In case you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard there’s a new Star Wars movie opening this week. Normally I link to things I reference but if you didn’t know Star Wars is opening this week, you probably don’t go online, so there’s no point in linking it.
The anticipation for Star Wars isn’t limited to the internet, it’s everywhere. The cereal isle, commercials, toy advertisements…the other day I saw an ad with Jawas talking about the benefits of setting up an E*Trade account.
It’s a little weird to see something that was created almost 40 years so (still?) popular again. It’s strange to go to pick up my daughter from second grade and see kids with Boba Fett backpacks. She was even Princess Leia for Halloween this year. I wonder if George Lucas ever dreamed that this whole thing would still be popular decades later.
Let’s shift the conversation from a galaxy from far, far away to the sewers of New York. Even weirder than Star Wars still being popular is seeing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles everywhere. I didn’t care much for Star Wars when I was younger but I loved the Turtles. I didn’t discover the comic until I saw the cartoon but it was a gateway to the world of independent comics which lead to a lifetime love of Stan Sakai’s ‘Usagi Yojimbo’, probably my favorite comic of all time.
It’s weird the Turtles are so popular because the whole thing was so unlikely. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were just goofing around and drawing and eventually self-published a comic that was heavily influenced by Frank Miller’s work on ‘Daredevil’ as well as the crazy popularity of ‘The X-Men’ at the time. And teenagers. Everyone loves teenagers. How anyone gave this idea a chance and created a toy line and animated series is beyond me but I’m happy they did. I mean, the comic was about four giant turtles who were trained in the martial arts. How did this catch on? Why did this become popular but Bucky O’Hare was thrown to the clearance isle?
The Turtles have been popular off and on for years and will probably be tooling around in their Party Wagon long after I’m dead. Same with Star Wars. These characters will live forever. I wonder what it’s like to be the creator of something that everyone under the age of ten knows. I think about the characters I’ve created and co-created and I wonder if anything I’ve done could live beyond myself. I suppose it’s a combination of simply creating something that is just really, really great and the right person seeing it. You can have all the connections you need at Cartoon Network but if you don’t have an interesting concept it doesn’t do you any good. People will tell you it’s not what you know but who you know but that’s half true, you need to have something that people love.
It’s no secret I’d love to see something turned into an animated series or an action figure. Star Wars doesn’t belong to Lucas anymore. Not because he sold it to Disney but because he created something bigger than he is. Star Wars belongs to the world. How cool is that? Star Wars will exist forever. I’d love to create something like that. It’d be cool to live forever.