Examining family’s role popularity of the ‘star wars’ franchise



Junior Kate Love has been fascinated by “Star Wars” since she was about seven years old.

She said, “It’s kind of like a pop cultural legend … They just really kept it going, and now they’re rebooting it, so that’s probably one of the reasons it’s still really prevalent today.”

Since it was first conceived by American film director George Lucas in 1977, “Star Wars,” the epic space opera franchise, has retained its presence in society, becoming a cultural icon and reaching those who weren’t even born when the series first aired.

According to Kate, the series appeals to teenagers and young adults for a number of fundamental reasons.

She said, “I think it’s just the science fiction. Any time, even with ‘Star Trek’ or any old science fiction or science fiction from books that’s been rebooted into a movie, (it) kind of just grabs the attention, I think, of a lot of teens and adults now.”

In her case, Kate also said she believes her father, English teacher John Love, played an instrumental role in kindling her interest for “Star Wars.” In a similar vein, John said he remembers when his own father took him to see the first film when he was only seven years old.

“It was just something, I think, my dad and I could kind of share together. I would remember, too, after we would go see the movie or we would go out, I collected all the Star Wars figures when I was a kid (and I still have them),” Mr. Love said. “I think he enjoyed sharing that a little bit. I think it was one of those things where he kind of relived his childhood a little bit, too, through the films.”

Mr. Love said he probably also had a little bit of influence on Kate’s interests as she was growing up.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.24.45 PM“I think it’s just one of those things that your kids find some kind of common interest,” he said. “I have the films here (at school), and so oftentimes, when I would be here grading on the weekends or in the evenings, sometimes my kids would be with me, and when they were little I would just pop in a movie. That would be a movie that would be in the background, so I think sometimes they just kind of gravitated towards it.”

Junior Joseph Dobie, also a fan of the series, said he started to watch the movies from a young age, but he does not believe his parents played a large role in his feelings about the series. However, he does remember watching the movies with his family when he was younger.

He said, “I think it’s just something our parents have enjoyed more so, and they kind of showed us it, and we kind of said, ‘You know what? This is actually pretty cool.’ So, we go around and we spread it, and I think that’s why (it’s so prevalent).”

The next movie in the main series, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” will be released in December this year by Disney, who acquired the franchise in 2012. Even though some fans are concerned about Disney’s plans for the series, Kate said she has no worries.

“I think (it was a step forward), because Disney can do a lot with it. Disney has a lot of resources, and so there’s a lot they can do with the series. They had already, in their parks, a ‘Star Wars’ section, and they already had some TV shows going through one of their channels, so I wasn’t entirely surprised that they totally grasped it in their realm. I think it will make it do even better,” Kate said. “I’d just like it to continue to be good. That’s all I really want. As long as it’s still action-packed and has a good story behind it, they can pretty much do whatever they want.”

Despite constantly changing tastes and trends, Kate said she thinks “Star Wars” will be able to retain its popularity in the future.

She said, “It’s such a pop culture icon, I think, that it will maintain throughout. Whether or not they continue it as a series, I think it will still be well known years later.”