“You can’t stop the change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” -Shmi Skywalker
We all know this quote from The Phantom Menace. It comes from the heart of a mother who is sending away her dear son, possibly to never see again, in hopes that he may have a better life. I’m sure Shmi was feeling a menagerie of emotions at that point – sadness, loss, fear, emptiness…but also hope, excitement and a sense of rightness with the universe…more on this in a little bit…
Hello! My name is Jay, and I am so incredibly honored to be part of the Coffee With Kenobi team. When I initially became aware of the existence of such a wonderful entity, I was re-acquainted with many names and identities of people who have meant a lot to me in my own personal journey of fandom. A journey that has entailed much change since 2006, when many of us “met” in the Hyperspace blogosphere. It really was a magical time in the family of our fandom, and culminated with such force (no pun intended…) at Celebration IV in 2007. Since then, I have had the amazing privilege of remaining close to several of those wonderful people. I am now sort of feeling like things are coming full-circle, as I am once again becoming part of something bigger than myself and my own love of Star Wars. The circle is now complete…!
Since this is my first blog installment on CWK, I would like to introduce myself…
For those who don’t know me, I am a wife, married 18 years to my amazing husband who, not only tolerates my intense geek presence, but has encouraged and inspired me to fully embrace it. I have two sons, ages 12 and 14. Over the years, Star Wars has been a way of life for them. Each one is starting their own unique journey into their own modes of fandom, but I believe Star Wars will never be far from their hearts. I am a high school teacher of 21 years, and I have incorporated Star Wars into many of my teachings. I also love to run. There is a trail near where I live, mainly travelled by Amish buggies and bike riders, to which I am inexplicably drawn like a moth to a flame. I absolutely crave it at times. My goal is to run a half-marathon one day. I also love to collect toys. Mainly vintage, but new ones too. I am highly excited to go to flea markets, garage sales and second-hand vintage toy stores. The smell of vintage toys is like perfume to my nose! I am really hoping to go to the Kane County Toy Show this spring outside Chicago. I am also planning to go to the mecca of geekdom this summer – San Diego Comic-Con!
In addition to Star Wars, my other modes of fandom include Marvel (Black Widow is my favorite character), Star Trek – yes you heard me right! I grew up watching the series EVERY Sunday night…Twilight, The Hunger Games, Once Upon a Time, True Blood, The Inheritance Series (Eragon), Grimm, and my newest love Ender’s Game. I just adore fantasy and Sci-Fi in general.
The last thing you need to know about me for now is the reason I chose this topic as my first blog: I am going through an intense change in my life right now, so I thought it appropriate. My husband and I have owned and lived on our farm since 1992. It began as a dairy operation with show cattle. Two years ago we made the decision to sell the dairy and continue to grain farm. Well, the last two weather years were not kind. We have made the very difficult decision to sell everything and join the ranks of “normal” people. Things are about to change drastically. Our farm goes to auction on March 15, and we will be moving. I have been on a crazy rollercoaster of emotions.
It’s interesting to hear the reactions people have to all of this. My sister, whom I love dearly, said “Whew! I bet you’re relieved!” Ummm….no….I’m actually heartbroken. I don’t think most people realize that when you farm, you ARE the farm. It’s in your blood. In your veins. It’s part of your very existence. Just like the Force…
I’ve been thinking a lot about Shmi’s quote in the past few months. It has actually gotten me through some rough spots, but it also got me thinking about Star Wars even more! In my musings, I have come up with the following question. Maybe you can all help me with this:
Is the Force controlling all destiny, as Shmi seemed to think, or can the Force be controlled to affect destiny in the bigger picture?
This idea is also somewhat springboarded from Becca’s excellent entry about mind control and Force-users. How much of it is intended, versus how much is an unintentional by-product of the ability to use the Force?
Let’s look at some of the evidence out there. Mace, in response to Yoda saying that they were blind to the creation of the clone army said “I think it is time we inform the Senate that our ability to use the Force has diminished.”
Was he referring to the fact that they didn’t sense the creation of the army, or that they weren’t able to stop it?
What about Anakin in TPM…did he win the Boonta Eve due to Force influence? He had never even finished, let alone won a podrace. Could it have been a combined effort of two very strong Force-users (Anakin and Qui-Gon) that influenced the outcome?
In her own way, was Shmi a Force-user? Somewhere I read Anakin thought that his mother believed that simply by being present she could keep him from harm.
Even as Luke is peering out over the landscape of Tatooine at sunset, did he somehow send a Force-influenced message to the galaxy to change his destiny from simple farm-boy to something bigger?
Part of me also thinks that the Jedi and the Sith might have vastly differing approaches on this notion as well – I think the Jedi would see Force-influence of destiny as innocent, unintentional, or simply as we’ve heard time and again: “The will of the Force.” Whereas the Sith would be proud to boast being able to use the Force as a tool to craft their desires. Just as Anakin hauntingly said to Padme in ROTS: “Make things the way we want them to be!” Was he possibly referring to his ability to Force-influence others?
**Slight spoilers to follow if you’re not into the EU**
Since we’re on the subject of Sith, I have always been fascinated with the deeper, darker nature of this side of the Force.
My favorite book series in all of the EU is Darth Bane. There is so much intensity to Bane’s character and his crafting of the Dark Side of the Force during his era, ultimately leading to the Rule of Two.
As Des, he was unaware of his Force-using ability, yet it seemed to clearly set into motion the events that led him to become one of the most powerful Dark Lords to ever exist. He had an abusive father who mysteriously died of a massive heart attack. When playing a fateful game of sabaac with a less-than-forgiving group of beings, Des ended up getting two Idiot’s Arrays in the same hand. An almost statistically impossible thing. This set the stage for him to leave his mining life on Apatros and to eventually become Darth Bane. Will of the Force, or Force-willed?
In Darth Plagueis, we get to know this Dark Lord as Hego Damask, a very prominent and influential Magister. He held a belief in the Celestials, a group of beings who merged with and guided the balance of the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. As much as he manipulated those around him for his own wants and needs, he always felt in the back of his mind that these Celestials would tip the balance back a bit if things became too Dark. On the surface, it seems that Plagueis is ruthless, fierce and unruly in his vast array of horrendous acts, but in some ways, the idea that he respected the Celestials so much seemed to have guided the extent to which his machinations were performed. (side note – were these Celestials The Ones from Mortis, or were they simply the existence of Midichlorians in a spiritual embodiment?)
Speaking of Midichlorians, Anakin’s conception has been commonly believed to somehow be the result of Palpatine’s doings, or that Plagueis himself somehow put it in motion. However, in the book, they were both pretty much stunned at the news of this young boy and his Force-ability. Was this the Celestials’ way of trying to undo the Sith’s plans for Darkness and bring balance back to the Force?
There are so many other examples and interpretations I could dive into, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this matter.
Please give me your responses. I am so excited to hear what everyone has to say! If you would like to contact me directly, or have any ideas you would like me to explore further, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Twitter @JoyceKrebs (Joyce/Jay Krebs).
(A HUGE shout-out to my fellow teacher and partner-in-crime Pat Anderson. She worked her artistic magic and developed my logo for me. Thanks, Pat!)
As always, May the Force Be With You…how you use it is up to you!