Few people are unfamiliar with the Star Wars franchise. In the first film, A New Hope, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca have emerged from hyperspace in the millennium falcon only to find an imperial tie fighter and an absence of the planet that they had hope to reach. Instead as a perplexed Han Solo tries to figure out what is going on, the tie fighter is seen racing towards a small moon that Luke has identified. As the sphere comes into view, Obi-Wan states with a calm dread,
“That’s no moon.”
Indeed it is not. It is in fact a space station and specifically the machine of mass destruction that is the death star. Once recognition has dawned on the quartet along with the fearful consequence of being near to such a powerful weapon, they try to escape but it is too late. The millennium falcon has been caught in the death star’s tractor beam and they hare slowly dragged towards the waiting death star.
We are that death star. We glide along appearing at first to be something benign or at least neutral, our true purpose masked to those we seek to pull into our sphere of influence. Our tractor beam is powerful, unceasing and almost impossible to resist as it attaches to our victims and with our legendary seductive ability hauls them into our world. Like a rabbit caught in the headlights you are unable to escape as we pull you closer and closer to us. By the time you realise what has happened and that we are indeed ‘no moon’ it is too late, you have been caught and escape is extremely difficult. Our true purpose is hidden from and if you ever do realise that is a ‘death star’ you are sailing towards you will find it so very difficult to escape the iron hold we have over you.
There are those, through the intervention of others and the application of learned knowledge, who do manage to free themselves from the tractor beam’s hold. It is rarely immediate. The escape that might occur usually only takes place after a long period of time subjected to our burning lasers of hurt and our photon torpedoes of misery. If you manage to escape you know by now that you must stay away and keep away. We will continue to drift along, like that death star cruising through space as we take hold of fresh victims along our route and drag them towards us. Occasionally we will shift our path and make towards you once again. You remain in one place at your peril as we will approach you and once more seek to suck you in with our mighty tractor beam. We may plot a course which takes us to pastures new where we busy ourselves with fresh and shiny new victims who provide us with delicious and exciting fuel. This will occupy us but we will never forget about you. You will similarly never forget about us because of what we have done to you and the way we have conditioned you. This conditioning engenders a sense of curiosity in you. You need to know what we are doing, you want to know who we are interacting with now and thus you decide to fly past our death star, just for a distant view of the edifice that once nearly destroyed you. You feel safe watching from a distance as you fly by but be warned. Fly too close and that tractor beam will take hold of you again. If you give us any opportunity to hoover you back in once again we will seize it. You appear on our sensors and we will increase the power of the tractor beam in a bid to capture you once again. It may have been years since there was any interaction between us but if you fly too close to our death star then you will be sucked back into it and subjected to our machinations once again.
When you first try and escape we apply the tractor beam to keep you where we want you, but if you are determined and manage to depart then we set a course for new horizons and new fuel. We may at a later date decide to alter our trajectory again and move back to your solar system in the hope of grabbing you once more. Should you see us coming you need to jump in your space ship and fly somewhere else quick. If you wish to flirt with danger, feel free to follow us to the new galaxy where we are destroying new planets, but if you come too close, we will detect you and we will apply that tractor beam once again. The passage of time does not matter. It might just be a few months since you made your escape or it could be a decade, either way, if you come close to our sphere of influence our tractor beam will take a hold of you and pull you back towards us. You will always be of interest to us, it may be in a week’s time, a year or ten years but if there is a window of opportunity to take hold of you again we will gladly take it because the fuel to be gained is exquisite.
So, if you manage to escape our grip, fly to the other side of space from us and keep that distance otherwise our tractor beam will draw you in once again. That is the only hope you have to remain free of our grip. Unless of course you somehow manage to fire that photon torpedo down that exhaust chute but we both know you are never going to be able to manage that, right?