In our family we are unashamed geeks. We love Sci-fi. My Hubby and Son are probably the most into it, with my daughter only becoming interested in the last couple of years. We also like to go to the cinema together and the Star Wars franchise have kindly given us a good excuse to have a few Christmas outings. Of course this year the newest film which we had been waiting for for ages was Rogue One and we went on December 21st and thought it was wonderful. The next day came the news that Carrie Fisher, the wonderful Princess Leia, had had a heart attack and a few days later she passed away.
The outpouring of grief on the twittersphere and on Facebook shows how the films have been held in such affection. My brother said “Did we ever think it’d be still so well loved 40 years after you first took me to see it at the cinema?” And the answer was obviously no. And it got me thinking about why it has endured. I remember the excitement when it was first coming out in 1977. The actors were pretty much unknowns and despite being a “Hollywood” film it was made mostly in England. There are indeed many British actors visible when you watch them again. I think it was the first film I remember that had merchandise available.
The characters are what drives it. The Princess is a kick-ass warrior, not a Disney Princess. The Heroes are a farm boy and a smuggler. The sidekicks are 2 robots – one that spoke very properly and one that only made noises that you could still understand – and a giant hairy coward. The baddies are led by a complete tyrant. And then – The story started in the middle!
It was like nothing we had ever seen before.
Of course George Lucas has kept a good grip on the story and although there are many discussions as to which order the films should be watched in and how awful it is in places, I can confirm that as we have now rewatched them all over the Festive period, they’re actually flipping marvellous and the 2 newest films add to the nostalgia and affection.
As for our Princess Leia Organa – she is at one with the Force and the Force is with her.
May the Force be with us for many more years – if not forever.