“The strongest stars have hearts of Kyber.” — Chirrut Imwe
There’s something to be said about this quote or dialogue spoken by the Guardian of the Whills, Chirrut Imwe. It’s amazing what one line can do and how it can trigger a plethora of thoughts; not much different from saying a picture is worth a thousand words. These words unleashed a multitude of emotions on me, and I can’t help myself from going back to it.
And, so, here I am. Going over, and over, and over it again. And yet, the more I allow myself to immerse my mind in these poetic words, I’m consistently drawn to mothers, and motherhood. After all, as children we look up to them. Like stars, they shine above us, and if we are to look upon them, we must first look up. But it’s not just the action of looking up, we, as children, look to our parents for influence, for guidance. They are our first teachers, our first role models, and the ones we want to emulate. And, such was the case for our child protagonists, Jyn Erso and Anakin Skywalker.
While Jyn’s father, Galen, was present during her childhood, he wasn’t always “there,” so to speak. It wasn’t until the very last chapters of Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel that Galen finally realized that his daughter, his Stardust, was sharing his living space with him. So, with that said, I think it’s a fair and safe assessment to think that Jyn looked to her mother, Lyra, for guidance. And no, I’m not trying to discredit Galen of his parentage or parenting responsibilities. I’m just simply stating what seems obvious to me, based on the stories we are given. So, basing my assessment solely on that it is my interpretation, that both Jyn and Anakin as children, look to their mothers when it comes to direction and inspiration. Which is why when both, Lyra and Shmi told their children to “go,” they did so with obedience and trust. As a mother, I cannot imagine a situation where I’d have to send my children away or even worse, how I’d feel having to do it. That would take tremendous strength and a lot of tough love, and even then, would it be enough?
In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace we see a grief-stricken Shmi sending her son, Anakin, off with a total stranger, in hopes that he’ll have a better a life than that of slave and so, she entrusts the life of her only son in the care of a Jedi Master named Qui-Gon Jinn. Before she lets go, Shmi gives her son one last hug and sends him on his way, but not without saying, “Now, be brave, and don’t look back. Don’t look back.” And off he went because he trusted her, he believed in his mother and what child wouldn’t? As the saying goes, Mom knows best.
Now, in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the last moments between Lyra and Jyn aren’t all that much different from that of Shmi and Anakin in The Phantom Menace. Lyra is faced with a similar scenario, to let her daughter go on without her. Letting her go on ahead without her would give her a chance at a better life. Namely, survival. And that’s just what Lyra does, she instructs her daughter to continue on as planned but on her own. Lyra spares only a few seconds dropping her guarded disposition to give her only daughter one last moment of motherly love, wrapping her arms around Jyn, Lyra scoops her up into an embrace and says, “I’ll be there … Now go.”
Like Shmi, Lyra trusted that her only child would be safer in the care of a stranger. One, a Jedi Knight, the other, a military extremist. Different types of ideals, but the same choice and situation for both Mothers. Like Chirrut Imwe says, the strongest stars have hearts of Kyber.
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