Mike Ko Personal Portfolio


Home-School Education
Hong Kong

University of Durham
Bachelor of Science
United Kingdom

2017 - 2018
United Kingdom

    Star Wars: Past and Present Successes

         The Star Wars saga seemingly drew to a close in 2005 when the last of the prequel films was released. The backstory of the hermit and the origins of the twin protagonists in the original trilogy were finally accounted for. Not exactly groundbreaking, but a moderately successful end for the international cultural phenomenon produced by George Lucas. The world was not quite done with the galaxy far, far away, however. Decades after the first instalment came out in 1977, we now have three additional sequel titles produced under Disney. It would seem that Star Wars is just a story that will always be in popular demand regardless of the audiences’ generation. The causes for this present success, however, are probably quite different from what it was back in the day.

         The original trilogy was undeniably appealing in its time. It depicted space-age technology, spiritual quasi-religious elements, the usual good-versus-evil conflict and a smidgen of romantic tension. Yet this “space opera” is by no means a sophisticated example of cinematic narratives. Indeed, they are arguably based on cheesy and derivative tropes. What made Star Wars special at the time probably lay in its pioneering nature in science fiction. It is the probably the first to bring to the silver screen a space epic with sufficiently convincing visual and sound effects. It effectively filled a novel niche that was in the masses’ imagination in the comparatively recent space age.

         In contrast, the prequels and sequel trilogies are offer nothing particularly new in modern cinema. The plot continues along the same trajectories thus far, but the now audience have now seen quite a few space adventures on the silver screen. With nothing cinematically outstanding in their own right, these new titles are probably successful only by riding on people’s great enthusiasm for the general Star Wars brand. This passion was built upon both the popularity of the original trilogy and the various books, comics and TV shows that expanded the fantastic universe for multiple generations. In effect, our interest in Star Wars has been ingrained into popular culture. One can only wonder how all of these spin-offs would perform without this endearing sentiment established all those years ago.

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