There’s still hope.
For our children, perhaps Star Wars is a new hope, a new discovery. (And isn’t that wonderful?) For others, it’s always been there, perhaps lying dormant just beneath the surface of an otherwise ordinary life; a life that’s long been inundated with reminders of tragedy and false promises spewed by false prophets pining to capture the limelight in a society that embraces attention more than it does accomplishment.
Many of us have become jaded. We’ve gotten older, and by way of necessity have developed a proclivity for looking back over our shoulders when we should be looking toward the sky. There was a time, once, not so long ago, in a place not so far away, when a person’s dreams were rooted in optimism, when the possibilities of a generation were limited only by imaginations whose sights were set on distant stars. It was in this time that Star Wars first flourished, when technology’s potential drove our hearts together and our eyes upward, not away from those closest at hand.
Something’s happened over the last few decades. If you live long enough, you see the same eyes in different people. Me? When I’ve looked into people’s eyes, I’ve watched wonder slowly die. And the very people who once held high the banners of science fiction and fantasy have become those who vehemently fire the first critical arrows at a creative work’s slightest misstep. It’s the age of the internet, where scrutiny is at an all time high.
But here now we have the return of Star Wars, the return of modern mythology, which has placed its emphasis back into the hands of the common man. It’s transcended merely garnering a fellow geek’s approving nod. It has shown us that many, many people still desire to get lost in fairy tales. This is far more powerful than a movie, friends, and thus, its flaws are relatively inconsequential next to its overall effect. It ain’t perfect, never was, never had to be. These stories were meant to instill hope, to rile your own imagination, to open up your heart and shed some light on unrealized dreams. It’s ripe for the pickings, begging for you to dig in, find your favorite morsels, and get carried away on your own terms.
For a couple hours, anyone of any age, gender, creed, or color can be swept to a place where shortsighted human constraints and prejudices fall away. For a couple hours, anyone can imagine themselves as a hero, or maybe even catch a glimpse of the potential for good for all of mankind. Through the fantastical musings of creative stories, we see what could be. If it can be dreamed, it can be realized, as history has proven time and time again.
People often ask me – What’s up with that stuff? How can you watch something so many times? My answer – What’s your favorite song? Why do you listen to it over and over again? It’s the emotional accompaniment to that moment in time. For many of us, Star Wars has been music for the soul, a companion when there was no one else around. Such is the role of stories in our lives, that they guide us through hardship and connect us in spirit. Though the characters are fictional, they reflect our hopes and dreams. They remind us that we are not alone; and maybe, just maybe, they inspire us to improve our own lives.
The human race has always told stories, and I imagine we always will. Star Wars is our story, one that this age will be remembered for, and I couldn’t be more proud. In a time when the advances of technology have illuminated the worst in us, let history remember that there were those of us who had our eyes on the stars and our hearts in our fellow human being’s hands.
Alas, forgive this indulgence of words; I’m a bit misty-eyed on this eve, for in the land of the free and the home of the brave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens just became the number one movie of all time. I have to admit, it puts a smile on my face and a spring in my stride.
So I guess I’m not alone in my adoration, eh?
I think I’ll go to the movies….one, two, or maybe a hundred more times?
May good health, happiness, and the force be with you, my cherished friends….