(Let me be abundantly clear: I still hate this movie.)
… I think.
a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away:
I saw Rise of Skywalker for the first and (until very recently) only time on opening night last December. And I’ve written about this before, but I needed it too much. I sat there in the dark, leaning forward, fists clenched, heart pounding. I was in a bad place. I felt sad and small and scared and, as it usually does, I needed Star Wars to leap out of the darkness and take me by the shoulders and remind me that hope is still out there and it’s worth living and fighting for.
I’ve been depressed for a really long time, but this past year has been the hardest. As I write this today, I am fresh off a first session in a DBT group with a new therapist and my eyes are red and puffy and I’m still in my fucking bathrobe and I didn’t know what to do, so I made some popcorn and turned, again, to Star Wars.
I actually started re-watching Rise of Skywalker on Election Day. See, I’d put on Last Jedi (my eternal favorite) as a means of coping and then just… let Disney+ keep going. But it’s taken me until today to get to the end.
I still don’t understand this movie. I am still angry about the benching of Rose Tico. I still don’t know who Dominic Monaghan is supposed to be. I still hate Rey being a Palpatine. That kiss can jump off a bridge, for all I care. I want more for all of them, for my boy Ben Solo in particular.
But something struck me differently today about watching Rey on the ground, bleeding and broken, hearing the voices of the Jedi who came before her. Even if it still didn’t make sense to me, it was satisfying to see Rey trust herself, trust what she knew, trust she was loved and supported and get back up to face down not only the baddest of the bad guys, but her own (kill me) family member.
It was nice to see positive thinking win, I guess?
Perhaps I am just too tired in my heart anymore to be that angry at Star Wars. Perhaps we have fought enough actual evil this year to get too picky about how things turned out in our beloved space operas. Perhaps it is unfair of me to roll my eyes at the courageous act of Rey choosing her own name, her own happiness.
Like… fuck. You go, Rey Skywalker.
Hope is what I learned from Star Wars and hope is still all we have. I am hopeful for tomorrow. I signed up to go back to yoga. I have therapy on Tuesday and DBT group again next Sunday. I disagree with you, Master Yoda. I believe there is ONLY trying. I’m going to try again tomorrow and again and again and again.
I’m in a bad place again today, but it’s not too late for me. “No one’s ever really gone.” I’m still in here somewhere, fighting to return to the world, fighting to smile at the sunshine. To go original trilogy on you for a second, I’m going to celebrate on Endor again one day.
Breathe. May the Force Be With You.