Today while walking through Target, I was accosted by this little fellow. He kindly reminded me it was Force Friday, and all the merch for the new Star Wars film had just been released this morning.
Star Wars is one of those franchises that doesn't go away and means a lot to a lot of people. I didn't understand this when I was a kid, because I was one of the poor unfortunates who, in 1999, was young enough to not realize Jar Jar was totally racist but was old enough to know he was dumb.
It wasn't until high school that I saw the original films and fell head over heels for Han Solo, and I learned an important lesson about storytelling.
You can have all the cool effects, settings, twists, and soundtracks you want, but at the end of the day, you need the characters.
That's why we care about Darth Vader being Luke's dad. We're invested in them as people, and it hurts us just as much as "it's not true!!!!"
So, hey, I really hope this new Star Wars makes me care about all these people I'm seeing on the merch. But no matter what happens from here on out, I'm glad that at some point between the ages of 13 and 16, I watched a quiet scene on the Millenium Falcon where I heard three men talk about their personal beliefs on the Force. Obi Wan, Luke, and Han are heading off to save the princess, yah da yah, but there's this moment where they're not in front of a green screen, they're not battling Storm Troopers, they're just sitting around playing chess and practicing the Force.
Another amazing scene is when these three meet. In a lesser story, they'd get to the point and do nothing else. Maybe a few shots of the cool cantina. But instead, they sit down, Luke protests using Han, Han lies about his talents, and Ben just tries to keep his cool. Seeing the characters actually react to one another means so much more than just going through the motions. This is what all of us should be doing:
Now if you excuse me, I need to go watch Empire Strikes Back ...
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Dawson is a writer. This is her blog. In it, you shall read about reading. And writing. And cheeseburgers. Sometimes there are tangents. Huzzah.