Important dates referenced in blog entry
• Star Trek the original TV series debuted 1966
• Star Wars debuted 1977, The Empire Strikes Back debuted 1980, Return of the Jedi debuted 1983
• Battlestar Galactica debuted 1978
• Buck Rogers debuted 1979
• Star Trek: The Motion Picture release date 12-7-79, 13 years after the original series came out
• The Phantom Menace released 1999, 16 years after what we thought would be the last Star Wars movie we would ever see.
• Disney purchases Lucasfilm 2012.
• Star Wars release calendar (http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/star-wars/241723/full-star-wars-movie-release-calendar)
• The Force Awakens released 2015, 10 years after last Star Wars movie and three years after Disney purchased Star Wars.
This month’s blog entry topic is something that’s been floating around in my noggin for quite some time and something that I’ve wondered about for a long time — Why have the Star Wars (SW) and Star Trek (ST) franchises both survived after periods of long hiatus, without the advent of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, while other movie franchises like Harry Potter, Twilight, The Matrix trilogies, and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies have dwindled in popularity when they were taking over movie houses in the early 2000s?
I understand that these movies were based on widely popular books. While doing my research I found that the internet was in its infancy when ST the original series debuted in 1966, with discussion boards not far behind. For a history of the internet check out Wikipedia’s entry here. But what has kept Star Wars and Star Trek around for so long? I think for Star Wars specifically there were the novels that were formerly called the Expanded Universe and are now called Legends that were written during the so-called Dark Times during the years between the original trilogy ( Episodes IV, V, and IV ) and the prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III). I don’t know if that is the case with Star Trek, since I don’t follow that franchise closely. I know Star Wars had membership in the official fan club called Hyperspace which included the blogs, where most of the bloggers here at Coffee With Kenobi got our starts, and StarWars.com website which allowed fans to discuss the Saga to our heart’s content and develop lasting friendships and eventually meeting IRL. But what did Star Trek have in those intervening years between the original series and the first six films? As I said before, I didn’t follow the franchise as closely. There were the six original movies, the last being released in 1991, three spin-off TV series, four movies based on the Next Generation series which I watched, and enjoyed, the last one being released in 2002, the four reboot films, the last one scheduled to be released in 2019, and a new TV series scheduled to come out in 2017, the same year that a rumored live-action Star Wars TV series is supposed to come out. Star Wars also had the computer generated cartoons The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels that have given fans deeper looks into the Clone Wars and the period between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. I realize there are other sci-fi TV shows that have come out that have their own cult followings, but there are too many to list here.
If you are a fan of Star Trek I would love to hear what kept you a fan. You can comment on this blog or you can send me an email to my personal email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please take the time and check out the other blogger’s posts and, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, “Remember, the Force will be with you, always.”
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