May 4 is the unofficial holiday celebrating the
Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas, observed by movie fans around the world. Fans of The Force and the Star Wars franchise are excited about what comes next.
by Jeremy Fuscaldo
Nearly 38 years ago a coming of age space trilogy premiered, thrilling its adoring fans for generations.
The original Star Wars trilogy told the tale of the young farm boy Luke Skywalker, who would go on to learn the ways of the Force, under the guidance of a mysterious Jedi named Obi-Wan, join the Rebel Alliance to take down the Galactic Empire, and face the infamous Darth Vader. A creative collaboration amongst the previous generation of filmmakers (George Lucas, Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand), the trilogy included the Star Wars (subtitled “A New Hope”), The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Filled with memorable moments, from Luke trusting in the Force to blowing up the Death Star, to Darth Vader telling Luke who was his real father, the impact of Star Wars was felt by sci-fi fans and film makers alike.
Over the years, Lucasfilm modified the original films for VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray to include updated computer-generated scenery, additional scenes, and revised scenes with new actors. George Lucas wrote and directed a prequel trilogy from 1999 to 2005, detailing the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker.
However, many fans were not thrilled with the changes made to the original films. Others remained divided over how Lucas handled the prequels. Eventually, this gave way to rising voices such as RedLetterMedia (famous for their Star Wars Prequel reviews), and HelloGreedo (a website devoted to Star Wars trivia). As a result of the direction that the franchise was headed, fans were doubtful of the saga’s future.
But in October 2012, the franchise received its own New Hope when Walt Disney Studios acquired LucasFilm amd announced plans for a sequel trilogy with spinoffs produced by a new generation of filmmakers including JJ Abrams, Gareth Edwards, and Rian Johnson.
The first of the new trilogy, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, will be released on December 18, 2015, following the release of Episode VIII on May 26, 2017— exactly forty years after the premiere of the original Star Wars.
With so many plans in store for this next saga, the Force is alive and well once again.
Illustrator Jeremy Fuscaldo, a passionate self-taught cartoonist from North Jersey, attended Nyack College
See also: Local Arts Index: Jeremy Fuscaldo
Illustration by ©2015 Jeremy Fuscaldo.