Four decades. Non-fanatics are still astounded by the fact that a sci-fi trilogy of the late 70s made using tacky special effects, rubber puppets, miniature starships and what not, went on to become such a big cultural phenomenon with millions of ardent followers. Not kidding, there are people who literally live & breathe Star Wars – they happen to know every single movie by the frame (myself included). It wouldn’t be wrong to say that I was indeed raised on it, and that it’s like a family heirloom for me – but that’s not the only reason I’m crazy about it. There’s a reason why 3 generations of ardent fans wait desperately for the next film to hit the theatres, and it spans across all age groups & goes well beyond the realms of race & color – the cultural references & debates have no barriers. The most recent entry is still the highest grossing film in any franchise across the world, which makes me conclude – Star Wars is an experience, it isn’t just a set of 8 mainstream Hollywood flicks. And with Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hitting theatres next week, it’s high time you became a part of that experience. Marathon time, much?
What is it about the doomed romance between a cocky smuggler & a rebellion princess, or the tale of an underdog farm boy travelling halfway across the galaxy to rescue a damsel in distress whilst confronting one of the most heinous villains in cinema history that makes it so bloody entertaining? The original trilogy, which might seem a tad bit outdated to some folks by today’s standards & a bit tough to sit through, had a storyline so epic – it went on to earn 17 Academy Award nominations collectively back then, including one for Best Picture, and went on to win 9 of those. It opened doors for an entire generation of fanatics who had never experienced something so far beyond their imaginations back then. Strong female characters, unparalleled thrills, laser gun fights & epic lightsaber battles, cliffhangers to die for alongside an epic soundtrack – these are few of the thousand reasons why the saga warrants multiple viewings.
The series has 8 live-action films already (Episodes I-VII & Rogue One, which takes place between Episodes III & IV). I have my own order that I recommend to people just starting off –
And no, this ain’t the Machete order. I call it my Strategic Order. Here goes –
Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Trust me, once you’re through with all of them, you’ll be thanking me. It’s going to result in a lifelong obsession with something which is easily one of the greatest franchises in cinema history.
If you’re still not sold on Star Wars, that’s quite alright, my job isn’t to increase numbers of a fanbase that’s already the largest one on the planet. The reason for this post was to give you an understanding of exactly what you’ve been depriving yourself of, if you haven’t given it a shot already. It’ll take time for some to get into, but once you’re there, there is no turning back. And besides, it’s high time everyone starts getting those cultural references, wouldn’t you say?
And to the rest of the world who can feel the sheer excitement that I do for the upcoming Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, I’ll just say this – May the Force Be With You!
December 15th. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.