Star Wars is weird, man. There I said it, Star Wars is one of the weirdest stories we have ever read, watched, or listened to. It involves a farm boy turned space wizard who defeats his robot dad and an old guy with lighting fingers to restore peace to the galaxy. Then to top it all off, teddy bears drum on the heads of their enemies. It has a drug dealer (I’m assuming that is what Han Solo would be in the modern world?), his sidekick dog, and the drug dealer marries a princess. It takes a former slave, who is freed by said space wizards, and turns him into one of the most iconic villains of all time. It then takes a girl, who is a scavenger, waiting for her family to return to the desert and makes her the focal point of a story where she may, or may not, love the heir apparent to the cyborg dad villain turned redeemed hero mentioned before. Star Wars is weird and probably shouldn’t make sense, but it does. Star Wars is a miracle, and I, like so many others, love it.
Star Wars has spent forty-two marvelous years centered on the main family, the Skywalkers. The Skywalkers include Shmi, Anakin, Luke, Leia, Ben Solo, and by the time you are reading this, maybe Rey (we don’t know her exact lineage, she could be a Skywalker, only like three people in the world know at the time I’m writing this). Star Wars is ending soon though, and it is a bittersweet time to reflect on what we have witnessed before the final installment, The Rise of Skywalker, comes out (as of writing this we are a mere few days away, holy crap!). The Rise of Skywalker brings a potential final chapter to a story that so many people are fond of, and while that is in many ways sad, it makes you think about what this journey has brought us. In more ways than one, it has brought people together.
If you haven’t seen these movies, why on earth are you reading an article about them? If you have not seen these movies, you have more than likely heard about them, know some of the major plot points and characters, and you probably know at least one person that has seen one or more of these movies. The reach is far and large and its effect on others is of gargantuan proportions.
Star Wars has brought people together that otherwise might have never had experiences with one another. In my own life, there are so many personal connections that have been made through a mutual interest. There are so many friendships that I have had and continue to have through Star Wars. Some of these friendships would have happened without this space opera, but I believe that these friendships and human connections are so much stronger because of the bond over this story. Whether it be watching the movies, TV shows, reading the books, or sharing lessons that I have learned from this story; the friendships and connections are endless and will probably continue well after the story of the Skywalkers.
The connection among fans expands past the small relationships that fans have developed. Star Wars Celebration has been around since 1999 and been considered a nearly yearly Mecca for any Star Wars fan. Every Celebration, thousands of fans come together to share their love for this magical, weird story. Fans cosplay as their favorite characters, there are sneak peeks at new stories coming out, there are panels that include some of the creators and actors of different Star Wars content, and fans get to interact with one another and share their genuine love for Star Wars. What Star Wars Celebration accomplishes above all else is this true sense of family in the fandom. All fandoms have this to an extent, but Star Wars has perfected the sense of community among fans at events like Celebration while pushing the scale to exponential levels compared to similar fandom events (excluding maybe Comic Cons).
As a story, Star Wars has changed fans’ lives far past introducing people to one another that might not have met otherwise. Star Wars has taught each of us something bigger than what appears on screen. These movies on the surface level are meant for kids. They are essentially a fairy tale that takes place in space, but they’ve taught us so much.
When examining these movies and this story with a greater lens, some lessons can apply to everyday life. Some of these include Han Solo remaining loyal to his friends, Luke seeing the good in people, and Obi-Wan teaching us that it is of the utmost importance that we view situations from multiple perspectives to truly understand what is at stake. Then at the heart of it all, these movies have central ideas of hope and love. They teach us to always love one another and always hold on to hope; no matter how dreary life can get sometimes. I am, to put it frankly, a dope guy, but Star Wars has helped develop redeemable qualities that make the person writing this an okay member of society.
Star Wars is this strange miracle that happened at the perfect time. If you tried to make Star Wars from the beginning at any other time, I’m not sure it would have happened, but boy am I glad that this miracle occurred. It was so different compared to anything that came before it, and the influence that it has had has stood the test of time over the last forty-plus years. It went from something that shouldn’t have happened, to this uber-successful trilogy, all the way to a story that has touched at least three generations of people. From my experience, it went from my parents introducing it to me, and now I have had the privilege to show it to my nephew, and hopefully one day I can show it to kids of my own. Star Wars has become some rite of passage by introducing this story to each subsequent generation since 1977.
So, Star Wars and the story of the Skywalkers, for one last time thank you. There will be more Star Wars to come, but within the next 36-72 hours, many of us will see our last Skywalker movie. Remaining Star Wars movies just won’t feel the same. The anticipation that we feel leading up to this movie is unmatched with any other franchise. Over the next decade, there will be many more Star Wars movies, and I will get excited for them, but not like this. The Skywalker Saga is special and the hype before seeing it, for me, is unparalleled. It’s truly the last time that the run-up to one of these movies will feel like this.
I think most fans would agree that this story was special to many of us for many reasons. Some of us found solace in the story and within the universe in times when our own lives were dark. Some met friends that they would not have had without this story. We could get lost in the story created all those years ago, and it helped guide us to be better humans. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you gave all the fans. Thanks for being the perfect amount of a weird and epic story, you came at the perfect time and it was one heck of a ride.
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