Star Wars club forces its way into campus

Group to unify fans of the Force

By Davis Hill, Staff Writer


After several years of deliberation, distraction and plain old procrastination, two friends are finally starting the club they always thought Eastern should have.

This spring quarter, Daryn Walter and Joel Hetrick are starting the Star Wars club, nicknamed “The New Republic.” Walter and Hetrick, who are club president and vice president, respectively, both feel that there are many EWU students and community members who have an interest in Star Wars, but so far have not had a forum for their passion.

Walter. Photo by: Nic Olson.
Walter. Photo by: Nic Olson.

Hetrick explained the appeal of the Star Wars universe.

“Both of us [Hetrick and Walter] really enjoyed the films, and there’s a whole universe that is made out of a variety of media,” said Hetrick. “It all involves imagination. From our standpoint, this is a club that every school should have.”

The Star Wars universe, according to Hetrick, asks interesting questions of its viewers. One example is the Jedi Code: the altruistic code of conduct to which all Jedi Knights are bound.

“There [could be] a lot of debate … some friends are really into the [code][/code] … others really enjoy the idea of being an evil Sith Lord,” said Hetrick. “What is wise or foolish in the code?”

The club’s adviser is EWU philosophy and honors professor Dr. Terry MacMullan, who is no stranger to such discussions. MacMullan has given Star Wars-themed lectures and was recently published in the essay anthology, “Star Wars and History,” with an essay that compares the Jedi to warrior-monks throughout history. According to Walter, MacMullan is also notorious for dressing up like a Jedi knight on Halloween and other occasions.

Both Walter and Hetrick agreed that MacMullan was the perfect choice for club adviser.

“I remember walking in there [McMullan’s office] and seeing a Darth Vader poster,” said Hetrick, laughing. “I [thought], ‘Yeah, maybe this is the right guy.'”

The club’s goal, according to the ASEWU clubs and organizations list, is to “unify and gather Star Wars fans from Eastern Washington University.” However, Hetrick and Walter have greater plans than that. One of Walter’s main goals is to see the club grow into an organization that can give back to the community.

He hopes to model this aspect of the club after the 501st Legion, a volunteer organization of costumed Star Wars enthusiasts whose goal, according to its website, is to “put its resources to good use through fundraising, charity work and volunteerism.”

“I know there are a lot of other people that like Star Wars,” said Walter. “If we got together, it would be almost endless, what we could do to help the community.”

Hetrick agreed. “I remember coming across a guy in one of my classes who had little lightsabers tattooed across his fingers, and just thinking, ‘Man, this is the kind of person who would love a club like that.’”