While this may seem like heresy to some, I didn’t have plans to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Jim was going with friends the same night I was supposed to chaperone a middle school dance (also very entertaining), so I was content to eventually catch the highlights from YouTube.
However, Jim came home so enthralled by the nostalgia of seeing R2-D2, Chewbacca and Hans on the big screen again, he insisted that I would deeply regret not seeing this film in all it’s IMAX 3D glory. Then he downloaded a light-saber app for his phone, for added emphasis, I guess.
We eventually saw “The Force Awakens”. I figured the hype would have died down, but when the yellow text began to scroll “Episode VII” and explain the current crisis the galaxy was in, the audience began to clap and I could feel myself getting excited about the drama about to unfold.
Without giving any major plot points away for those who are waiting for the DVD, the most epic moment was when Rey (the good girl) was battling Kylo Ren (the bad guy) in a hand-to-hand combat situation while the people who used to be the Empire (think Darth Vader and Storm Troopers) battled the Republic (Princess Leia and all the other good guys/droids, etc.). As with any great story, there’s a moment where it looks like all is lost, but there’s two more films coming, so clearly all wasn’t lost or Disney would be shortchanged a franchise.
At that pivotal moment — when it looked like all was lost, and then good triumphed over evil — I kid you not, the audience broke out in spontaneous applause and cheering — as though it was our galaxy on the line and not a figment of J.J. Abrams imagination.
Admittedly I, too, cheered when the good guys got ahead. Because that was the point, why “The Force Awakens” was such fun to watch. It was all about seeing good triumph over evil.
The reality is that right now just like Rey, we’re all fighting a battle. My battle isn’t fighting a storm trooper with a light-saber, but with my snooze button when I know I need to wake up so I have time to pray before I begin work. My battle is with Facebook grabbing my attention when I haven’t even asked my husband how his day was. My battle is trying to stay focused during Mass when my brain keeps telling me I need to see if the sweaters I like are on sale at Target yet.
However, like Rey, we aren’t alone. True — we each have many battles to fight — but just like Rey had the Republic to back her up, we have the Church. Teaching, guiding, giving us Sacraments and grace when we feel we’ve spent all we have — the presence of the Church assures us that while we may each face unique battles with temptation and sin, we aren’t fighting alone.
Watching “Star Wars” is certainly not Gospel, but these epic stories can remind us that while Yoda isn’t real, the battle of good and evil is. And it’s a battle worth fighting.