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The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

May the 4th (Always) Be With You!

Posted over 3 years ago by Heather H

As one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, there’s no doubt that the world loves Star Wars – and so do we!

Unlike many popular movie franchises which originate as book series (hi there, Harry Potter!), Star Wars is a-typical in that it was first a major motion picture. Only after the original movies took off, did the franchise expand into books, comics, graphic novels, video games, and more. Today, Star Wars’ popularity infiltrates almost every area of our library system – from adult fiction, to children’s picture books to movies and music.  A quick search in our catalog brings up more than 1,000 items in just our Library collection alone!

As I type this. I wonder how many articles have been written about the world’s fascination with Star Wars. Everything you’d ever like to know, wax poetic upon, or debate about has likely already been written.  

So, to approach it from a slightly different angle, in honor of Star Wars Day / May the 4th, let’s take a look at four reasons why libraries might love Star Wars (Warning: spoilers possible beyond this point):

1. It’s really all about the story.

Stories are what Libraries are all about! And let’s face it, the Star Wars story – or rather, stories – are tried and true formulas that offer something for everyone.

Crave a dramatic family saga?
Meet the Skywalkers.

Looking for love?
Nothing says romance like professing your love while the object of your desire is preparing for a nice long carbon freeze or fending off Stormtroopers! 

And let’s not forget about the imaginative sci-fi components or the age old battle between good vs. evil!

2. It embraces diversity. 

If you’re an avid reader, chances are you love some thorough character development – and Star Wars offers that in spades! In the Star Wars world, you’ll find characters of all colors, shapes, sizes, species, and plots in life. If that’s not diversity, I don’t know what is!

Diversity is one of the most important and appealing features of the Star Wars franchise in my opinion. I enjoy books written from diverse perspectives and tend to look for books with powerful women. Star Wars offers both.

Speaking of heroines…If you’re looking for some…meet Princess Leia. And Queen Amidala. And Rey. And Maz Kanata. And Beru Lars. And Jocasta Nu. I could go on, but you get the picture. There are plenty of strong, independent females to learn from and be inspired by throughout the Star Wars franchise.

While Star Wars hasn’t always hit the mark when it comes to positive diversity (I’m sorry Jar Jar…it wasn’t all your fault), kids who grow up with the franchise will see a lesbian governor (Delian Mors), non-traditional families, romance that crosses socioeconomic and racial borders, and minorities in leading roles. Read more about the importance of diversity in this Esquire interview with Rogue One star Diego Luna. The storyline even features leading characters who are disabled, and likewise takes a powerful look at how disabilities can influence us.

3. It’s timeless. 

Some books and/or stories age out over time. They lose their appeal or just seem generally outdated (try using a 1990 computer manual in today’s world) and therefore become useless for a library to keep in its collection.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love the movie; but have you watched Back to the Future II lately? The 1989 film seemed pretty futuristic for its time and then 2015 hit (the year in which the film partially takes place) and well, it definitely included some misses. While I certainly can live without a hooverboard (I’d just fall off of it anyway), I am still waiting for clothing that perfectly adjusts to fit my body!

Initially written in the 1970s, Star Wars on the other hand, has been able to hold onto its futuristic vibe because for starters, it’s set in non-Earth time. Even setting technology aside, Star Wars’ storylines hold up. It goes back to what I reviewed in number 1 of this list – A strong storyline is timeless and Star Wars is built upon strong storylines.

4. It’s universally appealing. 

Libraries exist to serve various ages, reading levels, interests, backgrounds, and so on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy to find books, movies, and music that do as well. Star Wars is one of the few entities that can appeal to almost anyone.

If you love classical music, you’ll love the movie scores.
If you have little ones at home, you may enjoy Star Wars picture books.
Passionate about astronomy?  Check out Star Wars: the Essential Guide to Planets & Moons!
Are your chef talents out of this world? Trying cooking for a Wookiee with The Star Wars Cook Book.  

It’s this universal appeal that also makes it easy for libraries to create programs that will bring in a diverse audience, and that’s ultimately what we love to see – a community coming together to celebrate stories!

Toledo Library Loves Star Wars by Slidely Slideshow

May the 4th Be With You…At Reynolds Corners Branch Library.

Stop into our Reynolds Corners Branch during Library hours this week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Star Wars film. Guess how many Star Wars LEGO bricks are in the jar for a chance to win!