When did Star Wars “jump the shark?” Compared to Star Trek, right out of the gate….  Star Trek was from the very beginning back in the mid-sixties a reasonable and optimistic extrapolation into the future of the historical course of American well-ordered liberty:

Star Wars, on the other hand, has always been a glitzy, gizmo/special effects ridden extrapolation of a 1940s comic book. Nothing inherently wrong with such a genre, but without the substance and gravitas of Star Trek’s premise, sequels will always be a downhill ride.

As a student of martial arts and certain eastern philosophies, though, I did enjoy the implicitly Taoist themes in Star Wars, such as dark side/light side (each owing its existence to the other) and the profound yet childlike persona of Yoda, who is obviously based upon the Zen masters of old:

If the trail of Star Wars sequels had gone more in this direction, perhaps quietly borrowing a bit from the old TV series Kung Fu, perhaps we would not be discussing “shark-jumping” in this regard.

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David Churchill Barrow is a regular Liberty Island contributor and along with his wife, MaryLu Barrow, is the author of the young adult novella Silver and Lead.

Photo by soupboy