The Force Awakens: Why Star Wars matters
Ok, so as 99% of you already know, Star Wars, Episode 7: The Force Awakens has been released. Some people are super excited about this and have been waiting months, years, shit, decades for this. As of today, reviews have pretty much confirmed…it is good and fans are encouraged to see it because it’s most definitely worth it. Now, I’ve also seen the memes from the 1% who give absolutely zero fucks the new installment has arrived. They’re actually in fact pretty annoyed and completely already over the whole thing, and I get it….oversaturation can be as annoying as a deep seated itch in your ass that you can’t scratch because you’re in public, all up in there it claws, scratch it, you will not; this post is for you, the nonbelievers of The Force: Why Star Wars matters to me.
I’m going to preface this post by saying, I’m not a Star Wars expert, shit, I’m not even intermediate in my knowledge. I can’t pronounce Liam Neeson’s character’s name, or know what the actual fuck Samuel L. Jackson was doing among the other Jedi’s. The overarching themes and politics of The Republic and Rebels get a little too thick for me, and I’m probably going to get a lot of things wrong here and or misspell things, but I know the basics.
Jedi’s= the good guys=protectors of the galaxy=basically The Pope…if he believed violence was sometimes an option…you know, for the greater good
The Sith= the bad guys=basically Donald Trump
Death Star= the death machine of an entire planet and intended ruling scepter of the universe
Darth Vader= Natalie Portman’s baby daddy
Han= skeptic and smuggler=eventual hero (and hopefully believer)
Obi-Wan Kenobi= never reached retirement, but would have hated the watch anyways
Leia= Luke’s sister= slightly weird incest situation=Bye Felipe
Yoda= tiny gremlin looking guy who happened to be my role model throughout life
I know what you’re thinking, guy or gal who’s never seen the movies; “Why the shit should I care, it’s all stupid and anyone who does care, hasn’t seen a penis or vagina that wasn’t theirs, like ever.”
Honestly, I think it’s pretty shitty how we shame people who haven’t seen the movies. Frankly, I’m more likely to love someone less…but it doesn’t mean I’m going to be all pretentious about my own interests. I’m not better than anyone who enjoys sports. As long as you have a valid reason for liking something, and you’re not an asshole about whatever it is that gets your rocks off, I’m not going to scream obscenities at you. Do your thing, but just DO SOMETHING! Don’t sit around, saying you’re bored, when there’s 13 plus hours of footage you could be eyeball inhaling.
I sincerely understand why you wouldn’t be interested in Star Wars though, the original trilogy came out in 1977 and the next installments were at times awful (I actually liked Jar Jar at first until the general public shamed me in to conceding he was a moron). I can see why you wouldn’t care that another movie has come out. All you want is to browse Facebook and not be reminded that you’re “not cool,” because you’ve never seen any of the movies, but there’s post after post about it, it’s a veritable El Nino of pop culture today.
I’m not here to convince you that you need to watch it, or to tell you, you should go back and try to catch up via a movie marathon. I’m just here to say why it matters to me, and why the only thing I want for Christmas is to see The Force Awakens.
You see, I’m in Afghanistan as some of you know and I thought I wouldn’t get the chance to view it, but the military did something right and there’s going to be a shit ton of show times, coming up in a few days.
I won’t be seeing it for the plot points though.
No, when I watch it, it will mean HOME to me. It will mean all the memories I have of my home, my house, watching it with my family, digging for action figures my brother buried in the backyard. I will remember stealing my older brother, Jamie’s Star Wars figurines to play with in the bath tub, sure, Leia’s white outfit in my mind was swim wear at the time to me, but I loved her movable legs. I will remember seeing Leia kill Jabba the Hut, and thinking…“shit, a GIRL just DESTROYED a monster.” I’m not sure I’d ever seen that before.
My ultimate Halloween fantasy is getting a legit Ewok costume and poking people with a staff, while throwing rocks at girls I don’t like (i.e. all the hot ones).
When I sit in the theater on base, I will remember Yoda, old and small on the screen, bring value to the world through teaching Luke how to bring all of himself to the table, and Luke listened. This matters because these days, I don’t think a lot of people respect those with experience, the elderly are shoved away into homes and forgotten, when really, they’re all we have to learn from. They are stronger than we will ever know.
The entire series brings together themes of luck, skill, work, fate and free will and choices. People who were good became bad, those who were bad, became good in those movies. We learned that we are not our parents, but we can be, but it is up to us to make the choice, are we going to be light, or dark. We learned that, it is never too late to do the right thing (bless Vader’s black heart).
In one of my favorite scenes from Attack of the Clones, Yoda is leading a group of younglings (kids) and is interrupted during the lesson by Obi-Wan, needing help. One of the children manages to actually know the answer to a question and Yoda says, “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” So many movies dismiss kids as not having any assets to give adults besides looking cute. No, these kids were being trained to be protectors of the motherfucking galaxy. It cemented the fact that kids are our future, so we should probably rely on them to get us there, by teaching them right from wrong.
In a world where the “knockout game” is a thing, twerking is a legit moneymaking career choice, and our own wars are raging, it matters to me, that The Force gives me something to be proud of, the fact that the franchise exists, a battle of good vs. evil, where evil sometimes wins, and good sometime loses.
I know, it’s just a fucking movie. I look at it like this though, people never assume something is possible, until they’ve seen someone else do it. Even though, it’s on a movie screen, it still has an impact on us.
Little boys and little girls across the nation, fuck, across the world, watched Rebel pilots trying and failing to destroy the Death Star (evil ship meant to take over the galaxy). Hearts broke in the theater as many ‘actors’ sacrificed themselves for the cause, and cheered when Luke, joined by Han Solo, (Han previously was thought to have abandoned the cause, but showed up at the critical moment) was victorious with a final shot to the ship.
I’d like to think a lot of these boys and girls watching all this unfold in glorious shocks and blasts and lights, one day decided they wanted something worth fighting for, something good, and now serve our very own country.
Any time I see a home video online of little kids at Disney playing as Padawans, I get teary eyed cause that shit is adorable…and promising.
So, why do I care that you don’t care about Star Wars? Colleges are known for raves and drunken shenanigans ending in arrests, and professional athletes that kids look up to commit violence against their loved ones. Grand Theft Auto teaches our kids to assault prostitutes for points. We are raising kids with faulty moral compasses and our world seems darker every day, but there are groups of people, the Nerds, Geeks Fanboys, and Fangirls with something to care about and take pure joy in…Joy=never a bad thing; the Jedi code gives us literal feel good rules to live by:
There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
(There is no chaos, there is harmony.)
There is no death, there is the Force.
—The Jedi Code (Based on the meditations of Odan-Urr)
With this new installment just released, we have an African American and female lead, no doubt ready and waiting to be someone’s new role model…we now have a chance to reintroduce our own children to what it means to be truly free from the dark side, our legacy for the good in the world depends on it.
So, those people who won’t shut up about The Force, they and I, fucking love it, and that’s all that matters.