India Kirssin | Staff Writer
Once again Star Wars fans will be able to experience adventures in a galaxy far far away.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in theaters on December 18 and fans of the franchise are gearing up for another addition to their beloved universe.
Directed by JJ Abrams, the new film is set 30 years after “Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi”, and will bring the famous trio of Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker back together. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher will be reprising their roles from the original three movies that spanned from 1977 to 1983.
The original three films were followed by prequels that came out between 1999 and 2005. While the three movies held important plot points to the franchise, many fans were let down because of the acting, and weaker storylines, according to Junior Spencer Walsh.
Walsh said the disappointment of the prequels, paired with the long wait in between films, is what has excited him the most for “The Force Awakens”.
“We haven’t seen a Star Wars movie in almost ten years and we haven’t seen a good one in almost thirty,” Walsh said. “I’m mostly excited to see what direction they are going to go in and seeing where it goes after thirty years of silence.”
English teacher Michelle Bruewer said the inclusion of the original trio is what has helped create hope among fans that this movie will be exponentially better than the last three that were released.
“It’s good that the original trio is is in it,” Bruewer said. “That is sending a clear message that they believe in the story. A lot of it is tying into the old films because it’s going to be satisfying to see what happened to Luke, Leia, Han, R2-D2 and C3PO after that big celebration (in Episode 6). I think it’s going to be a payoff for that.”
Advanced Placement Statistics teacher Steve Mays saw the original movies when they first came out and said the excitement over the franchise now is similar to the first time around, but with a few noticeable differences.
“I remember seeing “The Empire Strikes Back” which came out in 1980 and then I saw “Return of the Jedi”, which came out in 1983,” Mays said. “It was very exciting.”
Mays went on to say that social media has had a huge impact on how audiences experience movies today.
“It’s different now than it was a long time ago because all of the excitement was amongst your friends and you occasionally would see something in mainstream media about it,” Mays said. “There was buzz but it wasn’t being talked on about on Twitter or Facebook or things like that. The excitement was there, it was just a little bit of a different type of excitement.”
Star Wars’ longstanding success has many fans wondering what has kept it relevant for so many different generations.
Mays said “Star Wars” first became popular because it was one of a kind and its story was appealing to those of any generation.
“When it came out originally, the United States was just coming off of the Vietnam War and the Korean War and a lot of the movies during that time were dark, sad movies. Then all of a sudden Star Wars comes along,” Mays said. “The special effects were awesome, the story was very relatable because it’s a hero’s story and there were good characters, and it was different from anything else. So it exploded. (It) grabbed a whole generation of people young and old at that time and people loved it.”
Bruewer said she believes the movies have continued to be popular because the relatability of the stories still resonates with fans, even after so much time has passed since the movies were first released.
“The story is just brilliant, the characterization is brilliant, and the character arcs are awesome. It’s good writing at it’s finest and it’s good acting at it’s finest,” Bruewer said. “It’s something that we can all relate to because I think at some point we would all hope that something takes us out of the ordinary like what happens to Luke in “A New Hope”. We suddenly find that there is this potential in all of us that we didn’t know and it’s that idea that we all hope for something more,” Bruewer said. “But more than anything else the story is awesome.”
Star Wars fanatics are hoping “The Force Awakens” will be able to instill love of the timeless story in a younger generation. Walsh said the mix of old and new writers and producers working on the movie will help create a better tie to the original scripts and characters that started it all, hopefully bringing everything together for the new and old fans.
“They brought back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan who did the script for Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes back and JJ Abrams also worked on the script, so it’s a combination of a new perspective of someone who grew up with Star Wars and someone who created it to begin with,” Walsh said. “I think that’s a really cool combination because Star Wars is multi generational and is expanding in a way that no other franchise is really doing or has done.”
Sophomore Ranjani Ramasubramanian said the new addition to the franchise will help younger kids connect to Star Wars, but she isn’t sure what to expect because this is the first movie since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, creating some changes within the company.
“Most of the younger kids didn’t grow up with (“Star Wars”), but now that there is a movie they can watch it and experience it as it’s happening so it’s closer to their generation,” Ramasubramanian said. “I don’t know what to expect because now Disney is making it and the original six Star Wars movies followed a plot line and that plot line is complete, so they have to do something totally new. I hope they do a good job with it.”
Bruewer said she has seen her students getting more and more excited about the movie as the release date nears.
“They are really excited,” Bruewer said. “All of my junior bells asked to watch the trailer when it first came out. Even if they hadn’t seen the original trilogy they were like, ‘That looks really cool.’”
Walsh said that while he wishes more people would have already seen “Star Wars”, he thinks “The Force Awakens” will inspire those who haven’t been a part of the franchise to see what it is all about.
“It bums me out that a lot of people have not seen ‘Star Wars’ and hopefully this movie does really push people to check them out,” Walsh said.
Mays said the fans are coming to support the movie in full force because The Force Awakens includes favorites from the original classics.
“That’s part of the excitement for this one is they’re playing to the fans a little bit more,” Mays said