Today marks the 37th anniversary of the day that Star Wars first opened in American theaters. The space-centered movie was highly anticipated due to strategic marketing leading up to the film’s release, as well as the promise that the movie would be like nothing the audience had ever seen before. Star Wars was an instant hit; life-time fans were born during the first showings of the movie and its fan base has grown with each generation, helping form the captivating legacy of one of the greatest films of all time.
Star Wars was extremely influential for the future of American cinema in many ways, from technical to sales aspects. The movie set a standard which has led the way for cinema since. Lucas incorporated text-book methods to create his masterpiece, with basic good-versus-evil principles and memorable characters. The film series is, according to many film buffs, the most popular film ever made. When observing the film’s success that hefty claim gains momentum.
During the creation of Star Wars George Lucas- the creative drive and mastermind behind the project- revolutionized the appearance and delivery of computer graphic (CG) visual effects. Not only did the mega-hit pioneer computer graphics, it inspired the modern movie trilogies which captivate audiences such as Lord of the Rings. The legacy of Star Wars has not only inspired ensuing film makers; a look at religion will show a very serious, dedicated movement for the Force.
In 2001 390,000 people in the United Kingdom claimed devotion to the religion of “Jedi.” Ironically, this publicly massive dedication to the Jedi religion earned it the spot as the fourth largest religion of all surveyed. The Jedi belief is similar to that of a knight’s code from medieval times. It is deeply embedded in honor, knowledge, peace, harmony and respect for all life. Jedi’s swear to protect and help those in need and fight against corruption. Considering the state of the often dismal state of the world’s affairs, many could argue that the way of the Jedi is a promising answer to negative energies in the world.
It is safe to say that the majority of American house-holds possess something related to Star Wars, such as figurines, posters or the movies themselves. The sale of merchandise inspired by the movies has been an extremely lucrative and successful industry in itself. Star Wars merchandise has amounted to over $20 million dollars since the release of the first film. Whether it is an action figure or theme-park ride, anything themed after the galaxy-defending plot becomes extremely popular and lucrative. Many articles written about the legacy go viral and even popular search sites honor the films with character-themed web pages.
Star Wars is one of a few movies that will forever have relevance and a spot as an inter-generational house-hold name. The good-versus-evil theme resonates with viewers of all ages, and the deep, twisted relationship between Luke Skywalker and his father is highly relatable for angst-filled teens of all generations. With a look at the movies’ relevance to the present, the die-hard fan base which floats the Star Wars legacy does not seem to be losing interest any time soon. The Jedi code will live on, quite possibly forever.
Opinion by Courtney Heitter