The Death Star – the spherical orbiting world in Star Wars movies – was the engineering feat of its futuristic world. It was 87 miles in diameter, and both space station for over a million people and a weapon capable of destroying an entire planet with its powerful laser beam. It was an impenetrable fortress.
But as we all know, it had one vulnerable spot, some overlooked exhaust vent that led directly to the core reactor. (You know I had to look all that up. I don’t carry that much Star Wars lore in my head.)
What I know and remember about the Death Star was that it was a brilliant creation with a fatal flaw. Some would call that a plot hole, but actually, I get it. It is utterly human to have a built-in weak spot. Of course this mega-machine has it, because we all have one too.
Babies are born with soft spots on their heads. As writers, and other creators, we all seem to have a weird exhaust vent that lets people deep into our core. And we don’t know it’s there. It isn’t arrogance, just ignorance. We don’t know what we don’t know.
So here we are, spinning through space, housing all the characters we’ve ever written and will ever write. We are creating and destroying worlds all the time, with our powerful laser beam brains. We are, in our own ways, Death Stars. And for each of us, mark my words, there is a small band of rebels who are out to find and exploit our weakness.
If you knew you had this vulnerable spot in your otherwise unchinkable armor, wouldn’t you want to bolster it up, before Luke Skywalker could come along and shoot torpedoes into the one spot that could bring you to your knees, make you implode?
Of course you would. You’d want to protect yourself and the thriving world of your imagination.
The Death Star and its famously exposed spot leads me to think about many of my clients and their creative struggles.
- Each, with creative assessment, finds they have creative strengths and struggles.
- Each, with coaching, comes to see how they try to hide their weaker spots and pretend they don’t exist.
- Each, using Deliberate Creativity and other tools, begins to see what it costs them to pretend they are impenetrable, and how and when instead, to let people in.
This is what’s on my mind in summertime – the season of action movies and blockbusters. We all would like to be less vulnerable in our creativity (even as we show more vulnerability in our characters and creations.)
Princess Leia sent the Death Stars schematics to Luke by inputting them into R2-D2, saying Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. Deliberate Creativity is literally a schematic of how creativity works in general, and through assessment, we can figure out how yours works. And your weakness – the part of creativity you hate, the part you hope no one expects you to do, the unthinkable – can become unchinkable. Strong, solid and all yours.