If you have come into personal contact with me in my life, especially in the last month or so, you know how much I love Star Wars. This franchise has a special place in my heart that cannot be filled (along with Harry Potter, Back to the Future, and Indiana Jones to name a few). That special place has been opened up again to let in the newest trilogy.
And now that I have seen Episode VII twice (and counting), I have done a lot of analysis with my family. With that analysis has come to my own theories and quite a bit of thinking. Naturally, my thoughts gravitated towards depression, mental illness, and recovery.
The dark side is associated with evil–Darth Vader is one of the most iconic villains of all time, after all. The former Anakin Skywalker joined the Sith because he believed it would bring him the power to save his wife from dying. Emphasis on power. And that was not a power the Jedi Knights thought valuable.
Jedi Knights are bred to be selfless, with the goals of protecting the Republic and its people. Anakin turns to the Dark Side because he believed it would give him more power to protect those he loved. The power corrupted him, as it often does.
My thought process led me to parallel the Dark Side to depression. I am not saying that depression equates to power, though. Depression is a dark, empty, numbing mode of thought. A lifestyle, you could say. And that numbness leaves you to block your emotions out, which also gives you a feeling of power. Nothing can touch you because you feel nothing.
Except you really feel everything–it just presents itself in an overwhelming sadness that sucks the life out of you. The Sith/Dark Side channels the emotions into anger and a desire for power. And anger, like sadness, can also suck the life out of you.
[Spoilers ahead, btw!!]
These movies take place in space, for the most part. Space is dark. You hardly ever see the villains in the daylight–I am racking my brain for a moment that Darth Vader sees a sun, other than from a distance on board the Death Star.
In The Force Awakens, the First Order gets word that BB-8 and Rey are with Maz in her really cool-looking fortress. Kylo Ren goes with the Storm Troopers to retrieve BB-8 and Rey himself. This small battle takes place during the day, and Kylo Ren does not shy away from the sunlight.
We learn in towards the beginning that he still feels a call to the Light. He “prays” to Vader’s burnt and mangled helmet (aka his spirit) to remind him why he chose the Dark Side and to give him the strength to continue his mission.
If you have seen the original trilogy, you would know that Darth Vader also feels a faint call to the Light, and Luke brings that out of him. He earns Luke’s forgiveness. Because of this change of heart, I was left wondering why Vader would give Ren strength to fight the Light, to finish what his grandfather started.
My father brought a theory to me. In Han’s last moments, in his conversation with Kylo Ren, Ren asks his father to help him do “what he needs to do,” then proceeds to (excuse my heart shattering) kill Han. My dad wonders if the master plan is that Kylo Ren’s ultimate goal is to kill the Supreme Leader (aka Snoke), and to do that, he needs to fully embrace the Dark Side. And to do that, he must kill a loved one.
Well when you get depression, it is all-consuming. Of course, in my case and in the cases of some people I have talked to, there is an underlying to desire to find the Light at the end of the tunnel, as I like to describe it. Pursuing that Light is a whole other ordeal, a painful one, which is why subconsciously, we crawl deeper into the darkness. It is what we know, and it makes us feel safe.
I now know that this is a false sense of security, but for a very long time, I fought off happiness in favor for the emptiness. If I was empty, no one could hurt me. I thought that gave me power, like the power that enchanted Kylo Ren and Darth Vader to the Dark Side.
Those villains can feel the Light calling to them–the same Light that weaseled its way into my life.
Whether or not my dad’s theory holds truth, it does make sense as a possible plot line, and it sort of fueled my thought process on this. I figured it might be worth mentioning to anyone interested in analyzing the crap out of Episode VII and is a fan of finding things that might not be there. Thank you to every English class I have taken since middle school.
And now that I have shown my nerd side, I must get back to watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And toying with my new iPhone 6s!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or whatever you celebrate)! I have already finished my (signed copy!!!!!!!!!) of See How They Run by Ally Carter. I love everything she writes, man. And her tweets are always on point. I am almost positive she is me in the future–to which she has told me to “aim higher.” It took me all of a day and a half to read, and now I have to wait for the next one, and who knows when that one is coming out. I need it now!!
Okay, I can be patient about this, right? Right…maybe.
Love your nose-deep-in-the-next-“Richard Castle”-novel blogger friend, Ash 🙂