In 1977, “Star Wars” revolutionized film with its ability to draw in audiences young and old with other-worldly yet relatable characters. Nearly 40 years after the original, “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” hit theaters this week.
At age 9, David Filipi, director of film and video at the Wexner Center for the Arts, saw “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” for the first time, along with a crowd that stretched down the block and around the corner from the theater.
“When I was 21, it was unthinkable that you would meet someone who didn’t see ‘Star Wars,'” Filipi said. “Everyone saw it.”
The films played on timeless themes, such as good versus evil and overcoming obstacles, while also introducing the audience to new fantastical creatures and worlds, Filipi said.
For Richard Wilson, a third-year in international business and world politics, it was the “Star Wars” video games that caught his attention.
Wilson said that the simple life lessons in the games and movies taught him important values as a kid and inspires him to think more deeply about the symbolism behind the dark side and light side of The Force, a binding, metaphysical power that permeates the galaxy in the story’s universe.
“I’m excited for (the new movie) just because I’m a diehard ‘Star Wars’ fan,” Wilson said. “A lot of my friends think that Disney is going to ruin it with the new trilogy.”
While the new film from Disney will bring back familiar themes and beloved characters, Filipi said the spark from the original movies may be missing.
“It’ll certainly be popular, but whether or not it has that kind of lasting generational resonance that the original ‘Star Wars’ movies (had), I don’t know about that. I don’t see how it’s possible,” Filipi said. “Something will certainly be lost.”
Despite the controversy over Disney taking over the “Star Wars” universe, Filipi said he believes that the team behind “A Force Awakens” wants to be true to the legacy of the original films and produce something that makes fans proud.