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May the Force be with you as uni offers Star Wars course

University of Glasgow will host sessions exploring the philosophy of Star Wars on May 4.

By STV News

Published 10 Feb 2017.

The philosophy of Star Wars is being examined in a one-day course being offered by a Scottish university.

The University of Glasgow event will look at the universe created for cinema by George Lucas, in which the Force governs and directs the destinies of individuals and civilisations.

Star Wars and Philosophy: Destiny, Justice and the Metaphysics of the Force aims to explore serious themes behind the epic story set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

The event, to be held on May 4 to coincide with the date designated Star Wars Day by fans of the film franchise, will focus on the relationship between a fixed future and free will in Lucas's storylines.

Issues to be explored include how free anyone's actions really are and how morally responsible they are for what they do.

Dr John Donaldson, who previously ran a course which examined the virtues of Homer Simpson, said he hopes it will be popular with fans and those new to the film series.

He said: "The course is open access and doesn't carry any certification.

"It's organised around a theme that's based on the characteristics of a Star Wars universe.

"We are looking at what the consequences would be if we accept the philosophy of Star Wars.

"We'll be asking how we can legitimately tell if the characters are good or bad if they are being governed by a force."

Philosophy tutor Dr Donaldson will also be discussing the concepts such as freewill and its impact on characters' decisions and actions.

The aim of the course, he said, is to provide philosophical interpretation of something contemporary which would not normally be looked at in such a way.

Around 25 people are expected to attend the course on May 4, with another being held on May 6.

He added: "We will hopefully get a mix of people attending. It's not designed to be a Star Wars convention and it's certainly not the case that you need to be a Star Wars nerd to take part.

"In general we would like people to pursue further philosophical inquiry.

"The course is really about philosophy dressed in Star Wars clothes."