who'da thunk!

8

“Rapier Two.” Lieutenant Karé Kun sounded positively bored. “Everything’s green, Commander.”

“Rapier Three, and I have to agree with Rapier Two, Commander.” This was Iolo Arana, flying to Poe’s withdrawn starboard. “This is another waste of fuel and time.”

“Rapier Four. Standing by.”

“You see,” said Poe, “you should all follow Muran’s example, there. You hear how nicely Rapier Four reported in, without editorializing or anything?”

The sound of Karé’s yawning for effect came over Poe’s speakers. He grinned, despite himself. —‘Star Wars: Before The Awakening’ by Greg Rucka

I felt bad about getting Xavier fired from his dream job, so I turned the third bedroom into a little studio. Now he’ll be ready when an ad for a “rock god” turns up. ;)

And that’s it until next round!

The room had been part of the library until the magic had drifted through, violently reassembling the possibility particles of everything in its path. So it was reasonable to assume that the small purple newts had been part of the floor and the pineapple custard may once have been some books. And several of the wizards later swore that the small sad orangutan sitting in the middle of it all looked very much like the head librarian.
—  the light fantastic, terry pratchett

So, I think  the reason Star Wars and Star Trek get compared a lot is understandable - they’re both franchises involving space, they’re both huge in nerd culture - but that comparison stems from a misunderstanding, and that misunderstanding is labelling them both as science fiction

It’s not a misunderstanding of Star Trek. Star Trek is science fiction, in its best form: it’s a story that not only imagines new technologies but new societies, a story that not only has faith we will overcome our obstacles through technology but through ourselves, that we can make ourselves better and overcome our differences and bigotries, and that’s wonderful, that’s infinitely valuable.

But Star Wars isn’t science fiction. It may look like science fiction, but it isn’t. I’m not even entirely comfortable with calling it space opera (what does that term even mean lmao). It’s fantasy. It’s fantasy set in space, to be sure, and it is, as someone in fandom pointed out a while back, a particularly american kind of fantasy in a genre where the ‘European’ tradition/mythos permeates almost everything, but it’s still a fantasy story. I mean, hell, it has good and evil wizards and fantastical creatures and the hero’s journey - the iconic weapon is not a gun but a kind of sword, the main female character in the OT is a princess (who takes over the attempt to rescue her and leads a galactic rebellion hell freakin yeah).

It’s a fantasy story, and it doesn’t try to do what Star Trek does. Star Trek is a story about how we can make ourselves better.

Star Wars is a story about love. And unlike most stories about love, it doesn’t hyperfocus on any one kind of love.

Because in Star Wars, we see all kinds of love valued and deconstructed and examined. In the prequels, we see romantic love that is twisted to jealousy and distrust and evil, we see love of an institution that leads to stagnation and decay, we see love between friends lead to blindness and jealousy and hatred.

But in the OT, we see love at its best: we see romantic love honestly given, based on trust and friendship. We see love between friends, between Luke and Leia and Han and Chewie and the droids, a bond that all of them draw on for strength. And we see familial love. Because it’s not romantic love that saves the galaxy (and that would’ve been the easy choice, the classic hollywood choice). It’s the love of a father for his child. 

And ultimately it is love that saves the day, that topples the villain. It’s love that banishes the darkness, all kinds of love. And if you look at the stuff that now constitutes the New Universe - The Clone Wars, Rebels (I haven’t read the new novels yet, sorry) - both those series value love, whether it’s cameraderie between comrades-in-arms or the love of a found family for each other.

And that, for me, is why I love Star Wars. Not just because it’s incredibly cool (and it is I mean have you SEEN a lightsaber hell frickin yeah I want one) or because there’s a part of me that’s still five and staring wide-eyed at these wondrous vistas (and there totally is) but because it’s about love. Because in the face of darkness it’s love that brings light. 

To quote the RotS novelization:

The Dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins-
but in the heart of its strength lies weakness;
one lone candle is enough to hold it back.
Love is more than a candle.
Love can ignite the stars.