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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” just broke a global box office record, bringing in more than $528 million in ticket sales. The space saga has dazzled moviegoers for more than three decades.
Although the movie’s epic battles and adventures take place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” the space opera provides some valuable lessons in personal finance.
Here are five money lessons gleaned from watching “Star Wars”:
- Try to negotiate a good deal: Negotiating a good deal is how young Luke Skywalker and his uncle end up acquiring R2D2, notes Kiplinger. After settling on a price for used droids with the Jawas selling them, one of the droids explodes when rolling toward the men. When Luke’s uncle expresses uncertainty about the quality of the Jawas’ used droids, the Jawas respond by offering R2D2, one of the best robots in the galaxy.
- Gambling is risky: Although this money lesson may seem obvious, “The Phantom Menace” provides a good example of the risks of gambling when Qui Gon Jinn makes a bet with slimy merchant Watto. Jinn bets his spaceship that Anakin will win a pod race. Watto is upset when Anakin wins and he loses the bet, to which Jinn replies: “Whenever you gamble my friend, eventually you lose.”
- Pay your debts: Han Solo may be a hero in battle, but not in his finances. He owes a big debt to underworld boss Jabba the Hutt. When he doesn’t pay it, he is tracked down, frozen in carbonite and kept by Jabba, until he’s rescued by Luke Skywalker. Money offers this sagely interpretation: “It’s best to avoid becoming indebted to murderous crime lords in the first place.”
- Stretch your dollar: Luke Skywalker grows up a poor farm boy on a desert planet. He’s conservative with his money. “He’s definitely a saver, not a spender,” Mark Foster, director of education and marketing for Credit Counseling of Arkansas, told Bankrate.com. “He should be a lesson to all of us,” Foster says.
- Develop your inner Force: As columnist John Wasik writes on Forbes, workers, like Jedi Knights, need to work on their skills so they can become smarter, or in the case of the Jedis, stronger. “Everyone who wants to stay current should be updating their skills,” writes Wasik. “Would a spreadsheet course make you more employable? What about an MBA? Or maybe some programming skills? Look at what people do to get ahead in your field.”
Are you a “Star Wars” fan? Are there any other money tips you remember from the movies? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.