7 lessons from “Star Wars 7”

Lessons from Star Wars 7

After a long, tantalizing wait, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” finally premiered in theaters. My 9-year old son was almost as excited about seeing the movie as he was about Christmas. I was possibly even more excited than my son was. We had reserved seats, so we didn’t need to stand in line, but there’s something about waiting in a crowd of excited fans that made me feel energized and nostalgic.

From the moment the silver “Lucasfilm” logo appeared on screen, I was enthralled. This time, watching “The Force Awakens,” I wasn’t merely a fan – I was also a parent, and I started to see things in the movie that I wanted to share with my son.

Caution: There are some minor spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read any further.

Woven throughout the far-away worlds, space battles, and light saber fights, there are 7 lessons I hope my son learns from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”:

  1.  It’s okay to question authority. We teach children to follow directions, but we should also teach them to make their own decisions. Finn (FN-2187) has been trained to obey orders, but when he is ordered to kill defenseless villagers, he refuses to do it. He starts to question everything he has been taught.
  2.  Do the right thing. Follow your conscience. Once Finn has decided that the First Order is wrong, he doesn’t hesitate to take action. He decides to escape from the First Order and rescue the captive Poe, without even knowing whether Poe can fly a TIE fighter. “Why are you helping me?” Poe asks. Finn replies, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
  3.  Stand up to bullies, because everyone deserves respect. If you see someone getting bullied or hurt, and can help them safely, then take action. Rey heard the droid BB-8’s distress, rescued it from Teedo, and fixed its antenna. She tells BB-8, “That’s just Teedo. He’s got no respect for anyone.”
  4. Family and friends are more important than money. Be loyal to your friends. Unkar Plutt offers Rey a lot of food rations, possibly more food than she has ever had, in exchange for selling BB-8. But she values BB-8’s friendship over personal gain. Of course, there’s another lesson: slavery is wrong.
  5. Help one person. You can’t save everyone, but you can make a difference in one person’s life. Finn knows the First Order first-hand, and he doesn’t believe that the Resistance can win against them. But when Rey is taken captive, Finn is committed to rescuing her.
  6. See the best in people. Accept that people make mistakes, and look for the good in them. Han Solo is afraid that they have lost their son forever, but Leia refuses to give up hope. “There’s still light in him, I know.”
  7. Home is the people you love. Home is not a place; it is the people you love and who love you. Rey is afraid to leave Jakku, but Maz Kanata tells Rey that she needs to look in front of her for her family. Later, Leia asks Han to bring their son home – not to the Resistance, but to their family.

Have you watched “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or do you plan to watch it? What have you learned about the Force and the Star Wars universe? Which movies do you look forward to watching this year?

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