Financial Lessons We Can Learn From Star Wars

The Star Wars logo.

®Lucasfilm/Disney

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Ever since those famous words first scrawled across silver screens back in 1977 our pop-culture was forever changed. Sure Star Wars is a fun space opera about an orphaned farm boy who goes on to save the galaxy with magic powers, spaceships, robots and lightsabers, but it ended up being so much more than that. Nobody expected it to be the hit it was, nor to have the cultural impact that it did. These movies added new words and phrases to our language (droids, Jedi mind-trick, padawan), new ways to view the world, and they have certainly inspired multiple generations to new heights of creativity. “Yeah that’s all well and good you scruffy-looking nerf herder, but what does that have to do with my money,” I can hear you say. Surprisingly quite a lot as you’re about to see…

The Value of a Dollar (or a Galactic Credit) – Han Solo’s ship the Millennium Falcon, is one of the coolest, most iconic spaceships in all of science fiction, despite being an old hunk of junk. In fact, the first thing both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia do when they see the Falcon is to comment on awful it appears. Also how many scenes in the original trilogy show Han and Chewbacca working on the ship? I don’t know exactly but it’s a lot.
However, despite the Falcon’s obvious flaws the ship flies true and saves the day against both Death Stars. That’s because Han cares for his ship and is willing to put the time, effort, and resources into maintaining it. This attitude should apply to your car, home, lawn mower, deep-freezer or any other moderately expensive item that you may rely on. Our culture today is often referred to as “throw-away” and to an extent that’s very accurate. How many TV/appliance repair shops do you see these days? Not many, and that’s a shame. In my opinion those of us that take care of the things we buy have a better understanding of the value of a dollar than those of us who just replace our stuff at the first sign of a problem. So when the next time your TV is on the fritz, instead of jumping on Amazon.com for a replacement, try Googling the problem to see if it’s something common you can fix yourself. Not only will you save a bunch of money in the long run, the sense of satisfaction you get from solving the problem is pretty rewarding too. If it’s something too complicated to fix yourself, try finding a local repair shop. Repairs are usually a lot cheaper than a replacement, and you support a local businessperson. That’s win-win!

Han Solo making repairs to the Millennium Falcon.

® Lucasfilm / Disney
“It may be a hunk of junk but it’s MY hunk of junk.”

You Should Know Where Your Money is Going – I know that politics can be dry and boring. Who wants to watch CSPAN when there’s a game on right? But we should all set aside a little time to read or watch the news. These days it’s easier than ever to be kept up-to-date with Washington. Most of your Congressional Representatives and Senators are on Facebook and Twitter so follow a few and you can be updated pretty regularly. I’m sure the tax-paying citizens of the Galactic Empire would have loved to know their tax dollars were going towards a moon-sized space station whose sole purpose was to destroy planets. This super-weapon only got to fire once before being blown up by rebels. Faced with this immense setback the government’s natural response was to…build another one! Just imagine how much a Death Star costs. The International Space Station costs approximately $7.5 million per day, per person! The Death Star is the size of a moon while the ISS is the size of a football field. The cost of actually building the Death Star is too difficult for me to figure out, so thank goodness some students from Lehigh University already did. They arrived at an estimated $852,000,000,000,000,000. Yeah, I think we would all really want to know if our government was plunking down that kind of money on a project…twice!

Try not. Do…or do not. There is no try – Master Yoda is regarded as the most wise character in the entire Star Wars franchise, and with good reason. He’s over 900 years old (so he must eat pretty healthy), he lives in a hut in the swamp (so he’s frugal), and he spends nearly all of his screen time in the movies educating others (so he’s giving). While training a frustrated Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force, Yoda drops one of the most oft-quoted lines in cinema history: “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Whoa. Mind. Blown.

Master Yoda standing in the swamps of Dagobah.

® Lucasfilm / Disney
“Blown your mind, I have just.”

But if you stop and really think about it these are words to live by, and definitely apply to your financial well-being. How many New Year’s have you or someone you know made a resolution to try to save more money? Would you like to be your own boss and try to open a small business? Then do it! Don’t try to do these things, make it happen! Motivation is key so find what motivates you and do start saving more, do get your business of the ground, do make a down payment on that house you’ve been dreaming of or that new car you’ve always wanted. Enlist a friend or family-member to help keep you motivated, or utilize technology to help keep you on track. There are plenty of great, free money-management apps out there (OVB offers Budget Buddy free with your online banking) so it’s easier than ever to keep track of your money and achieve your goals. Remember: stay on target.

So you see Star Wars has more to offer than just cool lightsaber duels, awesome hairdos, and Jar-Jar Binks. Is there anything else you think that Star Wars can teach us about our finances? Please sound off in the comments below…

About HBKnight
I occupy my time by refusing to grow up and playing D&D.

One Response to Financial Lessons We Can Learn From Star Wars

  1. Pingback: More Financial Lessons We Can Learn From Star Wars | Ohio Valley Bank

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