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What can Scouts learn from Star Wars?

September 01, 2017

Another wave of Star Wars excitement is sweeping the world on “Force Friday”. The new Star Wars movies and the animated Clone Wars and Rebels series have introduced the youngest generation of scouts to the Star Wars universe, a fictional world already known and loved by so many of their parents and scouters.

While it is lots of fun, does Star Wars provide any lessons for scouts? Examples of the Scout Oath and Scout Law are not hard to find in the Star Wars universe. The heroes are brave against overwhelming odds. R2-D2 teaches the true meaning of loyalty. C3P0 is courteous and likes to be clean. Obi Wan Kenobi is kind, especially in helping Luke to find his destiny. Jar Jar Binks is friendly, cheerful and tries to be helpful, even when he is not! The Clone Troopers are obedient. The Jedi Knights embody many important traits of scouts. The trustworthy and honest Jedi serve the universe and help others at all times. Their dedication to the Force is a demonstration of reverence while their strict training helps to keep them physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Many scenes in the movies are reminiscent of scout adventures, with a little fun and fantasy added. Luke’s early failures at camping on Dagobah highlights the importance of proper planning and camping skills. The Ewoks’ intricate lashings and pioneering masterworks would make any scout envious. Yoda’s advice is as wise and a little cryptic as that of many wizened Scoutmasters. Even Han Solo, Harrison Ford, was a Boy Scout.

The constant tension between the Light and Dark side of the Force suggest more meaningful lessons. All humans have free will to make choices. Scouting is a place where scouts can make mistakes in a safe place and learn from them. The first six Star Wars movies tell the story of Anakin Skywalker: how he fell to the Dark Side by letting anger and hate consume him becoming the fearsome Darth Vader. However, in the end, his loyal son, Luke, didn’t give up on him and Darth Vader turned from the Dark Side to find redemption. Those values of family, perseverance and bravery are positive traits for scouts everywhere.

As a result of Star Wars, people all over the world have bonded over their love of these movies. Star Wars teaches scouts that people of all different races and backgrounds can join together to accomplish anything. Star Wars fans come in all shapes and sizes but they aren’t judged by their size – as Yoda taught us – or anything else. Fan-based groups, such as the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, and R2-D2 Builders spend thousands of dollars and hours to “do a good turn daily” in support of charity events all year long.
There are just a few of the many positive reasons to watch Star Wars films with your fellow scouts and apply the lessons learned from them in your daily life.

May the Force – of Scouting! – be with you always.