We are coming into a new era of Star Wars, and there’s no telling what this era will show us. In some ways it’s exciting because there won’t be any more decades-long wait for the next installment, but it’s also the end of a period of time where there was one vision for the series.
Although I am an Old Person and so grew up with watching the Original Trilogy, Star Wars fit into the background of my childhood and never really came into focus for me. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t a nerd, and I didn’t love space, it just never clicked for me the way Star Trek did, or speak to my sense of fantastical adventure like The Neverending Story or Labyrinth. I saw the prequels as an adult, and while I liked them and the originals just fine, I didn’t love any of it until recently.
And then I saw The Force Awakens, and I loved it. Like a lot of people, I went to see the movie out of curiosity and I thought it was amazing and fun and full of adventure. And it made me go back to all the other six movies. And you know what? Revisiting A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi was some of the most fun I’ve had watching movies in 2016. How can you not love Luke Skywalker in all his earnest, whiny, good guy glory? And Leia who is So Very Sassy. These movies translate in a way that’s incredibly difficult for other movies in its era and it’s no wonder that they were considered ahead if their time. They’re probably ahead of this time.
But I still wasn’t what I would consider a big fan. Like maybe a better fan, but not enough to agree to write a weekly column about it for goodness’ sake.
Then I watched the Prequel Trilogy. And I liked it okay at The Phantom Menace, I really liked Attack of the Clones way more than I remembered, and then something happened to me during Revenge of the Sith. My world shifted upside down and I went through the looking glass like Alice and I realized I loved this series. Loved it like I was about to become a superfan and I had no choice in the matter. I knew I would watch this absolutely ridiculous series over and over and read its books and consume any and all media on this stupid Skywalker family until people were ready to hold an intervention like I was addicted to heroin.
This fandom is dangerous and enabling and I’m not sure if anyone should become a fan because it can consume your life. But if you want to understand, I would encourage you to watch the Saga all the way through, and do not skimp on any part of it. Once you binge it, you can see how all the parts work to create a whole. It’s simply magical how it all comes together.
I now get excited when I meet someone who loves Star Wars as much as me and wants to have lightsaber fights. I’m not even embarrassed that they’re seven.