Heroes

George Lucas changed the rules of the Star Wars universe to make this boy unbelievably happy.

"To be a Jedi is to truly know the value of friendship, of compassion, and of loyalty, and these are values important in a marriage."

George Lucas changed the rules of the Star Wars universe to make this boy unbelievably happy.

We're only seven months away from the new Star Wars movie being released. It's an exciting time to be alive.

But did you know that in the Star Wars universe, Jedi can't get married? It's sad but true. And 7-year-old Colin Gilpatric isn't having it.

At his young age, Colin is already pretty certain of two things:


  1. He wants to be a Jedi.
  2. He wants to get married.

(This is exactly two more things than I knew about myself at age 7.)

So what did this young Padawan do? He wrote a letter to the one man who could change the rule: George Lucas.


The letter reads:

Dear George Lucas,

I don't like that a Jedi cannot get married. I want to get married without becoming a Sith. Please change the rule.

P.S. I want to come to Skywalker Ranch, please.

Love,
Colin.






The best part? Lucas wrote back.

The people at Lucasfilm replied to his letter, and Colin's reaction is priceless.

They could have let him down easy, stifling his imagination. But what they did was so much cooler.

Here's the video. It's 100% worth a watch:

Lucasfilm's letter reads:

Dear Colin,

Thank you so much for writing to us with your question. It sounds like the Force is strong with you, and you are showing great wisdom by asking your question. To be a Jedi is to truly know the value of friendship, of compassion, and of loyalty, and these are values important in a marriage. The Sith think inward, only of themselves. When you find someone that you can connect to in a selfless way, then you are on the path of light, and the dark side will not take hold of you. With this goodness in your heart, you can be married.

We enclosed a few gifts that we hope you enjoy. Thank you again for writing.

May the Force Be With You!

Your friends at Lucasfilm







Now, why is it that Jedi aren't supposed to get married?

The simple answer is that Jedi believe emotion clouds judgment, and the easiest solution is simply not to make personal attachments.

Yeah, Yoda, you would say that, living all alone in the swamp on Dagobah.

After all, one of the reasons Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side was because he thought he could save the woman he loved. It's serious stuff.


But rules are meant to be broken, and 2015 seems like a pretty appropriate time to start shaking up some of the outdated rules we have about marriage.

In both in fictional universes and reality.

Way to go, George Lucas, for proving for the second time in just the past couple months that you've got a heart of gold.

Whether you're standing up for affordable housing or making a kid's dream come true, this is a good look on you, G.L.

Congratulations, Colin! May your future spouse be just as into Star Wars as you are!

And, of course, as always, may the Force be with you.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less