Pete’s Perspective: Star Wars

In+this+image+from+%22Star+Wars+Episode+V%3A+The+Empire+Strikes+Back%2C%3A+Darth+Vader+reaches+out+toward+his+son+after+defeating+him+in+battle.+image+courtesy+of+wookiepedia

In this image from "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,: Darth Vader reaches out toward his son after defeating him in battle. image courtesy of wookiepedia

In this image from "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,: Darth Vader reaches out toward his son after defeating him in battle. image courtesy of wookiepedia
In this image from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,” Darth Vader reaches out toward his son after defeating him in battle. image courtesy of wookiepedia

By Peter Ercolani

At this moment, in this galaxy, there is no franchise more popular than Star Wars. The seventh entry in the legendary saga arrives next week to sold-out theaters. Christmas day will see the opening of thousands of Star Wars-themed presents by children around the globe. Is it morally right for such blatant commercial interests to have such a hold on the heart of our culture? I have no idea, but while it is true that this financial force has provided us with a bunch of useless plastic toys, the Star Wars saga provides a few important moral lessons, which I have listed here.

  1. Family is important

“Luke, I am your father!” Almost everyone knows that these words relate the extraordinary revelation that the villainous Darth Vader is the dad of hero Luke Skywalker. Although Star Wars is mostly lauded for its spectacular special effects and sense of adventure, it is also a moving story about domestic issues on a galactic level. A special kind of heartfelt drama is sure to follow when it turns out your dad is an evil cyborg warrior who wants to rule the galaxy with an iron fist. I can only imagine what this would be like, though, since the worst thing my father makes me do is take out the trash when it is cold at night.

  1. Keep your limbs safe

    Crying out, Luke Skywalker loses his hand in this scene from "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.: image courtesy of starwars.com
    Crying out, Luke Skywalker loses his hand in this scene from “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.: image courtesy of starwars.com

The Star Wars saga is filled with the dismemberment of limbs. This is mostly due to the fact that many of its heroes and villains wield laser swords and find many reasons to fight about their philosophical differences. Since I need my limbs to walk around and play the new “Star Wars: Battlefront” video game, I would be extremely annoyed if someone chopped them off my body because I do not support Bernie Sanders (that would be one way to “feel the Bern!”) Fortunately for my female classmates at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, their legs are protected by the enforcement of controversial skirt length rules. Think about that the next time someone tweets “#freetheknee!”

  1. Do; do not try

    Yoda gazes at his student in "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back." image courtesy of wookiepedia
    Yoda gazes at his student in “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” image courtesy of wookiepedia

The oldest character in the Star Wars series, and my favorite moral authority besides Pope Francis, the small green alien Yoda offers a wealth of wisdom to both the series’ heroes and its audience. His legendary teaching “Do, or do not, there is no try” is actually consistent with the Catholic view of spiritual will and choice and is partially responsible for motivating me to finish dozens of different homework assignments. It is also important advice for those seeking tickets to the upcoming seventh episodebuy your tickets online; do not wait to “try” to buy them at the theater! There is no telling what kind of wisdom will be imparted by “The Force Awakens,” but if it is anything like its predecessors, the movie is sure to inspire people around the world (and sell millions of dollars of action figures).