We live in an era where Star Wars Episode VII really exists, and it’s hard to imagine now that, at the beginning of the decade, that wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind that that would ever come to pass.
Okay, maybe the absolute biggest turbo-nerds had kept track of all those offhand comments by Mark Hamill where he said George Lucas once wanted him to play the old man mentor character in a new Star Wars movie decades in the future. But for 99% of the population, Star Wars was a finished franchise, at least until the inevitable remake sometime after Lucas bit the dust.
But it happened. Lucasfilm was sold to Disney. JJ Abrams signed on to direct. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was filmed and released, and not only that but it became the #1 highest-grossing movie in North America by such a wide margin that no film has even come close to breaching it since.
It’s crazy how little we think about the fact that this actually happened. In just three years, the idea of a new Star Wars went from a zero percent chance to a movie in theaters and an unprecedented mega-smash, the all-time number-one film in North America by a wide margin–$936 million. It probably won’t be passed until inflation catches up with it, that’s how much it made.
I still remember the moment when the first teaser trailer released:
A 90-second trailer was enough to move me to tears back in 2014. That’s how much it mattered to me.
Then the world embraced the movie with the exact same passion, and the second half of the 2010s took a dramatic shift.
In the span of less than eight years, we received FIVE Star Wars movies, and all but one of them were gigantic monster hits. This fact feels so normal now that it’s nearly impossible to think that, in 2010, we were still wondering if Star Wars Underworld would ever release or if The Force Unleashed II would be any good.
A whole new generation got to experience Star Wars in their own way, so I’m happy that it was brought back, and with such force. I think that the sale to Disney may not have been good for the franchise’s future and how quickly they overplayed their hand with oversaturation shows that, but… I mean, come on. We got a new Star Wars movie with Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker. They actually returned, and the galaxy far, far away graced us a few brand-new adventures. It should be harder to believe than it really is that they managed to pull the whole thing off.