Happy May the Fourth to all of you Star Wars fans! I’m probably not what you would consider an avid enthusiast— the extent of my interest can wax and wane with time—but it’s still one of my favorite fictional universes. Considering my favorite MMO right now is Star Wars: The Old Republic I’m thinking about the franchise a lot more now than I have in a while, so today I offer you three reasons I like Star Wars.
- Friendship Ties- My interest in Star Wars started with a group of friends from my high school days. I began collecting comics in Jr. High but as for the rest of my favorite fictional playgrounds, I didn’t know much about them until I was a senior in high school. Star Wars, along with Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and Mystery Science Theater 3000 were all introduced to me by this group of seven guys and as such any fondness I have for those franchises stems from the memories I have exploring them all for the first time with my friends. In fact, this winter I’m hoping to reconnect with several of my high school buddies with the release of The Force Awakens.
- Extended Universe- One of my friends from high school was an avid reader and let me borrow the Thrawn trilogy. I instantly fell in love with the Extended Universe. Since then I periodically go through phases where I binge on Star Wars books and since those first three I have read around thirty additional titles. Looking back, I would say the books are what I like most about the franchise which is why I am saddened by the decision to rewrite the time period after Return of the Jedi, turning my favorite Star Wars sagas into mere legends. What I like about the Extended Universe is the focus on family relationships, family legacy, and a deeper look into particular cultures within the Star Wars Universe. One of my favorite series is Legacy of the Force for (among many things) the insight it provided into the Mandalorian culture and the family and community relationships of Boba Fett.
- Theological Exercise- There’s nothing distinctly Christian with regard to the philosophizing about the Force that goes on in these books but they have still provided me ample opportunity to think about real life moral, metaphysical, and theological concerns from a Christian perspective. For example, the fall of Jacen Solo and the views Luke Skywalker expressed in Legacy of the Force were great illustrations of the effects pragmatism can have on our moral reasoning, especially when under duress. Even if the Force is fictional, a lot of the musings presented in the EU books are rooted in real life religious and philosophical questions and I like the process of examining different perspectives.