Thought Factory Podcast #108 || Star Wars & Stolen Property

Does Star Wars matter to students?  Do they even care about something that started nearly 40 years ago? In a world that is so splintered, how does something that has crossed the generational lines have an impact on students today?  Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer discuss Star Wars’s staying power that has shaped student culture.  They also interview a founder of, one of the most popular Star Wars fan website, Josh Griffin.

As always, we are talking about ideas and students. As parents and youth workers, we want to learn from students.   In this episode, we’re talking about Star Wars and its impact on student culture.

First of all, from our research, students care about Star Wars.  Two out of three can tell you a favorite numbered episode.  We’ll also talk about how the Star Wars universe will have a deeper effect your students.

In this episode, we interviewed a guy who had the script to Star Wars Episode 1, but he had it an entire year before the movie was released in 1999. An entire year. So he started a Star Wars fan website that has now become one of the most popular fan websites in the country, possibly in the world – millions of fans go to his website.  If you want to hear that interview, listen to the podcast.

We asked students the questions:

“What is your favorite Star Wars movie?”

Episode VII (The Force Awakens) // 23%
Episode IV (A New Hope) // 11%
Episode I (The Phantom Menace) // 8%
Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back) // 17%
I don’t care // 41%

From our survey results, adults understand what students are thinking when it comes to Star Wars. Down the line, adults answers FOR students were almost exact as students’ answers themselves.

So, Episode 7 The Force Awakens is their favorite or most recent on their minds.

How much has Star Wars changed your life?

I am a Jedi // 43%
I am a Padawan // 11%
What are you talking about? // 46%

Four out of 10 said they considered themselves a “Jedi” (a master)
1 out of 10 said they were a “Padawan” (a learner)
…and the rest said they didn’t care!

What we took from that is about half said that Star Wars had an effect on their life in some way. How many movies could have that effect? In a world where interests are so splintered, Star Wars has staying power to still shape culture today, even student culture.

Redemption is what the story is about.

Upon the death of Darth Vader, Jeff told his daughter, ”that’s what the saga is all about, this moment.”

She said, “I thought it was about Luke?”

That’s the story of God in this world – redemption. For something that was so evil, God made a way for us to know Him and be changed. There is good in everyone, put there by God. God’s power is the power to change a human heart.

Listen to the end of the podcast if you want to hear Jeff share his ultimate Star Wars theory – about the nature of the entire story – while Jayson tries to pay close attention and follow along.

You really don’t want to miss this episode, listen now!