I asked myself the other day “Why Star Wars?” What is it about this series, this fandom, that means so much more to me than any other?
I’ve been a Star Wars fan longer than I can remember. Literally, I can not remember a time in my life where I wasn’t aware of Star Wars. The first time I really remember watching Star Wars, around age 5 or 6, I was on the edge of my seat during the Trench Run even though I knew that Luke would survive.
I was born in 1979, so I remember all too well the dark times of the late 80’s when Star Wars all but disappeared. Like many, my fandom shrunk but never completely disappeared. I continued to watch our VHS tapes and play with my figures. Ever since Star Wars returned to the spotlight in the 90’s it’s been a central part of my life. Throughout the years there have been many different fandoms: Doctor Who, TMNT, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, to name a few. They have all been secondary to Star Wars.
What is it that makes Star Wars so special that it has lasted this long, not just for myself, but for so many others as well? What is it about this silly sci-fi movie from the 70’s that has lasted, pushing it’s way into multiple generations and our cultural consciousness?
On the surface, Star Wars is just a well-crafted science fiction movie. Each movie seems to find a new way to delight and thrill audiences. More than anything, watching Star Wars is fun. Fun that can be enjoyed by all ages. But, as we know, there is more to it. Scratch the surface and you will discover a much deeper story and meaning. Star Wars is so much more than X-wings and lightsabers. It’s a story of love, loss, family, and the danger that threatens our life and liberty.
There are other stories that contain deeper themes. Lord of the Rings leans heavily on the same heroic archetypes, and Harry Potter carries many of the same messages about the power of love. I always end up just comparing and contrasting them to Star Wars, and as much as I may enjoy them, they aren’t Star Wars.
I feel silly talking about how much I love Star Wars, on a Star Wars fansite. I am definitely preaching to the choir with this one. When something digs this deep I want to stop and try to figure out why. What is it about this one story that resonates so much with me? I know when I watch the films I see reflections of myself in the characters. I’ve been awkward with girls like Anakin, clumsy like Jar Jar, naive like Luke, and so much more.
It can be hard to break something like this down. Taste is so very subjective. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. It’s an old cliche, but it’s true. Where I’ve been on the edge of my seat, breathless, I’ve seen some bored.
I’ll give you a peek behind the curtain here. I’ve been racking my brain for days on how to finish this thought: “Why Star Wars?” In the end, I can’t explain what is about Star Wars that speaks to me in such a way that nothing else does. It’s like trying to explain your favorite flavor of ice cream. It just tastes good, it makes you happy like no other flavor quite does. It feels like I’m cheating here at the end, and maybe I am, but I can’t find any other answer to the question “Why Star Wars?” then to simply say “Because it’s Star Wars.”
So I put this question out to you, “Why Star Wars?”Powered by Sidelines