May the 4th, international Star Wars Day, is the day that fans of the film get together in singularity and celebrate all things Star Wars. Well…at least that’s the idea. Most people just like saying “Happy Star Wars Day…May The 4th be with you” in goofy voices. We can thank silly shows with laugh tracks like “Big Bang Theory” for that. So while people will celebrate a Mexican holiday that doesn’t really exist (by drinking heavily) I am going to fall a bit to the dark sode, and celebrate the REVENGE OF THE FIFTH! Not afraid? You will be…you will be.
Actually, this has nothing to do with anger, revenge or fear. It’s simply a chance to wax a little bit about all things Star Wars.
Star Wars is a kind of fickle subject for me. As you may have guessed, I’m a geek. I obsess about things that most people do not. I find pleasure in things others find absurd. Look at it, I run a theme park website! To celebrate my birthday, instead of alcohol and cake like most folks my age, I spent it in a haunted house scaring the hell out of innocent people. I loved it. Star Wars, in large part, is responsible for that. How? That’s a difficult question to answer, and even harder to try and explain…but Star Wars was my first step into a larger world.
It took me to different places that I couldn’t go, on adventures that weren’t possible. It was the kind of magic that you can only get from film. Lightsabers, wookies, and droids were part of the world I wanted to be in.
In the 90’s, Disney brought a piece of that to life with Star Tours. Disney gave us a glimpse of what life could be if Star Wars was real. That’s where it ended.
For years there was nothing in the Star Wars cinematic universe, until George Lucas started bastardizing the films. Sure, his films, he can do what he wants…but as a fan it was heartbreaking. Then in 1999, the cinematic universe brought us the prequels. Say what you will about them now, but at the time they were amazing…As fans we were blinded by the novelty of a new Star Wars film series. Looking back, yeah they basically defamed the series and turned it into a joke.
It did do one thing, however, it brought Star Wars to an entire generation who had gone without it. My son was two when Episode 1 came out, and good bad or indifferent, it started to develop his inner geek. By the time Episode 3 had rolled around, he was already toting his own lightsabers, had seen all three original films and could recite lines. His journey to the dark side was almost complete. We took a different approach when my daughter was born, and decided that Star Wars was too boyish for her (well, I didn’t decide…her mother and my sister did) but it was no use…she was drawn to the ways of the Jedi like her father before her. In fact the first time she did any sort of dancing as a baby was to the Imperial March, that was when her mother knew she had lost her.
Over time the three of us grew together, and Star Wars grew into our collective being. It became kind of convoluted with the advent of a cartoon, and more re-releases. We had it still there in our hearts, but it just wasn’t the same anymore.
Then Disney bought the franchise, and fast tracked Episode VII. While the potential for greatness is there once again, what we feared has come true. Disney has turned the once mighty franchise into merchandise…cute and cuddly and full of the stuff we never wanted to see.
Mickey and Donald wielding lightsabers for the sake of a pin. Bleh. To be honest, this has been going on for years, and it’s kind of cute. Still..do we want Star Wars to be cute?
Then came the big announcement that everyone was waiting for. The original cast would be back, along with a huge group of newcomers. My son was giddy with excitement, and my daughter cast aside her teenage angst for one big smile.
So as we look away from this international day of revenge, the future does look bright for Star Wars. While I’m optimistic, I’m cautiously optimistic. Disney can do amazing things, after all they are doing a phenomenal job at letting Marvel be Marvel, though they have mucked Pixar up a bit.
But it’s okay, let your inner geek squeal…just a little.
Star Wars Episode VII opens on December 18th, 2015. And with it goes all the hopes of this rebellion.
Stay tuned for even more Star Wars fun, and be sure to follow along with us on Twitter @BehindThrills for the latest updates!