This past year and a half have not been an easy one for Star Wars fans. There is a volatile fault line that exists underneath our familiar bed of overopinionated fanatics. “The Last Jedi” has been so divisive amongst us that we can not even agree to feel excited about the upcoming conclusion to Disney’s Sequel Trilogy. To those who are excited, and have thoroughly enjoyed the films that Disney have produced, I am happy for you. I have spent too much of the past year or so being angry at Star Wars and I simply can’t go on doing that any longer. I envy you. To those who have moved on, I am happy for you. Living this disillusioned life is unsustainable. If leaving Star Wars is what you need to do, I wish you Godspeed. But I think we all know that a constant struggle between the love of Star Wars and the disdain for a Star Wars film is no way to live.
But what of the rest of us? Those of us who love Star Wars but are not ready to move on. I will tell you, there is no amount of whiskey in the world that can make me accept Leia Force-pulling herself through space after being incinerated by a missile. A man is only capable of so much.
How do we move on? I have spent many a night withdrawing into my old Star Wars novels. Those that tell tales of heroes Disney no longer acknowledges. In doing so, I have reconnected with my Star Wars. My kind is not welcomed anymore. We are labeled and cast out. In a way, I feel like a Jedi during the reign of the Empire. A recluse, hiding behind modern contraband. The world feels so desolate when you don’t feel welcomed by the community you called home. Being discarded onto the fringes, we watch from afar.
How does one reconnect with a lost love that has changed? Can we change too? Have we changed? Has the time apart turned us into bitter people with bile in our hearts? A wise woman named Kreia, whom Disney no longer recognizes, once said “It is such a quiet thing, to fall. But far more terrible is to admit it”.
Star Wars Celebration was hosted in Chicago this past weekend. I did not go. I have been to the past two Celebrations when they were in Orlando and they were the best moments of my life. I camped out to see “The Last Jedi” panel where we received the first teaser trailer for the film. I hyperventilated, cried, and needed my friend, Marissa, to hold my hand to make sure I would not run around screaming. I met Mark Hamill and rubbed beards with him then caught his cold. I was in the same room as George Lucas on two separate occasions. But all of that was a long time ago…
Times are different. This weekend, we were given both the title and trailer for the final film in the main Star Wars Saga: “The Rise of Skywalker”. I watched the trailer drop, not from a seat in the convention center, but from my laptop in my bedroom. The trailer was exciting. It brought me back to a happier time when I wasn’t harboring ill feelings towards Star Wars. I knew to not to put all of my stock into a trailer but I wanted to love it. It was a call to come home and a stark reminder just how much I’ve changed in just 2 years.
I want to love Star Wars again. I should be more excited for the conclusion of the Star Wars Saga than I am for “Avengers: Endgame”. I do not have to like “The Last Jedi”, so I won’t. But I love Star Wars and I will not lose that again. But can sins really be forgiven…?
*Fade to Black and Insert Palpatine Laughing Here*
As the legendary Matthew McConaughey once said in such poetic fashion: “Alright, alright, alright”. Ladies and gentlemen, we have hope again.