The following is a rebuttal to the previous FACPOV by Cheetah! It was also originally posted to the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc.
Being a so-called 'Star Wars geek' myself from a galaxy far... err, I mean a country far away, I felt compelled to send you this post, not seeking redemption from you, but merely trying to express my point of view in the matter.
(By the way Cheetah!, you really jumped the fence this time...)
First things first, I was around when the original movie came out way back in 1977. I was a kid back then, no more than 6 years old and I knew nothing about Hollywood, Lucas, the 'Force' or how much money they wanted to make with the movie. In fact I knew very little about life, I was (after all) only 6 years old. I knew one thing though, and it was much more than blasters going off, stun guns knocking down people, lightsabers flashing by, it was the silent yet present realization that there was much more to life than the simple, yet fruitful, existence we have.
I paid no real attention to it back then, but it stayed with me throughout the years. Why was it that I liked so much a make-believe world? After all it was all props and actors, right?. I would not find the answer until much, much later.
My first year in College was an eye-opener, the reckless, beer-drinking, TV-junkie I was slowly faded away (well, not totally). It was all replaced by something so simple and yet so powerful that I couldn't believe it was possible: books.
Oh, I wont lie, in this attempt of mine to unveil the Star Wars myth I must admit to one thing: I read my first book when I was 17, I was no child prodigy that knew the Library of Congress catalog inside and out. But the point was that through books I was able to find the answer to the question that had hunted me all these years: why do I like Star Wars so much?
I've always thought that the only thing that remains unchanged, untouched by time, is that part of us which contains our dreams and hopes.
Dreams. They are the driving forces behind each and everyone of us, for dreams are the precursors of life. They start out as an idea, or a notion or a sound and quickly evolve into an image and a story. Soon after we find ourselves in the waking world with an urge we can not fight, a silent yearning for something bigger and better which we know is out there waiting for us.
But what my own dreams may be dreaming was a mystery to me. It's like falling down an endless void; the uncertainty of whether or not you'll hit bottom is what makes you feel alive, if only because there is a good chance you're life could end right then. Not all dreams are good though. At times you find yourself dreaming of what could be or, more accurately, of what you wish it could be. These timeless quiet moments in which our soul is exalted by such untold dreams remains but a faint memory in the light of our restless wake. But be that as it may, they still provide a burning desire.
Sir James George Frazer, when talking about magic and religion in his wonderful study The Golden Bough best described what I mean:
"They [magic and religion] lure the weary enquirer, the footsore seeker, on through the wilderness of disappointment in the present by their endless promises of the future; they take him up to the top of an exceeding high mountain and show him, beyond the dark clouds and rolling mists at his feet, a vision of the celestial city, far off as it may be, but radiant with unearthly splendor, bathed in the light of dreams."
And what is magic and religion but a natural result of the dreams we have, such is our nature. Gods and myths, legends and heroes, Jedi Knights, Dark Lords of the Sith, talking droids they all start out as dreams, we know that much. We create them and breathe life unto them when quietly we let them step into the soft places of the world.
But the fatal flaw of these dreams lies not in its general assumption of a sequence of events determined by law, but rather in its total misconception of the nature of the particular laws which govern that sequence. And thus it is that with time all gods and dreams and monsters turn green and tired, they cease to exist in our waking world and are only remembered in old dreams, our dreams, thus completing the cycle.
"In the absence of an effective general mythology," wrote once Joseph Campbell in his brilliant examination through ancient hero myths and manšs eternal struggle for identity The Hero With A Thousand Faces (which you know was a source of inspiration for Lucas' own work), "each of us has his private, unrecognized, rudimentary, yet secretly potent pantheon of dreams." This primal prerogative is the culmination of thousands of years of evolution in our species history. Such liberty is so precious and yet so silent that we often take it for granted.
We dream Cheetah!, and this is what makes all the difference in our lives. The myth behind Star Wars is in no way different from the myth behind baseball, ice hockey, or any other activity which provides an escape from our daily routine.
But make no mistake Cheetah!, everyone knows Star Wars it's just actors and props and special effects, and even Star Wars geeks have a life, but this ability of ours to imagine and desire is what keeps us going, is what makes us reach far and break the limits of what we believe to be impossible.
The fault in the remarks made by Mr. Guinness is that he seems to have forgotten this crucial fact of life. We seek to escape from time to time to myths unknown and worlds unreal. There is no wrong in that. He showed a lack of respect, not to Star Wars geeks as some call them, but to the dreams and desires of people like you and me.
So I ask you know, what is your myth Cheetah!? What secret life lies behind the words you write? What drives you forward?
For me, it's a starry night on a warm lazy summer day, I'm sitting on my porch as I marvel at the sight of infinity which lies beyond my eyes and wonder: could it be possible...?
ps. I hope I didn't offend you, I love your posts. This one just hit a chord. And I also don't have a problem with whatever Guinness thinks.
e l w e n