What Star Wars Teaches Us About Change
“Dear child, I see it in your eyes. You already know the truth… Whoever you were waiting for on Jakku, they’re never coming back.”
These words are spoken by character Maz Kanata to Rey, the protagonist in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the latest film in the Star Wars universe. As you watch Rey’s face twist up, pained as the words echo inside her, you may feel a pang of sadness for our heroine. But you may feel more. You might know exactly how she feels.
Rey was left on the planet Jakku with a promise her family would return. Maz is telling her she can’t go home, there’s nothing for her on Jakku. The emotions behind that are so much more complex than just that feeling of loss. She feels abandoned, broken, desperate, and hurt. But we watch her move forward. We see her accept her new reality, though not without fear and questioning herself.
Rey’s story is something we’ve seen time again in the Star Wars universe. The concept of home is elusive. The only direction to move is forward. The only constant is change.
The characters in Star Wars all seem to share this theme in their stories. They’re empowered by these circumstances, no matter how impossible and challenging they may seem.
Finn, one of the new main characters introduced to us in The Force Awakens, also faces adversity. As a stormtrooper, Finn was recruited into the First Order’s ranks through dubious circumstances. Finn quickly finds himself in an unhealthy environment and he just can’t take it anymore. He’s been pushed to an emotional breaking point. So Finn does as so many in this universe do when they’ve been pushed to the brink; he finds the strength inside himself to be brave and make a change.
In our lives we can find ourselves wanting to give up. Things get tough or seem impossible. We can feel alone. But Star Wars shows us time and time again that though things seem bad and challenges insurmountable, they can be overcome. With hard work, faith, and friends you can make your own home. Your own destiny.
And it’s not that this is just a theme that appears once in awhile. It’s presented to us over and over. Even in the older films.
Luke’s aunt and uncle are murdered and his home is burned to the ground within the first few moments of Star Wars. With nothing left, he leaves Tatooine with the hope that he can build a new future for himself. His bravery leads him through challenges big and small.
While these characters may only exist a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, they have experienced something that can resonate with so many of us. And there’s a reason why the Star Wars films tell that story over and over again. It’s because it’s important to be brave. It’s important to have hope. It’s important to see changes and to know we have the strength to face them. We need stories like this.
While we might not be Jedi, we need to be reminded that there’s a force inside us. With that force we can take on any changes that might get thrown our way.