Star Wars Turns the Big 4-0, and It’s as Influential as Ever

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far—no, wait, in our galaxy—there was a little boy who saw Star Wars. And then he saw it again. And again. And again.

He couldn’t afford any Kenner Star Wars playsets, so he made his own action figures and built a Millennium Falcon out of corrugated cardboard. When the family station wagon squeaked, he’d pretend it was R2-D2. He was given a plastic lightsaber for Christmas; it ran out of batteries in a week.

Star Wars turns 40 today, in case you haven’t heard. And I’m sure for a lot of folks, it’s just another anniversary. But for some of us of a certain age, Star Wars was really one of the seminal moments of our lives. One of my movie reviewing comrades divides the cinematic world between “BSW” and “ASW:” Before Star Wars and After Star Wars.

And even that may be selling it short. I can’t think of another movie property that has so thoroughly inculcated itself into our culture. Quick: how many characters can you name from Avatar? Jurassic World? Titanic? How ’bout any character? Now, how many characters can you name from the original Star Wars? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if more people know who Darth Vader is than Donald Trump. Its influence is that broad.

I’ve already geeked out about Star Wars plenty elsewhere. Jake Roberson, Adam Holz and I chat about Star Wars on Jake’s and my Fanboy and Know-it-All Podcast. I talk more about the movie’s cultural influence over at Plugged In.

But here, I thought I’d just re-introduce you the original Star Wars trailer … and maybe marvel that, after this came out, anyone wanted to see the movie at all.

 

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