May the 4th be with You!
Celebrate Star Wars Day with your students by sharing with them some of the powerful lessons that can be learned through the stories of this legendary saga.
For more than forty years, Star Wars has inspired millions of people worldwide. Multiple generations have learned the value of friendship, loyalty, heroism, bravery, sacrifice, honor and love through following the exploits of some of the most enduring characters ever created. While these exciting stories certainly entertain, they are also valuable for teaching timeless and powerful lessons as well. The annual celebration of Star Wars Day provides a wonderful opportunity to explore these concepts with learners of all ages.
Having taught with the Star Wars saga for nearly 30 years, here are just a few of the themes that we've explored as part of those lessons:
1. Be Open to Change
Luke Skywalker would never have become a Jedi Knight if he had refused to follow Obi-Wan’s invitation to be trained. When new opportunities and challenges present themselves, embrace the change and set out to become the hero in your own new adventure. You’ll never grow unless you go.
2. Listen to Your Wise and Helpful Guide
There are times when we think we have all the answers and we no longer need a teacher or mentor. By operating within this mindset, we fail to learn from the wisdom of those who have gone before us. A padawan learner has a master for a reason; and even after becoming a master themselves, he or she continues to seek the advice of the Jedi Council. It’s when we fail to listen to our wise and helpful guides that we end up hanging upside down from the bottom of Cloud City, broken and battered…with only one hand.
3. We’re Made More Powerful with Partners
As we travel through the adventures of life, we’re made stronger through building relationships with friends who are willing to support us through any situation. Young Luke told Princess Leia “I’m here to rescue you,” but he could never have done so alone. Each of the characters of Star Wars learn, through struggles of their own, that friendships are important and provide much needed strength during trying times.
4. The Struggle is Real
At some point in our life, we face periods of hardships and struggles (see: The Empire Strikes Back). During these times, we are frequently confronted with the temptation to act upon things that violate our beliefs. Such was the case for both Anakin and Luke as they were offered great power if they would but turn their back on what they knew to be true. It is how one responds to trials and temptations that determine their status as hero or villain, and Star Wars provides ample examples that serve as object lessons for both.
5. Serve Like A Jedi
The Jedi Code states that, “Jedi serve others, rather than rule over them.” Throughout the Star Wars saga, we are presented with examples of heroes, not just Jedi, who put the needs of others before themselves. In fact, the Rebellion itself is born out of the actions of Hera, Kanan, and the crew of The Ghost who seek to provide relief for the suffering and displaced refugees of an oppressive regime. Powerful, and timely, stories such as these can inspire and motivate us to take action and make a difference in the world.
These are just a few of the lessons to be learned from the characters and their stories portrayed in the Star Wars saga. What others can you think of? Which others are you using with your students? Let us know in the comment box below, and until next time, May the Force be with You...always.