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Opinion

Unifying power of 'Star Wars'

"Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of

"Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker" opens Dec. 20. Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm 2019/Disney/Lucasfilm 2019

Three very significant developments involving space happened in almost as many weeks.

  • Scientists unveiled the stunning first image of a supermassive black hole — 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun.
  • The SpaceX rocket Falcon Heavy successfully landed all three of its boosters back on earth.
  • And, last but not least, ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ debuted its first trailer — thrilling millions of fans across the planet.

Only two of these developments will have a lasting impact on the world of science. You know which they are.

But for science-fiction fans, a glimpse at the final story in the Luke Skywalker saga is a development that is more than 40 years in the making. It’s one that will reverberate through generations of Star Wars fans.

Like The Beatles’ timeless songs, “Star Wars” and the excitement it inspires are multi-generational, tying together fans of all ages, backgrounds and creeds in a moment of wonder and celebration. From the iconic music to the opening-credits crawl, fans of all ages can relate to the things that make the series so accessible to everyone.

It may seem silly to tie the release of a movie trailer to two incredibly significant scientific developments. But for “Star Wars” fans, every film release begets another opportunity to share a lifelong love of space, fantasy, drama and excitement with family and friends. After more than four decades in the pop culture lexicon, “Star Wars” has cemented itself in the lives of countless of people, even becoming a way for older fans to pass down a piece of their childhood to their own children.

For me, “Star Wars” isn’t just a movie about spaceships, lightspeed or lightsabers. It’s also a window into my own childhood, and the childhood of my father, who introduced me to the series when I was younger. I hope to pass down that joy to my own children one day, and to share with them a rich history of fandom that grows stronger with each sequel.

The stories and the characters may be out of this world, but what brings it all back to earth for fans like me is how we feel and who we were with when we watch those movies. And for many of us, that’s the most real thing in the galaxy.

 Michael Cusanelli is manager of research and digital production for amNewYork Opinion.

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