The Nature of the Force: A Capstone Project Idea

For those in McDaniel’s Capstone class, I’ve used the following tag to write about what we discussed today (Tuesday 1/12): Capstone Project Components

 

Alright, everyone, here’s the deal: I’m a huge Star Wars geek. I have been ever since my dad showed me A New Hope when I was about four years old. Ever since then, I have consumed the films, books, video games, comics, and toys of Star Wars with a ravenous appetite.

 

Seriously, I have so much Star Wars in my life that it is absurd. My apartment is littered with Darth Vader novelties and posters, and my phone case resembles a Stormtrooper’s armor.

 

I used to spend hours in my front lawn jumping around and waving PVC pipes like lightsabers. I even taped duct tape around the bottoms of them for hilts. I would write stories ― very poorly-constructed and badly-written ones ― based on my knowledge of Star Wars lore, and then I would act them out with my sister and my next-door neighbor. This continued for years on end, and Star Wars was my main source of entertainment (outside of Harry Potter). By the time I reached my teenage years, I began to conceal my fandom because it didn’t exactly improve my dating chances. But, I have continued to remain invested in Star Wars culture. Recently, I purchased a PlayStation 4 just because it was a special Star Wars bundle. It had a design of Darth Vader’s head on the console itself, a controller modeled after Vader’s chestplate, and the bundle included a copy of the new Battlefront game.

 

Naturally, I am interested in focusing my Capstone project on something to do with Star Wars. I have a few different ideas of what this could turn out to be as far as content is concerned, but I am pretty set on writing a piece of fan-fiction.

 

There are a few considerations that go along with writing such a piece. Of course, I would need to investigate whether or not any copyright considerations would creep up. Also, I would need to present a concrete form of any and all research into the (now-defunct) Expanded Universe. It wouldn’t be enough for me to simply be well-versed in Star Wars lore and to hope that my readers would also be. Such a piece of writing would, therefore, need either footnotes or endnotes to explain and contextualize references or story elements that would otherwise be lost on the casual fan.

 

But anyway, in reference to our discussion in Professor McDaniel’s class today, here are the main elements that would need to be considered and addressed as part of an undertaking like this:

 

  1. List of disciplines and genres that inform the topic
    1. creative writing, film, sociology, politics
    2. genres: fiction, specifically fan-fiction
  2. Focal object/subject
    1. military characters, ground troops
      1. This is inspired, primarily, by the new novel “Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company.” It is based on the new video game, and delves pretty heavily into the psychology of the troops involved in the Galactic Civil War (Rebels vs. Empire from the original trilogy). It follows the story of Sergeant in the Rebel Alliance that is recruited from a backwater colonial world, where tribal wars are commonplace, who struggles later on with his beliefs in the Rebel cause. There are a few side characters from the Empire that are similarly portrayed.
    2. Grey Jedi (neutral Force-users that practice both Light and Dark side)
      1. Not much has been developed on this front, at least not in official canon. There are some wiki pages and the like that attempt to give them stories, but many are unimaginative and somewhat cheesy.
      2. The Grey Jedi are often portrayed as Jedi that leave the Order because they don’t believe in focusing solely on the Light Side. They believe that the Force cannot achieve balance without both the Dark and the Light. The only examples of this philosophy are (postulated) Qui-Gon Jin from Episode I: The Phantom Menace, who is portrayed as disagreeing often with the Masters of the Jedi High Council, and Jolee Bindo, who is a character from the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He formally left the Order and became a hermit on Kashyyk, the homeworld of the Wookies (Chewbacca’s species). He is the first character in any Star Wars production to have articulated the philosophy that became that of the Grey Jedi.
    3. Confounding variable
      1. Humanize the characters ― not much is done in this regard in a wide majority of SW EU novels. Some is done in video games, but there is still the overriding Light/Dark binary and extremism.
      2. Perhaps spin the light-falling-to-dark trope on its head, dark-to-light? Something along these lines may be a new twist on familiar SW tropes. Although, the dark-to-light things seems to be a possible direction that the new movies will take with Kylo Ren.

 

Well, I suppose this post ended up being longer than I thought it would. This almost looks like a proposal…

 

Anyway, if you made it this far, thank you! Any feedback/ideas are appreciated. Happy Writing!

 

Evan

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