Over the past few decades, Star Wars has become a favorite among millions of Americans, including many Timpview students. But why? When the saga was just getting kicked off in 1976 it faced many obstacles and had little chance of success. Once Star Wars came to theaters, few objected that it had become a massive icon. The franchise is making waves even now, forty-two years after its original debut. Say what you will about the films released more recently, but Star Wars has risen to amazing heights, inspiring generations and becoming a story to last at least as long as Yoda did.
I asked Timpview students about their love of Star Wars and how it’s influenced their lives. Senior Josh Hill, president of the Everything is Awesome club, is a fan of many things. This includes Star Wars, which he first became interested in when at a friend’s house. “We watched The Empire Strikes Back, the first Star Wars movie I saw.” He was hooked after that, and has been a huge fan ever since. Josh loves Star Wars because, as he says, “it’s something that lets my imagination soar.” He spends time building Legos with his brothers and connecting with others who share his interests. His favorite character is, ironically, a new face: the Mandalorian, though you never see behind his mask. But there are others clamoring for attention. “There’s so many…. [maybe] Baby Yoda?”
Why has Star Wars resonated so thoroughly in pop culture? Junior Jack Spence says “I think it helps that throughout all of it, they’ve got recognizable things like the lightsaber… that people can understand and connect [to].” This connection — something that has caused the development of books and TV series — adds to Jack’s enthusiasm for the saga as a whole. “I love how developed the universe is,” he says. “And how deeply they’ve expanded [it], so that there’s a whole world and not just one little story.”
It’s not just the students who are fans. Timpview principal Fidel Montero grew up with the saga, in a different way from our own experiences. “Watching Star Wars in Spanish was just weird. Imagine Yoda with a Spanish voice over.” His favorite character has had a profound impact on how Montero carries himself at school. “Chewie,” he says. “He doesn’t say much, but he’s totally loyal.” Seeing Montero in the halls between classes, with his loyal Wookie spirit, shows us that there is a little bit of our favorite walking carpet inside our favorite principal.
Although it is loved by many, that love is not universal. Some may wonder, if this franchise has so many controversial points, why be a fan? Why bother if your opinions will be challenged so often? Whether they love or hate the new additions to the series, all fans will agree that there is something special in these stories. Billy Dee Williams, who plays the beloved Lando Calrissian said in a behind the scenes feature, “It’s about good and evil. And what prevails, and what doesn’t prevail.” Stories like Star Wars aid us in our teenage struggle against the oppressive high school regime. Josh Hill has stayed optimistic and positive about Star Wars life, “because [Star Wars] has such a classic story… it’s something I grew up with and can connect to people [through].”
To get ready for the end of the Saga, you can watch the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker below.