It’s been a busy fortnight for American politics. Now it's official, Joe Biden will not run in 2016. If you listened closely enough during his announcement, you should have been able to make out Hillary Clinton weeping tears of ecstasy. Jim Webb dropped out of the Democratic primary on Tuesday, after spending roughly 72 percent of his speaking time in the first debate complaining about his speaking time. His press conference lasted for multiple minutes. On the other side of the political aisle, Donald Trump informed Americans that the Sept. 11 attacks did in fact occur while President George W. Bush occupied the White House, much to the apparent shock of his base of supporters, who continue to claim that even our worst day with President Bush rivaled our best with President Obama.

As usual, blind partisanship, violently deployed by Republicans and Democrats alike, inhibits any semblance of... It obstructs even the basic idea of…

Oh, f*** it. I can’t focus. The Star Wars trailer was just too good.

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”

Such is the philosophy that will guide me as I attempt to write a column about the wondrous mythos of our favorite galaxy far, far away. Yes, I am writing a reflection column. I apologize, but come on—it’s Star Wars themed.

I will never forget the first time I stepped foot in a movie theater. One damp summer night in the humid heat of Hilton Head Island, my parents decided to expose my sister and me to the world of Jedi and Sith. On the screen played the first prequel to the critically acclaimed trilogy that started it all. Luckily, I absorbed the universe portrayed by “The Phantom Menace”through the eyes of a child, at that golden age when every movie seems intricate and magical despite its faults. Writer-Director George Lucas had me, capturing my interest with futuristic lightsabers and holding my attention with heartfelt battles. That I loved even the ridiculous Jar Jar Binks makes me grateful that I watched the admittedly flawed prequel before my critical faculties had developed.

In the next year, I went full-geek, sinking my teeth into anything and everything touched by the Force. The original trilogy, books, video games; you name it. My parents bought me toy lightsabers, one always by my side and one typically wielded by my father as we simulated battles from the movies—I, the Padawan, and he, the Jedi Master, I readied myself every afternoon as I went to the closet to hang up my coat after school, always half-expecting the “vmmmmm” activation sound of his lightsaber from beyond the door. Whenever he caught me off-guard, he would joke: “Concentration, son! Who trained you anyway?”

Toward the end of elementary school, my parents asked me to bring in the mail. I walked down the driveway, opened up the mailbox, and found inside a sealed letter addressed from the Jedi Academy. Still young enough to believe that one day I could wake up a midi-chlorian enhanced Jedi (or a wizard or a Super Saiyan for that matter), I rushed back to the house and threw the letter in front of my parents. They read the letter, which I now believe was forged by my sister, and asked me whether I would follow its instruction and enroll to become a Jedi. Troubled by the idea of leaving my family and friends, I thought for a moment before answering: “I’m not ready.”

And so my chances of learning the ways of the Force crumbled, but my love of the universe remained strong as ever. When “Revenge of the Sith,” the latest movie in the series, was released, I went to school in a daze, unable to focus on anything assigned by my teacher. After lunch, I thought that I had been granted a brief reprieve when I heard my name called over the school intercom. When I arrived at the front office, I found my dad, who had excused my absence so that we could see the symbolic birth of Darth Vader on opening day.

The stories of Star Wars have done more than provide the basis for fond family memories; to this day, they instill an indescribable sense of nostalgia and help me view the world with a considerable amount of empathy, balance and hope. At Duke, it may be intimidating to interact with fantastical fiction of galactic proportions, especially around others who would rather talk about literally anything else, but don’t give up hope on the value of discovering new universes. Whether Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, a night in with a book or a movie might just be Force-awakening.

Brendan McCartney is a Trinity senior. His column runs on alternate Thursdays.