This essay is from Stargeek
Published on October 10, 2001
Star Wars Creation Theory #1
I had an observation about where George may have drawn his inspirations for the Star Wars story. The thing I love about Star Wars is that it appeals to so many different Generations. I stood in line side by side with five-year-olds and Men in there 50's the night the Episode 1 Toys went on sale.
The theme of the movie was not a new one. To really find out what the catalyst may have been for George Lucas to regenerate a story driven by a Classic Mythological Hero's arc we need to look to the time it was written. Taking in account the huge changes made in the social environment during the late 60's and early 70's, it is quit possible that George Lucas on some level was affected by the various upheavals that changed the political face of this Nation forever.
The USA experienced pain and humiliation from the defeat they suffered in the Vietnam War. The Identity Crisis this spurred was not only felt on a National level, but on a personal one as well. Never before had American Soldiers been treated as anything less then Hero's when returning from the battlefield. As you know, this was not the case for the Vietnam Vets.
Some of the men, who endured this, developed a very bad case of low self-esteem and self worth. They basically checked out. I have spoken to many of my friends Fathers who were there and they rarely can speak more than five minutes about the subject without getting a very distant gaze. On top of seeing horrible atrocities that will never leave them, they had also been stripped of their honor, belief in their leaders and their Father's generation. They knew not how to be Husbands, Fathers or even Men. These men were in a very real sense gone.
They left behind them wives and children. Their Sons were left with no Fathers. Sure they tried to be there, maybe even faked an attempt at enjoying the life they returned to, but for the most part they became a vacant source of broken promises and guilt.
Enter in a Boy child of the 70's. How can a Father teach his son how to be a man when he doesn't feel like he is one himself? Unknowingly, this Father has passed on his esteem issues and his son will now bare the burden of trying to figure out why his Father is the way he is and why he resents his very being so much.
Is it any wonder why my Generation was given the very undeserved and misunderstood title of "X"? The apathy and general mistrust and defeatism that we feel has risen in a very alarming rate. This lack of Male presence has abolished the notion of any sort of "Nuclear Family" and has given us a Generation of boys raised mostly by their Mothers and resenting and sometimes hating their Fathers.
What does this have to do with Star Wars? If you follow the character of Luke, you will see that his story closely parallels the facts that I mentioned above. He hates his Father and hates himself when he finds the same conflicts have challenged his faith.
Luke also wants to rescue Vader, he sees the good in him, and he never gives up. Many of my Guy friends that were 7 & 8 when Star Wars came out tell me that they could really relate to this....