Thursday, June 2, 2011

Of Sharks and Sith

Flaws: The Revenge of the Bad Argument
A good friend of mine and I got into a discussion/yelling match yesterday after one of his usual digs at the Star Wars series of movies. There is absolutely nothing new to this and his dislike for the movies has been brought up ad infinitum over the course of our friendship. What was new this time and made the argument worthwhile was his assertion that the movie Jaws had had more of a cultural impact than Star Wars had. Surely, despite his dislike for one of the most beloved and far reaching franchises in history, how could anyone actually think that this could be true?

The main point of his side was that Jaws had engrained a deep psychological fear into the hearts of a generation of moviegoers and continues to this day. No one can deny the profound effect that this movie had on the population, but save for several universally panned sequels and a not-too-terribly fun NES videogame, the heart of the influence of Jaws lies only in the fear it causes people that have seen it.

Now for the other side of the coin, Star Wars. Obviously I will not pretend any sense of neutrality on the subject as I consider myself a big fan of the entire series, but I feel as though I can make my point quite easily and logically. Even my friend cannot deny the effect that the series and Lucas had on the the tech and special effects of movies, that in and of itself creating a large cultural impact, but by that same note, Jaws is widely considered to have spawned the Summer Blockbuster movie craze, shifting the main season from Christmas. So I will stick to pure pop culture impact on which Star Wars is nearly unrivaled in modern society. Surely enough a simple Google of Cultural Impact produces the auto-result Cultural Impact of Star Wars and a Wikipedia article created by that same name is the first result to show up.

This, along with the fact that after the 6 movies, hundreds of books, multiple television shows, almost 50 videogames, and millions of fans/homages/spinoffs/references/etc. being ingrained into the zeitgeist of modern day America ever since “A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away” appeared on screen. The series is so influential that a lightsaber prop was flown into orbit for a couple weeks and then returned to Lucas, though I guess the same could have been done with Bruce the Shark if the movie had been set in space.  

The one thing that I cannot deny though is that sharks are definitely real and Star Wars is definitely not, so I do concede that and any related arguments that might come up. 


  1. Star Wars def had a bigger impact.

  2. Star Wars isn't real? Well... I learned something today.

  3. something makes me think of JAWS WARS right now. how about you? xD

  4. Aside from nerds nobody thinks about Star Wars after they've seen the movie. That can't be said for anyone who's seen Jaws. Before Jaws, beach bums were all about the sun, the waves, and the beer. After Jaws, that idea manifested in your mind. What if in this giant ocean, there happens to be a shark that is roaming around these waters? What if. That's what Jaws did to people. It changed what their idea of going to the beach was. Star Wars while fiction and not able to manifest a legit Death Star fear in people, still doesnt influence a persons life like Jaws will. Granted Jaws' influence isnt daily, yearly or even during a decade, if you go to the beach one time in your life, i guarantee the idea of a killer shark, despite it's oddly rare attacks, still gives you that bit of fear. So because of that, i completely agree that Jaws has had a longer, larger, and more legitimate impact on anyone's life than Star Wars has, or will ever have.