up with characters and having them inspire you in your early adulthood? That’s how the original Star Wars fans feel, that’s how important Star Wars is to them. It’s a chapter of their childhoods and we, a generation built on nostalgia, should be able to appreciate that.
Now with this new generation being introduced to the story that we all love it’s time to realize that some franchises are sacred. Fan bases such as Star Wars, Tolkien fans, Star Trek and Harry Potter are a few examples of true cultural landmarks that represent a generation of fans. They’re what’s passed on to the next generations. Think to what you want to pass down to your children, I know that if I have a daughter one of the first role models I will be introducing to her is Hermonie, along with Leia, and now Rey. I was almost a teenager when episodes one through three came out, I was in the prime of growing up when they hit theaters. Even though we all really knew what would happen to the characters it was exciting to be excited about something my dad was equally excited about. In fact, the other day, my dad took me to go see The Force Awakens. I can’t tell you the last time I went to the movies with my dad. That’s the importance of Star Wars, at least for me. It’s a way I connect with dad; not to say we aren’t close to begin with, but it’s something special the two of us are able to share. I wouldn’t go see a Star Wars movie without him and the best part is, I know he was excited to be seeing it. My dad was excited to see this story he fell in love with thirty years ago come back to him. That’s why Star Wars is important, for those moments it takes people back to a time where the weight of adulthood hadn’t quite settled on their shoulders.
Now really what this article should be titled is “Why Fandoms Are Important” but with something so huge as Star Wars coming out I figured it was easy to use to get the message out. Fandoms aren’t about freaking out over cute actors, or knowing the most about the world your fandom is in. They’re about that feeling they give you, when you turn the page after your favorite character dies and it hits you they’re gone forever. When someone reveals a dark secret on the screen that changes everything you thought you knew about them. When the hero finally reaches the end of their journey and it’s time to say good bye to these people you’ve known for what feels like your whole life. Fandoms are important because they keep us human and remind us how to feel. So keep on feeling fanpeople, I’ll never tell you to do otherwise.
Bonus: I don’t care what people say, BB8 is adorable and I want one
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