For this year’s Star Wars Day, I knew I wanted to do another Q & AJ, “sit down” with my fellow Bomb Squad members and chat about the space-adventuring franchise that has stolen millions of fans’ hearts. But this time, I knew a different approach was in order. After more than a year together, and with the introduction of a brand-new Squaddie, it’s clear we’ve all grown — and the things we pour our love into have as well.

Rather than a set number of questions (and I mulled over a LOT of them), I asked everyone on the Squad what the new era of Star Wars means to them. And I’m opening it up to all of you. Spill your thoughts on the new collection of flicks. Talk about how Rey’s the female character you’ve always wanted to see. Dish on how Rogue One dismantles the more traditional ending we see in the franchise. Heck, even discuss how weird it’s going to be to see Luke with a gray beard for an entire film. How have the new films impacted you? How do they compare to your experience with the originals? What does Star Wars in 2017 feel like to you?

Read the Bomb Squad’s incredible answers, and post your own in the comments section below.

May the Fourth be with you.


Neek 

For me, it is not a new era of Star Wars, but a continuation of the original in a new era of life. Characters may have changed every trilogy and with each anthology, but at the end of the day, it is still Star Wars. It is a story of hope. A story that shows good will overcome evil even when evil is winning. Every film within the franchise has that underlying message. It explores friendship, what it means to be a hero and the idea that self-sacrifice leads to a bigger picture.

Honestly, I hated the fact we had to wait this long. In saying that, I was glad the story continued and was not caught up in the hype of a reboot. I take my hat off to Lucasfilm and everyone involved in creating these next wave of films. With a 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, they managed to creatively tell the tale of the new lead character, Rey, while explaining what had happened during the absence. They even went as far as filling in the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope by releasing Rogue One, the first in a series of other anthology films expected for release in the coming years.

The universe is endless, to a degree. Astronomers have not even explored beyond 1%. Star Wars springboards of this infinite universe and takes us to new and exciting worlds. We had only seen a small part of the Star Wars universe, so the “new era” allows us to explore more. It taps into our imagination and provides a level of escapism from the stress of our everyday life. These new films could not have come at a better time. People are seemly losing hope more now than they have in a long time. Star Wars has provided comfort and spread the word of hope in the past; it has done it again in this present moment, and hopefully will do it all again in the future.

So, may the Force be with us and help guide us through the tough road we have ahead.

Justine

I love this new era of Star Wars because I get to be involved in it. I imagine how the fans felt in the ’80s when the movies first came out. The storylines and characters were nothing like they’ve ever seen before. It must have been such an incredible atmosphere to experience with all the other fans around you. I didn’t understand or feel how special it was back then because I was young, but watching Episodes 4, 5 and 6 now, plus the new films coming out, just makes me love the franchise so much more. Rogue One might be one of my favorites so far because of the cast. The diversity and representation of the cast really made me appreciate this new Star Wars era.

Mickey

To me, Star Wars is like a Sunday roast dinner. There’s always one kind you like best –whether it’s your Mum’s home cooked love-in-every-bite plate of deliciousness, your local Pub’s dripping hot gravy mountain or a friend’s accidental “throw everything in a pan” stumble upon a scientifically perfect flavour combination one hungover Sunday morning, they’re all good. Because they mean the same thing: that deeply warming off-and-on tradition that brings your family or friends or both together. This is Star Wars.

Each era, each rendition is good in its own way regardless of your personal preference, because at the end of the day, it’s all still Star Wars. This new era means a little less to me than the originals. In roast terms, I’ll always favour Mama Ralph’s hallowed chicken supper; I’m a traditionalist and a creature of habit. But the new era is good, too. The films are decent, the stories feel in line with what the franchise is about and the artistic choices made, so far, by both directors and producers have left me quite satisfied. I have to say, though, that I’m probably one of the only people who thought Rogue One wasn’t super great. The whole film felt rushed, some of the story didn’t make sense and Forest Whitaker’s Saw Garrera only existed to perish under falling rocks for no reason. Also, Donnie Yen created a whole new martial art style for his character to use in the film and only got one good fight scene! I felt a bit cheated, like when I’m not as quick as my brothers to get to the last roast potato and am left with a gaping potato-sized hole in my heart.

Warm dinner analogies aside, I’ll always love Star Wars, always find it entertaining, but regardless of what comes out from now on 4, 5 and 6 will always be my yummy home-cooked meal. Fuck, sorry… I think I’m just really hungry, actually.

Julia

I’m never going to feel the new era of Star Wars takes a bigger place in my heart than Episodes 4, 5 and 6 because of nostalgia, but it definitely puts up a good fight. Perhaps if I had never seen the first films at all and saw the new generation first, it’d be different. Introducing Rey to the films as a female wielding a lightsaber is going to do so much for the little girls growing up in this generation. It was immediately the first thing I thought coming out of the theater after watching The Force Awakens. Growing up, if I wanted to play lightsaber fights out in the school yard, there’d always be someone who said that I couldn’t use a lightsaber, that I’d have to be Leia or Padme and use a blaster. It was at this point that I’d have to make up a character because I just didn’t really see a female main character fighting with a lightsaber when I was growing up. The new era of films also humanizes the two sides because of Finn, and it’s just been so exciting seeing where the new films go because it adds another layer of complexity to the galaxy far, far away.

Shona

I was never originally a huge Star Wars fan, preferring other sci-fi such as Stargate and Star Trek instead. However, the new generation has really drawn me in. I thought that The Force Awakens was really fun, and when people made comparisons between it and Episode 4, I went back and watched 4 again and enjoyed it more than I had in the past. I absolutely loved Rogue One, and I’m really looking forward to The Last Jedi now.

Maude

The new era of Star Wars, to me, means not only the continuation of the Skywalker Saga, but a glimpse into other untold aspects of this galaxy from a long, long time ago. Sure, from a certain point of view it may look like an oversaturation of comics, film, merchandise (OH, THE MERCH) as a successful cash cow source, but it also means a time of strong female lead characters, diversity and a new wave of padawans who learn to know what “hope” feels like.


So say we all.

Let us know what this new era of Star Wars means to you by leaving a comment below, or sending me (@aj_caulfield) or the Geek Bomb account (@GeekBomb) a tweet on Twitter.