What Lightsabers and Violins Have in Common


What if the Star Wars saga was about something other than the Skywalker family? For just a moment, take your understanding of the saga - and even the words of its creator - as being a space soap opera that follows the story of one family in the galaxy, and put it on hold. In the late 1990s, the film The Red Violin hit theaters with very little fanfare, especially compared to the marketing behemoths of Star Wars and Disney. According to IMDB, the film is the story of "...a perfect red-colored violin [that] inspires passion, making its way through three centuries over several owners and countries, eventually ending up at an auction where it may find a new owner."

Throughout the film, we accompany the red violin on its journey - witnessing firsthand how it impacted each of its very different owners. For some, it brought joy. For others, devastation. And still others were willing to lose their own life in order to keep it safe.

This brings us back to the premise of this post - what if we saw Star Wars through the same lens as The Red Violin? Instead of seeing the saga as only the story of the Skywalker clan, how might our understanding (or even appreciation) of the saga be enhanced if we chose to view the tale as the journey of Anakin's lightsaber? Like the red violin, the lightsaber is passed to new owners, each impacted very differently, and unveiling a new and exciting story. The lightsaber remains the same, but its impact and place in its owners lives are quite different.

To further illustrate this, here's what The Red Violin's narrated trailer tells us:

"A prophecy foretold - of a masterpiece, that would be born of tragedy. It foretold of a journey that would call forth a prodigy. Destined to wander across the ages, and never to rest. It saw no seduction, and inspired genius, but also betrayal. While some would condemn its beauty, others would risk their lives to preserve it. Now, the time has come when it will reveal itself once more..."

Is it a one-to-one correlation of the events of Star Wars? No - but there are certainly similarities! Looking through a macro thematic lens, we can easily draw comparisons to things like "prophecy" (The Chosen One - Anakin? Luke? Rey?), "born of tragedy" (Luke and Leia), "prodigy" (Anakin), "condemnation" (Uncle Owen, in relation to the Jedi and hence the lightsaber), "betrayal" (Anakin, Palpatine, Kylo Ren, whomever dumped Rey on Jakku, etc.), and the list goes on.

If you fancy the idea of seeing or relating to Star Wars in a new way, I recommend viewing The Red Violin and then considering what new insights this brings to your appreciation and knowledge of Star Wars. If you do give this a go, we'd love to hear about your experience!

You can watch the official trailer for The Red Violin here, or rent the film here.

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