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Star Wars and Generation X

Star Wars 1970s

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I’ve been thinking a lot about Star Wars and Generation X since the release of The Force Awakens. The first Star Wars movie came out in 1977, the year I turned 10. On Saturday, my 10-year-old son went to see the movie with friends.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Force Awakens is the the seventh movie in the space opera film series that has captured the hearts and minds of five generations of Americans for nearly 40 years. But, which generation loves Stars Wars the most? Does one generation “own” Star Wars nostalgia more than another? A Nielsen Study indicates Gen-Xers may be the most devoted fans.

“Overall, Star Wars fans are 17 percent more likely to be Gen Xers…compared with the average American. However, these original aspiring Jedis are passing their love of the franchise on to others. In fact, fans are more likely to be part of family households with kids under the age of 18 than the average consumer.”

Here are two more articles that explore the subject of Star Wars and Generation X.

From the Daily Beast: Which Generation Owns ‘Star Wars’ Nostalgia?

“Perhaps there’s no way to really know how and why Star Wars created such warmth and buzz and feelings of familiarity when it first attacked us back in 1977. But if Lippincott was ever worried he didn’t do his job at promoting the film, the evidence is not only all around us that he did succeed, but also in the memories of someone who was really there: my mother, Rebecca Britt. The true original Star Wars fan. At 64 years old now, my mother and late father were 26 when Star Wars came out in 1977. When I call my mom up on the phone to ask her what it was like, she tells me this:

“You couldn’t get away from Star Wars. It was everywhere. Of course your dad and I wanted to see it. Do you want to know what we were doing right before? We were drinking vodka tonics…we brought them out of the bar and right onto the street to wait in line for the movie…we hadn’t seen anything like that ever.”

From UPROXX: How J.J. Abrams and ‘The Force Awakens’ Tap Into Gen X’s Special Connection To ‘Star Wars’

“Every generation has a pop cultural phenomenon it considers its own. For Baby Boomers who sat wide-eyed in front of their televisions when John, Paul, George and Ringo played The Ed Sullivan Show, it was the Beatles. For millennials who stood in midnight lines at Barnes & Noble every time J.K. Rowling released a new opus, it was Harry Potter. And for Generation Xers who came of age the first time the Force was awakened, it was Star Wars.”

Star Wars Nostalgia

An extremely rare solicitation cover for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ralph McQuarrie is the most iconic artist in Star Wars history. He worked closely with George Lucas to establish the saga’s visual aesthetic and its matchless look and feel. Beyond designing Darth Vader and R2-D2, McQuarrie produced a ton of Star Wars artwork, including storyboards, conceptual paintings, costume designs, posters, book covers, album covers and more. Next September, they will be highlighted in a new collection, Star Wars Art.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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1 Comment

  1. Robert Lukacs

    I was 13 when the original film hit the theatres. I would say late boomers like me were the target audience back then. I was born in 64, the last year of Boomers. I would say anyone born in the 60s will be strongly connected to the original franchise. Anyone under 8 isnt going to get as much out of it or remember it as well. This group started watching during Return of the Jedi. Back in 83 most of us thought that film sucked. The ewoks sucked. The majority of people my age only really loved the first two films. Gen Xrs except for the early few were more likely to be fans of the prequels which suck as well by the way.


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