Possibly the coolest expression of Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy ever:
I love how Artoo and Threepio’s personalities are perfectly suited to existentialism’s implications: Threepio tapping into despair (“We’re doomed!” as he often says in the actual films), and Artoo cheerily pointing out what lies on the other side of that despair — i.e. the rewards of a self-created life.
It’s interesting how much modern pop culture has absorbed a central tenet of existentialist (and humanist) thought: “existence precedes essence,” the idea that, more than our origins and abilities, we define ourselves by our choices and actions. Batman’s classic line from Batman Begins, a key idea in the Harry Potter series, and the entire underlying theme of The Iron Giant are just a few recent examples. (Frank Turner has been giving it some thought as well.) Sartre and Camus would be proud.