It’s May 4th and that means that it’s Star Wars Day! Yes, yes, I know… I bring up a lot of these named holidays, but Star Wars holds a special place in my heart. The Star Wars universe has garnered a phenomenal following over the decades and has spawned several movies, television shows, cartoons and just under 400 books (and that number is still rising!)
Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV) came out in 1977. That was one year before I was born. But it was actually the second movie I had ever seen in my life to that point (the first one was Superman starring Christopher Reeve).
The Star Wars universe helped create my deep love for science fiction and space travel, and I was fascinated by the prospect of the Force. Everyone has always wondered at George Lucas releasing Episode IV before the first three episodes. But I’ve always been fine with it. I grew up on “A New Hope”, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. Having “Phantom Menace” come out in 1999 suited me fine, since it helped to fill the gaps in the storyline I had been enjoying all my life.
I had mixed feelings when George Lucas sold LucasFilms and by proxy, the Star Wars franchise, to Disney in 2012. But the movies that followed certainly did not disappoint. Now, I know that some people haven’t been overly fond of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi but I felt they were fantastic movies and the choreographed scenes were amazing. I’m anxiously anticipating Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
The part that really pissed me off is how the newer movies disavowed the canon storyline from the books. There are nearly 400 books; this includes paperbacks, graphic novels and I’ve read nearly all of them (cue the sad music and the hockey jocks in my high school calling me a nerd). A lot of those books fill in the history of the Star Wars universe and deserved better than to be tossed in the trash.
Believe it or not, the Jedi faith is followed as an actual religion. Having started with about 21,000 folks listing “Jedi” as their religion on the 2001 census, it’s built quite a following. It hasn’t gained official status as a religion in Canada, but I’ve seen weirder things.
Anyway, although a far cry from my usual postings, enjoy the day and take the time to enjoy a Star Wars movie or two. Like all holidays, today only comes once a year! ☯