From the beginning, Star Wars has told stories inspired by the real world. These stories may be set in a fictional universe, but their themes and messages have always been applicable to our very real lives. Stephen Kent’s new book How the Force Can Fix the World uses lessons from fan-favorite Star Wars stories to show us how to be forces of good among the people around us – those who share our worldview, and those who do not.
From ongoing conflicts between the Empire and Rebel Alliance in the original trilogy to Jedi and senators questioning the true motives of the Republic during The Clone Wars, issues of politics in a galaxy far, far away have always mirrored those of our modern era. People disagree. Arguments become wars. But we sometimes get so caught up in the pew-pew of it all that we forget, several layers deep, Star Wars is more about the relationships between people than the methods they use to battle one another … and what happens when victory is prioritized over empathy.
In his book, Kent focuses his messaging on viewing our world through a Star Wars lens. He touches on politics in each chapter, but mostly as a means of creating a bridge between Star Wars and how to navigate our world as it stands. How do we remain hopeful when everything we’re seeing in the news feels dark, for example? We might think of Luke Skywalker looking out at Tatooine’s twin suns, believing there are better days ahead even if the pending night will be long.
How the Force Can Fix the World‘s chapters on hope and empathy in particular stand out as essential reminders that even though many of us may use Star Wars as an escape from reality – and all who need these stories to serve that purpose are completely justified in doing that as needed – Star Wars itself is a story we’re meant to carry with us wherever we go. It’s not just a story about war, the same way being alive isn’t just about the battles we have to fight in order to survive. Star Wars, and life, is about how to do the most good for the world with the time we have – and how, sometimes, even the most well-meaning among us lose our way and have to find our way back again.
In a time when conflicts become controversies that spark hostile debates between families and friends in a matter of minutes, it’s books like these that can remind us that our words matter – but so do our actions. At its heart, Star Wars is about believing in the good in people even when they’re in the wrong – that even when things seem hopeless, there is always light in the darkness.
After all, saving what we love, not fighting what we hate, is an idea that saved a galaxy far, far away more than once, and can save us, too.
How the Force Can Fix the World is available now wherever you get your Star Wars books.