The last time we saw our Jedi Master, he was in triumphant celebration of the destruction of Death Star II. He was also in mourning for his newly-reclaimed father. His journey as a Jedi and as a man was headed in a unique direction after these events. In the poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Luke is conspicuously absent. We do not know why, but speculation abounds. We do know that Mark Hamill was seen filming at a remote location in Ireland. This location will become part of our enduring fandom consciousness, just as the desert of Tunisia, the glaciers of Norway or the redwoods of Northern California have. We are talking about Skellig Michael, an ancient island in Ireland that was once home to Christian monastics.
As far as we know so far, in the life of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, we see a growth from farmboy to hero; from innocent child to mature adult. The unspoken thing in each of those phrases is the path in between. Luke went from moisture farmer to student to hero pilot. He went from his innocence, through an awakening to a cause which resulted in a mature Jedi. A deep and true transformation of the state of his personhood, as well as his soul, was effected. He went through a process of purification, illumination and union with the Force.
*This review contains minor spoilers*
There are some universal truths: there will be death, taxes will be paid, there will never be enough action figures swinging from the pegs. Another is that the way a child is raised will play a large part in who they become. An even further truth that decimates that assumption is this: war is hell. War is division. When the whole galaxy yearns to unite in a glorious community, it is broken up by the selfish ambitions of evil, destroying all who lay in its path. If our thoughts determine our lives, there is a great unseen struggle to be the one to infiltrate the thoughts of formable minds.
One day, a farmboy says goodbye to an old friend that he had grown up with. Later, that youngster returns as a man and a pilot. Biggs Darklighter is one of Luke’s closest friends, and has chosen to see Luke before defecting from the Empire. Biggs’ love for Luke compelled him to share his future plans with the friend who never got off of the farm. This is, of course, from the deleted scenes from A New Hope. Two men, both alike in upbringing, but one who had gone off in search of adventure, continue their relationship where it left off when they parted company. This is their brotherhood, and an untold number of stories just like it brings good into the universe. From one point of view, they are called together for an external purpose; but even more than that, they are brought together for the sake of each other. There are sisterhoods in the same way, though I am woefully unprepared to speak about them. I’m the kind of guy you see at the department store huffing loudly as my wife is clothes shopping.
Years ago, there was an amazing English teacher in my high school that treated us students a bit differently – like people who could think analytically and judge the merits of ideas and experiences. I think I did some of my best academic work for him, and quite often, Mr Wentworth comes to mind when I am contemplating Anakin’s ultimate end (for now) on the Second Death Star. Mr Wentworth questioned how redemption was offered and possible for Anakin at the end of his life since most of his life had been in the service of darkness and evil. It is indeed a tough question. Does it give us the possibility of living a terribly immoral life and stealing a space in Heaven through a few words? If so, then where is the motivation for goodness in this world? I think the answer is much deeper and existential.
This post contains a spoiler for Marvel’s Star Wars: Darth Vader #2.
We gather together quite often to play in the Star Wars sandbox because it is familiar and comfortable to many of us. With the changing tides and seasons of our lives, there is a constant in these stories we love so much. Even though new stories are created and fresh characters come along, there is something that is always the same and familiar. We return again and again as younglings enthralled by the stories of those who have travelled the stars weaving their glorious tales.
For all of George Lucas’ flip-floppery on whether there would ever be a sequel trilogy, the form of the story demands that a third installment be created. It asks for it, it begs for it, and it demands it. The Skywalker story is not complete. From one point of view, we have Anakin’s rise, fall and redemption. But we are missing the story of his legacy. Every one of us will leave a legacy – a story that can only be told after our death. So, from my point of view, we have Anakin’s life, his redemption and – and then, nothing. The Skywalker baton was passed on to his son, but what he did with that legacy is a story as yet untold. Life, redemption, legacy. A trilogy that can be reflective of every life. Read more
There has been awakening. Have you felt it? There is a stirring in every fangirl and fanboy. Something is about to change. I completely expect that our minds will be blown in ten short months when the screens explode with the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. The change will be something impossible to guess at this moment. It will be a surprise that makes us examine our own presuppositions – if only for the movie, but maybe even for our personal lives. We will be challenged to grow from the experience, after this excruciatingly long wait.
Wow! What did we see last Monday night? Was Lando a temporary crewmember of the Ghost and aiding the Lothal Rebels? Amazing! And so as not to spoil it for those who are waiting for the complete series, the episode ended with the sure hope that Lando will make his way back on the galactic stage. Read more
It’s almost here! That great morning that many kids look forward to – Christmas morning! That wonderful day that is so full of possibilities and expectations. Wish lists were distributed to relatives, and expectations were set high. For many of us who will stop by the venerable Coffee With Kenobi, there was the expectation of a new Star Wars ship or action figure under the tree. Many of us are finding that even now, as we have put a few years behind us, that we still hold on to that giddy expectation.
Sometimes, life has beaten us down, or left a few stripes on our backs. Our expectations have gone unfulfilled. But we know that we are struggling because the ideal of how the world should work is still beckoning in the back of our minds. Read more