This will not be my most eloquent post, but I just need to rant a bit. The more I think on this subject, the more it bothers me. Star Wars is back, and as my post from a month ago stated, I am indeed excited. I am also worried and upset with some of the things “The Force Awakens” depicted, and the attitudes that J.J. Abrams and others of influence have articulated on this subject. J.J. Abrams has stated that he never considered Han the “marrying” type, or one to stay the course and be faithful.
The Force Awakens has so many layers, my emotions on it are very bipolar. I love it, and hate it all at once. I love it for what we got of Han and Leia, and I hate it for what we got of Han and Leia. It’s difficult for me to process and be coherent. I feel I painted a mostly positive picture in my last Star Wars post in February, mixed with some concern about the next films, and Luke. In this post I am going to get bleak. I’m coming from the darkest point-of-view I can, in order to be able to articulate the damage that has been done.
At some point around 3o years ago, Han and Leia became a couple, got married, and had a son, Ben Solo. We have no idea at this point what their relationship was during this time. Eventually Ben trained with Luke to become a Jedi. It went horribly wrong, with Ben being seduced by Snoke, and becoming Kylo Ren. Kylo formed the Knights of Ren, they killed the Jedi students, and presumably forced Luke Skywalker into hiding. Han and Leia grew apart after this, most likely blaming themselves and possibly each other for the tragedy that had befallen their son.Han went back to smuggling, while Leia threw herself into a new rebellion of sorts in the “Resistance”. The whole purpose of the Resistance was to subvert a corrupt New Republic and to put an end to Snoke and the “First Order”.
Let’s just stop there shall we, and get a grip on what this means. Our favorite couple, Han and Leia are not happily ever after. They are no longer together, and now with Han dead, they never will be. Is this not the worst case scenario? Is this not a sad, tragic disaster? It makes you wonder if J.J. actually has any love for these iconic characters at all. You would think , since he loves classic Star Wars characters, that he would want more for them. Their legacy should be the stuff of legends and joyful tales, not of dragging them through the proverbial mud. The biggest issue with all of this is that it completely disregards the evolution and maturation of these characters from “New Hope” to “Return of the Jedi”. Han was like this in episode 4. He was the selfish rogue, but we see his character evolve into a great leader, and a loyal friend. Han would never run away from Leia, Ben, or the Resistance. It’s a slap in the face to who he is. I can see Leia throwing herself into work, and it’s is very crucial work at that. She is staying true to herself, and fighting to defeat tyranny, as she always had. But they both deserve far better fates. In the previous written canon, Han and Leia went through the ringer at times, but it only made them stronger. It is this dichotomy between the original canon, and the new that makes all this, more jarring.
Now we get to poor Luke.
I realize that he is not dead yet, and good things may be right around the corner. I realize I am being pessimistic, yet the above image seems quite apropos . Luke’s story is just as pathetic, if not more so than Han and Leia’s. We have no idea what Luke did the twenty or so years after the events of ROTJ. We do know that 6-10 years before the events of TFA, Luke managed to start a fledgling Jedi Order, and his prize student was Ben Solo. Ben turned to the dark side, and with the help of his “Knights”, killed the other students, and drove Luke into hiding. If that was not pathetic enough, Luke seemed to not accomplish anything of consequence the past 6 or so years prior to the events of TFA. He seems to be at some Jedi Temple, waiting for the Force to awaken somebody. He looks like “Old Ben Kenobi” and seems ripe to put out to pasture once the new heroine is trained.
Do you see the problem? Luke has nothing to show for the last three DECADES!!! He is alone, and assuming he had a wife, she must be dead too. Wow, what a wonderful freaking legacy. Let’s compare this shall we, to the previous written canon again. After 20 or so years after ROTJ, Luke had a Jedi wife, and a son. He had defeated countless threats, and had a thriving Jedi Order hundreds strong. Luke had a wonderful legacy of reviving the Jedi from nothing to a thriving Order again. Now it all goes to shit a few years later, but lets not focus on that right now. Luke is a man of action. He has always been a man of action. So Luke just bailed then? He never contacted or provided support to his own sister for years? He never went to Kylo, to try to redeem him? He just exiled himself for his failure and that is where we find him by the end of the film. Sorry, That is not Luke Skywalker. It’s against his entire DNA. I fear he will just pass on the torch to Rey, and it will be Rey’s accomplishment, Rey’s Jedi Order, Rey’s legacy. If you talk to people on forums, everyone acts like Luke’s time has passed. He is old and has nothing much to bring to the table. Luke is only 53ish in TFA. Count Dooku was in his 80’s for God’s sake, and you never heard about him being too old. It makes me sick. Luke should be wiping the floor with pathetic, whiny butt Kylo and his group of Sith wannabees.If this is all there is, than it is an egregious insult to the greatest character in sci-fi history, let alone Star Wars history.
Do you see it now? Do you see how these characters have been marginalized and disrespected? Its makes it very hard to keep up the positivity of all that is going right with Star Wars currently.