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Popularity of the Original Trilogy enhanced by Prequels?

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Hello everyone, let me start off by saying I am not a fan of 21th Century cinema. I think most of the films today lack the depth, integrity and character that make older films far more enjoyable. In the last decade, I have probably been to the movie theater a dozen or so times. I still stay current on bigger titles by watching them at my buddies place after they become available - as I am curious to view what is coming out these days but refuse to pay for this garbage.

My aforementioned buddy is a pretty big move-file but I think he gets more enjoyment at criticizing modern cinema. We were talking recently about Star Wars, the OT, Disney’s creation and all the usual topics that come along with it and I got to thinking —

Would the OT be as popular today if Star Wars was left alone after Jedi?

I think the prequels and botched re-releases of the original films drew more attention to the OT and stirred up some nostalgia. Releases and expanded universes are quite common in today’s creatively bankrupt Hollywood. The Star Wars prequels were one of the first name-brand expanded universes (with a decent budget) but they were awful. I think they rekindled interested in the OT and added millions of new fans who otherwise would have written the OT off. What do you guys think?

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First off, I strongly disagree with your claim that there are no good movies nowadays. I find myself enjoying modern movies just as much as I do older movies. I think your nostalgia might be blinding you to the genuinely good movies that are released today.

But on the subject of the OT, I think it was just as popular, if not more, before the prequels. It can’t be understated how much of a cultural force Star Wars was in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I doubt that the controversy surrounding the prequels increased its popularity much, given how popular it was already. Also, a lot of people here would disagree with you on the prequels being complete garbage. It’s not an objective thing at all.

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StarkillerAG said:

First off, I strongly disagree with your claim that there are no good movies nowadays. I find myself enjoying modern movies just as much as I do older movies. I think your nostalgia might be blinding you to the genuinely good movies that are released today.

But on the subject of the OT, I think it was just as popular, if not more, before the prequels. It can’t be understated how much of a cultural force Star Wars was in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I doubt that the controversy surrounding the prequels increased its popularity much, given how popular it was already. Also, a lot of people here would disagree with you on the prequels being complete garbage. It’s not an objective thing at all.

Sure, there are some good films today but I was speaking in generalities. The films today that I consider good are in such short supply that I cancelled my cable and subscriptions several years ago and never looked back.

Perhaps my perspective of the OT is skewed by my age (32). I suppose I am not old enough to be familiar with the Star Wars fan base before the prequels which has given me a bit of a confirmation bias.

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After the post ROTJ Ewok movie dirge SW started back on an upwards climb in popularity thanks to the all novels, all the Lucasarts games and all the toys from Kenner and Galoob. The PT may be the zenith of that journey but I think the OT movies would be remembered all the same without them.

Yub Nub for life

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Mocata said:

After the post ROTJ Ewok movie dirge SW started back on an upwards climb in popularity thanks to the all novels, all the Lucasarts games and all the toys from Kenner and Galoob. The PT may be the zenith of that journey but I think the OT movies would be remembered all the same without them.

But how much did the novels really help the popularity? I think that only die-hard fans were the ones reading the novels. I guess it depends how we measure popularity - to mean it means the spreading of the ideas to people who were not originally familiar with them. I don’t see how more content being consumed by the original base makes it more popular? No?

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Slingshot76 said:

Mocata said:

After the post ROTJ Ewok movie dirge SW started back on an upwards climb in popularity thanks to the all novels, all the Lucasarts games and all the toys from Kenner and Galoob. The PT may be the zenith of that journey but I think the OT movies would be remembered all the same without them.

But how much did the novels really help the popularity? I think that only die-hard fans were the ones reading the novels. I guess it depends how we measure popularity - to mean it means the spreading of the ideas to people who were not originally familiar with them. I don’t see how more content being consumed by the original base makes it more popular? No?

But I don’t think, by that measurement, that the prequels made them more popular either. Like I said, Star Wars was a phenomenon back when the OT was released, and an insane amount of people in both the US and worldwide saw it. I don’t think it’s possible for Star Wars to become more popular than it was back in the years between 1977 and 1984.

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There are likely those who grew up with the prequels who wouldn’t be fans of Star Wars otherwise. The Original Trilogy has earned a place in history but the continued popularity of the Star Wars franchise is in how it connects with the next generation. The sequels and The Mandalorian are now part of that too. The originals by themselves would not carry the franchise into the future. I don’t think it is possible to recreate what was in 1977, so Star Wars must evolve. So embrace the new because it is an extension of the old we love so dear.

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I remember in the 90s and early 2000s SW was extremely uncool. I don’t think the PT enhanced it, more likely the exact opposite. It was the thing sweaty geeks liked and it was always the butt of the jokes on late night TV etc. Only after 2010 it began to change. It became nostalgic, geeks became cool, Disney bought it, all memorabilia went high on prices, it was everywhere. It became completely mainstream. Now it seems like it was always like that but I remember vividly that even talking about them you got some strange or even angry looks from “normal” people. That was also back when it wasn’t cool to use or play computers, now teenage girls use more technology than me and like more the new movies than me, for whatever the reason. Funny how things change.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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I couldn’t give away my Star Wars #1 after Phantom Menace premiered. I bought it for 60 during the early 1990s and after 1999 they wouldn’t give me more than 25 for it. I haven’t gotten it graded i’d say its maybe a 4 or 4.5, Its still only worth 60 bucks.

The sale of Lucasfilm to Disney has inflated the asking prices for a lot of things just because its Disney.

But the actual value of said merchandise hasn’t gone up. Except maybe if you are dealing in rare scripts, documents or props. Or vintage toys.

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Star Wars has always been popular. I don’t even know how you could argue otherwise. The fact it wasn’t AS popular when it was just books and video games (even though those books and video games were almost constantly best sellers) isn’t a sign that it was unpopular, just that it’s MOST popular when its movies.

The idea that “Sweaty nerds” kept it alive has always benefited sweaty nerds sense of self worth more than anything. It’s not all that reflective of reality. Star Wars sold billions of toys, books, video games, and more between 1984 and 1998. Nerds don’t move billions of dollars of ANYTHING by themselves. It’s never happened. You hit billions because regular folks like it.

I don’t think the PT enhanced the OT’s popularity. It probably enhanced ROTJ’s reputation more than anything, I will give it that. But the OT, and more generally, STAR WARS was always super-popular. Probably always will be. Even if now it seems like it’s most popular as TV instead of as a Movie. But then again, you could argue TV is more popular than movies now. And at this point, pretty much everything IS TV right now. So Star Wars is probably in a good place in that regard - like it basically always has been.

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At the end of the day, there’s no way Star Wars would have been left untouched forever. Even if Lucas had passed on making the Prequels, he would’ve sold the company sooner or later and we’d have new movies whether we want them or not.

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Star Wars as a franchise seems to be getting less and less popular among many casual fans with each new trilogy. PT was average and ST was a complete shit. However, bad advertisement is better than no advertisement, so perhaps at least the new stuff reminds the new audience that the franchise exists, which inevitably leads them to OT.

Even without the new films, there have been plenty of Star Wars video games coming out in the past three decades that kept the whole thing alive. Nowadays, video game audience is almost as big as film audience.

真実