Maybe I’m looking too far into the future. I know I live in my head quite a bit. I used to think I was the only one who did, but I learned otherwise. While I’m inclined to believe it to be a writing affliction, I know that isn’t entirely true.
The sky isn’t falling, but the world does seem like it’s in a dark place right now. Fortunately, we have Dec. 15th to look forward to. While the date serves as a deadline to sign up for healthcare at healthcare.gov, it’s also my niece’s fourth birthday! I don’t get to spend as much time with her, so I really hope to turn her into a Star Wars fan if she isn’t already. The date also serves as something a lot of us have been looking forward to for a while now: the new Star Wars movie.
The very first Star Wars movie I watched was Episode One (to save some space, I’m assuming you know which movies are what by now. If not, you are definitely missing out on a wonderful fantasy). I’m not a diehard fan to the extent that I know all of the release dates and the differences between the original and the director cuts (we ALL know Han shot first — it wasn’t his first rodeo).
I am more into the philosophy and story. I also have all of those basic facts about Star Wars at the tips of my fingers, so it just isn’t as important to me on a personal level. On a wider scale, the story of the universe of Star Wars is of all of the virtues of being good or evil (or neither!)
I’m an avid gamer, so what really sold it to me was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I rented it for the Xbox back when renting video games was a thing. This game won 2004 game of the year from Game Developers Choice Award. Its sequel, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, also won several “Game of the Year” awards, developed by Obsidian and criticized so favorably as to state that it far surpassed its predecessor.
Those two games were important because they allowed for a completely new story line based in the Star Wars universe, which was a new concept for many people at the time. Thousands of years before the first episode (The Phantom Menace) is when these stories take place, the first following Revan. Revan (which is my favorite, and not because we share similarities in name) was a Jedi. He and his apprentice turned Sith after reaching an unchartered area of space.
Revan was later brought back to the light by Bastilla, a Jedi with a force ability called “Battle Meditation.” Revan and Bastilla then face against Revan’s apprentice and the day is saved. The sequel followed a former comrade who fought in the Mandalorian Wars. He (or she, depending on what you choose) had some affinity to the force, but lost it after a highly traumatic event. It was later learned that the trauma caused his/her loss to use the force. This game’s writing was enthralling because of the concept of “Grey Jedi.”
Just as there are those who fight for the light side as Jedi and those who fight for the dark side as Sith, Grey Jedi tend to walk a thin line between the light and dark sides. It’s argued that these Jedi are quite powerful due to their mastery of both sides of the force. It’s also argued that they are the ones who truly seek for a balance in the force.
Revan was one of those Grey Jedi. There were books written because of these video games (so many books!) Not just on Revan, but one explains what happens to Revan and how he was turned. He also stumbles upon one of the most powerful Sith to ever live (aren’t they all?) This Sith was able to consume planets entirely of his own accord. He didn’t need a Death Star. While Darth Vader was extremely adept in mechanics and proving his own capabilities for destruction, this Sith is on an entirely different level because he doesn’t need to create something in order to do it — he just does it.
Other books explain more about the rule of two with Sith, developed by Darth Bane. This trilogy of books was really enjoyable for me because there were entirely new characters to learn as well as new things to the force. It was a dive into the dark side to learn more about it from their standpoint. Other books explain Darth Plagueis, Emperor Palpatine’s master, and how his apprentice rose to power. Another dive into the dark side.
The philosophy is still the same throughout it, though. Those serving the light were able to rise because of the darkness, and likewise for darkness to rise because of the light. It’s weird, but you can see a cycle from it. If there were no obstacles thrown our way, no challenges for us to conquer, how ever would we grow? Eventually, those serving the light grow comfortable in their victory, just as the Sith do in theirs, leading to their inevitable downfall.
Isn’t that what’s so fascinating about the series, though? The constant struggle of light and darkness? Inside of us is the potential for either and our choices always come with consequences, whether that be a reward or a punishment. Each of us has our own code to live by, of what is right or wrong. Without any observational awareness for this, your actions eventually line with one or the other.
If you constantly make good choices, you’ll be rewarded for them. This also means that somehow the universe (the force) will balance itself out for that as well, meaning that there is a possibility for the existence of someone constantly making “evil” choices.
I have a strong admiration for the writing behind Star Wars. I see plenty of flaws with the movies, but I allow myself to live in the universe rather than to focus on these things. It’s fascinating comparing the first three and second three sets of movies. The first tends to be lighter, the second darker, then the third somewhat of a balance. In Episode 4 to 6, we see a ruling empire and plenty serving the dark side (whether they know it or not) only to eventually crumble and balance. In Episode 1 to 3 we see an overwhelming population of servants to the light side only to eventually crumble and balance.
Of each set: We see the first movies meant to bring in the new generation and introduce them into an exciting new world, then the second movies to throw you into the deep end with plot twists until, finally, the last movies bring everything to a close — leaving your curiosity dehydrated asking “But what happens after THAT?”
The last time I was this excited was for “Logan.” To prepare, I’ll be attempting a marathon of Star Wars. Is anyone else as excited as I am? If not, I feel you are truly missing out on the wonders of imagination with this universe.