Star Wars Life Lessons, Part 1: Choose Your Childhood
In preparation for watching The Force Awakens, I thought I’d revisit some of the useful everyday life lessons we have learned from Star Wars in what regards to how to appropriately choose your early childhood setting to have the best options later on in life.
So you’re a baby! Congrats. Being born is hard, I know, but you really need to focus on choosing which way to go. It’s never too early. Some kids today are fighting for placement on those sweet AP Fall Advanced Calculus Classes in 2025, and you are no different.
You need to choose your childhood correctly. By the time you’re 18 or so, you will be unsure of which way to go, and it will be too late. Trust me. You’re going to be confused and kind of in a bad mood or scared a lot of the time, but pretending not to. Plus you’ll be waaaaay too distracted with one or more of: chess, math, sex, booze, the two or three other teen humans in your clique, music, video/board games, books, movies, role-playing, to make any long-term, carefully measured and balanced life choices.
So we’re agreed you need to do this now. While you have time, ie., while you’re a baby. If you choose right, here’s what’s in store for you. You can:
- become a super cool hero with extremely cool buddies and great hair and fly on even cooler spaceships and with holograms and computers and lasers and swordfights and robots and leather jackets and being funny and fixing hyperdrives by hitting consoles and robots and furry friends that can also fix and drive your spaceship and robots.
- fix, design, or build fully formed cybernetic organisms with true AI that nevertheless can only either produce beeps or speak with a British accent and an unintended wry wit. How cool and smart these droids are will be inversely related to their ability to speak english, and will directly correlate with the velocity and cuteness with which they can emit different beeping sounds.
- achieve the unique state of being wise, poised, thoughtful and courageous while simultaneouslyremaining unbearably naive and being subject to dangerously unpredictable outbursts of blinding rage and/or passion.
- fix, design or build hover vehicles propelled by jet/antigrav engines that would put the old Lockheed Skunkworks engineers to shame.
- be the best effing pilot anyone’s ever seen regardless of terrain or type of ship (perhaps, even, the best in the galaxy!). That’s not all — though you have might have spent most of your short life driving oxidized chunks of metal in a desert you WILL be able to instantly apply those skills to any kind of zero-g multi-vector thrust vehicles with faster-than-light capabilities running on a parallel supercomputer platforms, just like that. Guaranteed.
- eventually be trusted with either destroying or saving the galaxy or and entire galactic army or something along those lines. Plus having some serious issues with your parents, but that’s for the sequel, I mean, another post. We’ll just hint at that here.
I think we can all agree these are terrific skills and abilities. You’d be a bit of a wildcard, sure, unpredictable perhaps… a bit of a tyrant? …. but what could possibly be wrong with that? It’s not as if you’re eventually going to be trusted with either destroying or saving the galaxy or and entire galactic army or or anything, right? Jeez. Relax.
Anyway, this is were the choice of childhood is critical. You need to focus. Concentrate. Don’t be a baby. Think.
To reach these goals, would you:
A) Live in a cathedral of silence and well being that allows the necessary concentration to obtain multiple degrees in engineering, relativistic quantum physics, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science and train 6–8 hours a day for both physical perfection and mental acuity in a way that would put most of SEAL Team 6 to shame, maintain a successful side business to provide you with the millions of space credits you’ll need to buy all those CPUs, memory banks, jet fuel, and rare minerals as well as paying the lawyers and lobbyists you’ll need to convince the space government you are not some kind of bizarre tiny genius-evil-mastermind-terrorist while simultaneously greasing the skids in said space-government to obtain all the supplies you need for your droid and spaceship building experiments.
B) Live more or less isolated somewhere in a desert planet *(1) as a farm-hand (?) in your family’s desert farm(?) living in mud-igloo-like-structures (?) with possibly no doors or windows or under a tarp, much less air conditioning or heating, access to schools, socialization, or even basic reading materials and where super complex tasks like helping your mother or communicating with moisture vaporators *(2) are left to other droids that you don’t even have yet. (However, you will obtain/build said droid just before you embark on the adventure to do the hero stuff at which point you won’t really need the droid… errr… okay nevermind. Look, the droid is going to say some funny stuff is what I’m getting at.)
C) Be a scrap junkyard jockey in a desert planet *(1) with access to any number of CPUs, circuit boards, rare metals, fiber optics, micro fusion reactors, tools and jet fuel with which you can repair and build droids and sand speeders. This one is, I’m afraid a bit more of a downer, including indentured servitude, and in spite of said access to advanced and presumably expensive hardware, you will have relatively poor nutrition and higiene, no healthcare and no access to school, much less textbooks, notebooks, keyboards, monitors, reading or writing devices or toys of any kind. Not that you’d need those to build the droids or the ships, or to grow up without turning into some kind of Norman Bates-type character. Right?
D) Have at least ONE of your parents be: Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fischer, or Midichlorians (not sure what those are, but I think you can get a deal on a 5-lb bag of them at Costco*(3)). YOU WOULD THINK THAT whoever were the parent(s) of Yoda, Sam Jackson, Palpatine, Darth Maul, the green tentacle-on-head lady or any of the other dozens or hundreds of Jedi would be a good source of earth shattering hero Force-enabled dude/dudette material… but no. It’s gotta be Skywalker blood. You know, like Tolkien talked about fair-skinned ancestors…. wait… anyone can be a hero!…. bloodlines? not that we’re getting into eugenics or anything. God no. Why did you have to make it weird? *(4)
Answer: D. Obvious. Right?
But also, surprise! B and/or C are pretty much required. So it’s (B/C)+D. Kind of cheated there. I know. These are difficult choices.
What? You picked A?
*(1) This is important. Desert planet. Not just a desert. You can’t get away with this by spending the summer in Aruba or something. A whole planet that’s just a desert. Oh, and it needs a cantina and a band of weirdos playing in it. Not sure that’s 100% required or not, but check that box, just to be safe.
*(2) in case it wasn’t clear, the stated purpose of the creation/acquisition of C3PO in Episode I/IV, respectively.
*(3) Safeway is out of stock*(3a).
*(3a) This is more of a West Coast joke. Because Safeway. Get over it.
- (4) Seriously, though. At some point we’re going to need heroes than can do stuff because you train and have good heart and courage and are dedicated, not because you have the right chromosomes and happen to stumble into a random rebellion. Right? Just sayin’.
(x-posted to my blog)