Flashback: George Lucas reminds us not to obsess over Star Wars

George Lucas offered a simple perspective of how to view Star Wars.

Star Wars has always felt like it’s bigger than us and yet strangely possible in its own way. Sure, we won’t be wielding lightsabers or moving objects with our minds any time soon, but the overarching themes of Star Wars are as real as our everyday lives. We watch people we love make destructive decisions and yet believe there’s still good in them and that redemption is possible. We see that government can be corrupted and that it often takes a small group of people with the courage to stand against the status quo to bring about change. We see that despite the events leading up to our current moment, we can still choose our own destiny.

Don’t let Star Wars distract you from living

Few franchises have a more dedicated and diverse fandom than Star Wars, but there’s a danger in getting so caught up in the minutiae of the story that everything in life revolves around the events that take place in this galaxy far, far away.

This was a reminder Lucasfilm creative art director Phil Szostak provided recently when he tweeted a quote made by George Lucas from his 2005 Star Wars Celebration Interview. Lucas encouraged fans to not “let Star Wars take over [their] lives… The point of the movie is to *get on* with your lives, to take that challenge. To leave your uncle’s moisture farm, go out into the world, change it and save the universe.”

Star Wars is the quintessential call to adventure

It’s common knowledge that Lucas developed the plot of Star Wars around the structure of The Hero’s Journey — as outlined by Joseph Campbell. The Hero’s Journey has resonated with audiences for thousands of years because it represents infinite possibility in the face of the mundane that often characterizes our everyday lives. We see Luke Skywalker, a humble farm boy, drawn into an adventure on an intergalactic scale, wrestling with struggles as old as time, and we’re inspired by the possibilities of our own world.

But Star Wars, according to George Lucas, isn’t a destination. It’s a launching point toward a better, more fulfilled life. It’s not about endless debates with other fans who disagree with our interpretations, and it’s not about spending every waking moment dreaming of a world where the Force is real and anyone can be a Jedi. Sure, those things are fun and might be worth some of our time, but this story is meant to encourage us toward action, to “go out into the world, change it and save the universe,” as Lucas said.

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Whatever that looks like for you, Luke’s journey is a call to pour your heart into whatever you’re most passionate about, and like Luke, you just might change the world.