Sometimes it’s difficult to have perspective.
Can one date with Alycia really give me the proper perspective on our marriage?
Can one trip to Vegas with my best friends give me the proper perspective on our friendship?
Can one week at camp give me the proper perspective on ministry?
While my marriage, my friendships and God’s call on my life are more important, I have the same kinds of questions about The Force Awakens.
I saw The Force Awakens last night but it’s difficult to have the proper perspective. How can I have perspective on a movie I’ve seen only once when Star Wars has been a part of my entire life? I know that I liked it, but I also liked The Phantom Menace when I first saw it. I’ve come to accept and enjoy The Phantom Menace for what it is, in spite of its flaws, but that perspective took time.
So I can’t really say how The Force Awakens fits in with the rest of Star Wars. I love Star Wars and accept the prequels for what they are. I can’t say with certainty yet whether or not The Force Awakens will be relegated to the same position as the prequels, or if I will fully embrace it. That sort of perspective will come with time but, until then, here are some thoughts I had while watching The Force Awakens.
I don’t think I can really keep things spoiler-free from here on out. So if you haven’t seen the move yet, come back when you have; it’ll be great for my page views.
When taken as a whole, Star Wars is the story about one family and its impact on that far away galaxy. We see a young boy Anakin grow up, get married, have kids, have conflict with his kids and eventually find redemption. The Force Awakens was a continuation of that family’s story, much more so than I was expecting. Kylo Ren as Han and Leia’s wayward son immediately made me care more about him than I was planning. His turn to the dark side also perfectly explains Luke’s absence and Han and Leia’s split. And more than anything, Ren shows the power of family and its ability to impact the lives we live.
The theme of belonging runs parallel with that of family. Han was always the character kind of on the outside, looking for a place to belong but not really wanting to settle down. We see the same desire to belong in Finn and Rey. Finn is a First Order stormtrooper who was pulled from his family as a baby. Rey is a lone scavenger, waiting for her family to return for her. In both we see the desire to belong, but also the desire to run away. We all need to belong, but like Han, Rey and Finn we may not want to settle down. We have to fight against the tendency to seclude ourselves because we all need to belong.
I had so much fun watching The Force Awakens; it was definitely worth getting in line six and a half hours before our show time. I spent most of the movie on the edge of my seat, leaning into the screen so that I could be closer to the action. J.J. Abrams made a great, beautiful movie that I cannot wait to see again. It had just enough callbacks to the other movies without feeling weighed down by them. There were a few scenes that gave me goose bumps and probably will every time I watch it in the future.
At the moment I’m writing this, I got out of the theater a little less than two hours ago. Right now I loved The Force Awakens and I am so excited that Star Wars is back in my life. Again, two hours isn’t enough perspective to fully process through how I’m going to feel about The Force Awakens, but hopefully I’ll still love it as much in five years as I do right now.
What did you think of The Force Awakens?