Review of Star Wars 7

Spoilers ahead, maties!! Be warned!!!

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You’ve been warned!!

When I first heard that Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, I for one was happy. I think I was the only person on the planet earth who was happy. Walt Disney has always been the underdog franchise that everyone expected to fail. But Walt proved them wrong, from a humble beginnings of Mickey Mouse to Pirates of the Caribbean. The first Disney movie I saw as a child was The AristroCats and every Sunday night I’d be parked in front of the TV watching the Wonderful World of Disney at 6:30pm till 8pm. Then came the reshowing of Mary Poppins, Cinderella, Snow White and tons of other princess shows. Magic came from a little bear named Winnie the Pooh and I longed for Christopher Robin’s bed room. When I was around fivish, my mother bought me The AristroCat’s album which was the telling of the story accompanied by a picture book. I still have it somewhere. I listened to it night after night. The saddest day of my life was when I was in my twenties and I found a VHS video of Winnie the Pooh. I popped in the cassette and waited for the ‘Magic’ of the Pooh, and found to my horror, that the show I had loved as a child had become a cartoon. The magic was gone. I felt as if I lost something special and I grieved over my loss.

I still find a little magic in shows like Herbie the Love Bug and other Disney live action movies, but it seems the warm magic feelings are now just luke warm.  Growing up is tough.

So when Disney purchased Star Wars, I hoped to see a little Disney magic amongst the Jedi, just something small like Benji a dog who saves the day or Escape to Witch Mountain. And to my surprise, I did see Disney magic last night and it changed me.

It came in the form of a BB-8 Robot who acted like Old Yeller (I won’t tell you want happens at the end of Old Yeller. Took me years to get over it.) and followed his young master everywhere he went.

 

It came in the form of Maz Kanata who reminded me of a fairy godmother, only not as pretty. She gave Rey the scavenger from Jakku the light saber after it called to Rey. Rey raced off and wanted nothing to do with it.

Even in Rey, Finn and Ren’s light saber fights, I saw the magic as in Sleeping Beauty

 

When I left the theater last night, everyone in my group was excited over the movie. But I wasn’t. In fact I was depressed, but I had no idea why. Everyone else cheered and went over their favorite parts, but all I could do was think, “What is wrong with me? Why aren’t I as excited?” I loved the movie, I saw Disney Magic, but I was still sad.

I thought of the movie today while I was at work and it hit me between the eyes. I know why the movie depressed me.

My favorite character in the movie is Rey. Just Rey. She lives on Jakku, a desert planet in which she must scavenge the old Empire ships for used parts. She cleans them and sells them to a man creature who exchanges the items for rations, but it’s mostly a quarter ration or a fourth of one just enough to keep her alive. Rations were their currency and everyone was hungry.

Rey takes her rations to her home, a fallen AT-AT, an old Empire walking tank that looks like a three story dog laying on its side. Rey leads a pathetic life, but refused to leave her ‘home’. Why? Because a parent or someone she loved dropped her off on the planet and she waits for them to return. But they never came and she never left. Rey’s biggest problem was she lived in the past and hoped that her ‘prince’ would take her away from the dry and dead planet. It was her fairy godmother Maz who gave Rey the ‘glass slippers’ in the form of a light saber that finally proved to Rey that she must go to the ball alone.

 

“Dear child! The longing you seek is not behind you, it is in front of you!” – Maz

 

Some of us are like Rey. We live in the past, hoping that the thing we long for will come true. That long lost parent will one day contact us and we can be a family again or we long to make that one last college football touchdown and be the hero again instead of a failure at life. The divorced spouse will have a change of heart and come home to his/her family. If only I  can be young and skinny again and enjoy life like I used to. A lost desire will suddenly appear and make all things right again.

Rey’s destiny was to be a Jedi, perhaps the first of her kind. Her teacher, now Master Luke Skywalker had disappeared and she had to find him. But to find her destiny, Rey had to leave her past behind and that meant never returning to Jakku.  And it broke her heart.

That’s what made me depressed. I had to leave Jakku in order to find my destiny. My Jakku consists of past angers and wanting to fit in with others who wanted nothing to do with me. I had to board a ship in my mind and leave it all behind me in order to see what is ahead. And it hurts. I can only imagine the questions in Rey’s mind. What if I don’t return home but my parent comes to find me? What if I miss them? She had been on that planet for around ten years. If they hadn’t come home by now, they won’t come back within the next ten years. If the divorced spouse has remarried, then he/she won’t be back. If the parent hasn’t made contact in twenty-five years, then the parent has moved on. You can never turn back the hands of time and be the hero on the football field.  You have to find joy in yourself as you are now, not how you were twenty years ago. One has to move on. I have to let go of my anger and not worry about fitting in. I have to forgive. So I did. I decided to move on to find my own Luke Skywalker and become my version of the Jedi.

And so it with all of us that live on Jakku. We need to board the spaceship with Han and Chewie and search for our personal destiny, not a dying dream that will never come to pass. We need to leave the past in the past and reach for the future.

As a Christian, I know God wants more for me than living on Jakku and it’s time to leave it behind and never look back. It’s time to do what He wants, not what I wish would happen.

So you see, Disney’s magic is finally back as it was in Mary Poppins, Robin Hood, Herbie the Love Bug, and countless others. It never left us, it was just hidden away. Now it comes in the form of Jedi and evil Siths. Empire and Resistance, Maz Fairy godmothers and BB-8 robots.

Somewhere in heaven, Walt Disney is smiling and nodding. “That’s it, guys, that’s what you do. You feed the birds.

 

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