The Legacy of Star Wars

I was born in 1990. The first three Star Wars films had already been out for many years at this point.
That said, Star Wars has been a big part of my family for as long as I can remember. Throughout my life I’ve owned many of the action figures, toy lightsabers, and just about every video game. I was introduced to the original trilogy at a very young age. It was either my dad or brother who explained that these were episodes four, five, and six. My childish brain could not wrap its mind around that, wondering why the films would be released this way. At the time George Lucas began working on the the first film he probably had no idea that his movies would impact so many families. Thirty years later, they continue to do so. The original trilogy was the beginning of a legacy, something parents could pass onto their children, and yet it has continued, through the prequels, to the new trilogy and beyond,

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The Prequels

By the time 1999 rolled around, the second generation of fans had already become familiar with the story of Luke Skywalker and how the Rebel Alliance had seen victory over the Galactic Empire on the planet Endor. No matter what your opinion may be, The Phantom Menace was the beginning of the inevitable. Even though he was simply a child at this point, we all knew that Anakin Skywalker would eventually have to become Darth Vader, and we were going to see how it happened. Episode One set the stage for all of those things to play out, but this was something that fans young and old would be able to experience together for the first time.

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The first two movies in this prequel trilogy sadly under-performed, but what did spawn from it was the Clone Wars CGI-animated television show. Star Wars: Clone Wars seemed to be a great outlet for children of younger ages to experience a universe adored by more adult fans, and this spin-off series greatly expanded upon the existing Star Wars universe. After Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, the television series was cancelled due to the fact that it was being aired on Cartoon Network without a sixth season. Fortunately, that was not the last we would see of the series, as Netfllix eventually acquired the rights to the Clone Wars movie, all five seasons, and even the unreleased sixth season to be available on its streaming service.

Disney and the New Trilogy

In October of 2012, fans everywhere received some huge news. George Lucas had sold his company (Lucasfilm) and the Star Wars franchise to Disney. Upon acquisition, Disney announced that a new film would be released in 2015, which we now know as The Force Awakens. With a photo of the original cast and the announcement of J.J. Abrams directing the project, excitement and speculation began to skyrocket. Two months after the premier of a trailer, tickets became available for early purchase and generated over 6.5 million dollars, temporarily crashing Fandango in the process.
This movie marks the chance for a third generation of children to experience Star Wars the way it started: on the big screen. Disney recently re-released all six movies yet again. As a result we can introduce our kids to something that was once introduced to us when we were around their age. After so many years, we will finally learn what exactly happens after the battle on Endor, and at the same time be experiencing something new alongside our kids in the theater. Disney has already gotten a head start in introducing the beloved universe with Star Wars: Rebels, however, and it seems to be as great a success as Clone Wars was before it.

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As a final thought, I must say that Disney seems to be a good home for the Star Wars franchise. Disney has created a plethora of characters and franchises that people around the world have come to know and love. Characters like Micky Mouse and movies like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast continue to hold a place in our hearts long after their release. In the same way, we pass these movies onto our children. We have been doing the same with Star Wars for years. Disney has gone so far as to express that they will keeping releasing a Star Wars movie every year until they simply stop making money off of them, with a spin-off already in the works for 2016.
It has also been reported that George Lucas has seen the new film and “really liked it.” This seems to guarantee that Star Wars isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time. Whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen, but at the moment its legacy continues to stand strong. We can only hope that future generations around the world will continue to love it the way we do for centuries to come.

L.J. Lowery

Born in southern California, but currently residing in Lafayette, Louisiana. Loves Hip Hop music, comics, and video games. Events/Media Coordinator, Podcast Producer, and Public Relations.

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