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Star Wars Pop Culture Icon

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Essay title: Star Wars Pop Culture Icon

American popular culture has always been a market for sales. Everything that is and has made pop culture what it is in America has been built through commercialization. The ability to sell the main product and then the countless other revenue items that go with that product define American culture. Today in the United States a person would be hard-pressed to fined a movie showing in theaters that does not have a soundtrack out, t-shirt even action figures that go along with it. So where did this idea of marketing out come from? Simple. Star Wars.

Thanks to the cultural influence of George Lucas’ Star Wars there is not a director in Hollywood that doesn’t look to cash in through other forms of movie sales. In late 1975 George Lucas began directing something that would soon become one of America’s biggest works of the 20th century.

Firstly, it is apparent that Star Wars has gained a place in Western culture verbiage. This is evident of the fact that Star Wars is easily referenced. Much like the Bible and Greek Mythology, Star Wars has characters that are easily defined and referenced without much trouble. It is this popularity that has driven Star Wars to the top of American popular culture. After all what other movie has ever displayed as much iconic reference as the Star Wars trilogies. Go anywhere and there is an understanding of characters such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker among others. Everyone has been introduced to these names at some point and so they can reach a level of understanding when the name is heard. Along with the characters in Star Wars there is a basic understanding of plot. Star Wars defined the good versus evil and so the story is easily told almost similar to a fairy tale. Lucas’ ability to create a movie that speaks to all levels has helped its uprising in popular culture. Some have even called it the most advanced fairy tale (Wastler).

But beside all of that Lucas was really creating much more than an iconic fairy tale. Moreover he was creating an empire. Similar to Italian Mob or Disney, Star Wars took over a culture. The only difference was that the Mob and Disney were large organizations Star Wars was just a summer movie. It turned out to be much larger however due to its commercialization. By the early 80s Star Wars was a cultural icon. Its advertising was on the side of buses and on billboards in Southern California. Action figures, comic books, even lunch boxes were made in the name of Star Wars. The name was everywhere, something that was rare for a movie of that time. But by the early 80s Star Wars proved to be much more than a movie. The movie was what people paid to see and the movie is what brought in the fans but the publicity on the side is what made Star Wars cultural.

George Lucas' Star Wars saga has had a significant impact on modern global pop culture. Its influences on culture have shaped the way Western society views many movies today. Science fiction will forever hold on to similar visuals and sounds and productions that the Star Wars trilogies experimented with. In fact after 1977 it is tough to watch a science fiction movie without seeing some traits of Star Wars.

So if Star Wars was the iconic genius for every movie why does Nobrow author John Seabrook seem to dismiss the Star Wars empire? Seabrook takes a stance on George Lucas’ empire like no one has in the past. He describes Lucas’ Star Wars as a type of thief. Hollywood at the time of the 1977 release was

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(2009, 11). Star Wars Pop Culture Icon. Retrieved 11, 2009, from

"Star Wars Pop Culture Icon" 11 2009. 2009. 11 2009 <>.

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"Star Wars Pop Culture Icon." 11, 2009. Accessed 11, 2009.