I read somewhere that Star Wars time has passed – that it should disappear from our culture. Pardon my language but, Sir, what the fuck are you talking about?
Star Wars is entertainment at its finest, but more than that it has endured time. It has everything it needs to allow it to stick around for a long time still. It has both levity and gravity; like a thunderhead, it breaks and rolls out into the void. When confronted by a conflicting opinions it sets it raises its sails and goes steady, unhindered.
Nerds, those of us that are so passionate about the things we love and the fandoms that surround us, have established a new morality when it comes to Star Wars. Much like the Rebel Alliance, we have won victories against the ‘in-crowd.’ We have prevailed.
In the first Star Wars, Luke Skywalker is introduced, this whiny farmer who is from some backwater planet. Soon, we come to understand that he has profound potential, based on his feelings – of all things! When he learns of The Force from his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is instructed to ‘reach out to [his] feelings’ and just ‘let go.’ Luke does this when he closes his eyes, takes a breath, and goes in to take down the Death Star to save the galaxy. In its own way, The Force is a metaphor for empathy – not only for those around us but the world as a whole. You can only master The Force when you sync your soul with your surroundings, with your perspectives, your concentration.
Now, if Luke isn’t for you, there’s always other people to look to up to. Young girls have Leia, the tough-as-nails badass brought to life by the one and only Carrie Fisher. Men had the wise-cracking and cynical Han Solo. There is a love triangle that ultimately is not something to want to achieve but still… Older audience had Old Ben as the ultimate mentor. And the best thing yet, each character was interchangeable throughout the demographics. Audiences of all ages and genders could identify and live vicariously through these characters.
Now, Nerds, we all come together. We are one big family with things in common. Star Wars only instills this in us. The three characters, the ones we all live up to, the ones we have a hard time saying goodbye to when the movies end. The central characters to all of the movies. We get to see them at their worst in The Empire Strikes Back as they struggled against incredible odds. By the end we are left with one of our heroes trapped in carbonite. Then we get to see how this odd family prevails in the end with Return of the Jedi.
Without the familial relationship between these characters there is no Star Wars.
And lets face it, without Star Wars we wouldn’t know how to take our own selves seriously – but not too seriously that we can’t joke about it. There was banter, a wookie laughing, R2-D2 and his dirty beep-boops. Leia had classic lines with the likes of ‘nerf-herders’ and ‘walking carpets.’ Even Yoda zinged.
Humour has allowed it to live within the generations past, present, and future. It allowed us to smile, laugh, and fall in love with them.
Good vs Evil will always prevail – it is timeless. You know who to root for and who to boo. You know who to love and who to love to hate. There’s little trickery or misdirection in the saga.
Hope. It is something us nerds know thoroughly. Hope is hard to come by. Star Wars gives everyone who watches it a resounding sense of hope – no matter how many times you watch it. It allowed those watching to understand that good would prevail in the end. No matter how The Empire Strikes Back ended, we knew that the characters we loved would win. And by the time we watched Return of the Jedi, we saw that even the one person we thought personified evil could turn to the light side.
Star Wars will always matter. As long as us nerds have anything to say about it, Star Wars will live on. We will pass it down. We band together and have a light that shines no matter how dark it gets outside.