Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?

DarthVader

Via Flickr user Darren Gerbrandt

“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

“May the Force be with you.”

There’s just no beating Star Wars. (We’re talking about the original trilogy with Luke Skywalker and the gang, not the prequels.) It was probably one of the first movies I ever saw.

Disney’s upcoming 2015 film of the same series has got fans talking. Some have, let’s say, a “lack of faith” in Disney’s expertise. Others are exited to just have more Star Wars. (If you want a great take, read “74 Things Every Great Star Wars Movie Needs” in Wired.)

But all this hoopla begs the question: Why does Star Wars instill such passion in people? The special effects were great for the late ’70s and early ’80s, but they don’t hold up. The films don’t have too many actors that did much of note afterward, with Harrison Ford being the obvious exception.

So almost 40 years after the first movie A New Hope came out, let’s explore why people still cling to the series like that dianoga grabbed Luke’s leg.

  1. It’s timeless. I mean, some of those costumes and hairstyles are influenced by the time period, but look at Darth Vader. He knew that a little black dress is timeless and ran with it to make his outfit. It’s black, shiny, comes with a cape. Vader knows fashion. And his helmet has a become a ubiquitous symbol of Galactic Empire couture.
  2. Leia is the best role model ever. I know what you’re thinking, and no, she isn’t just for women. She teaches that you should defy preconceived notions. If people think you’re a dainty princess, prove ’em wrong by being a pro with a blaster. Throw insults like “laser brain” and “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder.” Leia proves that you don’t need to be pigeonholed into someone else’s expectations.
  3. The story is awesome. The audience is introduced to a farm boy on a remote planet who eventually defeats the empire and grows into a Jedi. He went from zero to 100 just like that. And what youngster doesn’t want to leave his home to travel, be a hero, and have a lightsaber battle along the way? That’s a dream come true, and we get to see Luke live it during the original trilogy.

So keep watching the movies and dressing your kids in Star Wars costumes. And let’s see what’s next.

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