Star Wars Episode VII: Return of Harrison Ford?

Jake GammonHead of Omnibus, US
May 14, 2014, 7:43 PM GMT+0

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” hasn’t seemed so distant as of late. The exciting news over the upcoming Star Wars film, as well as last week’s unofficial celebration of Star Wars day (May 4), shows that the often-lauded sci-fi series still continues to generate excitement amongst American adults and teenagers.

News that Director George Lucas has decided to feature cast members from the original trilogy has struck a chord. Many of the Americans surveyed, who have already seen a Star Wars film, were excited to see familiar faces again (30%) and thought the inclusion of the old actors, with their strong characters, would be fun to watch (32%). Forty-two percent, however, did say they were withholding judgment until after they have seen the movie; the number is even higher at 49% for avid fans (viewers who saw all six Star Wars films).

Among the original cast, Americans who stated that they were likely to watch the new movie were most excited to see Harrison Ford (69%), Carrie Fisher (50%), and Mark Hamill (48%) return to the set. Asked their favorite character, renegade Han Solo proved to be the most popular (19%) followed by Luke Skywalker (13%) and R2-D2 (12%). Han Solo was particularly preferred by the avid fans (those who have seen all 6 Star Wars movies) at 23%.

44% of US adults were already aware of the 2015 release and 49% agree that they would likely watch the film during its release. Americans who have seen at least one Star Wars film in the past said that they are interested (50%), intrigued (36%), and excited (28%) about the forthcoming movie.

Star Wars is still one of the rare brands recognizable amongst multiple generations. While fewer Americans aged 18-34 (53%) have seen at least one Star Wars film compared to the over 55s (67%), the series had higher viewership than popular brands such as Superman, Transformers, Lord of the Rings, and X-Men. Many other well-established series retained a higher viewership among the older generation as opposed to the younger, such as Indiana Jones (73% compared to 52%), James Bond (67% to 44%) and Rocky (61% to 32%).

Star Wars fans agreed that the original trilogy trumped the quality of the second trilogy. When asked about their opinions on the quality of the approaching movie, more fans believed that the new movie would be worse (26%) than any of the movies of the original trilogy, but would be better than the more recent trio (36%).

Viewership of Popular Films Across Different Age Groups

Most Popular Star Wars Characters Amongst Fans

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Find the full results here.

Image courtesy of Getty