Today is that day where fans of Star Wars all over the world come together to say “May the 4th be with you!”
It’s amazing just how much of my life is spent thinking about Star Wars. In addition to having seen the films and playing with the toys as a kid, I read books about the extended universe, watch the Clone Wars TV show religiously, have way too many random Star Wars things lying around (including a book on how to be a Jedi and some very cool coasters). It’s also entirely possible that Return of the Jedi is on TV in the background as I write this. I even have a secret liking for the first prequel movie.
I mean is there a bad guy as cool as Darth Maul in any other galaxy far, far away?
The thing is Star Wars goes far beyond just the films. The reason that fans came out of the cinemas and got right back in line to see the film again isn’t just because of the awesome acting (ahem).
There’s something in the mythology of Star Wars that grabs us deep inside. Lucas himself admits this is because when forming the story he drew heavily on folklore and the successes of other stories in the past. This is why you can see a lot of King Arthur in Luke Skywalker, King David from the bible and even Jesus. The form is familiar and has been used since in Harry Potter.
It’s a well worn formula that sees the hero grow up in obscurity, blissfully unaware of the fact that he has been slated for better things. With a royal lineage, special powers he didn’t even know he had and a crisis that only he can deal with. Star Wars is a modern version of a story that is retold over and over again. With an old wizard to serve as mentor, an evil king to serve as the enemy and an evil dictatorship that needs to be overthrown. Star Wars ticks all of the classic boxes.
This wonderful universe comes complete with weird and wacky aliens (lets not bother talking about Jaja Binx), animals and awesome space ships plus intense battles there is something here for everyone. But there is one more thing which is so subtle that most people may not even notice it that serves to attract us; morality.
In Star Wars you have bad guys and you have good guys. You have people who were good turning bad and people who were bad turning good but there is no grey in the Star Wars universe. Even Han Solo the smuggler isn’t ‘bad’. He is just breaking the laws of an immoral empire. It’s that lack of a grey area in Star Wars which makes it so easy to simply fall into this parallel world. This simplicity serves to entirely remove us from our own universe. Either you’re a Jedi or a Sith, you can’t be both. You embrace good or you embrace evil. You can leave one for the other but you can’t be both at once.
Awesome in its simplicity uncompromising in message. Once you start down the path of the Dark side forever will it dominate your future.
May the 4th be with you!