What Makes a Movie Multi-Generational?


The first installment of the new “Star Wars” Trilogy has heralded a healthy dose of nostalgia and excitement in equal amounts. Skeptics and doubters alike have been silenced in droves by the heartfelt film that has brought new life into a classic formula.

Is this the defining movie of our generation? I don’t think so. However, its blatant parallels to the original trilogy’s “A New Hope” allows longtime fans (such as my father) to connect with our generation in a unique and authentic manner. Few other outlets allow parents to connect with their children better than cinema.

Why is that? What makes a film multi-generational? More pressingly, what makes the Star Wars universe and associated films so pertinent to popular culture and important to our current society?

Searching within the depths of my own soul for the answer, I, aided by the vast information found on the Internet, have compiled a comprehensive list of the major components that make a movie a classic. Here are some of the most agreed-upon elements:


  • Strong Directors. With a film whiz behind the camera, some movies’ cinematography, direction and aesthetic value continue to stand the test of time again and again.
  • Audience Affection. This one is pretty obvious, but it deserves to be mentioned. Even when a movie has terrible dialogue, a weak story and lazy special effects, it can still win the hearts of the masses. With either its stunning magnificence or blistering incompetence, movies can build up a solid following who will keep the film alive in culture.
  • It Is Re-watchable. It’s happened more times than you can count. It’s Saturday night. Your lack of friends and social life continues to haunt your mind and leave your messaging apps empty. What is to be done? “Space Jam?” “Space Jam.”
  • Quotes. Elementary, my dear Watson. Round up the usual suspects. Whether it’s stuffing cotton balls into your mouth to emulate the voice of Marlon Brando in “The Godfather,” or letting loose an exasperated “Allllllrighty then” in honour of Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura, the allure of regurgitating cheeky movie quotes is an offer no one can refuse.