Why we just can't hate Star Wars

Star Wars is a force of nature. During these times of great nerdery and cynicism, it's just as hip to hate Star Wars as it is to love it. No matter how you truly feel, whether you're genuinely as cool as Max Rebo, or just trying to be cool like Joh Yowza, there's a lot to love at the core of the famous franchise. Here are a few reasons that the Force still flows through us.

Luke Is Relatable

Fantasy is full of heroes that are exciting, but completely unlike like the viewer. The average moviegoer isn't some hunked-out Conan, a billionaire inventor, or even a modestly equipped cyborg. Luke Skywalker is just a dumb moisture farmer with an uncle-dad in the most redneck part of the galaxy when A New Hope begins, but he wants more. A whiny nobody who becomes an awesome somebody through his own efforts, Luke is a guy who is relatable to any boring old bozo sitting down to watch a movie.

Leia Is A Feminist Icon

No one can deny that Leia is a badass princess, surpassing both Han Solo and Luke in her acts of heroism. She's the one who blasts the heroes to safety when they're under fire, she's the one who attempts to rescue Han Solo from Jabba, and even when Jabba traps her in a demeaning metal bikini, she uses the chain that binds her to murder the nigh-invulnerable space slug. Unlike most fantasy princesses, her problems aren't fixed by finding a Prince Charming. She's her own hero. Nerds better recognize.

Aliens Are Just Cool

The special effects in the Star Wars trilogy were decades ahead of their time. But what's even cooler than Manhattan-sized Star Destroyers drifting through space and intense laser-sword battles? Space weirdos. Dozens of awesome, weird aliens populate Star Wars, from Tatooine's dive bars and gangster palaces to Hoth's ice caves. While many only appear on-screen for a brief moment, each glimpse is another branch of a galactic story that goes untold, making the universe richer and more mysterious. It doesn't matter if they're puppets made from scraps of other puppets or full costumes. The aliens are great.

No Obnoxious Space Dialect

If there's one thing that science fiction always gets wrong, it's attempting to create a weird dialect for outer space people to speak. You frakking know what I'm talking about, and it's frelling annoying. Because Star Wars wasn't scripted like another drokking ripoff of A Clockwork Orange, fans of the franchise can't spout off embarrassing catchphrases, which is totally spled. That would gets old and very shameful fast. At least Star Wars can't be blamed for wedgie-baiting nerds using imaginary words in sentences.

Spiritual Awareness, Minus The Preachiness

The idea of the Force is kinda beautiful. It's comforting to think that there's a common energy that flows through every living thing in the universe (but maybe a little less comforting to think that it's all caused by midichlorian bugs living inside of your meaty parts). The idea of energy-focused unity borrows from different religious teachings, but Star Wars never gets preachy about it. Even Han Solo expresses his doubts about the Force, but despite his cynicism, he's still a likable character. It's not a movie about good versus evil, but a movie about using the universe's energies positively. And that's pretty okay.

Even The Villain Can Be Redeemed

Darth Vader is the most interesting character in Star Wars, by far. Even though he'll pinch off your windpipe like a garden hose if you don't cover your mouth when you sneeze, you feel for the guy once you learn his whole story. Even though he's working for the oppressive Galactic Empire, it's all just a vehicle for him to find his kidnapped son. Ultimately, Vader is the one who saves the universe from the powers of the dark side, earning him a place in Jedi ghost world. If you don't tear up during the end of Return of the Jedi, you're probably a dirty Sith.

It Depicts A Rich Universe

Most sci-fi is great at building a small world that's fun to hang out in for ninety minutes or so, but rarely builds something more expansive or inviting. The atmosphere created by Star Wars acknowledges that Luke Skywalker's journey is a small story in a universe with million of stories, and you want to explore each one, even if it's just the guy carrying an ice cream maker in Cloud City. With these interests in mind, George Lucas allowed the publication of semi-canonical stories fleshing out the lives of every alien that ever appeared on screen. Ice Cream Guy is a rebel hero, if canon-ish writings are to be believed.

Awesome Art

Whether you're checking out the original Star Wars poster art or enjoying Ralph McQuarrie's designs for just about everything on screen, the films have an amazing sense of design. Forget about the fact that it's all about star wizards and vicious little pig monsters; the art and design of the films set a standard and inspired generations. Designs from the films are still remixed by artists today. That's a huge creative legacy. Try to see if Disney's The Black Hole inspires anything other than a sad nap.

Expect The Unexpected

Robots that can express sassiness, fear, savagery, and greed. Adorable, furry teddy bears that will not hesitate to eat you and use your skull as a drum. A primitive, enormous yeti who's actually a skilled technician and a sap. Around every turn, Star Wars flips science fiction paradigms upside down. If the films seem predictable now, it's only because they've been woven into all manners of fiction for many years. You can bet that learning Luke's parentage made audiences wet their seats back in 1980.

Star Wars Is Everywhere

Try to find a successful TV show that doesn't drop a Star Wars reference at least once, or a post-1980 sci-fi film that doesn't clearly borrow something from the trilogy. The raw, unapologetic truth is that Star Wars is everywhere. It's so deeply ingrained in pop culture that it's leaked into regular culture, and down into just about every subculture. It's not coming out. You can hate it, but hate is a useless emotion. And we all know that hate leads to suffering. That is why you fail.

Recommended