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Is Star Wars A Modern Day Fairytale

? Essay, Research Paper Nathan Cathey Marilyn McDowell English 102 March 30, 1999 Is Star Wars a Modern Day Fairy Tale? The Star Wars trilogy has been labeled as a groundbreaking science fiction, space opera, and swashbuckling adventure. But it is hardly ever recognized for what it truly is, a fairy tale. At first thought, it is difficult to acknowledge Star Wars as a fairy tale because of its label as a Science Fiction movie.

? Essay, Research Paper

Nathan Cathey

Marilyn McDowell

English 102

March 30, 1999

Is Star Wars a Modern Day Fairy Tale?

The Star Wars trilogy has been labeled as a groundbreaking science fiction, space opera, and swashbuckling adventure. But it is hardly ever recognized for what it truly is, a fairy tale. At first thought, it is difficult to acknowledge Star Wars as a fairy tale because of its label as a Science Fiction movie. One reason for this is the great special effects and technology that are exhibited throughout the movie, but the expanded Star Wars story seems to teach that technology is not essential for power. For example, the little Ewoks in Return of the Jedi managed to overpower the Imperial forces, in spite of the fact that they used wooden objects against gigantic Imperial Storm Walkers.

Another reason why many people have trouble accepting Star Wars, as a true fairy tale is its format of being a movie. Most people find it hard to accept a fairy tale in any other form than a book with colorful pictures. However, what these people fail to recognize is that story telling was the major form of communication in civilizations long ago, but movies and television are now the way the majority of children learn their morals. Today, they learn from examples set by television and movie characters in the same way that the children of the past learned their moral lessons from characters in books. Therefore, the movie format of Star Wars is merely an adaptation of the old story telling ways associated with fairy tales; it is a way for a modern-day fairy tale to be presented to the children of today. However, because these storytellers lived in a past age, it has become difficult for us to believe that ‘true’ fairy tales can be written so close to our own lifetimes.

This is another reason why Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy does not get the credit it deserves because of the disbelief of that there are not modern day fairy tales. But Star Wars is the greatest example of the modern day fairy tale. It has even changed with each movie.

Han Solo in the first movie was a swashbuckling mercenary, but by Return of the Jedi he has become a leader risking his life for mankind from the Empire. This brings me to another very important point of the characters. Each great fairy tail has to have memorable characters. And boy does Star Wars ever have them. Luke Skywalker, the young boy who appeals to every young child as a hero, helps the kids morals from being a bratty old kid by growing into a fine young man in Return of the Jedi. Han Solo who helps that young mercenary out there see that its all right to make mistakes then grow up and correct them. Princess Leia has the qualities to appeal to both the young kids who loves Skywalker and Solo. Young girls should see Leia as a woman who stands up for herself, but also realizes that it takes teamwork to make it in this world. She is also an image of sexuality. Her kisses with young Skywalker and Solo are pretty arousing for a young child. This also creates romance and beauty that appeals to adults. Our Literary Culture: Reading and Writing Literary Arguments book says for adults, perhaps our most compelling fantasy narratives are those concerning romance and beauty (Walker 182). Who can ever forget the horrific evil that Darth Vader represents? The dark black suit that represents hatred and evil. Killing almost the entire fleet of his fellow Jedi?s and even attempting to kill his own children. He is someone the kids are afraid of and for good reason. The Force is a major symbol in the movie. If you notice that throughout the trilogy they talk about like it is just another living creature. In the movie The Empire Strikes Back Yoda says, ?Through the Force, things you will see, other places, the future, the past…? This is saying that we should prepare for what to come by creating a mental image of the task ahead of you. This is very important for children to harness for their future endeavors. But the Force has two parts and the other is the Dark Side. Representing what evil and hatred could do in the long run. What about those loveable droids that we can look back on and kind of giggle about? They are two opposites that seem to be perfect for each other. This says that people that are opposites can still be friends and sometimes opposites attract in different genders. These characters seem to be no different than that of any other fairy tale, but they are for a modern-age.

Star Wars appeals to young children in such a fabulous way. Maybe this is because of the modern appeal it brings. Children can really grasp onto what the movie is trying to present to them. They can really identify with the characters, which is what makes a movie really memorable. Even adults can grasp onto this great myth. Lucas?s goal for Star Wars was to create a new mythology for the space age (Vaz and Hata 8). The writer, director, and producer of the movie George Lucas even envisioned this terrific movie to have a fairy tale like charisma. Champlin says:

From early folklore writings and from many different cultures, Lucas devoured the great themes: epic struggles between good and evil, heroes and villains, magical princes and ogres, heroines and evil princesses, the transmission from fathers to sons of the powers of both good and evil. What the myths revealed to Lucas, among many other things, was the capacity of the human imagination to conceive alternate realities to cope with reality: figures and places and events that were before now or beyond now but were rich with meaning to our present (41).

Star Wars can truly be identified as a modern day fairy tale on the big screen.

Works Cited

Champlin, Charles. George Lucas: The Creative Impulse. New York: Harry N.

Abrams, Incorporated, 1992. 81

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Dir. George Lucas. 20th Century Fox/ Lucas

Film Ltd. 1980

Vaz, Mark Cotta, and Shinji Hata. From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the

Lucasfilm Archive. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1996. 8

Walker, Alice. ?Everyday Use.? Literary Culture: Reading and Writing Literary

Arguments. Ed. Linda Bensel-Meyers. Needham Heights: Simon & Schuster,

1999. 182

Champlin, Charles. George Lucas: The Creative Impulse. New York: Harry N.

Abrams, Incorporated, 1992. 81

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Dir. George Lucas. 20th Century Fox/ Lucas

Film Ltd. 1980

Vaz, Mark Cotta, and Shinji Hata. From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the

Lucasfilm Archive. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1996. 8

Walker, Alice. ?Everyday Use.? Literary Culture: Reading and Writing Literary

Arguments. Ed. Linda Bensel-Meyers. Needham Heights: Simon & Schuster,

1999. 182

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