The success of the latest "Star Wars" movie, “The Force Awakens,” is the result of a deep-rooted sense of nostalgia that the human brain lives on, suggests a series of empirical experiments.

Hollywood has, over the decades, perfected the art of making money off nostalgia, suggests the research, adding that the producers continue to tap into this extremely primitive sentiment to get millions throng the cinemas for Godzilla after Godzilla, and Jurassic Park after Jurassic Park.

The experiments, which have appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, show that nostalgia explains why grown up men buy fluorescent plastic tubes though they know perfectly well that those aren’t light sabres. The influence of nostalgia on the human brain is so strong that consumers asked to think about the past were willing to pay more for products than those who were told to think about new memories or future scenarios.

Coming back to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Peter Suderman at Vox says, “George Lucas (the director of Star Wars) drew upon his personal nostalgia to create something that, in its particular combination of references and allusions, felt thrillingly, excitingly new,” reports The Hindu.

The link between nostalgia and people’s response to situations has been the subject of many a recent study. Writing in Current Directions in Psychological Science, Constantine Sedikides and his colleagues say that people are more likely to give their money to others after thinking or reflecting on a past event.

The team feels that nostalgia is actually a healthy emotion that promotes self-esteem and an enhanced feeling of being loved or protected.

From a scientific perspective, every human experience leaves certain “neural traces and patterns” on different regions of the brain. These neurons get stimulated as a result of the visual and auditory sensations involved in watching a movie.

A movie like Star Wars, with its own set of multi layered experiences, leaves it own unique imprint or emotional traces on the brain. The brain draws on these emotional traces, left behind by an earlier Star Wars, when it is exposed to a new version. The emotional impact is so strong that even the mention of the words “Star Wars” stimulates the neural patterns formed at the time of watching the first movie.