As I enjoyed the latest chapter in the Star Wars film series, I wondered why it still remains popular. Watching the opening titles, “A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” still stirs emotions in me and audiences worldwide. The first Star Wars movie premiered when I was a high school senior and I saw it four times that first weekend. I was hooked.
In an article by WHYY’s Nick Field, the late Carrie Fisher explained the endurance of Star Wars: “It’s about family and that’s what’s so powerful about it.” “In the history of popular culture, there’s never been a cultural sensation quite like Star Wars,” Field wrote. “The original installment practically invented the modern blockbuster and still holds the record for most tickets sold in the post-World War II era.” According to Business Insider, the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, took in $220 million, the second-best opening weekend of all time at the domestic box office, and is the top movie of 2017. Altogether, the Star Wars franchise has grossed $7.7 billion worldwide. In addition, there have been several animated series and made-for-TV movies, hundreds of novels and comic books, dozens of video games, and more action figures and light sabers sold than one can imagine.
Thomas Willet recently wrote in The Oscar Buzz, “Many worship at the altar of Star Wars, and it’s likely that it embodies cinema better than any one movie could. It’s not just what’s in the 1977 film…but how audiences embraced it and made it a part of their everyday lives. It embodies the joy and unity of what cinema should do. It’s why the film will likely outlive humanity.”
Last week I quoted PR veteran Harold Burson who said, “Public relations is a combination of communication and behavior.” In Star Wars, the battle between good (the Force) and evil (the Dark Side) is deeply ingrained within our emotional DNA. It’s why Star Wars remains popular. The dazzling special effects and appealing, relatable characters consistently tell a story of good’s struggle, and eventual victory, over evil. That’s a powerful message. Your thoughts?
Merry Christmas to all!