In 1977 I was 11 years old. That spring my father took my brother and I to see Star Wars at a theaterin Butte Montana. Like millions of other people, the galactic soap opera made a dramatic impact upon my life. It's almost as if I went into the theater one person and came out another. In fact, I often orient my life experiences as either BSW (before Star Wars) or ASW (after Star Wars).
One of my other loves are America's national parks. I've worked as a ranger in 3 parks and visited more than 100 others. Like Star Wars, the National Parks made a dramatic impact upon my outlook on life. During the 1930's the federal government created a whole series of posters to promote the national parks and encourage Americans to visit their national heritage. In fact, the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) made a whole series of park posters designed to spread the message of recreation and conservation. Next year the national park system will celebrate its 100th birthday.
Star Wars and National Parks, at least for me, share a lot in common. Obviously, both represent fun,
adventure, excitement. But Star Wars and National Parks also resonate with people at a deep mythological level. Star Wars connected with a mass audience because it tapped into themes of good and evil, fall and redemption, trust and betrayal. National Parks at their core, represent America's most treasured values as well. Parks such as Gettysburg National Battlefield and Bainbridge Island National Internment Memorial represent our nation's high and low points. While Yellowstone National Park and Lewis and Clark National Historic Park represent the unknown and exploration.
In light of the release of Star Wars the Force Awakens and the upcoming National Park Centennial, I've combined two of my favorite things in WPA style Star Wars Galactic Park Posters.
What do you think? What other Star Wars Galactic Park Poster would you like to see?
Sean Smith is a former Yellowstone Ranger, and an award winning conservationist, TEDx speaker, and author. He writes national park thrillers from his home in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park. To learn more about his thrillers click here or follow him on twitter: @parkthrillers