Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, you probably would have seen all the hype surrounding the trailer and the (soonish) release of the latest Star Wars instalment; Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If you’re as much of a Star Wars fan as I am, you’re probably just as bloody excited as me.
With a release date of December 15th 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second film of the sequel trilogy. This particular trilogy chronically falls after Return of the Jedi, and focuses on a new generation of heroes (and villains). And frankly, this new trilogy is giving me hope for the future of the franchise.
And it’s this new generation that proves why Star Wars, in my opinion, is so important. Beginning in 1977, the franchise has truly left its mark on pop culture, leaving an even bigger legacy than Harry Potter.
Yes, I went there. But it’s true.
J.K.Rowling is one of my favourite authors and franchise creators. With eight (soon to be nine) films, two spin off films, an animated film, three television special films, six television series and generations of fans, Star Wars is pretty hard to compete with.
Which brings me back to why it’s such an important franchise. Take The Last Jedi as an example.
First things first, KICK ASS FEMALE LEAD! Princess Leia was also a kickass female character but sadly was often shadowed by the dramatic (and whiny) Luke Skywalker. Or even by the charming and charismatic Han Solo. Most disheartening, perhaps, is the fact that when you search ‘Princess Leia costume’, one of the first results is the infamous, hyper sexualised slave costume.
Compare that to Rey in The Last Jedi. She does not have any over sexualised costumes, she does not play the role of a just love interest and let’s not forget the fact that she could possibly be a Jedi!
Apart from strong female leads, let’s not forget about cultural representation. It cannot be denied that much of the first film featured mainly white actors. After seeing the first film, filmmaker John Landis apparently asked of George Lucas, “George, is everybody in outer space white?” Looking across the trilogies we can see the increase of actors of colour. Beginning with classic side characters like Lando, we now have lead characters like John Boyega’s Finn. Gracing our screens in 2018 as a young Lando in a Han Solo spin off will be Donald Glover, another actor (and all round cool guy) of colour.
So yeah, Star Wars is pretty important as far as films and franchises go. The whole franchise is the perfect concoction of action and drama. Of fan conspiracy theories and re-edits and everything else you can imagine.
No matter whether it’s your cup of tea or not, you can bet that I’ll be at the midnight release of The Last Jedi.
Oh, and the most important part of the whole Star Wars franchise?
Han shot first.