My Inspiration: Star Wars
My Big Love
Welcome to a post about one of my big loves, Star Wars. Now I know as much as there are people who absolutely love Star Wars (i.e. me), there will be just as many who don’t understand what all the fuss is about. For those of you who think the latter I encourage you to give this post a chance and you may begin to understand what all the fuss is about, or even what the force is about, ha. Okay, enough of those jokes.
I’ll set out my stall by saying I am not one of these Star Wars super fans. I don’t have a Jedi robe, Jedi is not my religion, I don’t dress up as Chewie, and I don’t have a “replica” lightsaber (although if anyone wants to send me a lightsaber then please go ahead). Without further ado lets go into hyper drive and get on with it (sorry again for the cheesy joke).
I am sure everyone has a moment in their life that has inspired them.
A book, a talk someone gave, a teacher, a photo, a painting. Whatever it may be I firmly believe that we have experienced something that has driven us to be where we are today or is pushing us to get somewhere.
For me this moment was seeing a film in 1997, Star Wars – the re-mastered edition. Now films have so much appeal to millions of people for different reasons. So what, makes Star Wars the ultimate inspirational experience for me?
Seeing Star Wars for the first time at a cinema opened my eyes to the limitless of imagination. It truly spoke to me. I felt like I had seen it before, it just made sense to me. I remember watching a documentary about the making of the trilogy and at the showing of one of the first unedited versions to 20th Century, one of the board members got emotional. This was because it was a film that subconsciously he thought had the ideal concepts of a perfect film but never imagined the realisation of it would never happen. Star Wars has a magic that resonates with people on so many levels. Race, evil, good, bad, love, friendship, loyalty, tragedy, the list goes on.
George Lucas created a story that was underpinned by an understanding of the mythical and legendary stories we have heard and loved for centuries. We’re talking about the legend of King Arthur, rescuing the damsel in distress, going on a journey, etc. George Lucas understood what made all these stories resonate so strong with people and depicted that in a way which captured people’s imagination.
Christopher Booker’s book entitled, The Seven Basic Plots, tells us that there are seven archetypal themes that recur in any kind storytelling. These are:
- Overcoming the Monster
- Rags to Riches
- The Quest
- Voyage and Return
When I first read about these themes I thought that it was so true. When I think about Star Wars you could argue that all of these themes are running simultaneously throughout the trilogy and we can all relate to them.
- Overcoming the monster is the rebellion trying to defeat the empire,
- Rags to riches, Luke going from a humble farm boy to becoming a Jedi,
- The quest, destroying the Death Star,
- Voyage and return, Luke leaving Tatoowine for a life of adventure and returning years later as a mature person to save his friends,
- Comedy, the dynamic interactions between R2-D2, C-3PO and Cherie,
- Tragedy, Anakin becoming Darth Vader and
- Rebirth, Darth Vader renouncing the dark side and dying as his true self, Anakin.
We can argue about what stories run through the Star Wars saga but what we can agree on is that it has multiple story archetypes running through it that are emotional, fun and defining. So it is inspirational to me because of its breath of story telling.
What immediately resonated with me was the imagination to create the Star Wars universe. I had heard of Star Wars before but had never seen it or knew anything about the story. So when I went to the cinema to see A New Hope I wondered whether I would be amazed. Arriving at the cinema late, the first scene I saw was Darth Vader walking on board the starship. What an iconic moment to have as my first encounter with Star Wars. Immediately I was engaged. Even at the young age of thirteen, I left the cinema and thought that is the most incredible thing I have ever seen and will probably ever see. I still think that today, nineteen years later. Many things have come close such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, which I’m sure I’ll discuss some other time, but Star Wars and its sequels and prequels, still remains the experience that has captured my imagination.
Seeing Star Wars inspired me to be a creative person throughout my life. As many young children are, having imagination was a huge part of my childhood. Star Wars was the driving force in making me realise that having imagination is not just for when you are young. It can be a part of you throughout your life. Creating something beautiful with a blank canvas, where the only limit is how much effort you put in, is one of the most stimulating experiences anyone can have.
An alternative reality
Set in a universe not in the realms of reality, Star Wars allows the audience to escape the same struggles in their own lives and experience them in a totally different way and has such a strong emotional anchor to it. We accept the alternative world of the story because we can relate to the characters within it.
From lightsabers, to the power of the force, star ships, different races, they are all elements that make us think that’s cool or interesting or I’d love to have that. Star Wars creates these feelings in abundance and it all stems from one persons incredible imagination.
Ultimate Movie Experience
Alongside wonderful storytelling and broad imagination, Star Wars is fun. I believe that seeing a Star Wars film at the cinema is the ultimate movie experience, there is just nothing like it. I remember watching Episode two: Attack of the clones on the opening release day at Leicester Square and as soon as the credits started rolling the whole audience cheered with excitement. There is no other film experience that makes people feel like that.
That is the end of why Star Wars is inspirational to me. I hope you have found this post interesting and who knows maybe you’ll watch a Star Wars film with different eyes in the future. To end the post I will leave you with some interesting facts about the Star Wars films.
- Return of the Jedi was originally called Revenge of the Jedi. The title was changed shortly before the release of the film in 1983.
- Blue Harvest was used as a codename as filming began for Return of the Jedi. The idea was to not create too much attention to the film and help reduce the cost of production and filming.
- Luke Skywalker was initially called Luke Starkiller before be changed just as filming of A New Hope began.
- Many of the locations used for the scenes on Tatooine can be visited in Tunisia.
- The word Ewok is never actually used in any of the Star Wars films.
- Harrison Ford was asked to feed lines to the actors during auditions for the role of Han Solo and was not originally considered for the role himself.
- During the lightsaber duels in the prequels, Ewan McGregor made the sounds of the lightsaber, which had to be removed during post-production.
- The Star Wars franchise that includes episodes 1-7 and Star Wars: The Close Wars has made a total of $6,249,000,000 of box office revenue.
Do you like Star Wars?
What is your source of inspiration?
No need for postcards, feel free to leave a comment…