In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker struggles to connect with the Force during his training with Yoda. In the midst of a teeming forest setting on Dagobah, the Jedi Master implores Luke to “feel the Force around you, here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere.”
Like a Jedi’s connection to their surroundings, Lucasfilm has placed a high value on the natural world in its 50 years of storytelling.
Throughout the Star Wars saga, the forces of good tend to be “nature-based,” as executive creative director Doug Chiang would explain. In contrast the Empire is “technology-based.” Luke Skywalker is a farm boy from the desert lands of Tatooine, where the lives of its inhabitants are defined by the landscape. The Rebel Alliance adapts to the settings of countless back-worlds to outmaneuver the Empire with its manufacturing power.
This extends to other stories. Indiana Jones is an archaeologist, a man literally “of the earth.” Farmer Willow Ufgood is tending his fields when a small child arrives to a nearby riverbank, delivered by nature itself.