May the Fourth be with you!
This month’s fandom needs hardly any introduction. If you were born after 1980 and speak English, then you’ve probably grown up surrounded by Star Wars movies, books, toys, video games, cartoons, etc., etc. But it all started with one movie in 1977.
If there is anyone on this planet who doesn’t know, Star Wars was a trilogy of movies produced by George Lucas in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” it told the story of Luke Skywalker, Jedi-in-training, as he and his friends fought to overthrow an evil Empire led by Darth Vader. And it changed the future of sci-fi films–and probably movies in general–as we know them. CGI technology is just now starting to catch up to the realism of Star Wars’ special effects, and those were created back when a computer was the size of a fridge. Plus, it’s an epic story with lots of unforgettable characters. Han Solo is still one of my favourite fictional guys ever. And as talking robots go, R2D2 and C3PO are the best.
I’d better be clear here. This fandom is much bigger than those three original movies. Hundreds of novels have been written about the Star Wars universe, and to be honest, I haven’t read many of them. Maybe I’m too picky, but I tend to stay away from books that are based on movies or TV shows, however loosely. I think it should be the other way round. And then there were the new “Star Wars” movies of the early 2000s, all of which were dreadful. I know I don’t speak for the majority of fans when I say this, but to me, the original trilogy is the only true Star Wars. Everything else feels like a bit of a knock-off.
But those original movies were pretty darn good! I can understand why people wanted to keep writing books about that faraway galaxy. The movies made it seem so real, so multi-layered and full of possibilities. The dialogue can be cheesy at times, but it’s always fun and endlessly quotable.
So go celebrate May 4 in style, by watching one of the old movies! There will be more stuff on this blog later. But for now…”You can go about your business. Move along.”