Star Wars fans will always remember their first step into a galaxy far far away, the moment they were whisked off to adventures beyond the stars, following their heroes on journeys into vast and incredible worlds and were shown valuable lessons along the way. Whether it was the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, The Force Awakens or many of the cartoons, novels and comics, Star Wars is what binds the universe together.
When George Lucas set out to create a world for children to enjoy, I'm not quite sure he ever thought that it would be as large and important to so many people as it is today, it is enjoyed by people of every age and it is not limited by language barriers. Star Wars has had an amazing effect on pop culture since it's premiere 35 years ago, but pop culture isn't the only thing that Star Wars has done for the galaxy.
The Star Wars Legacy
These stories have always had an incredible force behind them; they have been teaching their audience important lessons, whether or not they set out to do so. We have learned the power of family, of connection, of friends and always standing up for what you believe in, and most importantly — the power of love, forgiveness and that our mistakes do not define who we are. We have seen Luke go from a backwater farmer with a dream of being out there fighting for good to a hero of the rebellion, finding a place where he belonged in the process.
There has always been a theme of finding who you are and showing that you have a place, and you belong, even if you think you are nobody, such as Rey in The Force Awakens who begins her story as a scavenger without a family; she's been abandoned on a harsh world to fend for herself, but by the end of the film she finds that she is part of something larger than anything she could have ever imagined, and in a way she found a family of her own — blood relatives or not.
The prequel trilogy and the stories that are contained within that era show you that the Jedi you idolized as perfect monk warriors were just as human as anyone else, even the wisest and smartest of us are capable of making mistakes.
When we first hear of Anakin Skywalker in the first film (A New Hope) Obi-Wan is telling Luke about his father, he is of course not telling our hero everything about his father, the audience hangs on to the image of Anakin Skywalker as this amazing person who did so many wonderful things, but who was unjustly killed for his actions in the fight against evil. We believe (as does Luke) that this man was a good person through and through. It is only when we find out that Anakin Skywalker was still alive and inside the suit of the monster that had terrorized our heroes throughout two films that we start to get confused. Why was he evil? Why was he doing these things? What happened to him?
Anakin's story is fleshed out in the prequel trilogy, comics and cartoons. Anakin grew up a slave to the Hutts on Tatooine with only his mother by his side. He was constantly shunned by the Jedi Masters and the other students, never making many friends, never trusted by his elders, having to fight in a war, watching many of his comrades die right before his eyes, and the hardest thing Anakin Skywalker ever had to do was come to terms with losing the ones he loved. He massacred an entire village of Tusken Raiders when his mother died, and he went berserk and started an evil empire because his wife passed away, but Anakin shows us how strong one can be through his perseverance and his son Luke shows us that there is always the capacity for goodness within, aiding in his father's eventual return to the light side
The Star Wars saga gives us heroes we can relate to, that we can look at and say "That's who I am," "That's what I would do." We see this in Luke with his never-wavering faith in his father's goodness, and Leia's amazing ability to take control of any situation and never uphold the virtues of her mother, Padme, who was not only a very capable leader able to keep her cool during the invasion of her home planet, but who has always stood up for what was right, and Finn, who turned his back against the First Order and had the courage to fight for the good of the galaxy.
No matter how you were introduced into this galaxy, and no matter what you think of the stories being told, there is no denying that Star Wars has been and always will be more than a film series, May the future be filled with generations of young children learning beautiful lessons from these films, and as long as Star Wars remains, hope shall remain.
Keeping track of everything in the Star Wars saga is no simple task. Luckily, we've got a handy video below that will organizes everything into one, nice timeline. Enjoy:
What was your first exposure to the Star Wars saga?