7 Reasons Everyone Should Watch Star Wars (At Least Once)

7 Reasons Everyone Should Watch Star Wars (At Least Once)

Do, or do not. There is no try.

I’m a movie guy. I have so many favorites, but no story stuck with me as a child, and still today as an adult, as much as Star Wars. I was justifiably horrified when my girlfriend told me that she had never seen any of the Star Wars movies. I had to think of at least one reason for her to watch the movies other than “my boyfriend won’t shut up about it”. Instead of one, I came up with seven.

Disclaimer: I am going to spend my time here arguing primarily for the original trilogy ("A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi"). I actually like the prequels and I love "The Force Awakens," but they haven't provided as much inspiration and fun as the original trilogy.

1. They’re actually really good films.

Before I get to the other reasons, I have to start here. The original Star Wars trilogy is a collection of phenomenal movies. These movies aren’t just cult classics, they’re critically acclaimed and widely praised films. Yes, Star Wars fans are among some of the most devoted and passionate fans of any media on Earth, but appreciation for these movies goes far beyond the diehard fans. Both "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back" are in the IMDB top 20 at spots 20 and 12 respectively. It says quite a bit for these movies to be ranked so highly as science fiction movies are usually maligned by critics and not appreciated by the film community. "The Empire Strikes Back" is, in my opinion, is the best coming-of-age story ever told. It develops the character of Luke from a whiny teenager into a wise and powerful man in such a believable way, not to mention the metaphors and imagery that elevate it to a whole new level.

2. They changed the game.

Every now and then, a movie comes around and reshapes not only a genre, but the film industry as a whole. "The Wizard of Oz" did it in 1939 when it switched from black and white to color. Moviegoers’ jaws across the country dropped when Clark Gable uttered his famous words, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” in "Gone With the Wind," marking the first time a curse word was used on the big screen. "A New Hope" did all that and more when it was released in 1977. The special effects used in this movie revolutionized moviemaking. George Lucas created the company Industrial Light and Magic in order to produce the effects for "A New Hope." ILM is still one of the most used effects companies in Hollywood. The technology developed to make the Star Wars movies also led to the creation of the first Pixar computer, which helped create eight Oscar winning movies. Imagine growing up in a world without "Toy Story." Terrifying.

3. It literally busted the block.

"A New Hope" was one of the first blockbusters. The movie "Jaws" was the previous box office king, but it didn’t have the impact that "Star Wars" would have. "A New Hope" shattered box office records. In total, the saga has generated almost $3.2 billion at the box office alone, not including toy, video game, or apparel sales. The term “blockbuster” was coined because of these movies. Lines to see all of the original trilogy movies were so long that they wrapped around the block unlike they had for any other movies before.

4. The score, dude, THE SCORE.

"The Imperial March" might be the most well known piece of music from a movie, not to mention the main theme. John Williams is one of, if not the most, accomplished film composer ever. The great music is not limited to just the original trilogy. Even "The Phantom Menace," which is, by many fans’ accounts, disappointing at best and blasphemous at worst, still provides us with a fantastic track in John Williams’ "Duel of the Fates." "The Force Awakens," the highest grossing movie in history, also came with a beautiful new song in "Rey's Theme." Williams has gone on to compose other fantastic scores for "Saving Private Ryan," "Schindler's List" as well as the main themes for the Harry Potter movies.

5. It teaches great lessons.

The Star Wars saga offers so many life lessons. Many of these come in moments of teaching for Luke. He, and by proxy, the audience, are taught the power of belief, not only in others, but in ourselves. These are not lessons exclusive to Star Wars of course. Even my high school football coach used to say, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right," an echo of the words spoken by Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back." However, the most important message that this trilogy delivers is the power of forgiveness. Ultimately, as George Lucas has stated, the original trilogy is about the redemption of Darth Vader. "Return of the Jedi" demonstrates how life-changing and beneficial forgiveness can be. These films teach us that no one is beyond repair, and that deep down, everyone is worth saving, despite how lost they may seem.


The Star Wars saga has absolutely invaded pop culture. One of the reasons for this is that the movies are just so quotable. For example “No, I am your father.” (Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back"), “Do or do not, there is no try” (Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back") or “It’s a trap!” (Admiral Akbar in "Return of the Jedi") pop up all the time in other TV shows and movies. These quotes pop up in memes and throughout pop culture all the time. Star Wars might provide the most unique memes out of any franchise ever. "Family Guy" did an entire three-part, full-length parody series of the original trilogy. Other popular shows like "The Simpsons" and "That 70s Show" have also parodied these films. One of the most popular film series of the last decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, pays homage to Star Wars by having one character lose an arm in each of its “Phase 2” movies. Additionally, in "Captain America: Civil War", Spiderman, portrayed by Tom Holland, doesn’t even attempt to be subtle and straight-up said that he was taking his tactics directly from "The Empire Strikes Back."

7. It’s so iconic.

The characters of Star Wars are some of the most well-known and iconic in all of movies. From Darth Vader and Yoda to Han Solo and R2-D2, these characters have transcended the silver screen and turned into parts of culture. Darth Vader toys are still being sold 33 years after the release of "Return of the Jedi." The design team did a spectacular job of crafting a world that subtly used culture and history to nonverbally communicate character traits and motivations. For example, Darth Vader's suit, inspired by the uniforms of Nazi soldiers, as well as the voice acting of James Earl Jones, displays menace and evil so perfectly that this character has become the archetype for movie villains. Yoda, a character whose appearance is based on that of Albert Einstein, conveys wisdom in a way that mirrors the man who inspired his character. Harrison Ford, one of the biggest movie stars of his generation, used his role as Han Solo as a springboard into superstardom. The exposure he got from playing Han Solo allowed him to go on to play another iconic movie figure in the Indiana Jones franchise and even the president of the United States in "Air Force One."

These movies, the fandom they inspire, and the impacts they have had on moviemaking are here to stay. It is so rare that a 40 year old movie resonates so well with an entirely new generation. If you are one of those people who have gone their whole lives without seeing the original Star Wars trilogy, please, for your own sake, go watch them.

Cover Image Credit: CNet

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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