Star Wars light saber trails

Comparing old with new in the Star Wars universe (and the future of the franchise)

I remember the first time I heard the tune, “De-ne-de-ne de-ne-de-ne,” as these words flew through space telling me the backstory to the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars caricature of Kylie

I was much older when I first watched Star Wars; I was 19, living in Spain, and the people I knew were obsessed. It was 2004 and the second trilogy was in theatres. So I watched the first trilogy and fell in love. Even though the first three movies were from the 1970s and ’80s, it still resonated. The music, the characters, the story, the hope and despair … I was hooked!

Then the second trilogy came out in theatres, and even though there were Spanish subtitles, I absolutely loved it! The moment Anakin takes his first breath as Darth Vader, the chills, sadness, compassion—all overwhelmed, as you watched the downfall of this character. Many disliked the newer movies, and I wondered if it was because growing up, watching something, you became very strongly attached. Anything new is always never as good, and the nostalgia makes it hard to align to the newer movies.

But still people went, and 30 years later a new generation could join their parents. And then, even more recently, they launched the last trilogythe trilogy of trilogies—never done before.

So I put some questions to fellow Star Wars fans. When did you first watch Star Wars? How old were you? Who were you with? What do you think makes Star Wars so awesome and intergenerational? What do you think of the newer films and, now, the TV shows? Who is your favourite character, and why?

Here’s what they said …

Darryl Tait

“My first time watching Star Wars was with my parents, probably when I was about three years old.

“Of course, the action is always amazing and the mystery of space and life forms. For me, what really stands out is the wisdom and personal growth with each character—how the impact of events on a person’s life changes the outcome of our being. It makes it all so relatable. Everytime you watch it, you might learn a little something more than you did the last time you saw it.

“I was pumped on the new films! The throwbacks to the original films and how they tied it together, I thought was great, up till the very last one … That could have been improved because it felt rushed. 

“[The TV series] I fell in love with was The Clone Wars. People may think it’s a children’s animation show, but it has so much depth to it, you would be surprised, cause I sure was. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend it because the new live-action Star Wars shows, coming out from Disney Plus, have a lot of the characters from that series.

“Ashoka Tano is by far my favourite character! Warning—spoiler content ahead! When you’re first introduced to her, in The Clone Wars series, she’s just a new padawan (a.k.a. new Jedi student) studying under her master, Anakin Skywalker (who will later become Darth Vader). 

“In the beginning she seems like a cocky teenager, but throughout the series you grow with her—seeing the maturity, the heartbreak and loss of faith in the Jedi order—and she becomes something of her own. Her journey shows us [that] what we thought we were meant to be might not be the case, but it’s okay to change and leave what we love behind, to better ourselves for our future.”

Luke Sugden

“I watched Star Wars mostly with my brother. We loved the Battle of Hoth, the epic snow battle re-enacts well for Yukon kids. 

“[As for] the new movies, I like Rey and her story, but the rest I could do without. I haven’t gone back to watch them and, if I did, I would be leaning heavily on the fast-forward button. I was so annoyed at the last one; it took me a long time to watch Mandalorian.”

Conrad Kirkwood

“The first time I remember watching Star Wars was with my aunt and uncle at the movie theatre. Phantom Menace just came out, and they were visiting, so they took me to it. I probably saw the original trilogy, prior, but I can’t remember if I did or not, haha! Though I do remember loving PM (Phantom Menace), and that being one of my first major memories of SW! I was five years old at the time.

“I think the grandeur, mystery and sheer awesomeness of the technology is what makes it such an amazing story that captivates so many. There’s so many relatable characters, and it’s easy to envision oneself in the universe of SW (Star Wars), which leads to a desire to be a part of it.

“The recent trilogy I wasn’t a big fan of because I found they didn’t seem like they had a well-thought-out timeline of what is going to be happening and how it all affects each other. It also felt like they were trying to tell way too many stories in too short of a time, which in turn cheapened everyone’s character, which sucked because it seemed like they had some seriously amazing characters and stories to tell … but I just never felt like I had enough time to connect and care about any of them. I do have to say, though, [that] the three movies are extremely visually amazing! As for the TV shows, I’ve been loving them and I can’t wait for Kenobi to come out and for them to continue with more!

“For my favorite character, it would either have to be Grand Admiral Thrawn, or any of the clones from The Clone Wars cartoon. Thrawn, because I love his intelligence and that he isn’t really a bad person, but that he does what he does for strategical reasons of the Chiss Ascendency and what the Empire can offer them. As for the clones, I love the growth arc of them and their internal struggles of doing what’s right, even though they are basically slaves to the Republic/Jedi. I don’t know … it almost feels like they are more connected to their humanity than a lot of the Jedi or other characters.”

Star Wars light saber trails
Star Wars fan Darryl Tait uses a GoPro to capture a slow-motion light show with his blue lightsaber

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