Star Wars: A Powerful Impact On Society
The first original Star Wars movie was a low budget science-fiction film that went on became a blockbuster hit, and the box office sales went through the roof. The movie has been extremely popular amongst many cultures, ages and genders over many decades. Star Wars wasn’t just popular for the action on screen, it also conveys many themes. One of the more well known themes throughout the movie is the classic adventure of a hero’s journey. The hero’s journey is a major part of stories and myths throughout the world. Both primitive and modern cultures use hero’s journey as the basis for their plots. The three main parts of a hero’s journey are the departure, initiation, and return. Luke Skywalker, the hero in the original Star Wars trilogy departs on many journeys throughout each of the 3 films. Luke, being born after his parents “died”, lives with his aunt and uncle. After they die, he goes on a journey with Obi-Wan Kenobi to learn the way of the force and save the galaxy. This is a common trope in hero’s journey. Luke throughout the movies is always trying to find out for himself who he really is, and how he can become a true man while entering into adulthood. His desire was to be just like his father, however after discerning his father’s still alive and is Darth Vader, his desire is squandered. Furthermore, he later finds out a girl he rescued is actually his sister Leia, and they build a strong connection with each other. The Star Wars films effectively draw attention to themselves through how elaborate the films are. One character finds themself and thus follows an adventurous roller coaster the viewer’s experience while watching the film.
In 1977 when Star Wars was released it revolutionized the movie industry forever. It developed and launched modern special effects for blockbuster, as well as the modern movie series. Leading the way for many movies such as Alien, The Matrix, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and many more. It set such a strong example for directors to look back on, to see how Star Wars became so successful. It also showed how merchandise can make a significant amount of money. Star Wars creator George Lucas made a large deal with Pepsico over merchandising rights for the prequel films, which was estimated to be worth roughly $2 billion.
The Star Wars universe also led to the formation of a new sub-culture in America. Surrounding people of all ages, interact and play, as well as creating infinite possibilities for Star Wars games and themes. Star Wars also shows us what it means to be modern. In studying the great films, one can see all the different technologies we have today that were a product of the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm Limited, founded by George Lucas in 1971, is best known for the Star Wars and Indian Jones films and got the ball rolling for the domination of the film market in terms of special effects. Not only has this dynamic franchise created new avenues in the animated film market, but it has also become a popular commodity in our culture. The six-film Star Wars saga has had a significant impact on American popular culture, with Darth Vader being an iconic super villain and phrases like “May the Force be with you,” used as a popular good-bye. Since that historic Friday in May of 1977, science fiction, particularly in film, has often been influenced by and compared to Star Wars. It also helped launch the sci-fi boom of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, making science fiction films a blockbuster genre.
Star Wars in the films uses two way communications, 360-degree vision, thermo vision, and night vision. Like R2-D2 for instance, this droid is the ultimate technologically advanced robot that has many uses and abilities. Technologies such as the MAARS or the Spyder III Pro Arctic are modern technologies influenced by the Star Wars franchise. Starting with the foundation of Lucasfilm Limited, George Lucas set off an urge for science fiction technologies, made Star Wars a commodity of popular culture, and dominated the market surrounding Star Wars and animated film. As Lucasfilm Ltd. and sprouted new divisions and companies, Star Wars became interlinked with most every animated film due to Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic both being subsidiaries to Lucasfilm Ltd. Many modern technologies, such as the MAARS, or bionic limbs, have culminated out of the Star Wars community, as well as Reagan’s “Star Wars” Initiative. Star Wars as a community engulfs much of American popular culture.
The cultural influence of the eight Star Wars films, along with TV shows, comics, games, toys, novels, parodies and documentaries linked with Star Wars extends past the screen. Everything related to Star Wars has had an impact on my life ever since my childhood best friend showed me it in first grade. I was able to bond with my friend at all times over Star Wars, we would always watch the series together, play Star Wars video games and build and play with Star Wars Legos. The Star Wars Legos also allowed me to play with my sisters. As the only boy we shared few interests but they enjoyed the legos that I had. Therefore everything Star Wars related has been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember, and because of it I have made many memories that will stay with me forever. I still love Star Wars so it will continue making an impact on my life.
Star Wars reflects on how different cultures and societies have impacted people’s lives. For instance in a 2001 census in the UK 390,000 people stated their religion as being a Jedi, it was the fourth largest religion surveyed. Star Wars impacted how different cultures can all love science fiction, adventure, violence, strong relationships, the good or the bad sides and the influence of relatable characters. Many people can relate to Luke and Leia Skywalker because they are siblings and they have a strong connection with each other, caring about each other deeply. Han Solo is another character who is kind and cares about his friends. He also is someone who does not express his true feelings like a lot of people in this world. Young Anakin Skywalker is a character who has been given hardly any advice on what to do about his mother and about his feelings, and without guidance he develops fear and anger which turns him to the dark side. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a mentor for Jedi Knights, and people can relate to this by being a teacher for others to learn. Mace Windu was another influential character because he was the first African American Jedi character in the movies who was also given a purple lightsaber so he could differ from the rest of the characters. Another significant character is Rey, due to the fact that she is the first female main character who is a Jedi and the movie revolves around. All of this shows how all people are able to relate to characters that they see on screen and it shows how impactful Star Wars has been on people’s lives.
For over 40 years Star Wars has made a powerful impact on society, as well as the economy, through the major sales it has received and the influence of popularity. Star Wars also impacted people’s lives by having characters that people in society can relate to. “A grand and glorious film that will definitely be the smash hit of 1977, and certainly is the best movie of the year.” (Gerald Clarke, TIME). This quote comes from one major critic when the first movie was released, and his words say a lot about the film. It expresses how ahead of its time it was and how shockingly cool remains.