We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some of the products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.
What is the secret of the "Star Wars" movies? The new "Solo: A Star Wars Story" has the makings of another monster hit, coming off the huge success of last year's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." How do the filmmakers keep us going back for more -- and more and more?
Any super-fan will tell you that the films are fun, timeless and relatable. And one reason they connect with us so well is that they're based in real-world history and economics.
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas carefully worked a lot of continuity into the series over the years, and he managed to succeed in tying all the stories together into a coherent universe that follows very familar financial practices.
Let's take a look at five economic lessons we can learn from "Star Wars," viewing the films in their current chronological order. And — warning — there may be some spoilers.
1. Fiat currencies (like the US dollar) have risks
You may or may not remember the scene from "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" where Qui Gon Jinn and little Anakin's owner, Watto, are bartering over the cost of a ship on the planet Tatooine.
Qui Gon: I have 20,000 Republic dactaries.
Watto: Republic credits? Republic credits are no good out here. I need something more real.
The dactaries are a "fiat currency." That's money that holds no intrinsic value but is valuable only because the government says so — as in the case of the U.S. dollar.
During inflation, fiat money can become worthless. You can look at Venezuela's free-falling currency, the bolivar, as an example. It's proof that fiat currency is not always the best way to go.