Milford Embraces ‘Star Wars’ Culture

Ashley Morin and Robert Knight

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Star Wars is a blockbuster movie franchise that needs no introduction, with nine films already in the franchise and a 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th on the way. This December, “The Last Jedi” comes out and Star Wars fans are in a frenzy for every new addition to the extensive story that takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

At Milford High School there is a group of fans spanning generations in its teachers and students. As of September 28th, students formed a club for their beloved series to hold in Mr. Kehoe’s room after school on Thursday’s from 2-3 p.m. There, the fans discuss Star Wars lore and participate in fun activities.

The newest film to the saga premieres in theatres on Dec. 18th. Star Wars fan and Senior Ivan Ginsbach expressed his overwhelming excitement for the film.

“I am so hyped for “The Last Jedi”, mostly because the trailer was so awesome,” haven’t have a big budget, but the special effects were really good.” As for the newer movies to land on the-silver-screen, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, was a step-up from the early 2000s tragic-trifecta of a prequel trilogy. “Rogue One” was put together well.” Mr. O’Leary continued. “Rogue One” was good,  more realistic, there was firing blasters, lightsabers, there was going to be blood,” he said.

 

Senior and Junior battling with lightsabers. (Photo by Robert Knight)

This film has millions of fans awaiting the experience of the upcoming sequel to the latest film.

There are many fans of Star Wars throughout Milford High School. Three students and Star Wars Club attendees, Senior Ivan Ginsbach, Junior Sam Chemiel-Willcock, and Senior Ian Flanagan, as well as teachers Mr. Laginess and Mr. O’Leary are fans of the movie franchise as well.

“I went to see “The Force Awakens” with my cousin and have been in love ever since,” said Sam Chemiel-Willcock. She goes on to say that after seeing the 2015 film, she has scoured through many different sectors of the culture. Chemiel-Willcock often partakes in many events and dresses up for Star Wars events. “I have done modelling and stage combat work involving my Rey cosplay.”

 

However, fellow club-members Flanagan and Ginsbach have been following the franchise for most of their childhood and both have gone a different path from Chemiel-Willcock. Both of them care more to dive into the comics and television shows, such as Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

 

Junior, Sam Chemiel-Willcock wielding Ivan Ginsbach’s green lightsaber. (Photo by Ashley Morin)

No one must forget the original fans who supported the films when the original trilogy first came to theatres. Mr. O’Leary was a junior in high school when the first movie premiered in 1977. As he recollected upon the culture surrounding the films at the time, he said, “It was something different…the word was they didn’t have a big budget, but the special effects were really good.” As for the newer movies to land on the-silver-screen, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, was a step-up from the early 2000s tragic-trifecta of a prequel trilogy. “Rogue One” was put together well.” Mr. O’Leary continued. “Rogue One” was good,  more realistic, there was firing blasters, lightsabers, there was going to be blood,” he said.

Mr. Laginess is also a huge fan of the films. He was only a one-year-old when they arrived; however, as he grew up, he saw Return of the Jedi when he was seven and gained an instant love for the saga. He can recall seeing it for the first time with his uncle, brother and cousin. While thinking back, he chuckled as he remembered nearly getting kicked out of the theatre. “It was the best event of my life,” explained Laginess. “I remember there was a scene where Luke is jumping on Jabba the Hutt’s ship; he gives R2 the sign and he jumps, flips and gets the lightsaber. I turn to my cousin and I remember saying something to the effect of ‘This is awesome! This is why we’re here!’ and an usher, no kidding, came down with a flashlight eventually and shined it on us and said ‘we’re getting a lot of complaints about you kids; you’re gonna have to calm it down or you’re getting kicked out of here.’ We watched the rest in relative peace. It was great.” His family is truly a Star Wars household. Laginess hasn’t skipped out on indulging his children on the saga. He’s given his two daughters collectable Star Wars action figures to play with unlike particular fans, who would have kept the figures for their high value from the decades past.

 

One mustn’t forget long-time fans like Laginess and O’Leary that have kept the saga alive for millions more to enjoy of the years. Characters such as R2-D2, the blue and white droid, along with the dark, brooding figure of Darth Vader are quite iconic, which embeds Star Wars into the movie-going society even for those who don’t have a passion for it. The culture of Star Wars is vast and deep with content and is much more to its fans than a science-fiction shoot’em-up.

Club co-leader Roby Knight and member Ivan Ginsbach engaged in a lightsaber duel. (Photo by Ashley Morin)

Fans can’t wait for what’s to come in the future of Star Wars; in the new movies, fans will cling to their seats as Rey (the newest protagonist) and Kylo Ren (the newest antagonist) interact on the silver-screen. At Milford, with the assistance of Chemiel-Willcock, the entire Star Wars Club has pre-ordered tickets for the viewing of the upcoming film ‘The Last Jedi.’ Mr. Laginess holds hope for the film as many are skeptical of it doing as well as its predecessor known as ‘The Force Awakens,’ due to the new director Rian Johnson.

Star Wars culture is extensive and broad and many in the MHS community have a passion for the series. Heart and soul breathes through the films from the community of old and young that adore it; this rings true of Milford teachers and students alike.

 

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