The Star Wars franchise is definitely not reserved for nerds and space cadets anymore. Darth Vader has become one of the world’s most famous villains and he has been immortalised in street art, on t-shirts and even in Lego form. Even if you’ve never seen a Star Wars film, you’re almost certain to have crossed paths with phrases such as “may the Force be with you” and “Luke, I am your father.” The Star Wars series has branched out into books, including a book by Ian Doescher entitled William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, in which the script from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was converted into Shakespearean english. An animated series called Star Wars: The Clone Wars was broadcast from 2008 to 2014 and 4 May is considered unofficial Star Wars day.
The Great Gatsby
Many people encounter this acclaimed novel as a prescribed work in matric, and (if you haven’t already) you’ll very likely be attending at least one Gatsby-themed party during your time at university. Over the years, The Great Gatsby has become synonymous with the roaring 20s, and it evokes images of feathered headbands, beaded dresses and extravagant parties. Over the years the novel has been adapted into a ballet, several computer games and an opera. Numerous film versions have also been released, the most notable being Jack Clayton’s 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 version starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
This slightly dark comedy took the world by storm in 2004 and has been one of the most quoted films among young people ever since. Mean Girls has inspired many a meme, as well as a Nintendo game. Screenplay writer Tina Fey confirmed in 2013 that a stage musical of the film will be released. If terms such as “fetch” and “you go Glen Coco” are foreign to you, perhaps it’s time to clear up your schedule and watch this satirical masterpiece. Beware though, as watching this film may leave you feeling personally victimised by Regina George.
This American grunge trio was fronted by one of music’s most influential figures: the late Kurt Cobain. Bassist Krist Novoselic played in several bands after Cobain’s death, while drummer Dave Grohl went on to found the popular alternative rock band Foo Fighters. After the runaway success of their single “Smells like teen spirit”, Nirvana unwittingly aided the commercialisation of alternative rock in the 90s. Nirvana’s smiley face logo can still be seen on clothing and accessories today, although the band’s brand has become less about their music and more about fashion. Regardless, Nirvana spoke to a generation of lost youths and nearly 21 years after Cobain’s death their influence is still as widespread as ever.
Illustration: Monrique Hennig