Authored by: Kent Larson, Family Therapist at Salt Lake County Youth Services
What is the big deal about Star Wars anyway? Why does it have such a following? Don’t people have anything better to do than to nerd-out over Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and DarthVadar? Now, they have these new people coming on (Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron BB-8). Why the obsession?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can certainly speak for myself. It is entertaining, deep in philosophy, and cool. Star Wars came out in the aftermath of the Vietnam conflict and after the effects of a major oil crisis. At this time, many Americans and the international community, were depressed about world events and the standing of the human race in our seeming bleak world. The Star Wars Saga gave many of us hope for the future: good will eventually prevail over bad.
The first movie, “A New Hope” came out when I was in sixth grade and the 3rd movie “Return of the Jedi” came out when I was a Sophomore in High School. I was truly amazed and watched them over and over again.
The saga begins when a seeming insignificant person, Luke Skywalker, becomes someone quite extraordinary and prevails with the Rebels over the empire. As the saga goes on, Luke learns that the powerful and evil Darth Vadar is his father.
The force is introduced in Episode I of the original trilogy as an ancient philosophy and a set of morals. Jedi Knights wield its power for good and the evil uses the dark side of the force to hurt, kill, or impose over anyone who stands in the way of their evil purposes.
I marvel as Luke is being trained as a Jedi Knight, first by the kind and wise Obiwon Kanobe, and then by the cute, powerful, and sage Master Yoda. Several quotes are very meaningful to me. These philosophies rang deeply within me and are certainly applicable now.
“Once you go down that path (of hate and anger), forever will it dominate your destiny.”
It is hard to follow the path of unresolved hatred which lead to unjustified violence, and then turn back to love, kindness, and self-control.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”.
People make a lot of negative choices carelessly or recklessly out of fear. Then inferred is that they turn to the dark side by acting rashly and impulsively. At that point it becomes all about themselves and not about the general good.
If you give in to the easier way, you will go to the dark. It is not more powerful than light, but the more intimidating side of the force. It is so easy to give into the conflicts in our lives and become their servants, as we experience the negative consequences of our choices.
I have to confess that although I loved Episode I of the prequel trilogy The Phantom Menace, it was hard to see the path of Anakin Skywalker turning to evil in Episode II-The Attack of the Clones- and Episode III-Revenge of the Sith. I can’t say I loved Episodes II and III of the prequels. They are dramatic and sad. However, they represent well the path to evil.
Besides the amazing teachings that Luke Skywalker receives in the original trilogy, one of the most powerful moments is when Luke goes up against his father, Darth Vadar, and defeats him.
Then, as the undefeatable Emperor Palpatine is about to kill Luke, Darth Vadar saves Luke’s life while giving his own. This gesture shows the power influence that Luke had by using the force properly. We learned that violence, hatred, and anger are not as powerful as they seem. But patience, respect, and persistence can eventually overcome evil.
I publicly recognize George Lucas pioneering efforts in writing and producing the whole Star Wars Saga. He actually had to risk everything for his films. Critics never thought the first movie in the original trilogy, A New Hope back in 1977, would make it. Yet, it did! Look at what we have now.
May the 4th be with you!