My Star Wars trek
Updated: May 4
aired on Athlone Community Radio on May the Fourth
Good afternoon Athlone, today is May Fourth and I want to take you on a Star Wars trek for Star Wars Day which is known as May the Fourth (Be With You), and while I am not the biggest fan of the franchise and haven’t seen all of the Episodes, I have always enjoyed the message that Star Wars and Star Trek have offered generations of tv viewers.
More of a Trekkie than a Star Wars fan, I think both sci-fi series have contributed immensely to both our technology and culture.
If you look at Star Trek for example, you will find mobile phones, tablets, laptops, floppy disks, VR rooms and giant tv screens where you can ask Alexia, Siri to Skype people.
Star Trek gave us the future and I wonder how much technology has been inspired by scientists and engineers looking at Star Trek on tv while thinking of new technologies and I believe a Motorola engineer who was looking at improving carphones, decided to boldly go in a different direction away from cars and into cellular devices, after seeing re-runs of Star Trek where the cast and crew communicated with each other on small personal devices.
Star Trek boldly went there and gave us futuristic technologies while Star Wars offered us a path between enlightenment and a dark side.
Star Trek gave us a logical Vulcan called Mr Spock but I wonder what child psychologist Dr Spock would have made of the societal impact of these two sci-fi series.
Generations have enjoyed these episodes and I am sure there are many grandparents who have seen their grandchildren enjoying Baby Yoda, decades after they might have first saw the iconic "Luke I am Your Father" sword fight.
These fictional Light-Sabres exist in a very different form and I have seen for example a martial arts club in Madrid, mixing discipline with science fiction.
I have photographed people taking these light-sabre battles seriously on May 4th 2018 and wonder if these glowing plastic tubes, that they use as lightsabers don’t offer the perfect way to Social Distance.
I had a chance to try out the lightsabers in the middle of Madrid and can see the merit in people training with these colourful toys/tools and I wonder if we will see it turned into an Olympic sport in the future.
Maybe Ludosport as it is known can offer people a chance to exercise while turning to the Darkside. Not yet tempted by these negative thoughts, I chose a green lightsaber to try out.
I am sure these training tools are expensive to buy but I can really see Lightsabre battles becoming more popular in the future as people celebrate May the Fourth.
I am not sure I have ever spent a penny on Star Wars or its merchandise other than cinema tickets but when I was offered the chance to see the Star Wars Island near Kerry. I jumped at the chance.
Skellig Michael is amazing, and as an immigrant living in Madrid, I was thrilled to see the Irish island featured at the end of Episode 7 and again in Episode 8.
Skellig Michael is not easy to reach and harder from Madrid but I made a Star Wars trek when a cousin invited me to tour the 10th-century monastery when he travelled home to Kerry from America. I was going home to Athlone that weekend for my sister’s birthday and decided to take the stop off in Kerry before heading home.
Driving a 1,000kms in 24 hours is not advisable and I risked missing either the birthday, the Jedi Island or both as I knew I would be very tired climbing Skellig’s dangerous cliffside, and 600 steep steps to the top.
Weather conditions were not only good but one of the sunniest days I remember in Ireland and it was possible to take a ferry to the island where I discovered that my American cousin who was born and bred in Kerry, had never actually been to the Star Wars Island we call Skellig Michael.
Maybe in the future we can find a faster way to travel from Madrid to Athlone via Skellig Michael and tourists can beem down to the UNESCO site but for now I will be happy just watching the Irish island on the big screen and happy to see these silly sci-fi series inspiring millions with logical thought that encourages us to "Live Long & Prosper" and avoiding the negativity of the dark side.
Space might seem Far Far Away but at least for now, we can see A New Hope as Space X, founded by Tesla's Elon Musk use Falcon 9s to reach new milestones.
The name Falcon 9 is apparently a reference to the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars which made it’s own star trek to to Star Wars Island, Skellig Michael in Episode 7.
See you in the future Athlone, "Live Long & Prosper" but if you get the chance, check out Ludosport for yourself and visit the 1,500 monastery off the coast of Kerry and begin your own Jedi training.