What is there to say about Star Wars that hasn’t already been said? In the 44 years since it first came into our lives, it has spanned across all media, and has raked in around $70 billion in that time, so it was no surprise that Disney were prepared to stump up $4 billion for Lucasfilm in 2012. Since that purchase, there has been a whole new trilogy of films, two spin-off films, several animated TV series’, and the first Star Wars live-action series, as well as the usual plethora of merchandise and collectibles.
The lasting appeal of the franchise can be attributed to many factors, but it’s the last point mentioned above, the merchandising and collectability of the property, that really sets it apart from anything else (merchandise accounts for more than 50% of the $70 billion figure mentioned above). The deal George Lucas made with 20th Century Fox back in the 1970s has become legendary (Lucas kept ownership of the IP), and turned him into the richest man in Hollywood.
As we get closer to half a century since it hit the screen, new generations of fans are becoming obsessed with it and all things associated with it. My 6-year-old son has more Star Wars Lego than I have ever had, and I’ve been in love with the franchise for a lot longer than he has! Over the first lockdown in 2020, we watched all 9 films of the Skywalker Saga together, and he loved every minute of it. Of course the story is timeless and won’t be dated, but the prospect of getting to build and play with characters and items from the film is something that really appeals to him (he was even given a Darksaber for his birthday).
As with a lot of the collectible items that we at Fanattik stock, nostalgia plays a big part (and you can read my musings on nostalgia here). A lot of adult Star Wars fans today have loved it since childhood, and that never goes away. I don’t remember the first time I saw any Star Wars film, but I have very vivid memories of watching Return of the Jedi on VHS, recorded off the TV (adverts and all), in a house that I know that we moved out of when I was 5 years old, so I was pretty young. However, it’s by no means a kids’ franchise, with many a dark moment (the charred remains of Luke’s Aunt and Uncle appear just 40 minutes into the first film) throughout the saga. I still love watching the new films, regardless of quality, and often go to the midnight screenings on release day. The excitement of a new Star Wars film is like no other.
Its success has rarely waned, and doesn’t look like it will in the near future either, with new series and films on the horizon. And in my eyes, long may it continue!