My husband and I waited out the first few weeks of its release and finally went to see the new
movie at our locally owned theater. We sat comfortably in our seats munching the most delicious movie popcorn in town surrounded by maybe fifteen other audience members. It was heavenly.
After viewing two and a half hours of smashing planets and beeping droids, I have a few reflections on this continuation of the iconic story.
Rey. This character is one bad-ass. She kicks and fights and climbs her way out of all sorts of arduous situations. She deftly flies the Millennium Falcon alongside Han Solo. She wields a light saber like a pro. She sheds tears, but is never the “damsel in distress.” My favorite part is when she tells Finn to quit holding her hand. She then grabs his and quickly saves both of their lives. I love this girl! Now all the toymakers need to do is get off their sexists butts and create a killer Rey action figure. Geez, what’s the problem, boys?
Princess Leia. This tough former bun-wearing girl has turned into a smart and decisive general. She’s still sassy and full of heart, protecting those she loves. What little girl doesn’t dream of becoming a princess general?
Han Solo. Sigh. Oh, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love your smirk and sarcasm and your tremendous loyalties. I love your enduring friendship with Chewy and the way you still look at Leia. And that vest. Oh my, I love that vest.
Luke Skywalker. All graybeard and wrinkles and tortured soul, you are still my dreamboat.
is a classic allegory of good vs. evil, light vs. dark. Nothing is really new here. The story has been around since humans began grunting tales around the campfire, but now there’s spaceships and interplanetary travel instead of knights in armor and kings on quests. We cling to them because evil surrounds us, but we need hope. We search for good. Who will save us from destruction? Is it a savior or do we dig deep within ourselves to find the answer?
These stories have been told over and over again, just with different settings and characters. J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Suzanne Collins, and many other authors have penned narratives set in extraordinary locations. The main protagonist is given a struggle, a task, a duty that will ultimately save the world from evil. Surrounded by loyal friends, this character fights the ultimate fight.
These fables give us the prospect of hope, that the power and light is within us all. There may be darkness, but promise always lies just beneath the surface, whether it is in the form of teenage wizards standing up to the dark lord or resistance fighters blasting away at stormtroopers.
And who doesn’t need a little hope in the form of Han Solo taking control of his old Millennium Falcon? I know I do. Another sigh...
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
(Full disclosure: I took this picture from an old DVD I found. I realize it’s
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Part III,
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Part VII,
so stand down, Star Wars nerds. I just didn’t want to break any copyright laws.)