On Star Wars
The Son of Skywalker Must Not Become a Jackass
Or Finding the Ethical Core of the Star Wars Films By Ignoring the Ghosts and Muppets
By Scott Lynch
I had to lie during my interview with the evaluation board of my first volunteer fire department. Because of Star Wars. Or perhaps it was more of a calculated omission. In response to the question, “Why do you want to be a volunteer firefighter?” I rattled off a string of boilerplate platitudes–it seemed like it might be fun and interesting, a chance to serve the community, nobody likes to see his neighbors screaming and on fire, et cetera. The members of the board nodded sagely, examined the line on their evaluation form that read Possible Raving Freak Y/N, circled N, and that was that.
How might they have replied if I’d cleared my throat and said, “I’ve wrestled with a deep-seated desire to be a Jedi Knight ever since I was old enough to tie my own shoes, and this seems my best chance to act on that desire in some fashion”? Replied? Hell, they would have pinned me the floor and helped the nice men in white coats jab the needle into my arm.
Nonetheless, it’s true. I have a Jedi complex dating back to that fateful afternoon in 1983 when my father took the five-year-old version of myself to see Return of the Jedi, a film that was to my brain what an industrial electromagnet is to a handful of iron filings. Some days, I might as well be standing on a street corner holding a hand-lettered cardboard sign: Will deflect blaster bolts with lightsaber for food.
It could be …