I’m a nerd. It’s a thing. #4real
If you’re a nerd too, I don’t have to tell you that today (much like Ron Burgundy) is kind of big deal. For those of you who live in a galaxy far, far away from Nerdom, May the 4th is affectionately known to legions of fans as Star Wars Day…May the 4th Be With You, get it? Being in self-quarantine has given me light years to catch up on reading and movies, and that includes reconnecting with the universe of reasons why these movies are so important to me. As a child, I loved the kooky characters and the swashbuckling action. “These are not the droids you are looking for.” I totally dreamed of dropping the Jedi Mind Trick on my parents so I could stay up later! I still love all of that, but my adult self has enjoyed unpacking some of the deeper truths and ideas in the films. Truths you say? Yes indeed, Star Wars is a blaster full of fun and philosophy, and here are my top 4 favorites:
1) “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
Yoda looks more Dobby the House Elf than Merlin the Wizard…a reminder to never judge a book by its cover. But Yoda is without question the most powerful Jedi leader, because he is as lightning fast with his wisdom as he is with his light saber. Picking one favorite quote from him was like identifying my most beloved coffee bean this morning, however, this quote is sound mentorship advice. Luke easily used The Force to lift rocks during his training with Yoda, but his self-confidence waned when faced with the seemingly impossible task of raising his ship from the murky depths of the swamp. The beginner’s class is always easier than the advanced class, right? That challenge was designed to test Luke’s budding abilities, and Yoda’s point was sort of reminiscent of the great Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” Half-way? No Way. Believe in yourself. Own your calling, nurture your skills and harness that raw power so as to manifest a full tilt victory.
2) “Always remember: Your focus determines your reality” – Qui-Gon Jinn
Mastery isn’t always about being the smartest or the best equipped. Sometimes it’s just about showing up and doing the work, even when you don’t feel like it. Everyone starts a gym membership with lofty fitness goals and a nifty new gym bag; at some point, (after a bad day perhaps?) it’s easier to end up on the couch with sweat pants and a log of cookie dough. The problem isn’t the beginning. The problem, my friends, is the middle. In a world of infinite distractions, the tedious middle is when all the fanfare has faded, and it’s just you and your dream slugging it out. Sticking to a goal, whether professional or personal, takes uncompromising grit and glorious stubbornness, and that’s what this quote is about. If you’re gonna do something, let you goal be your guiding star and take steps towards it each day.
3) “I’d rather kiss a wookie.” – Princess Leia Organa
The fact that I spent much of my childhood in Princess Leia hairbuns should tell you the hero worship I had for the brash and fearless Princess Leia Organa. In addition to being one of the rebellion's MVPs, she lived her life like a boss. She didn’t let anyone get one up on her. When she wasn’t saving the day with her blaster, she was making sure everyone else respected her boundaries….including her one-day husband. The chemistry between Han Solo and Leia was palpable, but I love that she didn’t let the handsome heart throb turn her into someone she wasn’t. She held her ground and made him come to her on her own terms. “She’d rather kiss a wookie” than be treated with disrespect. As a single lady, Leia is still my hero. Go girl!
4) “Who's more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” – Obi Wan Kenobi
So there you go! May the 4th be with you! The Rise of Skywalker drops on Disney+ tonight, so live long and prosper (just go with it). I may or may not have worn Princess Leia buns as I wrote this?