Earlier this week was the 32nd anniversary of the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, and May 19th was the 10th anniversary of The Phantom Menace. These two anniversaries have gotten me thinking a little about just what Star Wars means to me. The initial answer is: quite a lot.
Depspite my participation with the 501st Legion, owning a ton of the books, comics and being able to quote the films, I've become far less of the rapid fanboy that I was at one point. I recognize some of the major flaws with the films, want to throw things at the television with any number of annoying characters and have absolutely no patience for the endless discussions about the exact length of a Super Star Destroyer on message forums. Yet, I go back for more with new novels, and will don my armor for events.
I first saw the movies with my Dad in 1997 when the special editions were released. I knew about the films, but after the first screening, I was absolutely hooked. A couple years later, I discovered the books, and went on to grab as many as I could while waiting for The Phantom Menace. When that was released in 1999, I absolutely loved it. I didn't care that Jar Jar Binks would be reviled anad that the film would be relegated to the bottom of the inevitable lists that appear on websites. It had lightsabers, space battles and new planets, and I loved it for that. The same went with Attack of the Clones, although you can add on the Clone Troopers to that list, which I still like. By the time Revenge of the Sith came onto the big screen, I had my own set of armor, but a more cynical attitude towards the films and franchise, largely from watching Firefly and a number of other features that were more story-driven, rather than effects driven.
While my love for the franchise has cooled significantly, it's certainly a series that I can still go back to for regular enjoyment. Looking back on the films, I realize that it's not so much the individual movies, but the overarching storyline of good vs. evil that I really have come to love, and this is certainly one that has grown far more than what it was originally envisioned to be. True, that's mainly because they can make money from the people willing to part with it, and I'm okay with that. True, the prequels had their significant low points throughout, but honestly, I look more towards the memories that I have of the films, the anticiption, conversations with friends and that excitement as I watched them, more than I really care about the story at this point.