Star Wars – The Fans Awaken
30 November 2015 by Ashton Carter
Nearly 40 years after originally appearing on screen and 10 years after the latest instalment, Star Wars is set to make its triumphant return to cinemas this month with Episode VII: The Force Awakens. With the Wall Street Journal reporting that over $50m of tickets have already been sold, it is unlikely that the film will be anything other than a blockbuster hit.
These early sales have been encouraged by the reveal that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will be reprising their roles as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker respectively. Glimpses of these and other characters from the original trilogy have featured in the numerous trailers already released online.
After its release in 1977, Star Wars was met with critical acclaim, winning 7 of the 10 Academy Awards for which it was nominated and becoming one of the most financially successful films of all time. The sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were just as successful and firmly established the franchise’s place in film history.
However, the prequel trilogy which began with the release of The Phantom Menace back in 1999 received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, with the writing and a particular Gungan (who won’t be named, lest he appear) being the cause of most dissatisfaction. It will therefore be interesting to see whether The Force Awakens is able to recreate the success of the original trilogy or whether fans leave the cinema disappointed.
In addition to the cinematic success of the franchise, mention also has to be given to the ever-present merchandise that was spawned by the release of the films. Everything from toy lightsabers to Lego versions of the Millennium Falcon have been sold and there is little doubt that a whole host of new collectables will burst into existence immediately after the release of the new film, just in time for Christmas.
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