Let me start by saying this: I’m fresh to the Star Wars fandom. I didn’t really understand the draw when I was younger and I didn’t geek out when there was a resurgence of it in the 00’s. I haven’t read the books or comics. I didn’t watch the cartoons. Truth be told, I resisted watching Star Wars until someone I was dating sat me down and begged me to give it a solid chance.
I am a Trekker, you see, and we kind of swear an oath (jk). I also have a serious thing against aliens. Weird, considering how much I love sci-fi. I know… we can discuss that in another article one day.
In any case, I watched Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and was underwhelmed. This low budget, space opera was what the hype was about? I mean, the story was excellent, but I honestly was expecting so much more. I suppose giving the era and the tools, this made sense. At the time, 1977, this was a ray of hope. The real draw of the movie was the plot, the characters, and the sci-fi. These were characters everyone could identify with. Whether you were a Jedi or a Sith on the Dark Side. And we have already established that I love a good sci-fi story.
However, I was not blown away by Star Wars as a franchise the way Harry Potter or Star Trek sucked me in. I was angry at the characterization of Leia. She seemes so weak to me. She was just a damsel in distress that needed saving and I was expecting so much more from the way she had been described to me by others.
I thought Han was a bit of a heel, Obi-Wan was you typical mentor figure and Luke was this kid who had The Force. The only characters I was interested in were the robots and bad guys. I hate rooting for bad guys. I wanted to learn more about why Darth Vader was Darth Vader and who this Luke Kid was and who he would become. Still I wasn’t compelled enough to watch the next movie. Everyone tells me I needed to see Episode V though.
VII – The Force Awakens came out and I was excited. My initial thought was that it was an opportunity for me to give the series another go. Disney did an excellent marketing job. I did not read up on anything going in and to me it was really almost like IV redone for this generation. Since I had seen IV, I was able to tie into some of the easter eggs. Star Wars has been a part of the lexicon for over 30 years so I was also able to catch a number of the other jokes and call backs.
I was even more delighted by VIII – The Last Jedi, which was able to not only include much more agency and inclusion, but also a deeper development of character and story that really spoke to me as viewer more than the first introduction of Star Wars had. I saw an adult Luke, who now facing a past he wasn’t exactly proud of, but was ready to defend and to me it was a glorious ending. And Leia was now my Princess!
Now, about Han. To be quite honest, he was never my favourite character. He was cocky and brash and your typical archetype in these movies. I did like his furry sidekick though. He was much redeemed also in these modern movies. Again with age came wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Chewy was also a great foil for him, but not a character I paid much notice to and robots are another being I have a strong distrust for (another subject for a future article)
I was actually quite excited for Solo: A Star Wars Story. I missed Rogue One, though I’m told I should see it. I skipped it because I have yet to go back and follow up on episodes I-II and V and VI. I thought I should see the movies in order to really understand the whole story and to really understand the whole universe. Having now seen Solo, I realize I needn’t worry. The franchise has done a great job of incorporating new fans into the fold.
Going forward,I do plan on going back and watching the rest of the films from the past and I’m confident that those involved in making these films, books, tv, shows, and comics will continue to put out good content and newbies like me and generations to come will have the opportunity to fall in love with this galaxy far, far away.