It’s Saturday, December 16. Have you seen “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” yet? It’s been in theatres since Thursday evening — what are you waiting for?
Yes, the latest addition to the Lucasfilm collection hit the big screen less than two days ago, and I’m sure by the time you read this it will already be a box office hit. It’s hard to believe that the first “Star Wars” movie, “Episode IV: A New Hope,” was first introduced to viewers 40 years ago. A very young Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo won the heart of America, to the tune of $786 million at the box office.
Fast-forward to 2015 and the release of “Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” This new generation of characters brought fresh excitement to the Star Wars universe, and again the fans responded. The movie net more than $2 billion worldwide and became one of the top-earning movies in history.
If you’d like to dive deeper into Star Wars fandom, the Delaware County District Library is a great place to start. Not only does the Library own all the DVDs and have them available to rent, but you can request the “In A Galaxy Far, Far Away” Binge Box to watch every movie in the series in order over the course of a week.
Of course, the movies extend beyond the live-action stories. You might also discover the animated series “The Clone Wars,” which was released as a movie in 2008 and shortly followed by a TV series on Cartoon Network. All five seasons are available for check out at the library. I’ve also learned that Netflix users can view the unreleased sixth season, as well as some previously unreleased director’s cut episode versions. Disney XD picked up the second cartoon spinoff, “Star Wars Rebels,” for its four seasons, which are also available through the Library.
An empire can be built on movies and TV shows alone, but it does much better if there’s interaction and “merch” (you know, short for merchandise). The first “Star Wars” video game was released in 1982 and since then more than one hundred games have been made. Play as your favorite Jedi Knight or Sith Lord and test your skills with lightsabers, blasters and other weapons. LEGO video games and the Battlefront series are the most popular.
A search in the Delaware County District Library catalog for “Star Wars” will yield 886 results, but here are some stories as told by some of the individuals most intimately involved in the saga to get you started.
“George Lucas: A Life” by Brian Jay Jones. His innovation and ambition forged some of today’s most prominent companies, including Pixar, Lucasfilm, THX sound, and Industrial Light & Magic. This acclaimed biography brilliantly captures the life and times of a film icon whose influence is unmatched.
“How Star Wars Conquered the Universe” by Chris Taylor. Traces the history of the film series from the difficult creation of the original film to the preparations for a new trilogy, providing portraits of the people who labored behind the scenes to turn George Lucas’ idea into a legend.
“The Princess Diarist” by Carrie Fisher. Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time — the first “Star Wars” movie — and what developed behind the scenes.
“Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View” by various authors. A collection of short stories and illustrations by some of today’s best-selling authors and trend-setting artists commemorates the Star Wars franchise’s 40th anniversary and includes contributions by such notables as Meg Cabot, Wil Wheaton, John Jackson Miller and Nnedi Okorafor.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!