By Ali Kochik
Around this time of year, people begin to feel a lot of emotions towards the impending holidays, but contrary to popular belief, those emotions aren’t always “holly jolly.” One of the most disputed Christmas issues is the commercialization of what is for some, the most religious day of the year.
Religions find it disturbing that many big businesses use the birthday of God to increase profit and sell, sell, sell. It’s commonly thought that all the pushing to buy more and more makes everyone lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
According to the Mission Partnership website:
10% of adults say the most important thing about Christmas is the religious meaning.
12% of all adults know the full nativity story.
36% of kids 5-7 don’t know whose birthday we celebrate on December 25.
In this day and age, commercialism has hit an all time high. Around the holidays, we definitely feel the need to spend a lot of money on our loved ones in attempt to prove our love.
However, I don’t necessarily blame the stores for this. They are just trying to do their job, so of course they are going to try to sell a lot around this time.
Michael Wilburn, and an 11 year old from Locust Grove Elementary School said, “I think it’s just because they need to make money by selling stuff and it’s Christmas. So I don’t really care if they do it.”
Stores know their busy season is also the holiday season, so they want to make the most of it. Plus, many aren’t even buying things for themselves.
“I think most people purchase things more around Christmas for other people.” said Molly Bradley, freshman.
I think it’s up to us to teach each other the meaning of the holiday. It can be really simple such as being kinder to one another, or doing some extra charity work. We should teach young kids the reason we are really celebrating. It’s not about the gifts, or Santa, or the food.
It’s about God and being close to your family and friends, and we should teach them that it’s better to give than receive.
“I have no problems with giving gifts. And buying trees and presents are cool, but not as cool as the real meaning.” said math teacher, Mr. Yost. “On Christmas mornings, the first thing we do is get out the Bible and read the Christmas story, even before we open gifts. We should share that with others, to prompt them to kind of, keep the focus where it should be.”
If we do that, then no matter how strong the commercialism becomes, everyone will still be holding the true meaning of Christmas near their hearts the whole season long.
By Ian Adler
Star Wars fans had been waiting and hoping for a continuation of the Star Wars franchise for seven years since the latest film, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. After the purchase of Lucasfilm, Star Wars’ notorious production company, by Disney in 2012, the rumors and confirmations of Episode VII spread like wildfire over the Internet, news, and Star Wars fanbase.
I first took note of the reboot of Star Wars culture after shopping at Kohl’s, where a year or so ago, shelves were filled with Star Wars graphic t-shirts on sale. Now, the stock ranges from Star Wars BBQ tongs, children’s toys, and onesie pajamas. The enormous commercial market for Star Wars helps make being a “Star Wars nerd” much more appreciated.
“Star Wars is back,” senior Isaiah Workinger said. “It’s prevalent and I’m excited.”
The release of Episode VII is set for December 18, and already $48,000,000 was profited in the first 48 hours of ticket presales according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, including my two ticket contribution. With the series beginning in 1977, Star Wars has brought in a total of around $28,000,000,000 in revenue from all of their assets, which include toys, movies, and TV shows.
In addition to the new movie, Star Wars: Battlefront was released on November 17, with gamers flocking to their local stores to pick up their copies. The game is a continuation of the popular Battlefront series that reigned over Playstations, Playstation 2’s, PC’s and Xbox’s since 2004.
With all of the excitement around the new movie, we have to question, will it reach our standards? Or will “true fans” of the galaxy far, far away be left wondering, “That was it?”
From the battle between armies of Jar-Jar Binks’s and poorly CGI’d droids on a grassy field, to Anakin Skywalker’s widely accepted sub-par acting abilities, and the mismatched victory of Obi-Wan over a four armed lightsaber wielding robot, Episodes I, II, and III aren’t usually seen as the highlight of the Star Wars series.
“I think they were kind of bad,” senior Brian Treible said. “ There was a lot of CGI and there was unnecessary stuff in it like Jar-Jar Binks.”
Personally, I don’t think that those three films were as terrible as everyone makes them out to be, but I very much understand the favoritism of Episodes IV, V, and VI.
“Obviously Episode IV, V, and VI made Star Wars what it is,” Treible said. “I heard from people that were around when the first episode came out that they went to movie theatres multiple times just to watch it.”
“Even though Episodes IV, V, and VI were made first, I feel like they were ahead of their time,” senior Judge Kunce said. “I like the graphics and effects. I thought they were better than those in I, II and III, even though those were more modern.”
While some doubt lies in the previous letdowns of the series, many fans are quite confident the movie will impress even the strictest of critics.
“I think it’s going to be really nicely done,” Treible said. “They actually have props in this one, and J.J. Abrams is good, he did the Star Trek movies.”
“I am very much looking forward to the new movie,” Kunce said. “I didn’t want to study into it too much because I just want to find it all out for myself when I watch the movie.”
The trailers leave lots of speculation, leaving Treible questioning “Where’s Luke? What’s Luke doing?” Luke’s face never appears in the three official trailers released, but we can hear his voice and see his hand upon R2D2.
“When I watched one of the trailers, I think Luke was talking and I want to find out what’s up with that,” Kunce said. “He said something about ‘My sister has the force’, so I just want to find out when I see the movie, I’m excited for that.”
We were also introduced to the new antagonist, Kylo Ren, a Darth Vader admirer who plans to “finish what you (Vader) started.” The new main protagonists include Rey, the possible daughter of Han Solo and Leia, and Finn, an ex-stormtrooper who appears to be a new member of the Rebel Army.
While new characters are introduced, the original cast members also make some appearances. “They got Han Solo back, they got Chewbacca back, they got Luke back, Leia, all those good characters,” Treible said.
Personally, I’ve watched the third trailer at least 20 times, and it hasn’t failed to give me chills yet. I think that the suspense the trailers leave us with is all part of the plan to entice doubtful fans, but I myself am entirely confident that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be one of the most thorough and impressive movies of the decade.
May the force be with you all.
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