The fascination with Star Wars

As anticipation builds up on the eve of a new Star Wars release, it’s worth pausing to think why epic movies fascinate us. Aristotle explained in his Poetics that in epics characters were more heroic or more evil than in actual life and waged battles on a gigantic scale and with such logical contradictions that would be impossible to represent on stage. More than two millennia had to pass for cinema to make the staging of epics possible, of starships traversing constellations that the ancient Greeks named and made the abode of gods. And in the same way that it took almost exactly a century for Apollo XI to make Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon come true, we can be sure that future generations will fulfill what George Lucas is projecting on the silver screen. “Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand,” said Albert Einstein, whose contributions to science may make intergalactic trips possible one day. Oh, and we all like a good fight, as long as it’s in the movies or in a book.

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