Good triumphs over evil, family matters most and all the best action happens outside.
That describes the Scouting movement. It also describes Star Wars: The Force Awakens — a little movie that I hear is doing pretty well at the box office.
Steven Toole, a district marketing chairman in the Washington, D.C.-based National Capital Area Council, came up with eight ways Star Wars parallels Scouting. He shared it with me and agreed to let me post it here.
It’s a great read, and it could make for a fun, thought-provoking Scoutmaster’s Minute or Cubmaster’s Minute.
Oh, and it’s completely spoiler-free.
Let’s head to that galaxy far, far away and check it out!
Star Wars and Scouting: A Parallel Universe?
By Steven Toole
As Scouters, it’s difficult to watch the latest Star Wars movie without seeing obvious parallels to Scouting. Here are a few:
1. There’s a choice between good and evil.
Scouting helps show youth the clear path to the light side and how to avoid the dark side. The force is strong for both sides — negative peer pressure is a strong force of the dark side. Faith, self-esteem, personal achievement and goal-setting can be even more powerful forces on the light side.
2. Family values matter.
While Darth Vader may not have been the model father (clearly young Anakin was never a Cub Scout), the latest film shows the importance of family.
3. The best stuff is outside.
You’ll notice that nearly all of the scenes of the “good” characters take place outside, while nearly every scene of “evil” characters takes place inside. ‘Nuff said.
4. Dream big.
Scouting is about dreaming big, following your dreams, setting goals and believing in yourself — no matter where you come from.
5. Explore and seek adventure.
Plenty of adventure in each episode of Star Wars. The characters don’t fear taking risks and accepting challenges to achieve a higher goal. Neither do Scouts.
6. Do your duty to country.
The Resistance fighters in The Force Awakens seem to parallel our founding fathers, who were willing to risk everything to uphold democracy and stand up to oppression and our God-given rights.
7. STEM rocks.
Plenty of science, technology, engineering and math throughout. The Resistance uses a highly scientific approach to combat the evil First Order.
8. Greatness comes from within.
The main character discovers an untapped inner strength. Once this character finds that strength, it’s channeled to fight evil. The dark side, on the other hand, seeks greatness by taking away from others.
Whether or not you get out to see the new Star Wars movie, these themes are obvious. With the film breaking all kinds of box office records, it’s clear that Scouting values reflect the most important values of the American public.
Photo via this awesome collection of Star Wars Pinewood Derby cars on the Boys’ Life site.