We are all going a little crazy over the developing Star Wars t.v. shows, movies, and speculation in general. A Boba Fett movie, a special season to finish off animated Clone Wars, another animated Star Wars show, a live-action show, and of course endless articles about Episode 7 and beyond keep the fan constantly buzzing with excitement.
But what is really neat about Star Wars are the Force Powers. As a seven year-old, I started karate. A few months later I broke a board, all of an inch deep. My teacher explained to me that I was focusing all of my body’s energy into my fist and my fist through the wood. When I didn’t get that he told me that my sister’s head was a few inches under the board. That worked much better.
As a black belt, a practitioner is expected to be able to focus their ki/ch’i (roughly translated as inner strength or a force) into a strike with the hands, feet, elbows, or knees and to have much more power than a beginner. This is because of very specific training.
Then there are masters, people whose abilities with ki are such that they can not only focus it to an even greater degree but they can control where it is used. Someone with this ability can break the last board or brick in a stack (erroneously called Dim Mak in Bloodsport), or damage an organ without leaving a bruise at the point of contact. There are even legends of grandmasters capable of killing with barely a touch or no contact at all.
Among the Jedi and Sith, the ability to push a person using “the Force” is a common trick. Luke Skywalker and many Sith can similarly call on their powers to emit lightening from their fingertips. Both techniques are different ways of focusing that ki.
There are other aspects of the martial arts that are exaggerated in Star Wars as well. Martial combat and meditation eventually brings a clarity that borders on precognition, though nowhere near what Yoda, Sidious, and their cronies manage. For many years after the body begins to decline the understanding of martial arts that has been developed more than makes up for what is lost. However, generally fighters in their eighties and older are not the best fighters as they are in the Star Wars universe.
As you are watching the Star Wars shows and playing its games, it’s important to remember that these aren’t powers based on myths or legends. They aren’t what some creative kid with no knowledge of science came up with to explain the natural phenomenon around him. Nor are they simple products of the imagination as has happened with the DC and Marvel comics. The Force Sensitives of the Star Wars universe are people, not gods. They have abilities honed well beyond anything on Earth, but they have a basis in the advanced powers of the martial arts of this planet. That in itself, I think, is more than enough reason for watching anything Star Wars.