When I was a boy growing up in Mexico City, it took a year before American movies reached Mexican theaters. I remember going with my family to see the first "Star Wars" movie and later getting it on Betamax (That’s a Google search for you if you were born after the mid-1980s).
I’d come home from school and watch it again and again and again. One of the more memorable scenes, for me, showed Luke Skywalker’s blundering attempts to wield a lightsaber against a flying orb.
His mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, tells him, “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”
Luke continues to train, but now with a helmet that cloaks his vision. He must trust his gut instinct, which proves more effective when blindfolded.
The scene mirrors how we’re storming ahead at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. We can’t necessarily see where we’re heading, but we’re adapting on our feet and embracing our intuition, with a nudge from our better angels.
And that’s not the only parallel between us and "Star Wars".
The franchise itself sets a tone for how we, as a College, should aspire, inspire and perspire. That first "Star Wars" film came out in 1977, a time when such an unimaginable concept — a galaxy, bound together by a mystical “force,” in which humans, aliens and robots coexist – bucked the norm. Theater owners initially treated the movie as the “B track” for the summer.
Yet it was destined to change the game.
The creators took a risk with an innovative vision, and more than 40 years later, it has shaped multiple generations and sparked imaginations in ways that our College should adhere.
Some might deem it silly that the dean of the College is obsessed with "Star Wars" and has toys in his office.
But it’s a real-life reminder of how ingenuity breeds success and longevity. We are reimagining ourselves through a fresh start-up, a new building (which stretches beyond brick and mortar) and our College’s namesake, whose vision will undoubtedly change us like it did the internet and Silicon Valley 20 years ago.
Fifty years down the road, I want people to look back at us and go, “Wow. They used the force.”
Javier Reyes, Ph.D.
Milan Puskar Dean