Typically in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey (monomyth), the hero is called upon to embark on a life-altering quest. After accomplishing each feat of the journey–accepting the call, crossing the threshold, encountering the shadow presence (in Luke Skywalker’s case; his aunt and uncle and the Tusken Raiders). Once the hero passes the point of no return, they enter the world of unfamiliarity, some of which will contain threats (The Empire), some will offer magical aid (Yoda, Ben Kenobi). When the hero finally reaches the mythological belly of the whale, several events can happen, but the one most germane to this discussion is the recognition by the father-creator (father atonement), which Luke does by confronting Vader and helping to redeem Anakin back to the light side by defeating the Emperor. The final step is that of the return. If the powers have consecrated the hero, they now set forth upon returning. When crossing the return threshold, the transcendental powers must be left behind; the hero re-surfaces from darkness; the blessing that they bring restores the world (freedom from the Empire’s oppression and rebuilding the Jedi Order).
Star Wars has many themes, and one of them is family. It’s relatable. It’s honest. And that’s powerful.
Since the very first film, Star Wars introduced us to a new family, the Skywalkers. A family that lives in a galaxy far, far away, but at the same time, that family feels like home. Sometimes, it feels or has felt more like home than home. At one time or another, we were Luke. A dreamer. We were Leia and Padmé. A strong leader. We were Shmi. A nurturer. And yes, even Anakin. Fiercely loyal and yet tried and troubled too. After all, what family is not all these things and more?
Some might say that it has been a rough couple of weeks for us here in the United States. Others will be happy because a contentious season has passed. Still others may be indifferent to the imposed emotional frenzy. No matter where we find ourselves on this spectrum, it is necessary for each of us to live with each with grace and forgiveness.
Some think the Galactic Empire is being channeled, and some think the Rebel Alliance has emerged victorious. Honestly, I think the rich are still getting rich, and I’ll still be in relatively the same place in 4 or 8 years regardless of the larger political world. And that is as it should be. My life should not be dictated, controlled or overly influenced by politicians. I still have neighbors and family members by and through whom I hope to become a better man. Read more
Loyalty and Duty: The Bond Between a Scoundrel and a Princess — A Guest Blog by Mike DeRose
Leia Organa and Han Solo should not work as a couple. Leia, the senator princess turned rebel who fights for the greater good and Han, the scoundrel smuggler who only cares about getting paid. Despite their differences it’s easy to see why they were drawn to each other. Leia had spent her entire life in politics surrounded by proper men or, let’s face it, probably just boring men. So when a rogue like Han comes along Leia would naturally be intrigued. But Han’s original interest in Leia was pretty straightforward. The princess was worth a pretty big reward.
I can’t imagine that if you are reading this you haven’t seen the films, so I’ll avoid recapping and give you one defining quote that sums up their relationship perfectly:
“I love you.”
“I call everyone ‘Darling’, because I can’t remember their names.”
-Zsa Zsa Gabor
What’s in a name?
They’re just a bunch of letters that form words, right? Actually, names are so incredibly powerful, that the concept of “naming” has been an integral part of every culture, religion and belief system around the world. Among everything: from objects to people…pets to phenomena, names are as influential as they are immortal.
If you’ve been a faithful reader of my blogs (and I hope you have been), you may be thinking that this subject sounds familiar to you. You’re correct: I spoke about this topic in one of my very first blog entries for Coffee With Kenobi. However, because I’m so enamored with the psyche, power, and philosophy of names in general, I wanted to revisit some new ideas and personal revelations I’ve had since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as some other personal a-ha moments, as represented at various points in the Star Wars saga.
Jay’s Galactic Espressions
Once upon a time, the Expanded Universe (EU) of Star Wars opened up an outlet for me that helped sate my unyielding desire for all things in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. I consider myself a relative newbie to the now-titled Legends category of knowledge and stories, having only come into it about 10 years ago, but I have nonetheless become an intense follower. I have read – and own – countless novels, and have invested myself emotionally and mentally in its lore. When the announcement came in April of 2014, rendering the EU as basically a defunct sector of the Star Wars timeline, I was absolutely heartbroken. First, the cancellation of the Clone Wars series and now, this?! I didn’t know how much more my fangirl heart and soul could take!
With the recent embargo [from advanced copies being distributed] of ‘Star Wars: Bloodline’ by Claudia Gray, and all the built-up hype surrounding it, I can’t help myself but to be swept-up in it too.
This upcoming novel holds so much promise when it comes to plot-holes or gaps where the Skywalker lineage is concerned. Even Claudia Gray told USA Today that, “In this book we find out just how far Vader’s shadow falls.” So, as an ‘Anakin Apologist’ and a huge Vader fan, my anticipation of what ‘key elements’ this story may or may not include is barely containable.
So, for the sake of creative thinking and to hopefully spark some innovative discussion, let’s explore Vader’s “shroud of darkness” aka shadow.
In a couple of my previous blogs for Coffee With Kenobi I compared and contrasted two of my favorite characters, Han Solo (said in my best Maz Kanata voice) and Darth Vader (said in my best Rey voice), and tried to illustrate their overlooked connections. This month, I would like to analyze the parallels and mirrored differences of two confident, self-sufficient, and brave parents in Star Wars. One of them, Han Solo, is one of the most well-known and loved leaders and heroes in the Star Wars galaxy, and the other, Shmi Skywalker, is often overlooked and under appreciated, but is there any doubt that given the chance she would have been every bit the leader and hero that Padme, Leia, and Rey are? At first, Han and Shmi seem to have very little in common, but there is an interesting juxtaposition between the two and it also involves their sons.
Jay’s Galactic Espressions
Hero worship has existed since the beginning of humanity. In every time period, from before the Ancient Greeks to today, people have had heroes in their lives.
The “Hero’s Journey” has been visited and re-visited countless times, but what about the relationship involved in the psychology of choosing and worshipping a hero, and how does the hero feel about being the object of worship?