On Star Wars

I Accuse...Or Zola Meets Yoda...

By David Brin

It cannot be said often enough. We are here to have fun, tossing ideas around, pretending that they matter. Nobody, on either side of the coming argument, contends that the fate of Western civilization will hang upon a literary analysis of the epical and epochal Star Wars series! A series that deserves respect at many levels, if only for the marvelous artists it has employed and the raw pleasure that it has given hundreds of millions.

In fact, though some people may find it surprising, let me make clear that I never interfere when my children request–or demand!–the next Star Wars merchandising gambit. A Lego Death Star or Darth Va-der mask? Another Obi-Wan Happy Meal? I only grit my teeth a little over the merchandising cash flow going to an empire that (in my opinion) could have been a lot more meaningful, a lot more helpful in making a better world. Certainly, my protective instincts don’t get all fired up, eager to shield vulnerable young minds from inimical memes!

Why not?

Because what youngsters–and millions of others–mostly see in movies like these are the simple surfaces. The top layer of lavish, goofy, earnestly preachy and even somewhat noble-minded fun. Out-numbered heroes bravely taking on the odds. Going with your feelings, tossing logic aside and blasting away! It is the innocent spirit of the first movie (A New Hope) that seems to have spread and captured the hearts of millions of people, young and old.

If you ask them about the “moral messages” of Star  …

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