In the late 1990s, there was an article about George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, in the New York Times Magazine. In the accompanying photo, he is shown in front of a bookcase, alongside one of his children. His son is dressed as a Jedi warrior. There is only one title that can be clearly read in the bookcase: The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes. So it’s no wonder that in the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we are told that “The Force is in and around all living beings.”
Suzanne and I recently went to see this movie. I should tell you that it’s a bit on the long side, but it is gripping, so you really don’t notice.
Without revealing too much plot, I’d like to discuss a couple of points I saw in the movie. The basic premise is that thirty years after the destruction of the last Death Star and the collapse of the Galactic Empire, the ashes of the Empire have given rise to an even more dangerous group known as the First Order. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, one of the last remaining Jedi, has disappeared after a failure in training one of his classes of Jedi students. General Leia Organa (the Princess of the destroyed planet Alderaan) sends her best pilot, Poe Dameron, to find Luke.
As Poe tries to carry out this mission, he encounters an escaped First Order storm trooper, FN-2187, whom he calls Finn. Dameron’s droid, BB-8, has part of the map to where Luke is. When Finn and Poe crash, with Finn the only apparent survivor, BB-8 attaches himself to a scavenger on the planet Jakku named Rey. Neither Finn nor Rey really wants to get involved in the Resistance. Finn just wants to escape the First Order and Rey just wants to go back to scavenging on Jakku.
Eventually, the First Order comes after Rey and BB-8, who escape in an old, poorly maintained ship called the Millennium Falcon. It gets swallowed up by another ship, piloted by Han Solo and Chewbaca. The four of them set out to find Luke.
There is a tribute to the original Star Wars bar scene, when Han decides to visit an old friend, saloon keeper Maz Kanata, who has a light saber in a box that calls to Rey. It is the light saber belonging to the legendary Jedi master Luke Skywalker. Of course, Rey runs, but eventually, she cannot get away from the power.
When she is captured by the First Order, lead storm trooper Kylo Ren (in the black Darth Vader suit) attempts to force the information on Luke’s whereabouts out of her. He reports to the Supreme Leader that “she is strong in The Force – untrained but stronger than she knows.” (Wait until you find out Kylo Ren’s identity – it’s as surprising a Darth Vader’s was.)
Eventually, Finn and Rey, along with Poe Dameron, Han Solo, and Chewie, find themselves in the middle of things as they search for Han’s good friend and brother in law. The First Order keeps attempting to capture or kill them.
R2D2, who has been inactive since Luke disappeared, connects with BB-8 and discovers that he carries valuable information, which is greatly helpful to the Resistance forces (the Republic) in their efforts to find Luke.
It seems that Poe, Finn, Rey, and R2D2 are all called to step up when their moment demands it. Rey is called by the lightsaber; R2D2 is called by the awareness that his service and information are of value. BB-8, Finn, and even Han all have their moments when they must step it up.
What does this teach us? Well, for one thing, each of the characters comes to a crossroads and learns to step into his or her greatness. Each is called at some point and even if they try to run, they cannot get away from their mission. Similarly, we are called to fulfill our work in life and step into our greatness.
We must do what we are called to do, whether it’s writing, music, ministry, parenthood, or anything else. If we do not, it keeps following us. We can’t get away from it. As I like to say, your calling will keep calling until you answer. Commit to being who you are called to be and you just might lift up the world. You will be the channel for Right Action, and the world needs what you have to give. We don’t all have to save the world from evil empires, but we all have something important to do.
When you work with The Force (or whatever else you choose to call the Allness, the One), you can achieve greatness and though your path may contain numerous hazards and obstacles, focusing on what we must do smooths the way. And of course, it is much easier when we remember that It is “in and around all living things.” Including you and me.
You will likely enjoy this movie very much, and keep an eye out for the metaphysical metaphors that abound in the movie.