May 25, 1977, began one of the most loved franchises in history. “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope” brought a slew of characters to life and left a huge impact on cinema for generations to come. The Star Wars saga is one that every child growing up knew of, if not watched at least once. We all fell in love with Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca. Each one of us developed some type of connection with a character. Whether it was being empowered by Princess Leia's fearless feminine persona or eyeing Han for his good looks.
I personally gravitated to Princess Leia and still do to this day. Her wit and beauty caught my attention. I related to her; she was a very strong willed character; She was fearless and sometimes too much for her own good. She presented herself with elegance but got her point across. She took matters into her own hands and she was ambitious. Her character gave me a boost of confidence within myself and after watching her I always felt empowered to go do something.
Growing up I was a very shy kid, living in a world that was male dominated despite the lack of a male presence in my life.
I was always told that if I was a man I would have better outcomes, that I needed to make sure I married that right man to get the financial stability and family I needed. But after watching Princess Leia be as bold as she was alone, I felt like I could do anything without a male presence.
I wanted her elegance, I wanted to be as strong willed and outspoken as she was. I strived for that sense of self dominance and strength. Princess Leia defied gender roles and stereotypes and is commonly seen as a figure in feminist movements today. A lead female role wasn't very common in the 70s, especially one as feisty and fearless as Leia.
I still feel the energy that Princess Leia gives off even after watching the saga for the millionth time. The feelings never change. “Star Wars” will forever hold a place in my heart, and in the hearts of many sci-fi fans around the world. The saga was way ahead of its time period in the sense of special effects, gender roles and paved a way for cinema moving forward.
For many of us, “Star Wars” wasn't just a stereotypical story line about the dark side and light side. The meaning was so much deeper and we gravitated to the characters we related to: the ones who brought smiles to our faces, the ones we cried for, laughed with and followed their stories until the end. May the Fourth is a day to celebrate the saga that changed the movie world and many of the fans' lives who fell in love with the story that George Lucas let unfold in front of our eyes over the last forty-two years.
From a fellow “Star Wars” fanatic to you, “May the force be with you!”