Star Wars is Dead

I read a CNN Article today that described a certain “spirituality” in Star Wars. Interesting article, but it struggled to find the true meaning of Star Wars simply because we live in an age where entertainment is very shallow and the movies superficial. A so while the article has some good ideas, it is missing the obvious facts about why the first Star Wars movie moved us 40 years ago.

Star Wars wouldnt have mattered to generations today if the very first Stars Wars wasnt a smash hit in 1977. If you were not alive back then and walking into a 1970’s theater you just dont understand what a shock that movie was. It took America by surprise because it connected ancient Western Pagan Myths with a very rebellious and free 1970’s post-Vietnam generation. It represented the free and spiritually open 1970’s I remember which cannot be recreated and will never come again.

Thats why Ive argued the 1977 Star Wars is as good as Star Wars will ever be as it was an artistic representation of a free-wheeling, post-war, wild, violent, open, and spiritually charged 1960’s generation. The Baby Boomers made it that way and those cultural ideals were put into the first Star Wars movie along a lot of pagan Western mythology that connected to that generation spiritually. And so we cannot recreate that culture again in 2018 in movies….that society is long gone. And it looks fake and phony when we try.

In 2018 we have LOST that spirit. Completely. Its 100% dead. And no matter how much money or CGI we thrown at audiences Star Wars cannot be reborn, though we try. We are still living off the Mythology of the 1977 movie. Yes, it was that good!
Our challenge now is to create the “new myth” of today in film, which cant be about conflict and youthful heroes and sword fights as that trope represented the Me Generation… Luke Skywalker was the quintessential Boomer warrior who fought the war, the church, their parents, and the government for Truth.
Kids today are no longer rebels. That idea is 100% dead. They are about the opposite….the group. The unity. The will of the People. The rugged Rambo individual is gone. Darth Vader was our Modernist parents we loved but rejected. Darth Vader wasnt us….he was the unified 1950’s father we no longer believed in. He represented authority that needed to die. And so spirituality died with him. After 1980 movies began to die too as the great creative moment was gone and corporations had moved in to take over.
Today our kids are creating a new Darth Vader world. They crave structure and the group over the individual hero inside. And it no longer makes sense to fight our fathers when todays youth are the new fathers….the new Darth Vaders for another future generation to battle.
Thats why the new trope in our movies doesnt understand Luke Skywalker. The new hero tale needs to be about the embrace of the Oneness of America, the joy of eternal love again, of healing, and conflict that turns into peace. You see this now in many of the modern films…..the theme of oneness. There arent spiritual rebellions anymore. The kids today are asking about questions about why people do violent things. And culture war conflicts resolved through unity and acceptance is what all our comic book heroes are about….the Xmen win through friendship and cooperation, not tragic hero rebellion like the old days.
In that sense Star Wars is gone…..we are just clinging to a dead trope trying to “box” its theme into our new Metamodern ones and its sorta becoming a dead horse.
I think moving forward as we drift farther from Star Wars heady adventure hero tale of good versus evil and into the comic book hyper-realism of technology and global bonding moments we may be able to truly understand the hidden spirituality of our own age in 2018 and find a young creative person able to distill down the smartphone social media groupthink moment of 2018 into an emotional plot that might surprise us all….like Hamilton on Broadway does, or as a 1977 Star Wars did 50 years ago. But it took ancient mythology…..those pagan myths in space surprised us in the summer of that year. Thats where the spirituality in Star Wars came from.
If we can do that – first embrace our gentler unified social media moment – we might be shocked how we can again combine dark ancient myths with modern desires and forge a new series that not just reflects our Modern values as a group today, but just start to touch on the spiritual hunger so many Americans today have but cant quite find in modern film.
– the Author, Mitchell Stokely



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