A long, long time ago…
…and you know the rest. Star Wars is such a pervasive part of our culture, which it proved last weekend by shattering advance ticket sales records.
Advanced sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets went live Monday Oct. 14th. By Tuesday, IMAX had reported $6.5 million in sales, which is $5.5 million more than they have ever made in a single day in advanced ticket sales.
Fans of the franchise even managed to bring down several online ticket vendors, such as Fandango, which were unprepared for the rush of fans.
But what is it about Star Wars that transformed it from a script on George Lucas’ desk titled The Adventures of Luke Starkiller to the cultural phenomenon that it is today?
STU literature Professor Andrew Titus attributes part of the franchise’s success to the timing of the first film in 1977.
“You know, Joseph Campbell said that in order for a mythology to be living and vital it must ‘respond to the material conditions of the time.’ As we had just landed on the moon, I think that culturally we were all ready for a new ‘frontier’ story” said Titus.
But Star Wars did more than succeed as a franchise, it gave a whole group of people a sense of belonging.
“What Star Wars really did was make being a geek OK amongst ourselves,” said Titus. “The idea of a pack of rebels, guided by a magical force, to do good against ‘the mainstream’ (in the form of the Empire) was far more important than our being accepted. No geek that I knew or know now really cares about [being] brought into the fold of society. What we care about is empowerment, about feeling like we have a gang, about loving our idiosyncrasies for what they are… not whether or not other people are into it too.”
Star Wars helped to give rise to a new ‘geek culture.’ It has given outsiders a universe to escape to. But that doesn’t mean the franchise hasn’t suffered some missteps. Many fans of the series were disappointed by the prequel trilogy.
“Maybe I’m just old school, but I definitely think that while one through three are good movies, four through six are monumental storytelling accomplishments,” said Titus. “What I think it does well is speak to us all, as kids, as adults, as humans struggling to make sense of the world and find our own way. What it doesn’t do well is just be another action, sci-fi flick. Just as soon as it was all about CGI, it lost the point. That being said, I am certainly hopeful for the next instalment” said Titus.
Hopefully the new instalment doesn’t disappoint the millions of fans who are waiting to see it and it can restores the saga to its former glory.
Show Comments (1)