Recently, I had some rare down time and decided to watch a movie.
As a lifelong sci-fi fan, I had recently seen the trailer for the newest movie in the “Star Wars” franchise, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and thought it was a good time to refresh my memory of how the saga has progressed.
As I watched “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” it occurred to me that the story was a metaphor for our lives.
How many times have we all gone through some terrible situation only to emerge on the other side renewed and inspired by tiny victories?
In the film, the Resistance (the good guys) loses many valiant warriors, but each death or sacrifice only serves to bolster the spirit of those remaining to fight harder for the cause. They face seemingly insurmountable obstacles but continue to find ways to overcome them.
It’s a classic tale of good versus evil.
We all struggle between the good and bad, light and dark. Sometimes it’s necessary, for without the bad we don’t always recognize how good the light side is.
It’s not easy to find that balance, as the film’s heroine, Rey, discovers. She feels the Force, both the light and the dark sides, and does her best to resist the pull of the dark side. Even with the guidance of the renowned Luke Skywalker, one of the greatest Jedi, the temptation is too great not to explore.
It’s that way with much of today’s social media. While there are thousands of happy tales and photos of people enjoying time with friends and family or vacations or a fabulous meal, there is also that pull from the dark side. It is just as easy to write hurtful and snarky comments about people and situations while hiding behind the safety of a keyboard and a sense of anonymity.
Rey also learns people are not always who they claim to be.
For a moment, Rey, heir apparent to becoming the next Jedi master, and Kylo Ren, heir apparent to the evil lord Darth Vader, seem to have the same ideals. She believes there is still some good in Kylo Ren, and together, they can defeat the evil empire. And for a short time they work together, bound in battle to defeat the Supreme Leader, Snoke. But once that was achieved, it became crystal clear that their beliefs were not the same. The dark side of Kylo Ren had used the good in Rey to his benefit.
I’ve had friends and colleagues like this. We call them two-faced. They are those who say different things to different people to get their approval or support.
Another, and perhaps most important, lesson offered is that things are not always as they appear.
Such was the case at the film’s climax when Luke Skywalker, who had banished himself to a secluded island, came to the rescue of the remaining small band of Rebel fighters. By all appearances, he was there, holding his sister’s hand and ready to face off against the First Order. He appeared to have defied all odds for survival when his enemies rained down every possible source of firepower they had against him, only to see him walk out of the smoke unscathed.
The reality was that he had used the Force to create a hologram of himself.
While we haven’t mastered the technology to be in two places at one time, perhaps the solution is to mentally create holograms of ourselves to absorb the evils that come our way so we can embrace the light.
Take the time to fully assess the situation before jumping in so that you too can come out the other side intact physically and mentally, all while considering that what is projected to be the case may not be an accurate portrayal of what is happening.
Resist the evil and look for the light. And may the Force be with you.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.