Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Star Wars: Parallels, Legacy, and a Tragic Loss

Hello everyone! New Star Wars fan reporting in. I did not grow up with Star Wars. I have only seen up to now, Episodes IV-VII and now Rogue One. And this is as of just a year. So yes, I'm a serious newbie, but I fell in love with the story immediately.

If you're reading this post, you are most likely already familiar with the plot of Star Wars, so I'm not really going to go in depth on that, but I'm probably just going to ramble on about my feelings. This post will contain spoilers for Rogue One so if you haven't seen it yet, please proceed with extreme caution!

So I saw the movie about a week ago with my best friend Jen. She introduced me to the wonders of this amazing series and I thank her so much for allowing it to enrich my life. Other friends have also urged me to watch the series in the past too and I'm so glad I can join in the fandom with them.

The movie was completely amazing. It was crazy seeing how much went into retrieving the plans for the Death Star, and how much sacrifice was involved. I'm not really going to name drop characters too much or anything or talk about anything too specifically, but I can say that I was both devastated by the extreme losses and martyrdom that unfolded. Massive spoiler alert....everyone dies. Pretty much everybody. All the main characters that we grow to learn about and love, they all die. This is the ultimate sacrifice. All to retrieve a flaw in the mechanics of the Death Star that was purposefully engineered by Jyn's father, Galen Erso. Without this, the Empire would not have been defeated in the subsequent trilogy.

So after the movie came to it's tragic end with a silver lining, I began to think about the current state of things in America and in the world. I started thinking about how the upcoming President and his subordinates and eerily similar motives as the Empire. All policies that they say are there to keep the cosmos safe from peril and strong in the face of dissent, but in actuality, they are the largest threat to the well-being of the the galaxy. All power struggles, fight for control, meaningless slaughter and threats against of those who oppose their word. This may sound dramatic, over-arching, sure but this is really what is coming to pass and it's terrifying.

But then I thought about the side I'm on. I'm on the side of the light.

(I like to joke around that I'm on the Dark Side just to be "cool" but legit though, that is not the case at all)

Then I really thought, and I don't mean to be cryptic, but would I be willing to make unspeakable sacrifice for the sake of the well being of those I care about and to uphold my beliefs in the face of evil?

I really couldn't believe I was actually having these thoughts, legitimately. I began to feel extremely moved, yet also afraid of my own thoughts. I feel really strongly opposed to so many things going on in our world right now. I'm opposed to toxic masculinity, the absolution of the patriarchy, white supremacy and racism, homophobia, climate change deniers, classism and the rise of super elites, and ultimately the new Presidential regime.

Emphasis on regime.

The Rebel forces faced so much unsurmountable uncertainty. They took chances, shots in the dark, all because they held in their hearts a cause to be free from the tyranny and oppression of the Empire and the Dark Forces. They rejected it. They knew that they were fighting something bigger and more powerful than they were but yet they kept on fighting.

I tell myself, when I'm feeling really down about the current state of affairs, when I'm angry and I want to punch walls and fight for my rights and my friends and loved ones rights, that I have every right to be that way. I stand up and say to myself that I won't go down without a fight. I may not individually succeed in that moment in time, but I also didn't give up and let oppression crush me. I want everyone to know I fought until I no longer could, and even when I was on the ropes, I was still kicking and punching my way.

I have not faced anything in reality yet on a personal level. I've only looked at the threat in the distance, like Empire warships blocking out the sun and casting a shadow on my future. But here I am, weaponizing the gunships, fortifying the battlefield, and preparing for war. How will I personally fight them? That I do not know the answer to specifically, but I'm preparing for...something. Anything. Everything.

I know my rights and I know what I'm capable of.

And I'm not alone. I have millions of Rebel fighters backing me up. Millions of allies, ready to fight right along side me. I should feel strong and ready to take them on. I just have to be even if I'm not fully ready. There is no room for complete weakness. I might falter, might begin to lose hope, but I can't let the light burn out, and it won't.

This is a real threat that looms over us, and for all those people who just want to sit back and do nothing, and the others who want to join the oppressors out of fear or greed (screw you twice as hard by the way), I see you and I condemn you openly and loudly.

I will not back down.

And I must of course take a moment to speak about a tragic loss in the Star Wars community. We lost Carrie Fisher, our beloved Princess Leia, or rather General Organa. Inspirational inside of the Star Wars persona and outside in the real world. She battled so many personal hardships including alcohol and substance abuse and mental illness. She wasn't shy about admitting her downfalls and speaking openly about her struggles. I'm new to her legacy, but knowing about her and what she stood for could not have come at a better time. We need strong women as our role models. We need intersectionality. We need support from all angles and people who can uphold the importance of multiple beliefs. We need just morals and righteousness and those who can carry them despite their past mistakes and misgivings. Those people are so few and far between in this world, so when we lose one it's like a major blow.

Carrie Fisher's legacy will always live on in our hearts. I will never forget how much she was and still continues to be a feminist icon, and also an icon of humanity.

Let the force guide us on the right path as perilous times loom ahead. Do not let the darkness consume you. Do not forget those who have sacrificed for us to have achieved what we have accomplished today. Nothing can take those achievements away. No despot, demagogue, tyrant, oligarch, dictator. The fight to maintain freedom will never be easy, so never expect it to be. Do not fall into complacency, that is the first step to falling prey to the enemy.

We fought the Empire, and the New Order has risen from those ashes. The fight isn't over and it never was. It might never be, but we have to always fight. Always.

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