"No. You're coming with me. I'll not leave you here, I've got to save you."
"You already... have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister... you were right."
I have surprisingly not blogged a lot about Star Wars yet, even though it is one of my major fandoms. I've loved it for a long time now and I am cautiously optimistic about Episode VII that is due to come out next year.
A major arc of the Star Wars films is Anakin's journey toward the dark side and coming back to the light in the end to save the day and rescue his son, Luke, from the Emperor. Luke, after discovering that Darth Vader is actually his father, Anakin, can't bring himself to simply kill his father for the good of the galaxy. He knows Anakin is a good person who did bad things, not just simply an evil person who must die without any chance for redemption. Others see Luke as foolish for believing he can save his father, who others see as too far gone. Luke commits to his stance to save his father AND the galaxy, not willing to give up simply from the pressure of others. In the end, he is able to accomplish his goal and give Anakin a brief moment in the light before he dies from his injuries inflicted from his rescue of Luke.
If you've seen Return of the Jedi, you know the whole sequence I'm talking about and if you've seen the whole saga of films, you know Anakin's arc from the six films. While there is a lot of valid gripes folks have with the two trilogies (myself included), the thing I love about the story is Anakin's character arc, going from a wide-eyed kid on Tatooine, to Jedi Knight and hero of the Clone Wars to a broken man (literally and figuratively) and back to his good natured self that has always been there deep inside.
A major takeaway here that I really appreciate is not giving up on people. People make bad choices, we all do, but that doesn't mean they're bad people. People make choices based on their past, what they're feeling now, and what they want for the future. All of this is subject to flux based on who they surround themselves with, their environments, and who may not be around them to help them make positive choices. I'm a empathetic person, and I always see things from others' perspectives. It can be a gift and a curse, but I would never want to not feel anything for others when they're suffering, confused, lost, or misunderstood. Working in student affairs, and especially in residence life, I see this a lot. I can't ever assume everyone is hiding something, has ulterior motives, or is doing this to hurt me personally. I prefer to stay positive, give people chances, and trust people until they give me a reason not to.
This lesson from Star Wars is a big one, I feel, in my ongoing effort to reach zen status (or perhaps Jedi Mastery?!). I don't ever want to be someone who is just mad at the world and thinks everyone is evil, selfish, and immoral. I think when people are given the opportunity to do what's right, they'll do it. We just have to trust each other, love unconditionally, and put good energy out into the universe. Maybe then we'll be able to work together to build a more decent, good, and just galaxy here and far, far away.