Tapping the Force: The Art of Making Star Wars Illuminates STEAM Careers

“May the force be with you” is the renowned salute intoned in the 20th century by a Jedi Master on May 25, 1977, when George Lucas first gathered us into his mythological realm in the Galaxy Far-Far-Away. For Star Wars fans all over the world, the phrase has special meanings – and it has personal significance for me as I push “send” to buy advanced tickets to take my grandson to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which debuts in the 21st century this winter.

As a former educator-turned-STEM philanthropist for the Broadcom Foundation, I have long wished to join the conversation about supporting art alongside science, technology, engineering, and math education. In my mind, Star Wars Episode VII provides the perfect catalyst for math, science and art teachers to pull out a copy of The Jedi Path and use Lucas’ iconic space opera to inspire younglings everywhere to perfect their science, technology, engineering, math and art (STEAM) skills to prepare themselves for exciting, multi-faceted careers that await them, and which cut across the entire STEAM landscape of the 21st century.

As the finishing touches were being applied to the latest interstellar installment, thirty Broadcom Masters finalists — Broadcom’s own younglings — got a firsthand look at how much STEAM goes into creating Star Wars at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco. The astounding choreography — symphonic music, light sabers, star fighters, droids, land speeders, planets with double moons, the revival Millennium Falcon and fantastic cityscapes populated with beings with whose countenances and costumes dazzle our imaginations — requires thousands of visionary scientists, savvy technicians, engineers of all stripes, artists, fabricators, musicians and math/computer wiz kids putting their heads together to envision, collaborate, design, build, direct and produce Lucas’ interstellar extravaganza.

Star Wars (S)cience consultants include experts —> Read More