Sunday, 3 January 2016

Some quick thoughts on the evolution of "The Force" through the three Star Wars "eras"

I already mentioned that The Force Awakens is one of the movies I liked the most last year. It's not odd that I've kept thinking about it, and one thing that has been in my mind is how differently The Force is presented in this one, compared to last decade's and last century's (and now that I put it like that, it seems like this is an ages long story... three generations and counting... wow).

In the first "era" of Star Wars (1977 to 1983), The Force is treated like this mystical energy field that connected all the living things in the galaxy. 

VERY new-agey. But perfect for a time when hippies were still roaming the Earth in large packs, and vague enough for anyone to make it their own and intepret it as they felt like it. Probably part of the reason that the concept became so loved and succesful.

Quoting Yoda (a very new-agey guy himself) from The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V): "For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us." 

In the second "era" of Star Wars (1999 to 2005), we saw all this metaphysical allure dissapear behind a "scientific" explanation. Now The Force wasn't just energy surrounding us and keeping the Galaxy alive, it was caused by these microscopic lifeforms living in the cells of creatures: the midi-chlorians.

Besides sounding like something you'll forget right after the 8th grade biology test, they were a fairly dissapointing attempt at shedding light where there was no darkness (as we say in Venezuela, "no aclares que oscurece", which means "don't explain 'cause you're making it all more confusing").

But let's give them some credit, it was the turn of the millenium and an explanation closer to hard science semmed like a better idea than something that was basically "because of magic".

And then we enter the third Star Wars Era (2015 and expected to be until 2019). So far, the best explanation of The Force in this new pack of films *now worries, no spoilers, as it's on the trailer* it's when Han Solo simply says "It's true... all of it". Now the Jedi, the Sith and The Force simply are, no explanation provided, they now happen to exist just as magic and fairies in any other Disney film.

So, which explanation do you prefer for The Force: the mystical energy field, the midi-chlorians or none?

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