No one can deny the power of the Force as it permeates all aspects of American society (and other societies), including education and especially pop culture. It’s amazing how a silly little science fiction movie from the 1970s became a global phenomenon, spawning bunches of movies, television shows, books, and toys for billions of dollars. I remember sitting in a college mythology class reading Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and the professor said, “Luke Skywalker follows the cycle of the hero,” and I perked up. He really does. I, in turn, taught mythology to high school students and used Luke Skywalker (and Neo from Matrix). I’ve also discussed it right here on Geeks of Doom, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
And that is just a drop of what Cass R. Sunstein discusses in his soon-to-be-required-for-college text, The World According To Star Wars.
I have had a tough time this year coming up with a topic for this most important date, May The 4th, aka Star Wars Day. So I’m going to just speak from the heart about the tragedy that befell my family thanks to my own selfishness and thoughtlessness. Beware, for this could happen to you, too!
A year ago, I wrote a piece about how my daughter had recently discovered and become enamored with Star Wars, or at least the six films we had at that time. I fixated, yes I chose that word correctly, on her love of the franchise and how I felt vindicated in raising this amazing little mini-me. I spoke longingly of that which once was and my hopes of what might be. All of this happened over half a year before the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, came to theaters near us all. I wrote how I respected creator George Lucas for his vision, if not for his revisions. I did all of this before I saw the new film. The new film that Disney created.
Last week on Saturday, January 16th, Adam Driver hosted Saturday Night Live. Driver, formerly of HBO’s Girls is fresh off starring as the villainous Kylo Ren in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; ya know, the biggest movie of all time. In a spoof of the CBS hit show Undercover Boss, where CEOs go undercover as ordinary workers in their companies, Driver’s Ren goes undercover aboard Starkiller Base as radar technician Matt. The sketch was one of the best things to appear on SNL recently, and has taken the internet by storm. Now, SNL has released the behind the scenes footage!
Undercover Boss on CBS gives audiences a chance to see business leaders witnessing the real side of their companies, by going undercover and working the grunt lifestyles. Adam Driver hosted SNL this weekend, and they gleefully used his role from the now biggest movie ever, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens to spoof the popular series. Driver plays the evil Kylo Ren in the film, the leader of the notorious First Order; but in the sketch he’s Matt, a radar technician trying to feel out the employees on Starkiller Base. In the film, Ren is commonly short tempered and is known to be quick to overreact at the first signs of bad news. He appears in his ominous black cloak and voice distorting mask to set up the sketch.
Trust me when I tell you I was stupid crazy over Star Wars as a kid. I spent every available cent I could on the toys back in the seventies. I collected, I traded, I begged for more. But as with all things in our childhood, the things that were so very important to us back then, can become less so as we grow up. Wait a second, who am I lying to here? I am still just as big of a fan and I would still play with the action figures on the playground if it wasn’t completely creepy for a middle-aged man to be doing so. I wrote an article last year about how profoundly Star Wars affected me as a child, you can read it here. However, what I’d like to talk to you about today is the new Star Wars movie as it affects my youngest.