Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, the world was introduced to one of the most successful franchises to exist, spanning multiple genres and mediums. While its roots are grounded in Japanese cinema and the Westerns of the golden age, Star Wars over time has grown and evolved to become much more than that, opening the eyes of generations of viewers while becoming a central part in many people’s lives.
Whether it be for casual viewing or hard-core marathons, it isn’t hard to see the attraction of such a universe. If anything, it offers an escape from the sometimes bleak and depressing world we inhabit, showing fans that there can always be light found in the dark.
Despite nowadays having an abundance, some could say an oversaturation, of content in the sci-fi segment, back in the day Star Wars really filled a gap in the market that clearly the audience didn’t know they needed. There was obviously content coming from productions like Star Trek, but even there, there are some stark differences that set the two projects apart.
Speaking of fans, through the years, these films, particularly from the prequel trilogy, have proven that people’s views and perceptions on things can change over time. Similar to what Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen said a few weeks ago in an interview, in recent years there has been a lot more positivity shown towards films such as the prequels.
This has come partly as a result of the generation those films were meant for, growing up and finding a voice on social media platforms. It will be interesting to see, as a new generation of fans emerge, if a similar positivity will surround the sequel trilogy. Disney certainly seem to think so, as their new focus, in the film department at least, appears to be on sequel era content. An aspect of the Star Wars universe that appears more widely loved by those who watch them are the shows.
Read our review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Read our review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Read our review of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
Whether it be in the form of live action or animation, they enrich the franchise with an explosion of different journeys and cultures. This ranges from the detailed accounts of the Clone Wars conveyed from multiple view points, to the aftermath of the once invincible Galactic Empire, conveying the anarchy that ensues as the last remaining imperial ranks scurry to pick up the scraps and start again. It is amazing and promising to see this shift to comic book stories as it makes content easy to consume in high volumes, and also allows for greater expansion of the lore in a less restricted format, in terms of species and planet visualisation.
As the Star Wars universe evolves, so too does the mediums in which inhabit it’s stories inhabit. Starting on the big screen in 1977, the stories soon moved on to the silver screen, while finding success as video game titles, especially in recent years. One of the more intriguing areas that has seen substantial development in recent years has been the output of Star Wars comics.
These dive into new eras, such as The High Republic, while continuing to expand upon journeys that came before, like Legends material. Despite the comic market generally being considered a retiring era, Disney has made a big push lately to inject new life into the market, especially with the aforementioned release of The High Republic content.
Looking ahead, to the future of this rich galaxy, there is a lot to look forward to. With the conclusion of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show saving the hope of many fans for promising content in the future, fans have actually got some very exciting things to look forward to. For instance, the Ahsoka show, which promises to continue the amazing adventures of Rebels in a live action space. With more accurate Lekku and a plethora of confirmed, and potentially, returning faces, this show has the chance to be one of the best Star Wars Disney+ shows thus far. It will be especially interesting to see how shows like The Acolyte and Visions season 2 perform, focusing on unique aspects of the wider lore.
Of course, before that our screens will be blessed with Andor. This show seems the most promising as it appears to step outside the narrative comfort zone that Star Wars has taken as of late. The father, child trait has been done in basically every Disney+ Star Wars project, and while it is an integral part of the Star Wars brand, it would be refreshing to see different narratives moving forward, and it looks like Andor has the potential to do just that. It appears to focus more on the war aspect, between rebel groups and the empire, an aspect from Solo: A Star Wars Story, on Mimban that was very interesting and memorable to watch.
That being said, following the success of projects like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Rebels, the bulk of on-screen projects have appeared to heavily concentrate on the era of Star Wars concerning the inception, rise and fall of the Galactic Empire.
While this is a fascinating era, that for on thing has certainly introduced a wider range of troop variants in recent years, there is an abundance of eras to choose from that have yet to be properly explored on screen. Eras such as the Old Republic, or even the newer addition, The High Republic have yet to be properly explored in live action and animation, but with a number of projects yet to release, it is too soon to rule these eras out for the not too distant future.
Having just scratched the surface of the Star Wars content available to fans in this retrospective, it is clear to see that these stories resonate with a lot of people. Each generation is introduced to different eras at different stages and so will have a different respective on the material, just like the writers and directors with their unique take on stories and themes.
Regardless, Star Wars is a rich and expansive universe filled with an abundance of journeys and diversity waiting to be explored by fans. As the audience grows, so does the content, and so it would be unsurprising if this mammoth of a sci-fi property sticks around for plenty of future generations to enjoy.