Sunday, December 20, 2015

"Star Wars Saga" Retrospective: In Conclusion.

And with that, I have finally reached the end of my long Star Wars retrospective, and frankly, the fact that Star Wars has been able not only to get made, but to retain as much staying power as it has is quite surprising. I can think of no other franchise in cinematic history with the kind of enduring passion from fans and long-lasting iconography, with the many artists behind the various films and spin-offs taking the influence from Lucas’ initial themes and lore, and expanding them into some of the most vast and staggering world-building ever seen, possessing a limitless potential for new story routes and characters to contribute to every generation.

And with The Force Awakens having delivered on the epic anticipation from viewers, and remedied the prequels as well as taking the saga back to its adventurous roots, it’s safe to say that the brand name is in good hands under Disney. With Episode VII likely to do gangbusters in sales in the coming months, we die-hard Star Wars fans will once again play the waiting game as we wait for future additions to the universe. These include the eagerly awaited Episodes XIII and IX from respective directors Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow, which will likely give even greater depth and more meaningful connections to the many relationships previously established in VII, future spin-offs such as Rogue One next December, and Han Solo and Boba Fett origin stories (the latter originally under the direction of Josh Trank before losing the assignment thanks to his infamous full-blown breakdown earlier this year), as well as countless video games, TV shows, novelizations, and even attractions in Disney's own theme parks.

Beyond that, however, the future is not entirely set in stone, with the studio likely considering a number of routes that the saga can go down, and no matter what they decide upon, I hope they never lose sight of everything that has made the series the success that it is; not merely for its amazing action and visuals, it’s fascinating philosophy, as well as the immortal sound and music, but mainly for the endearing characters that have become like a family to the viewers. All of those charms are what has helped these movies hold on to their staying power, and why they’ve connected with each new generation of viewer. As someone who grew up watching the original, unchanged trilogy on my parents’ VHS tapes, I’ve loved Star Wars for as long as I can remember, and I’m thrilled to see that same lightning in a bottle being recaptured over thirty years after the conclusion of those classic films, and I especially look forward not only to seeing the reactions of newcomers discovering them, but how it could possibly inspire those same young viewers to become the next great filmmakers themselves.

Thirty-eight years later, and the Force is still strong with this one, clearly showing no sign of slowing down. I can’t wait to experience what will come in the future, so until then, thank you all so much for joining me on this long journey, and…

May the Force be with you.

Ranking the films:
1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. The Force Awakens
3. A New Hope
4. Return of the Jedi
5. Revenge of the Sith
6. The Phantom Menace
7. Attack of the Clones

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