I realize that many of my daily readers cringe when I do a Star Wars article, but its important that it is understood cultural trends as they emerge and how those new ideas will shape the world of tomorrow. I have enjoyed the last week or so in witnessing all the many aspects of modern mythology that are exploding onto the scene. We are talking about more than just a little influence culturally, which will eventually build up the political mentality and philosophy of the next century, that is emerging in our various art forms, particularly in movies, television streaming, table top gaming and video game options. We are experiencing a very rich culture of thought that is emerging and is shaping the world right under our feet so I consider all these things to be very important. I will have to say that my ability to predict events and understand the deeper meanings of every day observances come from my love of global mythology, the stories of humanity that transcends time and space. In that regard the things that happened this past week with the release of Episode One of the Game of Thrones and the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago unleashed a different kind of hope that I found extremely encouraging, which I wanted to share here.
As I’ve said before I work in an industry full of very, very smart people who have a great love for technology and innovation. And among them I was even surprised how excited they were to watch Game of Thrones and how many of them were live streaming the events of the Star Wars Celebration from their office work areas. It used to be that I was the only one who cared about things like that, 20 to 30 years ago, but now its quite a common thing, especially among intelligent people. Fans of these entertainment options are looking for intellectual fulfillment that they aren’t getting from regular life. It’s not escapism as it was classically defined, it’s a hunger for new ideas to see in conceptual reality the things they are naturally thinking. But even saying that, it has been the news of the new Star Wars land at the Disney Parks titled Galaxy’s Edge that impressed me the most.
When Disney first acquired Lucasfilm and the Star Wars property way back in 2012 I made my predictions on what impact that would have on the future. Since then of course Universal Studios had taken the Harry Potter experience to the next level of reality based mythic involvements, where consumers weren’t just passively enjoying the product and the stories of the product, but were now part of the story themselves. From a mythology perspective I see this as a huge leap in human experience, which comes at a good time. The human race is at a point where it has more options to build from than ever before, so our mythologies naturally need to grow to deal with those concerns at a pace more rapidly than those experiences are occurring. So knowing that this construction of Galaxy’s Edge is just remarkable because it’s not just about visiting an amusement park and reliving some favorite movie, and looking at movie props to rekindle the memory of the experience. What Disney has done is build as close to a living breathing off-world outpost that puts the consumers in the story of mythology itself in real-time and what impact that will have on human mythology for the future has some very exciting prospects, and I’m very excited about it.
When I was a kid and first went to Universal Studios in Los Angeles I found if very thrilling to see the real movie props of my favorite movies. I was so impressed with it that for the last thirty years or so those initial impressions stayed with me as very good memories. I can say that when I had a chance to see the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios in Florida it was a magical experience for me, which should be evident by the pictures in my “Who is Rich Hoffman” blog posting seen on the sidebar. I have always enjoyed movies and when there was some kind of Star Wars exhibit that showed the real movie props from the films I have always found the experience stimulating and as a family we have gone to as many of those things as possible. So I am very aware how little kids fresh with ideas feel about these kinds of things. Even as adults, the feelings don’t go away which is quite evident as the participants of the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago was not geared for children, but many of the adult fans who really want to immerse themselves into the Star Wars mythology. Knowing all that, Galaxy’s Edge in both Disneyland and Disney World this year will allow visitors to get museum quality props and to accept the Star Wars universe as a reality not just a nostalgic recollection.
Specifically the two rides that are going to be featured, Smuggler’s Run where everyone will have a chance to ride in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, or the Rise of the Resistance ride where participants will actually be in the middle of a Star Wars battle are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the details of buying and building droids, constructions of personal lightsabers, and the acquisition of real Star Wars merchandise purchased as if it really existed in that galaxy far, far away—Disney has gone way over the top and far exceeded my expectations. They are going for a level of authenticity that has experimental results not yet measured culturally and I think it’s very healthy for all of us. To not only ask what if, but to say, “how about that” in the context of a simulated reality can really have a dramatic increase in our technical expansion and that is very exciting.
I’m also not one who believes that growing up is such a great thing. I personally think we are at our best as people before the age of 10 when our minds are growing and fully alive. Our stories in society are sort of based on the very old or the very young, but not so much for those who have reached puberty and are in the realm of career building and procreation. I have seen so many people who just don’t know what to do with themselves in that large in-between age but to pursue a course of self-destruction. But that is changing and has dramatically over the course of time that I have conducted this blog site. Entertainment and mythology are better merged together than they ever have been and I see that increasing the quality of the human condition, not regressing it. It’s impossible to tell what impact Galaxy’s Edge will have on future engineers and space explorers, but one thing’s for sure, there will be growth and it will move in a very positive direction. In the past many of these kinds of things weren’t talked about much, people didn’t binge watch shows like Game of Thrones for entire weekends, and those types of options weren’t even available. But now they are and it is changing everything in a positive way. Which is very, very exciting.
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