by Adam Thas
If you’re paying attention at all to current politics and pop culture, you’ve obviously been made aware of the animosity and anger that has become the Boomer and Millennial generations. I don’t need to re-hash any of that and go into why the anger exists, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of the age gap and what that means. For those of you who don’t know, and don’t get the opportunity to interact with younger generations on a regular basis, I should note that I’m a High School teacher and getting older means little things. You find that your jokes don’t land as much. You can’t reference things like the “OJ Simpson Murders” or tell someone they’re looking very “grunge” without giving a brief history of the early '90s. Some things, however, go beyond time and culture and have become part of the lexicon of the past 40 years. That’s Star Wars.
I grew up in the '80s, and right as Star Wars seemed to be on the way out, another group of kids were introduced to the prequels. Sure, the impact of those original three may have been greater than those of the generation of the late '90s and early 2000s, but the point is it was there. In my 20s, I could have conversations with my younger siblings at a family party about Darth Vader and the merits of the Ewoks in freeing the galaxy. However, as the 2000s went on, it appeared that Star Wars was becoming creatively bankrupt, and while I enjoyed shows like Clone Wars, it didn’t have the same cultural impact as a movie had. It felt like Star Wars was going to get trapped in the past like so many other things that I’d loved growing up.
Then Disney happened.
The Force Awakens, it just needed to be decent, and I think it’s much better than that. I’ve enjoyed The Force Awakens; it’s a good movie. But that’s not why I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful for The Force Awakens because it means this thing I love didn’t die.