Poor Obi-Wan. [Come to think of it, that’s not a very good adjective to affix to one of the Greatest Jedi who ever lived.] He gets such a bum rap from certain segments of the “Star Wars” fan base. He lied to Luke. He failed Anakin. How much guff can a Jedi take?
I went on the record a long time ago indicating I never have been bothered by Obi-Wan Kenobi’s “… from a certain point of view” line in “Return of the Jedi”. What Obi-Wan said to Luke was spot on. A good deal — I’d even go as far as to say most — of what each of us believes is based on our own points of view. In many cases, what we believe has a direct correlation to how we act.
A great aspect about points of view is that one’s point of view can change. If a point of view stays cemented in stone throughout one’s life, so be it. But as is often the case, one’s point of view on any given subject can alter. One garners a new piece of information that sheds new light on a subject/situation, and before one knows it, one takes a new stance. Ever happen to you? It has happened to me — on more than one occasion.
When I was a teenager in the 1970s, life was pretty good. I had a mom and dad who worked hard to make sure my brother, sisters and I always had a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes to wear, and that each of us got a good education. I wasn’t what most of you would call a “rebel”, but I was an independent-thinking teenager who definitely had ideas of my own [like George Lucas, I rebuffed my parents’ idea regarding the path they thought my life should take]. Like most teenagers — then and now — I considered my parents at least somewhat clueless when it came to understanding teenagers. One of my least favorite retorts from either my dad or my mom was “You forget, Melinda, I was a teenager just like you.” [I think I resented — most of all — the tail end of that phrase. No one — least of all my parents — was “just like me.”]
I wish you all could hear me laughing right now. 😉
Fast forward 40 years — and then some. I am a parent of two [wonderful!] daughters in their mid 20s, and my point of view has changed. Exponentially! Have there been times when I’ve said to one or both of my girls: “I should tell you, I, too, was once your age.”? [Funny how we never see our parents as younger, in their 20s trying to make their ways in the world.] There were many more times I held my tongue and only thought those words. [Did you notice that I changed the verbiage of the message? From my point of view, it really does matter what words you use.]
All this brings me back to Obi-Wan’s oft criticized remark to Luke [in my favorite SW film 🙂 ]. An individual’s point of view does affect one’s take/belief about any given subject/situation. Not only was Obi-Wan trying to impart that tidbit to his student, but underlining that obvious lesson was a quieter message — that as one ages, one garners a great deal of experience and knowledge that can be passed down to “the younger generation”. All one has to do is open one’s ears, one’s heart, and take that leap of faith. I think this is one of the reasons why I immediately was drawn to both Lor San Tekka and Maz Kanata when I saw “The Force Awakens”. Their physical appearances alone indicate they both have lived a good many years, have seen a great deal, and have a fair number of lessons they can pass along to those willing to listen. Both play pivotal roles in the “Star Wars” Saga, and watching them onscreen, how they interacted with other characters made my affinity for the two sages deepen with each subsequent viewing. Thus, they tie for my Fifth Favorite Character from TFA.
We meet Lor San Tekka in the middle of a conversation he is having with pilot Poe Dameron. You almost can hear Obi-Wan uttering “I’m getting too old…” as Lor hands Poe the data package that contains information that will lead the Resistance to Luke. The older generation is passing the torch to the younger generation, and as he does so,
Lor San Tekka shares with Poe that he knew a few of the “Star Wars” notables way back when. I wanted to know the stories right away! However, the pair was rudely interrupted by the appearance of the dreaded First Order’s stormtroopers. No one needed the Force to know all were in peril, and that Poe’s mission was in dire danger of coming to a screeching halt. Lor San Tekka sent Poe on his way, intent on buying the young pilot time so he could make his escape. The mystery of this venerable friend of the Jedi deepened when he encountered the masked figure who emerged from the bowels on the transport. Did Lor San Tekka know he was going to die? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Like Obi-Wan, he was willing to sacrifice his life for a greater good [at least that’s my point of view]. As I watched in horror as Lor San Tekka was cut down in short order, all I could think of was how wonderful it would be to sit down by the fireside, and listen to him recount one tale after another. Oh, the stories he could tell! 🙂 Oh, the wisdom he had to share! 🙂
Lor San Tekka may not have been Force-sensitive, but someone who was [yet opted not to train as a Jedi] was Maz Kanata, and the proprietor of the castle cantina on Takodana for more than one millennia had a pretty good idea that one of Han Solo’s entourage had an affinity for the mystical power as well. After Rey’s alarming experience in the castle storeroom, Maz was able to pass on just enough Force knowledge that Rey could use later when she was a prisoner on the Finalizer and then during her lightsaber battle with Kylo Ren. Some fans have questioned Rey’s ability to
know how to use the Force, but think about it — she spent a lifetime on Jakku having to fend for herself, garnering all the while lessons and information to aid in her survival. Most likely, like Luke when he was growing up on Tatooine, there were instances when Rey “lucked out” — and she chocked up her success to luck. Presented with a new piece of information — the Force and her connection to it — Rey takes the lesson to heart. What did she have to lose? Her success at procuring her release from her shackles gives credence to Maz’s words, and when Rey finds herself in a precarious position teetering on the edge of a cliff and about to plummet, Kylo Ren says something that sparks a memory of the not-too-long-ago past. Maz’s brief lesson was to close one’s eyes, calm oneself in order to feel the Force. Rey “reawakens” with renewed vigor and insight to do battle with a formidable foe. Lesson well learned.
One aspect of both Lor San Tekka’s and Maz Kanata’s characters that struck me right from the onset was they both had a great deal of wisdom, that they could “see” who one truly is. Aided by the Force, Maz Kanata certainly could do that — looking into the very souls of both Rey and Finn. They both rebelled against their true selves, but eventually came around to a clearer way of thinking. Even though unaided by the Force, perhaps Lor San Tekka knew good still might reside deep within Kylo Ren’s soul. If the young man once had followed the Light Side of the Force, wasn’t it possible — even probable — that he retained a connection to it? In a subtle way, isn’t that just what Lor San Tekka was inferring when he pointed out that he knew who the menacing figure was before he became Kylo Ren? Atrocities he may have committed, but it necessarily wasn’t too late…
… Which is one of the most important lessons the “Star Wars” Saga conveys … from our collective point of view. 🙂
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Until next time,
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