The Force: Inspiration for Action

I began reading mythology when I was in grade school.  Of course I started with the Greek and Roman myths and gods/goddesses.  I even read Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey before they were a school assignment.  I passed from there into Viking and Nordic myths and found King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.  I eventually read the Mabinogion and all available things Celtic and Welsh.  I branched into folklore, comparative religion, Wicca and paganism. I love fiction that is based on folktales and myths rewritten and given new twists and interpretations.

Eventually, I found Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.  And then came STAR WARS, the modern myth of the “hero’s journey” and the struggle between good and evil.  I am currently listening to Carrie Fisher read her biographical book THE PRINCESS DIARIES.  I had previously watched and enjoyed  her comedy show, Wishful Drinking. I knew it would be fun and funny.  Plus, i found out some things that I didn’t know.  For example, she and Harrison Ford were sleeping together during filming when they and Mark Hamill were still virtually unknown actors.

My favorite character was Obi Wan Kenobi.  I followed that crush with Han Solo and then Yoda.  After all, who can forget, “No.  Try not.  Do or do not. There is no try.”

The idea of the Force as neutral until someone good or evil (or grey) uses it and that it forever seeks balance or equilibrium is fundamental and universal.  George Lucas and Joseph Campbell became friends and Star Wars carried the Monomyth of the “hero’s journey” forward for generations of fans around the world.  More than four decades after the release of the first STAR WARS movie (now called A New Hope), the phrase “may the force be with you” is better known than many religious references (“doubting Thomas,” “lamb to the slaughter,” “many are called but few are chosen,” to suggest a few).

If a movie can inspire generations worldwide, I have some hope that those same generations will take action to balance the forces at work in the world today.