Death Star
vs. Death Star


For the record, Star Wars is not sci-fi.  Science fiction asks questions that create tension between our ability or capacity and our ethical standards.  Myth or fantasy explores human nature.  In a science fiction narrative, we wrestle with the question, “What is the right choice?”  The answer is often ambiguous.  But in a myth or fantasy, the answer is usually quite clear.

A science fiction story about the Death Star might look something like this: We have the technology to create a weapon that can bring order and control to a rebellious, chaotic, and possibly self-destructive galaxy.  But is it right to build this technology to bring order by ruling through fear?  The crux of the narrative rests on this question.

Star Wars, however, is fantasy.  Here, the existence of the Death Star is a foregone conclusion.  And both its presence and our response is a matter of intuition.  Because our gut instinct tells us it is wrong to lead by fear, we intuitively know that the Death Star is evil.  So we observe how different archetypal characters respond to this given evil.  And we already understand their various responses because they reflect different aspects of our own human nature.