I always notice people’s hands. I’m not quite sure why, but it’s something to which I have been inexplicably drawn since I was little.
I actually got the idea of this blog entry from watching Iron Man this past weekend. I don’t know what it is about Tony Stark’s (RDJ’s) hands, but I love them. LOVE THEM. My husband and I were high school sweethearts (awwwww), and honestly…it was one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place. Big, strong dairy farmer hands that could throw around a 100-lb. bale of hay, or hug me like there was no tomorrow.
My dad had very big, strong hands for a “little man”. At a stature of 5’7”, his hands were rough, knotty and calloused, but could do anything from fixing a car, soldering and repairing TVs (his side business), building a homemade telescope, and drawing complicated schematics for his job as an engineer.
My mom’s hands were always soft and delicate. She ALWAYS had her nails perfectly manicured, even though she spent countless hours weeding in flower beds without garden gloves. She baked, sewed, and cleaned like crazy. Every spring was “spring cleaning,” a time to open the windows and get out the ammonia water to scrub every nook and cranny of the house from top to bottom. As she aged, her hands became spotted and wrinkled. She always hated how her hands looked, and said “you can always tell how old a woman is by her hands.”
Is that what our hands tell about us? Is that the end of the story?
Here’s a picture of my hand. I’m 44. My 15-year-old son likes to pick up the skin on the top of my hand to see if he can get it to stand up, and always tells me how old my hands look.
Does that bother me? Nope. I have always felt that age is just a number anyway, and my hands are the badge of who I am: I talk with my hands (a lot)! I work and play passionately with them. I love with them. I create with them. They are not just an extension of me, a tool that enables me to do what I do on a daily basis; they are a symbol of all that I am, have been, and will be.
I started thinking about the significance of hands in general, and realized that there are so many references to hands in Star Wars. I decided to Google “Hands and Star Wars.” The first reference to be listed was a Wiki article, entitled: “List of Hands Cut Off In the Star Wars Movies.” Yikes. Come to think of it, there is quite a lot of limb-losing in our beloved saga, by characters, droids, and creatures alike! Why is that? Check out this video, and it just might surprise you as to who claims the title of “Hands-Down Hand Chopping Winner”!
Interestingly enough, one of the first “teaser” images from The Force Awakens was an image of a droid hand, posted by J.J. Abrams himself (the image was to serve as announcement for the results of the Force for Change UNICEF campaign initiative). Instantly, the rumors and speculations started to fly: “Is this a new droid? When will we see it?? What role will this droid play in the new episode???”
…all from the image of a hand…
Look at this image from Star Wars Rebels. Every character is posing with a prominent use of their hands. Even Chopper! What does this use of hands tell us about each character?
The other references to hands in Star Wars are extensive. My mind instantly goes to one of my favorite Legends characters, Mara Jade (Skywalker): The Emperor’s Hand. That speaks volumes for what her skill set was intended!
I also love the scene in Attack of the Clones when Anakin and Padme embrace “hands” as they take their wedding vows. She did not hesitate to cradle his mechanized, uncovered hand in her own. To me, that sent a message of unconditional love and acceptance.
- The Jedi and Sith alike reach their hands outward to channel the Force and direct it to do their bidding.
- The Ewoks “lent a hand” to the Rebels on Endor.
- Many a hand was proffered in care to another: Lando and Han reaching for each other in the Great Pit of Carkoon.
- Leia’s hand cautiously reaching toward Artoo as she gave him the Death Star plans for safe keeping.
- Shmi, gently laying her hand on Anakin’s cheek as she said her goodbyes to him: both as he left Tatooine to become a Jedi, and as she physically left him for the very last time. Anakin had to bend himself to her hand in those last moments, as weak as she was; but the same message still made it: “I love you. I’m proud of you. Don’t look back.”
Do you have any favorite “hand references” in Star Wars? If so, I would love to hear about them!
Hands can be powerful, helpful and/or caring. They can be a weapon, a tool, or as an article by National Geographic put it: “The hand is where the mind meets the world.”
You can read the whole article by accessing the reference below.
For now, enjoy this video, reenacting the Star Wars saga using hands:
May the Force Be With You (and your hands), Always!
Remember: This IS The Podcast You’re Looking For!
Jay Krebs has been blogging about Star Wars since 2006. In addition to Coffee With Kenobi, she has been a contributor to Star Wars KidsCast. Jay is also a member of Star Wars in the Classroom, serving as Rogue 7. Jay also volunteers at local libraries, transforming into Queen Amidala for various Star Wars events. She is a wife of 19 years, a mom with boys ages 15 and 13, and a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher of 22 years. She has a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, and hopes to one day run a half-marathon at Disney.
Star Wars in the Classroom:
Reference: Zimmer, Carl. “The Common Hand.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 1 May 2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.