Who doesn't know Star Wars? It will not be more than a few people, solely the currently ongoing almost unbelievable public campaign makes it almost impossible, to miss at least some information about it.
I'm more a Star-Trek and Babylon-5 fan, however completely undogmatic. I like watching almost everything, that is good.
And I have to mention, that the Star-Wars-series is really good and deserves praise. I however find the hysteria around it totally excessive.
I am politically active, anti-ideological and really sceptical about all kinds of things. And within the politically-sceptical scene there are several fundamentalists, who reject sports and all kinds of entertainment. In their eyes these kinds of activities keep people off dealing with the serious and important issues.
On the other hand, there are the hedonistic hardcore-fans, totally keen for all kinds of consumption - in this case then of course of the Star-Wars universe. They watch every screen-material shot and buy every product offered. Finally they – at least partially – escape from real-life into this fictional-universes fantasy-world.
I strictly reject both extremes - as I almost always do this with extremes. But before I tell you how exactly I personally deal with star wars, I would like to go a bit further back to the story's deeper meaning and it's links to our real world.
What characterises Star-Wars
As in almost all epics the fight of "Good vs. Evil" is in the centre of the action. And Star-Wars-creator George Lucas frankly said that he uses also items of great historical literature, as almost all great exponents of the fictional & fantasy-genre did: John R. R. Tolkien with "Lord of the Rings", Frank Herbert in "Dune" or whether in the recent past J. Michael Straczynski in "Babylon 5" and Joanne K. Rowling at "Harry Potter".
Characters in the medium-trilogy (episodes IV, V, and VI), created in the 1970s and 1980s, yet have been drawn quite bromidic: There "Good versus Evil" is largely black and white. However there are also laudable exceptions in the grey-area:
While the character Lando Calrissian has changed from dark-grey (rather evil) to white (good), especially the personality-profile of Darth Vader / Annakin Skywalker is excellent. The bright knight, that has fallen for the dark side of the force, helps it to rise, but finally destroys the evil, in the form of the Emperor.
Much more – because it's significantly more complex - I like the prequel-trilogy published from 1999 to 2005 (episodes I, II and III). The saga's 1st part is still less in my favour, in my opinion this is a typical introduction to the matter.
However in episode II and even more in part III a fascinating as well as a realistic-shocking image is drawn: The described transformation of a Democratic Republic into a dictatorial Empire has tremendous big similarities to the real world's development of today.
Already in the 2nd part, it comes to a national crisis, because the democratic Parliament is too divided to master a - artificially staged - crisis. For this reason dictatorial powers are transferred to the Chancellor. And as many people do in times of crisis, so also Annakin Skywalker sympathizes with the "strong man".
In the 3rd part the development to the dark side then continues in macrocosm as well as microcosm: The chancellors intelligent-vicious wire-pulling works out, he manages to destroy democracy and to make himself the ruler of a dictatorial Empire. By personal weaknesses and unfortunate circumstances the Jedi Knight Annakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, the dictatorial Emperor right-hand-man.
The historical Inspiration of George Lucas for Star Wars was Germany's transition from the “Weimar Republic” to the Nazi-regime. But that falls far too short in my eyes:
For me, it only takes little imagination, drawing parallels to ISIS (Islamic State), that at least has been connived by the West, it's terrorist-attacks and the associated, more and more anti-democratic course of our countries governments. Not only by me, but by more and more people the suspension of human-rights in France after the Paris terrorist-attacks is seen as the 1st step to the same kind of dark Empire as in star wars.
How I deal with Star-Wars
In general I'm a pragmatist as well as a movie-friend. I like the Star-Wars epics. Although mass and class often do contradict each other, the big, productions for the mass-market are mostly good. This is also true for the Star-Wars-series.
Good vs. evil will always remain interesting to mankind. Moreover, if it is visually so well staged, such as in the works of George Lucas.
So how to deal with Star Wars?
People have to participate in democracy and have to fight for their participation-right – and even more than for their right to party (considering to the "Beastie Boys" :-).
But of course you also need breaks from this struggle – and spending the breaks with this is smart kind of entertainment to me is fundamentally positive. But of course it must not degenerate into a fan-fanaticism and to escape reality.
The great schizophrenia of the hardcore-Star-Wars-fans is that they have fallen prey to a compulsive desire to shop respectively escaping into an illusory-world. An illusory-world, which has been turned from a Republic into a dictatorship.
To me it's not only important, but decisive putting up a partitioning-wall between reality and fiction.
The only thing which personally bothers me about Star-Wars most of all is the massive commercialization. If we bring to our mind that the previous 6 movies have earned a combined gross of 4.38 billion $ and the entire franchise 30.7 billion $ then the rightsholders business-desire is – politely said – commercially understandable. But I do absolutely not want to take part in this.
Since the point of culmination in 2002, when in the same year one of each episodes of Star-Wars, "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" premiered, I have a "movie-hype-trauma". And that has led me to an unconditional, short-term denial of consumption.
Therefore, I am not going to watch the current Star-Wars-trilogy in cinema and instead wait until it's aired in TV. In the meantime next to the 6 older franchise's movies there are also many other interesting films and television-series.
But when Star-Wars episodes VII, VIII and IX are broadcasted in TV, then I will be delighted watching them!
And I am persistently going to continue taking a stand for a positive, democratic world, and especially for a cooperation of people from all different political directions.