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Ten Reasons I Still Believe In Star Wars

  • Jan 3, 2012
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Okay, before I go too far, I want to explain what I mean by "I Still Believe In Star Wars."  I do not think that characters like Darth Vader or Han Solo actually exist (although that would be cool).  I'm perfectly capable of keeping a level head on reality.  Nope, what I mean when I say that I still believe in Star Wars is that despite all of the junk that has been put out since the original trilogy, there are still bits and pieces of George Lucas' universe that manage to capture the heart and soul of those old films. 

What exactly is the heart and soul of Star Wars?  To me it is the "gee whiz" aspects of the story such as the X-Wing Fighters and lightsabers.  These types of things are just too fun not to to enjoy seeing on the screen.  I also believe that the heart and soul of Star Wars is the bravery of characters like Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, and even Darth Vader in that moment when he doubted his alliances.  The heart and soul is also the wonderful mythologies that Lucas drew from to create his original trilogy.

So, now that I've established what I mean when I say I still believe in Star Wars, here's a list of things that have come along post-original trilogy that make me enjoy all of the chaotic mess that has become the prequel and expanded universe vision of Star Wars.

1
Captain Rex
Of all of the characters that were born from the chaos of the prequels and the animated film, Captain Rex is the most intriguing.  In the animated film, Rex proves his loyalty time and again to the Republic and the Jedi, particularly Anakin Skywalker.  He develops a close friendship with Skywalker and also takes the padawan Ahsoka Tano under his wing.  He also draws a lot of respect from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

In the series, Rex has become a key component to the story.  As hard as the clones try to set themselves apart from each other physically, Rex stands out for his courage and his intellect.  As the show has gone on, he has become an individual who questions authority and even faces off against the Jedi General Krell when he believes he is making poor military decisions.  He also uncovers a dark secret about Krell and takes actions that mold him even more.

Rex does not appear in Revenge of the Sith, and there are many questions as to what his fate might be.  I'm sure that we will find out what happens to him soon enough in Star Wars:  The Clone Wars.


2
Timothy Zahn
Beginning with the Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn began a lengthy and popular career as an author in the Star Wars expanded universe.  His work, in my opinion, best captures the heart and soul of the original films.  As I read his Thrawn trilogy, I could literally hear John Williams' musical score playing in the background. 

He created Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the EU's most popular characters, as well as Mara Jade, the eventual wife of Luke Skywalker. 

His work kept the franchise alive while Lucas figured out what he was going to do for the prequels and waited for technology to catch up with his ideas.
3
Darth Maul
I'll admit right off the bat that I hated Darth Maul when I first saw him in promotional artwork and items for The Phantom Menace.  I felt as if George Lucas was intentionally pushing the character on people in the hopes that Maul would become the next Boba Fett.  In other words, I believed that Lucas tried to force Maul to be the mysterious silent predator in the prequels.

I was right, to a point, but Maul proved to be one of very short list of high points for the first film in the prequel trilogy.  He was a mysterious and silent predator.  He was very cool looking.  He was the Boba Fett of the prequels.  Of all of the Sith that have come along over the years, Maul is the first and only one that I actually cheered for.  He took on two, TWO, Jedi at the same time and actually killed the Jedi master of the pair.  He would have killed Obi-Wan Kenobi as well, if he hadn't let his ego get in the way.

The character eventually took on a whole new life in the EU.  Much like Boba Fett, Maul miraculously escaped his seemingly fatal end and thrived in both the books and the animated Clone Wars series. 


4
3-D Technology
George Lucas noted in 2011 that he would be re-releasing all of the Star Wars films in 3-D.  If any films would benefit from this technology, it would be the prequels.  They look like they should be in 3-D.  Just look at the Skywalker/Kenobi/Wesell chase scene on Coruscant or the battle on Kashyyyk.  These are just two of the many examples of scenes in the prequels that would actually benefit from being in 3-D.

Sure, it's gimmicky, but as much as Lucas has altered his films over the years, this is one alteration that adds to the "gee whiz" factor of the Star Wars universe.


5
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Better than all of the prequels in my opinion, Star Wars:  The Force Unleashed was a hugely successful video game/book/comic that bridged the prequels and the original trilogy.  It told the story of Darth Vader's dark apprentice, Starkiller, who struggled with the ideals of both the Jedi and the Sith as he was sent out on missions by Vader.

The story also introduced fans to Juno Eclipse, Starkiller's love interest, as well as a number of Jedi and would-be Sith, many of which would live on in the EU books.

The story of Starkiller was brilliant.  It showed that even video games can have better tales than the Star Wars prequels and animated series.


6
Carrie Fisher

Despite having long battles with her weight, bipolar disorder, and numerous addictions, Carrie Fisher keeps coming back.  While her career hasn't reached the heights that it did during her time as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, Fisher has managed to have steady work and even wrote two popular books, Postcards From The Edge and her autobiography.

Of all of the major characters from the Star Wars universe, Fisher is the primary one to attend conventions and reach out to fans.  I personally know people who have met her and they said that she was a wonderful lady to talk to. 

Even though she has fallen back on her old addictions many times, Fisher remains a fighter and has embraced the fame she received from her work in the Star Wars universe.


7
Star Wars Celebration
Since 1999 there have been conventions that celebrate everything Star Wars.  These conventions are known simply as Star Wars Celebration.  Conventions have been held in the United States, England, and Japan.  Each one focuses on a specific film from the series, and allows fans of Star Wars to get together, meet some of the actors from the series, talk about the films they love, and even catch a glimpse of George Lucas from time to time.

These events are crucial to the existence of Star Wars.  Without them, the films, books, and toys would likely fall to the wayside and be just another piece of pop culture history.  Star Trek fans have been doing the same thing for that franchise for years and as a result, that series has remained prominent in the science fiction community.

As these events get larger, the Star Wars community gets stronger, and it has proven to be one of the biggest science fiction fan communities in the world.  Once laughed at by so-called "intelligent" science fiction fans, Star Wars has proven that it has plenty of life in it.


8
Jeremy Bulloch
I know I've harped on Jeremy Bulloch a lot on this site and on others, but I just can't help how much I admire this man.  If any single person best represents the heart of a franchise, it's Bulloch.  He took his few minutes of screen time as Boba Fett and became an international star.  Why?  Because he reaches out to fans, joins them at multiple events each year, and genuinely appreciates meeting and talking with them. 

While many celebrities (many whom have less than stellar careers) nickel and dime fans and are often rude to them, Bulloch appears to enjoy each moment with them.  I've personally met him and the first thing I noticed about him was that unlike many celebrities at conventions and signing events who sit behind a desk and passively autograph whatever the fan has enough money to pay for, Bulloch stood on the "fan side" of the table, personally shook the hand or (in the case of really excited fans) embraced them.  He spent a few minutes with each person and then graciously posed for photos.

I also witnessed him give a friend of mine a free autographed 501st card when my friend told him that he was getting an autographed photo for a person unable to attend the event we were at.  Bulloch is a wonderful person and a shining example of the heart of Star Wars.


9
Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano, Padawan of Anakin Skywalker, represents each and every child that has ever watched anything to do with Star Wars.  She is the character we all want to be.  She is the perfect representation of "gee whiz" in the Star Wars universe.  When she battles characters such as Asajj Ventress, it is easy for youngsters and the young at heart to put themselves in her place. 

She's the one character outside of Anakin and Luke Skywalker that we get to see age and develop form an adventurous child to a daring fighter and leader.

Voiced by Ashley Eckstein (who is also a credit to the Star Wars universe), Tano injects fun into the Clone Wars film and television series.

Her fate is one of the most talked about subjects among Clone Wars fans.  In fact, I'd say that she's almost as popular as Captain Rex. 



 


10
The 501st Legion
As far as fan groups go, few can match the loyalty and dedication of the 501st Legion.  Vader's Fist, as the group is often referred to, features fans who craft and create their own armor representing the "bad guys" of the Empire from Star Wars.  They have strict requirements on allowing new members, making sure that the costume prospective members build are screen accurate. 

Creating the costumes can be quite tedious, expensive, and time consuming.  People who make it into the 501st are some of the most dedicated fans around.  I personally know many of them, ranging from Stormtroopers to TIE Fighter Pilots, Imperial officers and even a Darth Vader.

The group makes appearances at conventions, charity events, and events that celebrate Star Wars.  They do all of this for free, requesting only that a donation be given to select charities in the name of the 501st.

Many of the 501st members that I know actively support the Toys For Tots toy drives in Louisiana.  Their appearances in front of department stores actually increases the amount of toys donated, as people will drop off a toy for needy children as a "thank you" for letting their own children or themselves snap a photo with characters such as Boba Fett and Darth Maul.

The group's charitable works have gotten so much recognition that George Lucas has made sure that the group became a canon legion in the Star Wars universe.

Of all of the reasons I list here as to why I still believe in Star Wars, the 501st is one of the biggest.  Why?  Because it's a fan group that celebrates what they love most and they help out those who are less fortunate expecting nothing but a smile or a handshake in return.


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January 05, 2012
I loved the Force unleashed. The Second one I like to Pretend it dosent exist.
 
January 05, 2012
Awesome list. But 3D? Really? REALLY?!
January 05, 2012
Think about it. If any "Star Wars" movie was made to look better in 3D, it would be the prequels. Just the Coruscant scenes would have been cooler to watch. Granted, the story itself wouldn't be any better, but think of it this way: If "Avatar" had been released only in good old fashioned 2D, I don't think it would be such a loved film. In fact, when I saw it in 2D, I focused more on the very unoriginal story and didn't care for the film. A lot of people I talked to who saw it in 3D first did nothing but brag on the visuals. When it was released on DVD and they scooped up this film they loved so much, they realized just how bland the story was.
January 05, 2012
I guess I can give the benefit of the doubt on the Avatar example. I never saw it in 3D, and man, did I hate it.
 
January 05, 2012
Great pictures.
 
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About the list creator
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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