When I was a little boy, one story captivated my imagination unlike any other. That was the story of a young man named Luke Skywalker who goes on an adventure to save a young princess with the help of his friends C3-PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, my personal favorite Han Solo, and his mentor Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi. Luke has to take on an evil lord known as Darth Vader. In the end Luke saves the day and lives to fight in two captivating sequels: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The story I’m talking about, of course, is Star Wars. In these movies Luke must come to terms with the fact that Darth Vader is his father, the man he swore to destroy, and his quest changes from a story of destroying the evil Emperor Palpatine, to attempting to redeem his father, Anakin Skywalker.
So as it turns out, I’m not the only kid whose life was changed forever by the original Star Wars trilogy. In fact these are some of the most influential movies ever made and have taken hold of audiences all over the world, more so than any other movie franchise in the history of film. Some younger fans find the most despised installment of the Star Wars saga, the prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith), to be just as good as the original trilogy. Considering the hype of the most recent installment, The Force Awakens, it is clear how important Star Wars is to pop culture and the legacy it has left on film history.
George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, wrote the original film to be an incredibly creative fantasy set in space that retold the archetypal story of the hero’s journey. That was definitely a huge reason for the original film’s success. The two sequels to Star Wars bring the story to deeper places than the original film. The most prominent twist probably being that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. Another highlight would be Vader killing his master to save his son. It was somewhat unusual back then for a sequel to take a story to such dark, uneasy places. All of the Star Wars movies (Episode I – VII) have helped to create the immortal legacy that the Star Wars saga has today.
The real reason Star Wars touches so many people is that it isn’t about the visual effects or the fighting, it’s about the story; It’s about a family. More specifically, the Skywalkers. In the most basic terms it’s meant to represent the family of the Christ. Anakin Skywalker has no father, like Jesus, and the only real difference is that Anakin gives into temptation and becomes the very evil he swore to destroy leaving his children, and now as it looks grandchildren, to vanquish evil. There are other reasons the story of Star Wars resonates with us so deeply, but this seems to be the most relevant as well as prominent one.
However the story isn’t over yet, the most recent installment, The Force Awakens, came out on December 18, 2016 and has had spectacular reviews. Previously, it was incredibly anticipated. Grown men cried in the trailer and broke the pre sale ticket record 18 times over. This story is a classic, and it will forever be a part of our culture, especially with future saga films like Episode VIII and Episode IX to be released in coming years along with future spin-off films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to be released later in 2016.