Sunday, November 28, 2010

May the uke force be with you!

My wife and I just got finished watching a Star Wars marathon: Not exactly the most productive way to spend a weekend, but we enjoyed our time together. After all, we both grew up with Han Solo, Luke, Leia, and “May the force be with you”!

But being an adult now, something new occurred to me as I watched these massive starships go dashing across the universe, shooting lasers: The economics of Star Wars.

Those ships are massive: I mean, forget the Death Star, just a little fighter ship is pretty darned big. Lots of technical equipment, lots of weaponry. And they have artificial hands waiting to be slapped onto arms when the originals get chopped off. Why is it Star Wars characters seem to keep losing arms?

So, all of that stuff costs money. I am guessing lots of money. A typical fighter plane for the real US Air Force costs what, $500,000-$1,000,000? Maybe more then that? I can’t even imagine how a rebel force in the real world could ever come up with a standing army, let alone an air force. So, how does this band of “rebel fighters” finance all these incredible starships and fighter planes?

In one of the films, a Jedi Knight discovers a whole army of clones was built in secret. How was that paid for? Factories, laboratories, all that stuff. Amazing.

I think I have figured it out. Can you guess what it is? OK, here it goes:


See, we run into the very same situation with Dallas Ukulele Headquarters. After all, ukes cost money. Copies cost money. Websites, signs, and everything else costs money.

Now, it’s not exactly going to battle against the Dark Forces of the guitar world: We have no issues like that. So, the Ukulele Starship doesn’t need to be equipped with any weaponry. I suppose just a handful of untuned ukes would be a pretty powerful weapon, if needed. Or a way of clearing the neighborhood of cats.

In fact, sharing ukulele with the world is, in a way, harnessing the positive forces of The Force. People have a sense of creativity, accomplishment, and musical and emotional expression with the ukulele. A force for growth for people of all ages. And a great live entertainment for kids and seniors, even if they just listen. The uke is our lightsaber.

So, back to the money: Back to how we have built a ukulele star fighter.

Well, we haven’t. There isn’t a ukulele spaceship. Just a bunch of people. The shared vision of ukulele brings us together and keeps us together.

And the money? Well, there isn’t any. It’s true that when equipment has been needed, it sort of just appears. Someone always seems to have what we need ready to be donated. This has worked for sound systems, projectors, songbooks – I am very grateful. You might say I’m just using the force.

I guess I really don’t understand how the economics of Star Wars works. I don’t think you can “use the force” to build starships, or “give in to the Dark Side” to raise a droid army. Good thing I’m not a rebel commander. And that ukes are so much less expensive!

(Thank you for reading Uke Plucks! My goal is to continually provide something interesting and of value to uke fans, uke players and uke group organizers. Please see our official website, for more information, and DO sign up even if you are out of the area. That way you can see first hand what Dallas Ukulele Headquarters is doing. Also, DO click on the FOLLOW BLOG button at the top of the page. This helps me to know who is reading and what topics to cover. Plus, it's a little stroke to my ego every time someone adds me. And finally, DO leave a comment. Did you like this post? Not like it? What would you like to see me cover? Again, everything helps! And remember: Without "U", it's just Kulele!)