Long ago in a galaxy far away . . . . I think it's a safe bet that Star Wars will go down in history as part of our culture's list of great stories. It's a good story and exciting to watch. A & E channel did a story on the making of Star Wars. I don't think I'd ever realized how ground-breaking a movie it really was. One line from the show hit me and stuck with me. As part of the deal Lucas made with the studio, he got the rights for all the merchandising associated with Star Wars. The commentator said, "George Lucas knew the world was changing. The movie studios hadn't realized it yet." Lucas made many millions from the sale of Star Wars merchandise.
I had forgotten that Star Wars was born in the late 70s. America was recovering from an unpopular war, facing double-digit inflation along with high unemployment. Pessimism was high and the future was uncertain. But Lucas saw what others could not or would not: that he could tell a story that would be compelling and fun and that people would love. The success of Star Wars was even beyond his imagination.
I would never suggest that our society is in the kind of malaise as we faced in the 70s. (However, I do think Obama would make Jimmy Carter look like an effective president by comparison.) But I sense that we may be at the place where people like George Lucas will find opportunity and hope where others see doom and gloom. Jesus chided the Pharisees because they couldn't discern the signs of the times. While the media is saying that we're even short of hand-baskets for everything that is going to hell in them, I want to be one that sees the great possibilities others won't.