Star Wars a Divide Between Fans

The story of the Star Wars Community.

As the Star Wars saga comes to an end with the last movie, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”, many fans have come to the sudden realization that their beloved movies will truly end. It has been a long and fruitful journey through the mysteries and mystics that is the world of Star Wars. For many fans who have been born and raised by their legacies and journeys, it is time to look back at the beautiful saga that has shaped many.
We start our journey on May 25th, 1977 when the first Star Wars movie was released: “Star Wars: A New Hope”. The opening scene sets the stage with battle and action as a distant planet looms in the background and slowly, a colossus ship breaks into view, chasing down our newly discovered heroes. As the ship is boarded and the crew is massacred, we see a black knight walk through the carnage, single-handedly creating a legend that would live on for decades to come. There is something so warm about this first movie. It is like witnessing greatness fall upon your screen. The moment the movie was released, it birthed a new set of fans that would be rejoicing in this classic and unbroken media for decades to come.
Just three years later, a sequel was realized. May 21, 1980: “The Empire Strikes Back”. The movie begins on a cold and icy planet with no organic life as far as the eyes can see. Like the first one, this movie would change the industry forever. The movie is dark as we see our beloved characters fall and fail again. We see the enemies win fight after fight, each one taking a visible chunk out of the characters, and even our own souls. The movie ends with uncertainty as the empire looms in the background. As our characters, worn and defeated, gaze out into the empty cosmos, betrayal still left in the mouth, we are forced to grapple with something so foreign: defeat.
May 25th, 1983. “Return of the Jedi”. The movie starts as the last one ended: the empire winning and the construction of a new superweapon. Fear looms in our forgotten character’s faces as they grapple with the idea of losing. But then something happens. Our characters succeed and succeed and succeed. With each success, a bit of hope returns to us. As we near the end of the movie and have experienced these characters move from a state of loss and despair to hope and perseverance, we fear. Not of the charters losing, but this adventure ends. That once they succeed, the story will end. And as the movie ends with victory and applause, we are set to deal with something that has never crossed our minds: that their story will end.
On May 19, 1999 “Phantom Menace” is released. As many fans flock to the theaters to gaze into Geroge Lucas’s newest creation, the hype was at an all-time high. And just as hype rose, it fell as we witnessed a CGI blowout of cinematic failure. A bore-fest of epic proportions. The charm and wit of the first three movies were lost. The first time in Star Wars history, the fans had been divided, and from that point on, there was no turning back. Was the movie that much better though? Yes, there were unnecessary characters and entire plotlines kept unanswered too this day. But looking back, the movie has its charm. Its effects are still seen today from this point on a deep sadness infested and embedded itself into the Star Wars community. They were no longer movies; they had to be perfect.
May 16, 2002, “Attack of the Clones”, deep unrest swarmed around the toxic community that once was civil, now turned to vile hating machines. The movie starts with death and sadness as Anikan turns closer and closer to the dark side. Like Anikan the movie only fueled the hatred these “fans” had for the new saga. The movie had charm and new and interesting characters. The battles were few and far between, but when there was action, it was great. However, the toxic movie watchers were bent on the idea that these new CGI based movies would destroy the franchise. It was easier to succumb to hatred and petty nitpicks.
May 19, 2005, “Revenge of the Sith”. As people packed the theaters, preparing for the worst, they were taken aback as the fluid motions of starfighters and warships filled the screen. Excitement filled their eyes as tragedy, mistrust, and abandonment swarmed the scenes. This movie played out as the story Geroge Lucas wanted to tell. Anikan’s change to the dark side is equally disturbing and heartbreaking, as there was never good and evil, but just two different ways of thinking manipulated into war. As the final scenes roll out and you see two brothers fight and battle. You see the emotion pour out, no longer being able to contain itself. As fans left the theaters, the future of this saga was uncertain.
December 18, 2016, “The Force Awakens”. The hype was so strong. As it had been 11 years since the last film, the divide between fans had been dispersed. Theaters were packed, and as the opening credits rolled out, a new generation of fans had been born. For the first time in Star Wars history, new characters were thrown into the crossfire. Turmoil and despair stretched through the galaxy like never before. And just as the divide of fans had fallen, it was thrown up again. A sadness in the new fans, anger in the old fans. Once again, unrest was thrown and shoved through the fans. Turmoil again faced the fans.
December 15, 2017, “The Last Jedi”. Widely regarded as the worst Star Wars movie ever released, as fans’ outrage grew and their hate spewed all over the internet, everyone jumped on the hate train. The movie started with gags and goofs. The scene of one of the main characters pretending he can’t hear a supreme general over a holochat perfectly sums up the attitude this movie has for its beloved franchise. The movie was not all bad. As the line between good and evil becomes smaller and smaller we have begged the question: is there a bad side? The has never been as much hate for Star Wars as there was here.
As time inches closer to the release of this new movie, and fans are already preparing for the internet onslaught of hate and outrage, I am left feeling lost. These great movies and passionately built universe are being torn and tarnished just because they are not perfect. I ask a question. When did these films switch from being just movies to having to uphold the standards of perfection?