Force and Faith: Boshek Returns from the Far Off Land

Force and Faith Sabers SquareI once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see…
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home. – Amazing Grace

Did you ever lose something of dear importance?  Car keys when you are late, a child in a packed department store?  We all have, to one degree or another.  Then the friends mobilize and work to find the missing person or item.

We saw an amazing example of this in the Star Wars community a short while back.

Definitely him. Definitely awesome.

Boshek, the man who led the young hero and his mentor to Han Solo, was found – in real life.  Sadly, it was not in time to express our love and friendship to him in person, as he passed away more than a decade ago.  On many of our shelves sit countless atlases and complete guides and the like (all of which have been or will be surpassed). Many of the mysteries of the making of our favorite movies have been solved – though a few remain.  The revelation that Frances Alfred Basil Tomlin has been found is great news, and gives those of us finishing up the season of Great Lent a springboard to uncover the manner in which our lives and gift of years have been lost or wiled away.

A brief digression to make clear the last few sentences.  Our lives are a gift.  There is a short amount of time that we are given, and no more.  How often, though, do we throw away this amazing gift?  Maybe I have brought it up before, but my absolute favorite song is Time by Pink Floyd.  The song opens up with this chillingly clear diagnosis of our human condition.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way…
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way…
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.

Now, back to our story at hand.  Boshek was lost, and through a fan’s enduring pursuit, the actor was brought back within the fold of the Star Wars family.  Many have longed to know the story about the actor – how he found himself on the stage that day, what his memories of his time were.  He never returned, but his family will be sharing more about this little known man that, in his small role, has inordinately touched the story.

Telling the whole story in one panel.

We can look at the Prodigal Son for a similar story, though he is not as lovable a character until he is broken and redeemed in the end.  A young man, an immature soul, takes his inheritance from his father.  This told the father that the son saw him as good as dead.  He took that gift from his father and squandered it on some pretty nasty stuff.  Destitute and starving, the son takes a disgusting job and envies the slop that is trampled in the pigpen.  He gets the bright idea to try to go home and let daddy solve all of his problem.  What do you suppose the loving father did?  What would you do?  What should the father have done?  While his son was still some distance from the house, the father ran out to welcome him home.  No matter where the son was, no matter the circumstances, the father was overjoyed to welcome him back into the family home.  This certainly resonates with the return of our friend Boshek, though the incidentals of the story may not all be the same.

If he had just taken the job!

The Prodigal Son was a nasty kid, but realized his nastiness because of his awful decisions.  That is not the situation for Mr Tomlin.  By all accounts, he was an honest and hardworking man, just trying to make his way in an English studio.  While he is in that far off land, on the other side of the great divide, he had to be found by someone on this side of eternity.  The legwork of the journey of discovery was expertly done by Bill Jensen, an investigative journalist.  I encourage you all to read that fan’s journey over at his blog.  Since Boshek was lost, and unable to find his way home, he was searched for.  This is the beauty of the community that we are all a part of.  Star Wars is based around the love of a son for his father, and the redemption that each receives by their triumph over evil.  We are drawn to, or called to, this universe of storytelling.

At many times in each of our lives – perhaps in the distant past, or in a situation in which we currently find ourselves – we have been the one who needed to be found by a friend.  Perhaps there was a wedge in a relationship or a selfishness that was indulged to unhealthy extreme.  But there was a call to return to a healthy life.  Maybe the call was in our hearts, screaming “Who am I Lord, that you should save me?” (1 Chron 17.16).

The friend forgives out of unwavering love.

Who indeed.  Someone inherently lovable and valuable simply by the fact of being in existence.  Boshek was found because he was a long-lost member of this amazing family that we have decided to join.  The Prodigal Son was loved by his father, and welcomed back to the fold with great joy and feasting.  No matter where we find ourselves in life, there is always a chance of returning to our heart’s true home, the warmth and blessings of the company of our family and friends.  In moments of weakness, may we all have someone around us to bring us back to the community to which we belong.

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Please leave comments on this and all my posts – I really look forward to it.  You can find me on Twitter at @adelphotheos and email at jamesw@CoffeeWithKenobi.com, occasionally at TheForceandFaith.blogspot.com as long as I am not listening to the latest edition of the Coffee With Kenobi podcast!

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3 thoughts on “Force and Faith: Boshek Returns from the Far Off Land”

  1. One time, while shopping with Erin at a nearby mall during the busy Christmas season, I “lost” my (then) 4-year-old while waiting in line to make my purchase. I turned my head for the shortest of moments, only to turn back to her to find her GONE! I was beside myself. Calling out to her fell on deaf ears. I was frantic! Where could she have gone in such a short period of time? Where could she be? Every horror of “all it takes is one moment to lose one’s child” came flooding back to me! I don’t know if she heard the panic in my voice (for it had escalated to that point), but — finally — I heard her giggle coming from one of the many packed racks of clothes. She had decided to play hide-and-seek! The relief that washed over me was incredible, and all I could do was hug her tightly. Yes, I pointed out to her what a scare she gave me, and told her she was not to do that again. But more than anything else, I was so glad, so relieved, that she was found! When we got home, I told Tom that I didn’t think I’d be taking Erin Christmas shopping with me when I knew the stores would be busy. ‘Lost’ and found had a happy ending this time. However, I did not want a repeat. I wasn’t sure my heart could take it.

    I love the fact that you quoted the words from that Pink Floyd song! When we’re young, we think we have all the time in the world. A funny thing happened when I turned 50 (a few years ago 😉 ) — I no longer feel that way! And while I must admit there are days — still — that I fritter away, I remind myself that I mustn’t allow myself too many of them. Before I know it, my days will be very short — gone — indeed. And then what?

    This was a much more powerful blog that you wrote, James, than you possibly could know. I have a sister who has estranged herself — and her entire family — from the folds of our extended family. We want her back. She will come back — but only on her terms. To do so would be incredibly unhealthy for the rest of the family (that is just how toxic my sister can be). I hope — and pray — that one day all this will change. Time will tell…

    I can’t wait to read Bill Jensen’s story! I will do so later today (I have to be off in a few minutes). I anticipate a good read. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your tale — and alerting us to another good story from the Star Wars Galaxy. 🙂

    MTFBWY 🙂

  2. I went back to read Bill Jensen’s article. Well crafted, and I must say — he did one heck of a job tracking down the elusive pilot Ben Kenobi approaches first in the cantina. Perseverance and patience. Sometimes, that’s what it takes. 🙂

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