Why We Love Star Wars

To celebrate May the 4th, the team at ITOL have decided to share their personal reasons as to why they love Star Wars and what the franchise means to them.  Enjoy! And, may the Force be with you!

Why I Love Star Wars by Bianca Garner

As a child I was your typical Tom Boy; I loved climbing trees, I hated Barbie Dolls and playing tea parties, and I preferred dressing in dungarees and having short hair rather than wear dresses. I loathed the colour pink with a passion. I wasn’t a huge fan of Disney films, (although I did have a soft spot for “The Fox and The Hound”) and I would prefer watching action films, in fact, my favourite film growing up was “Con Air”! When I was around the age of 10, I watched the original “Star Wars” trilogy on TV with my stepdad. I was blown away by the story of good vs. evil, and this fuelled my love for all things “Star Wars” related. I spent hours writing my own stories, where I was the last known Jedi (a female version of Luke basically) and had my own adventures with Luke, Leia and Han.

What I love about the original films is that you can clearly tell that George Lucas just wanted to tell a story that captured the spirit of old tales of knights, chivalry,  magic and damsels in distress. Yes, it’s hardly a mature or sophisticated piece of work but it captured the hearts and minds of so many young people growing up in the 80s and 90s. “Star Wars” made me feel inclusive and part of a community in a way that nothing previously had done so.

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Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in Star Wars (1977) © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

Although, I was never a fan of the prequels, I was really drawn to Natalie Portman‘s Padmé who I feel is a really underrated character. Padmé may not be a Jedi, but she has compassion and empathy for others which makes her very noble. She also plays a major role in politics in the world of Star Wars, which was the first time I had seen a female character in film have an important and crucial role in politics. Yes, Padmé and Anakin’s relationship is deeply problematic, and their dialogue is cheesy and cliched, but Portman still manages to present us with a character that feels very real. Her pleas to Anakin at the end of “Revenge of the Sith” are truly heartbreaking; she still holds compassion and empathy for others right up the very end.

By the time the new films had come around, I had outgrown “Star Wars” but I still adored aspects of the new films. Mostly, I’m glad to see that Daisy Ridley‘s Rey joins the rank of the wonderful women that make up the “Star Wars” universe and I hope the franchise continues to inspire boys and girls alike for many years to come.

Why I Love Star Wars by Nicole Ackman

I liked Star Wars growing up, but it wasn’t until “The Force Awakens” opened that my love affair with Star Wars was born. I had always admired Star Wars for its complex characters, its moments of humour in the midst of great struggle, its insistence that your family and your background don’t have to define you. But the sequel trilogy felt like the makers of the Star Wars universe affirming that anyone can have the Force, anyone can be important, anyone can make a difference. To see a world that I had previously liked and admired but with three unlikely science-fiction heroes at the helm (a woman, a black man, and a Latino man) is so special to me.

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Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) © 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rey is a character who is very dear to me for her perseverance, her strength, her belief in the ability to find good in others. I love that she is fierce and powerful, but still yearns for human connection; her love for Finn and BB8 and Leia is among her best qualities. I may not have been thrilled with the reveals about her parentage in “The Rise of Skywalker” (2019), but I will always have Daisy Ridley’s fantastic performance of a character who encouraged me to believe that I could be important too and for that, I’m grateful to Star Wars.

Why I Love Star Wars by Morgan Roberts

Rebel Yell: Jyn Erso, the Heroine of the Rebellion

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016) is the best Star Wars film.  And that’s the tea.

There are many things about the film that make it superb.  The attention to detail, the fast-paced plot, the fact that it feels like everything has been thought out – I’m looking at you prequels!  But the film (and let’s be honest, the whole rebellion) fall upon the shoulders of one person: Jyn Erso.

Eros (Felicity Jones) is a survivor.  For a quick recap, her mom was killed, her dad works for the bad guys and abandoned her, and she was raised as a fringe member, who hasn’t quite picked a side.  She knows the Empire is evil, but she sees the rebels as stupid optimists.

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Felicity Jones in Rogue One (2016) © 2016 – Lucasfilm Ltd.

But of course, she doesn’t spend the whole film feeling this way.  She learns her dad put a fatal flaw, the one that was mentioned in the first Star Wars movie, into the Death Star, and it becomes a catalyst for her.  She sees the value in hope, in perseverance. She goes to the greatest lengths to give the rebels the tools they will need to succeed.  That is why her demise is even more tragic.  She lost everything and still sacrificed herself for the rebels’ cause.  Because she saw the bigger picture.  She saw the ripple effects for change, for hope, and she did what was needed to ensure that the fight for justice would continue.

Seriously, what a badass.

Why I Love Star Wars by Susanne Gottlieb

Strictly speaking, Star Wars and I were off to a bad start. I had vague early childhood memories of watching a man in an icy landscape being stuffed into an animal body, only to be bubbling away a scene later in a water tank. Traumatizing stuff. Even the first proper effort of watching a Star Wars movie was doomed by a worn-out VHS and a disrupted audio track. How did I end up liking Star Wars as much as I did? Watching the original trilogy right before “Attack of the Clones” came out got me hooked, sure. I had only recently decided that Science Fiction was not that lame and weird after all. But I got to admit, living through the prequel days as a teen had a certain kind of magic.

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Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

In a time when there were not several tentpole movies by default planned over several years, when I and my friends would line up in the back of the theatre just to have a good laugh at how weird these movies were when interactive movie websites were not only a toy to play around with but also a learning opportunity, I had my first proper nerd out. Unravel the characters, their backstories, their homes, and their relationships to one another. I knew everything. Long before adult I even thought about the cinematic legacy of Star Wars, its roots in “Flash Gordon”, “Hidden Fortress” or eastern action films, there was flashy planet-hopping, awesome fight scenes, and a meet-up of the who’s who in early 2000s Hollywood. Star Wars was for me, like many others, a young love. Little hands-on reason, but great entertainment and storytelling.

Why I Love Star Wars by Alexandra Petrache

I remember the first Star Wars film I watched at the cinema because it was only a few years ago. As I was putting on my belt and the lightsaber to dress up as Obi-Wan for the midnight screening of “The Force Awakens” (2015), I reminisced about growing up watching the films on the TV with my dad. I remembered a little girl years ago saying “George Lucaaaaas” in an ecstatic voice when her dad asked her who directed the Star Wars movies, her favourites. She would cry the next day if she failed to get up to watch the films on TV (they were always being shown so late at night!).

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Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) © 2005 – Lucasfilm Ltd.

As a child, I was completely in love with the “Star Wars” universe (I still am, but please, don’t mention “The Last Jedi” to me, it is a sore spot). One of the characters I really admired and looked up to was Padmé Amidala (yes, I liked the prequels very much)- she was a kind-hearted and powerful leader. She was young, but wise and listened to her heart. Now, her heart did not save her in the end, but that’s another story. 

What are your memories and reasons for loving Star Wars? Let us know in the comments below!

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