Monday, February 15, 2016

Opinion: Star Wars, a Story of Relevance


By: Joshua Spaugh

"Rey is the new Han!"
"No stupid she is the new Luke, Finn is Han!"
"Then who is Poe?"

Wow. There is a lot of this going around isn't there? Seems harmless right? Yet no one can get an answer straight. Well luckily I do have the answer: Rey is.... (Drum roll please).... REY!

Wait what? That was no typo, Rey is Rey. Also Finn is... Finn. And Poe, (You're going to love this one) is Poe!

Okay enough with the sass. My point is that we have a great franchise that is above reusing the same characters. Star Wars is a franchise that has a distinct flavor to it, but evolves with time. We have three original characters that don't fit pre-determined molds of characters made in 1977. While Luke, Han and Leia are great and relatable characters, they were written in 1977. They maintain relevance in 2016, however a lot can change in nearly 40 years. We have different social issues and different threats.

For example: Large governments like the Empire are no longer a daily threat for us. We are dealing with crazy people who act alone within our borders, similar to a Ben Solo who fell to the dark side in a world without the Empire. We have threats from countries that are relatively unknown, like North Korea. In fact The First Order reminds me more of North Korea than of the supposed neo-Nazi regime JJ Abrams compared it too.

But this is not an article about the First Order. This is an article about the originality of our new hero's. One of my favorite sayings is "There is nothing new under the sun." I see this as where people are getting confused about "who is who?" The Star Wars universe is so rich and yet so specific, there are elements that must be present. Elements that define Star Wars characters as Star Wars characters. That is why we see similarities between our characters of past and our characters of present. They are both Star Wars characters!

We could make the same comparison between the cast of Rebels and the original three. In fact one of the few criticisms about the prequels I have (I am a huge prequel fan) is that the characters do feel a tiny bit out of universe. If you put Luke Skywalker, Rey, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano and Hera  Syndulla in a line and compared them, I bet the one who fits the least is Anakin. But this is not about the prequels! This is about characteristics of characters.

If you read my previous article on Identity, you might be getting an idea of how I like to look at this wonderful universe we love! I will quote again the great Maz Kanata! "When you lived as long as I have you see the same eyes in different people." This is what she is talking about. The eyes of the hero, the smuggler, the Jedi, the characteristics people see in our characters are their "eyes." But there is so much more to them than just these characteristics.

Aren't we happy that they aren't just carbon copies? I know Luke Skywalker. I have seen his journey. Show me a new struggle! Show me something that relates to me in 2016! That is exactly what JJ Abrams did! Now we have new characters to rally behind.

So enough of this "Rey/Finn/Poe are the new Luke/Han/Leia/Jar Jar Binks," because they aren't. They are them. It continues to support my argument that the theme of The Force Awakens and possibly the new trilogy is: Identity.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.
Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


blivengo said...

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