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.
Over the past two days, my family and I have driven something like 3 gazillion miles and I have slept for 1.5 hours – all so my kids could go to a first class amusement park while I spent the day with one of my brothers. I think I was off on the miles, but 1.5 hours of sleep is sadly accurate. It was a glorious day. 97 youths and adults met for Diocesan Youth Day. My kids were reunited with friends, I saw some of my colleagues, and my brother was there to complete my joy.
We have not always been close friends. Growing up, we had different interests. We were separated by only a couple of years, but he was wild and I was a nerd. He claims I was a bad babysitter, and I, of course, deny it. These days we share a deep affinity for each other as we both uncover what it means to grow up, battle the first few gray hairs and come to terms with having teenaged daughters. We call each other frequently and text more often than that.
It is a story similar to what we have seen many times in the galaxy far, far away. Brothers coming together for a certain cause, and then finding that they have grown incredibly close to each other through the ordeals they face. We could take a survey throughout the history of the galactic civil war and see many examples. The examples range from the relationship developed by Han and Luke, to the Republic Commando novels, where an entire squad goes AWOL from the Grand Army, to Savage Oppress and Darth Maul furthering their common cause by their hatred of Count Dooku (and use the word brother more times than Macho Man Randy Savage would be comfortable with).
Years of camaraderie and struggle bring people close together. Sometimes it is the common concerns or shared passions that create these strong bonds of brotherhood. In all things, it is not about superficial and vapid relationships, but deep and abiding relationships nurtured into the depths of eternity. The clone troopers grew up together, but found their personhood and virtue through being on the battlefield together.
My brother and I have been through tons of stuff in our lives. We don’t deal with things the same way, nor are we both moved by the same ideals. Our lives have gone in different directions. But at the root of it all is the connection between two human beings that care for each other with the entirety of their hearts. I would give him anything he needs or desires.
Another similar concern to brotherhood is how we spend our time. We spend time on things that are important to us. We yearn for jobs that are fulfilling; we will give up more than 2 hours for the 500th rewatching of Attack of the Clones. Will we give up undivided attention, sleep or years to build everlasting relationships? I think that is an important thing to do: spend immense amounts of time with those who matter the most. In my case, I often find myself in the Philadelphia area, where my brothers both live, for Church business. When I can get there, we spend time together every time. Sometimes that means we can head to a diner at 3AM, but we make sure to do it. It is one of the most valuable things I can do.
It may not always be a quantity of time that is necessary, when that can be made up for in the quality of time. I return once again to Luke’s relationship with Biggs. They had been separated from significant amount of time while the older one was at the Imperial Academy. Their reunion at Tosche Station was short, but meaningful. Had it not been cut from the final version of the film, we could infer that their relationship helped to drive Luke to the Rebellion. As they were planning the attack on Death Star I, you know that these two men will fight together to the bitter end, even if one has to sacrifice his life for the other. This is a great example of brotherhood. In the end, will of the time we spend building and nurturing any relationship be worth it? It can be – if we are not distracted to giving our time to an unworthy cause.
Following the examples of the great friendships of our favorite Saga, we see many fine examples of true brotherhood. We see how they can enlighten our real world relationships, and bring them up to a higher state of fulfillment. Biggs was willing to give everything for his beliefs and for his dear friend. We must continually ask ourselves: who would I be willing to sacrifice everything for? Who is my brother or sister that deserves the greatest blessings of this life? The answer may seem easy, but following through is the true challenge. May we all find fellowship that is fulfilling and life-changing so that we can all continue to run the race of this life alongside friends of extraordinary measure.
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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!