I want to be a Jedi Knight. The idea of surrendering to some “force” greater than oneself. The idea of being in touch with some essence that can bring out my full potential in way that I could never possibly understand.
I reached out to everyone I knew, found a way to get ahold of Cass, who wasn’t doing any interviews on the book, and managed to book some time with him.
I’ve written many times before about the effect Star Wars has had on my life.
But I was also interested in the phenomenon of Star Wars, a topic Cass writes about. In particular, why was it a hit?
George Lucas is the living breathing manifestation of “idea sex”. He takes concepts that worked in the past, meshes them together, and knows the combination will work.
For example: think of a blonde-haired young man who has to reluctantly save the world from an evil galactic empire, uses laser powered swords and blasters, and meets a beautiful princess along the way.
If you think “Flash Gordon” you’d be right. What you might not know is that George Lucas tried to buy the rights to the old TV serial “Flash Gordon”. He wanted to make the movie. He was rejected so he made Star Wars.
Or you might think Joseph’s Campbell’s “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”, which George Lucas studied religiously before writing the script to Star Wars.
Or you might think…any of a dozen influences George Lucas had and meshed together. His idea: to take the familiar, provide his own twists, and release. If the old influences were hits and he just changed one aspect (make a Western a Space Opera) there’s a good chance he would have a hit.
Cass Sunstein explores: what makes a hit? What makes a failure? What makes something a hit after it’s been dead for years (example: Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” didn’t sell at all while he was alive and is now considered one of the best-written books of all time).
This is a topic I am obsessed with. Combine that with the topic of “Star Wars” and now Cass Sunstein has written a book I am obsessed with.
We found a room to hide in and we spent the next hour laughing and swapping notes on the relevancy of The Force in today’s world. We didn’t talk economics, world history, behavioral psychology or any of the topics he is one of the best experts in the world in:
We talked about what makes stories go viral. We talked about how much we enjoyed this cultural hit that changed generations.
We were two kids talking about our favorite movie.
Links and Resources:
- Read The New York Times bestseller, “The World According to Star Wars” by Cass Sunstein
- Read The New York Times bestseller, “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness” by Cass Sunstein
- Follow him on Facebook + Twitter
- John Keats
- Jane Austen
- William Blake
- Cass said, “Awake” is possibly the best TV show… ever.
- Harry Potter
- American Graffiti