A Force for Dealing with Conflict

A Force for Dealing with Conflict

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that Star Wars has much to teach us about conflict. It’s right there in the title, after all.

With the latest installment of George Lucas’ epic space drama, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, hitting theaters this past December, a Creighton professor says the beloved saga can illustrate key concepts in the field of conflict resolution … and not just for a galaxy far, far away.

“The whole world needs this,” says Noam Ebner, professor of negotiation and conflict resolution in the Graduate School, of the knowledge and skills involved in successfully managing conflict.

Ebner, a lifelong Star Wars fan, is collaborating on a book, Star Wars and Conflict Resolution, that will feature chapters written by experts in academia and practice, using narrative elements from the series to introduce important themes in conflict resolution to a general audience.

“If we can somehow hitch the wagon of conflict resolution to the engine of pop culture, we feel we have the potential to reach people far beyond the classroom.”

In addition to trade wars and legislative disputes, Ebner says, “Star Wars has workplace disputes, and particularly it has family disputes. There’s a little bit of the Skywalker family in every one of our families, and it’s a scary thing if we don’t know how to cope with conflict a little more effectively than the Skywalker family did.”