Fandom Exploration: Star Wars

Star Wars was the beginning of it all for me. Like I mentioned in our Heck Yeah Tumblr Challenge that my introduction to Star Wars was much more "grandeous" than most. My Dad held Star Wars tight to his heart. It was so tightly guarded I don't remember ever watching it until it was re-released in theatres in the 90's. Yes, it's true. My Dad held out showing me one of his favorite movies of all time until I could watch it the same way he did; on the BIG Screen. I always thought that they had re-released it for just some normal reason, but I'm enough of a geek to know now that LucasFilm released the movie because they had updated tons of CGI and wanted to make sure the movie was updated...and of course Box Office revenue.

I totally bought into the magic though. There was a huge part of me that felt like my Dad, the uber-nerd, had done something magical by gaining me access to Star Wars on the big screen. Actually, there is still a part of me that feels special because I got to see Empire Strikes Back much like the rest of the older members of the Fandom. With stars much bigger than me rushing at my head in an incomparable way... it was magic. My Dad held onto that for me. He would let re-runs of Star Trek play for hours in our home, but Star Wars was sacred. It explains the A2-D2 doesn't it? It isn't just my love of Star Wars, it represents all of the things that I love about Nerdom...almost all of which my Dad introduced me to.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be writing a series of Fandom Blogs. These Blogs are meant as a "Introduction" to a Fandom. If you don't belong to the Fandom, this is what you need to know. Think of it as a "Newbies Guide" to the Fandom.

We begin with Star Wars of course!

Star Wars is best described as an "American space opera film" and was created by George Lucas. There are six films in the series, seven if you count The Clone Wars. They were first released on May 25, 1977.

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) 

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) 

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) 

The Clone Wars (2008) 

It is important to note that Episodes I, II, III are prequels to the original three films and the majority of the characters that feature in those film are merely referenced in the original three films. 

Star Wars is basically a epic poem in film. The Journey, The Chosen One, The Moral Dilemmas, even down to The Pest characters in Episode I...anyone have any idea of who that is?... all of these items are part of the classic storytelling format we have learned and loathed through high school and college. He also uses the ideas of chivalry, knighthood, and princesses to represent the fantasy genre and in many instances reminds us that democracy is always preferred over a dictatorship. Lucas has stated that the fall of the Republic is mostly modeled after the fall of the Roman Republic. You seeing the tie in from the epics poems of years past? 

For those of you interested here is a plot overview that I found, where else, on Wikipedia. Yes, I do research for a living

The original trilogy begins with the Galactic Empire nearing completion of the Death Star space station, which will allow the Empire to crush the Rebel Alliance, an organized resistance formed to combat Emperor Palpatine's tyranny. Palpatine's Sith apprentice Darth Vader captures Princess Leia, a member of the rebellion who has stolen the plans to the Death Star and hidden them in the astromech droid R2-D2. R2, along with his protocol droid counterpart C-3PO, escapes to the desert planet Tatooine. There, the droids are purchased by farm boy Luke Skywalker and his step-uncle and aunt. While Luke is cleaning R2, he accidentally triggers a message put into the droid by Leia, who asks for assistance from the legendary Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke later assists the droids in finding the exiled Jedi, who is now passing as an old hermit under the alias Ben Kenobi. When Luke asks about his father, whom he has never met, Obi-Wan tells him that Anakin Skywalker was a great Jedi who was betrayed and murdered by Vader. Obi-Wan and Luke hire the smugglerHan Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca to take them to Alderaan, Leia's home world, which they eventually find has been destroyed by the Death Star. Once on board the space station, Luke and Han rescue Leia while Obi-Wan allows himself to be killed during a lightsaber duel with Vader; his sacrifice allows the group to escape with the plans that help the Rebels destroy the Death Star. Luke himself (guided by the power of the Force) fires the shot that destroys the deadly space station during the Battle of Yavin.
Three years later, Luke travels to find the Jedi Master Yoda, now living in exile on the swamp-infested world of Dagobah, to begin his Jedi training. However, Luke's training is interrupted when Vader lures him into a trap by capturing Han and his friends at Cloud City. During a fierce lightsaber duel, Vader reveals that he is Luke's father and attempts to turn him to the dark side of the Force. Luke escapes and, after rescuing Han from the gangster Jabba the Hutt, returns to Yoda to complete his training, only to find the 900-year-old Jedi Master on his deathbed. Before he dies, Yoda confirms that Vader is Luke's father. Moments later, Obi-Wan's spirit tells Luke that he must confront his father before he can become a Jedi, and that Leia is his twin sister.
As the Rebels attack the second Death Star, Luke battles Vader as the Emperor watches; both Sith Lords intend to turn Luke to the dark side and take him as their apprentice. During the subsequent lightsaber duel, Luke succumbs to his anger and brutally overpowers Vader, but controls himself at the last minute; realizing that he is about to suffer his father's fate, he spares Vader's life and proudly declares his allegiance to the Jedi. An enraged Palpatine then attempts to kill Luke with Force lightning, a sight that moves Vader to turn and kill the Emperor, suffering mortal wounds in the process. Redeemed, Anakin Skywalker dies in his son's arms. Luke becomes a full-fledged Jedi, and the Rebels destroy the second Death Star.
The prequel trilogy begins (32 years before the original film) with the corrupt Trade Federation setting up a blockade of battleships around the planetNaboo in response to the Galactic Republic's taxation of trade routes. The Sith Lord Darth Sidious had secretly planned the blockade to give his alter ego, Senator Palpatine, a pretense to overthrow and replace the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. At the Chancellor's request, the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, a younger Obi-Wan Kenobi, are sent to Naboo to negotiate with the Federation. However, the two Jedi are forced to instead help the Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, escape from the blockade and plea her planet's crisis before the Republic Senate on Coruscant. When their starship is damaged during the escape, they land on Tatooine for repairs, where Qui-Gon discovers a nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon comes to believe that Anakin is the "Chosen One" foretold by Jedi prophecy to bring balance to the Force, and he helps liberate the boy from slavery. The Jedi Council, led by Yoda, reluctantly allows Obi-Wan to train Anakin after Qui-Gon is killed by Palpatine's first apprentice, Darth Maul, during the Battle of Naboo.
The remainder of the prequel trilogy chronicles Anakin's gradual descent to the dark side as he fights in the Clone Wars, which Palpatine secretly engineers to destroy the Jedi Order and lure Anakin into his service. Anakin and Padmé fall in love and secretly wed, and eventually Padmé becomes pregnant. Anakin has a prophetic vision of Padmé dying in childbirth, and Palpatine convinces him that the dark side of the Force holds the power to save her life. Desperate, Anakin submits to Palpatine's Sith teachings and is renamed Darth Vader.
While Palpatine re-organizes the Republic into the tyrannical Empire, Vader participates in the extermination of the Jedi Order, culminating in a lightsaber duel between himself and Obi-Wan on the volcanic planet Mustafar. Obi-Wan defeats his former apprentice and friend, severing his limbs and leaving him to burn to death on the shores of a lava flow. Palpatine arrives shortly afterward and saves Vader by placing him into a mechanical black mask and suit of armor that serves as a permanent life support system. At the same time, Padmé dies while giving birth to twins Luke and Leia. Obi-Wan and Yoda, now the only remaining Jedi alive, agree to separate the twins and keep them hidden from both Vader and the Emperor, until the time comes when Anakin's children can be used to help overthrow the Empire.

To even attempt to identify the mark that the Star Wars franchise has left on pop culture is, pardon my language, damn-near impossible. I mean, it is every where in some form or fashion. And it is great. My favorite character is tough to nail down, although I am partial to R5-D4. The big news of late is that Disney has acquired the production rights to the Star Wars franchise, with Lucas still being the creative force behind the films. JJ Abrams will direct, at least the next Star Wars film which is set for release on December 18, 2015. You can find the upcoming cast list here. Yes it does include most of the original cast which is awesome

Next Fandom blog will cover...the Whodom. Hope all is well with all the readers out there. I am currently on my way to Washington D.C. for a week of conferences and meetings. I will keep y'all posted on the awesomeness happening from up here. I wish Seven of Nine could be here with me, you all have to no idea what kinds of trouble we could get ourselves into! As always, stay exceptionally chic and exquisitely geek! 

P.S. Special thanks to Delta for allowing Blog Creating/Publishing to happen from 30,000ft. This in flight Wi-Fi is wonderful! 

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