Star Wars is been part of my life ever sine first saw The Return of the Jedi in 1983. Collecting the action figures so I could recreate scenes from the films and making my own adventures.
As I grew older it was always there, although more in the background. That is to say I watched the films on a regular basis, listening to the soundtrack and read the Marvel comics. Besides this there was hardly anything on the Star Wars front. I remember buying the game Rebel Assault II and seeing, for the first time in years, new live action footage. It was amazing! I played that game over and over. Some refer to that time as the "Dark Age" of Star Wars simply because it seemed there was nothing left. Except for the fans, but they had very little to go on.During the nineties everything changed. The films were re-released, games were developed and new stories were thought of and books were being written.It all came back! The expanded universe was created!
Over the years my love for Star Wars grew even bigger. When I heard about the prequels it seemed that it all exploded. New films, new stories, new characters ánd new action figures. When I saw the first trailer for the Phantom Menace I was psyched. I went to Edinburgh to see it two months before it hit the Dutch cinema's. I expected too much of it and was dissapointed. I couldn’t believe that George Lucas had this in mind as the beginning of the best trilogy (for me) in movie history.
“ Every Saga has a beginning” it seemed more as a cartoon, with some references to Star Wars. Even one of the most loved characters, Yoda, of the original films didn’t look like himself. Have look at this puppet.
I know the films were set before A New Hope but this was all sorts of wrong. But enough about the prequels. Star Wars was back because of the re-release and the prequels. Full Force and it has become part of pop culture (see art). When the news broke that Lucas had sold Lucasfilm to Disney the “world” held it breath, including yours truely. The fanbase seemed to be devided into 2 camps. The ones that saw the potential in this merger and the ones who didn’t and saw Lucasas a sell out ( mind you these are my own intrepretations of the things that happened).
I for one was a bit hesitant too. But when the news had sunk in I thought about what Disney had done with Marvel and about all the posibllities Disney could have in store for Star Wars. And boy did they deliver!
Meanwhile the Star Wars fandom went into an uproar. Star Wars was doomed some thought. But as time passed and ideas surfaced the negative turned to positive. Fans started to have trust in Disney and that they woould once again do the franchise good.
And now at the eve of the release of Star Wars the Force Awakens there seems to be a frenzy and Disney is feeding it, Fans, including myself, are taking the bait. When the first teaser launched people the frenzy for merchendise got even bigger. Everybody wanted in on the new Star Wars.
Disney even took it a step futher than no other company had done before. Force Friday, this event took place caroos the globe and it was the largest unboxing event ever. I must say well played Disney, it got fans hooked to YouTube for an 18 Hour event in which across the various countries in the world a new toy was unveiled. From Lego and Black Series figurines to the Sphero BB8 remote control droid. And than there are the brands of feed of the franchise but, too be honest, have nothing to do with Star Wars like Heineken. They can't can even carry the logo so I am guessing their brandmanager "likes" Star Wars. But, hé, they have people talking about it, so mission accomplished.
It seems there is more than when I was a kid. Retailers, restaurants, beer brands, tissue comapnies, Duracel, HPetc etc they all want in on the biggest cinematic experience for over 10 years. I love Star Wars but this frenzy, I don't know. To be fair, good things also come ftom it like Omaze's Force For Change and the campaign to support UNICEF and I believe it was great succes.
All I know is that the film is going to blow my mind. If J.J. does to Star Wars what he did to Star Trek it going to great.
Star Wars the Force Awakens is in cinemas now and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson,Daisy Ridley