Lessons I Learned From Star Wars

LessonsI finally saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens this weekend, Modern Philosophers, and I can’t seem to stop writing about the Star Wars franchise.

I have made no secret of the fact that Star Wars was the movie that inspired me to be a writer.  As a seven year old in Brooklyn, I wanted nothing more than to run off to join the Rebel Alliance in its fight against the Empire.

Since my stepmother wouldn’t allow me to do that, I learned to escape to galaxies far, far away through the stories I would write all afternoon in my room.

When you’re dorky, scrawny, and have no friends, you have plenty of time on your hands to dream up your own adventures.

Star Wars did more than make me realize I wanted to be a writer, however.  The seven films have taught me so many life lessons, like a wise Jedi Master.

One blog post is not nearly enough to share everything Star Wars has taught me, but every tale must have a beginning.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned from the films…

stormtroopersThe guys in white aren’t always good.  The menacing Stormtroopers, who got a hell of a lot scarier in The Force Awakens, might wear white, but they are bad news.

While they seemed ditzy and were horrible shots in the original trilogy, they are armed with flamethrowers and seen massacring entire villages in the new flick.

Do not mess with the men and women in white.  They are not your friends!

Jedi LightsaberYou can bring a knife to a gun fight.  I don’t care what anyone says, Modern Philosophers, but I’d take a lightsaber over a blaster any day of the week.

Not only can the Jedi’s elegant weapon lop off limbs and topple mighty trees, but it is also wielded by someone who knows to use it with great skill.

I’ve always had the feeling that most beings in the Star Wars galaxy weren’t very good shots, which makes the blaster a poor weapon of choice against the mighty lightsaber.

Luke ForceMind over matter really does work!  The Force proves this point.  Focus your mind, and you can move objects, hit that tiny target in the Death Star, choke people, and convince Stormtroopers to go look someplace else for droids.

Yoda was tiny, but he could moves mountains both literally and figuratively.  Obi-Wan was an old man, but the Force gave him an advantage over soldiers a third his age.

I’ve search my feelings, Modern Philosophers, and I know this all to be true!

Vader evilA person isn’t weak simply because he has a disability.  Darth Vader was pretty much a walking life support system, and he was the second most powerful evil being in that galaxy far, far away.

Even though he sounded like he had a horrible case of asthma, he was no weakling who couldn’t keep up with everyone.

Luke lost a hand, and he came back even stronger in Return of the Jedi.

Heck, Obi Wan had the severe disability of being dead, but he shook that off to become more powerful than ever!

Star Wars made it clear that a disability didn’t have to be a detriment.

jedi wise Makes one stupid, talking differently, it does not.  The next time you think about making fun of someone who has an accent, a speech impediment, or just sounds different from you, think of Yoda.

The Jedi Master, who loved to dispense wisdom in a speech pattern that would make any English teacher’s brain explode, was one of the wisest beings in the Star Wars galaxy.

Who cares if his words came out in an order that made our ears weep?  It only forced his pupils to focus more, which in turn, honed their ability to use the Force.

Knew what he was doing, Master Yoda did!

Luke VaderMy family was far from the most dysfunctional in the universe.  One of the main reasons I got so lost in my writing was because I wanted to escape my family.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, but my stepmother was very demanding, and there was absolutely no pleasing her.  My little sister and I didn’t always get along, and my stepbrother picked on me a lot.

Of course, that was nothing compared to the issues in the Skywalker and Solo clans.

Star Wars taught me that families can be much, much worse, and that gave me a new hope for the future.

skywalker kissDon’t rush that first kiss.  This bit of advice came in really handy during my teens, and it was clearly the reason I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 17.

Even though there were so many girls I wanted to kiss, I had to be absolutely sure that none of them was my long lost sister.

DNA testing cost a lot back then, and my allowance was pretty low.  Plus, it wasn’t like girls were that keen on kissing me after I asked them for a DNA sample.

Sure, this one might have slowed me down in the relationship department, but at least I managed to avoid that awkward situation Luke and Leia shared.

rey desertNo matter how horrible, boring, and hopeless your life might seem, there’s always the chance that an amazing future awaits.  Anakin, Luke, and Rey were all wasting away in the desert before the Force awakened and put them in the middle of the battle for control of the galaxy.

While it seems like you have to be a bored desert dweller for this Star Wars lesson to mean anything, I assure you that is not the case.  There have been times in my life, like after my divorce, when I felt as helpless as a Skywalker surrounded by sand.  And then a stranger came into my life and changed it forever.

There’s always going to be a stranger who will become someone near and dear to you, Modern Philosophers, even though that person might not be a Jedi Knight, a smuggler, or an AWOL Stormtrooper.

When life seems like it is going nowhere, the mere fact that you are alive means that it is going somewhere.  Never forget that!

What has Star Wars taught you, Modern Philosophers?

Remember, the Force is strong with those who follow me on Pinterest…

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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19 Responses to Lessons I Learned From Star Wars

  1. Ocean Bream says:

    Aaaah! This post excites me for I love Star Wars. Those lessons are very astute, Austin. I didn’t see it that way until you pointed it out. Most prominent among the lessons learned is the one about Darth Vader being disabled yet extremely powerful. I never saw him as disabled. How funny, because that is exactly what he is. The second was the one about the dysfunctional family. My goodness, my family’s dysfunctionality pales in comparison to the Skywalker family! Thank you for sharing these valuable life lessons. Makes me realise I must reflect more on the movies I love, they aren’t just mind numbing fodder. I knew I loved them for a reason 😉

  2. donedreaming says:

    Fabulous insight, I’ll look at Star Wars in a whole new way 🙂

  3. donedreaming says:

    I think I was too obsessed with Han Solo to notice these things before ..

  4. I love this. What I learned from Star Wars is that my love of astronomy has propelled me in directions I never imagined. May the Force be with you.

  5. The Hook says:

    I learned to never trust George Lucas to make prequels.
    That guy’s cray-cray…

  6. OMG I had totally forgotten that Luke kissed Leia…Leia kissed Luke…whatever. ACK!

  7. I have to admit, I only saw the first (well whatever they renumbered it) and the one with the Ewoks. I know, SAD!

  8. Silly Mummy says:

    That grammar rated over it is? Just kidding, I love grammar, and Yoda needs to sort out his damn sentence structure! And that not everyone can pull off plaiting their hair around their ears. Honestly, I saw the first three (now the end three? Middle three? I’ve lost track) as a kid and was fairly indifferent, and never seen the new films so I didn’t learn that much, I’m afraid!

  9. I absolutely LOVE Star Wars!!!!! I learned the force is with me. At least thats what I tell my friends….

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