The Force of Letting Go
In a galaxy far, far away, there is a story about taking a bunch of losses, a story about the Force of letting go.
Leia Organa took off her princess attributes. She changed her hairstyle just like when she took the first mission with Luke, Han, Chewie and those not-always-fun droids. She still sat in her bridge with the rebels. She took her role as a general, the General Organa.
Her husband still died. He completely passed away, murdered by their son. In this galaxy, there was no miracle like Lazarus or Jesus Christ, a rise from the death.
The moment when she executed Amilyn Holdo’s plan to evacuate the rebels became the last time she talked to her old dear friend. She told her she couldn’t take another loss. Too much losses. But Holdo answered her, “Of course you can. You taught me how.”
The rebels went away, left Holdo alone and gave her an enough space to be a hero. A hero who didn’t care about showing herself as a hero. A real hero, a rare hero. Leia took another loss.
Understanding the last Jedi was begun with a lot of losses. When their mission of evacuating and bombing the Dreadnought, Paige who became a part of Cobalt Squadron died. She sacrificed herself to finish their bombing mission. It indeed happened. The Dreadnought was destroyed, even though they had to take its boomerang effect. They got detected by the First Order. General Hux put the active tracker on their light speed mode. Brilliant.
Poe Dameron got slapped by the General. He had to take another lesson about how to lead the fight not in heroic scene. The slap woke him up. He left his own way. He burned his old understanding. Leia got it. She knew it was almost the time to leave something she had sat on.
Finally, Rey met Luke Skywalker. She was on her mission to take him back and to face what had lived inside herself. It was awake, she said. It feared her, she admitted. She didn’t know how to handle it. She wanted to meet with the Force she had always heard. A story about the unfailing Jedi. She had let that story strengthen her for the long time. It became the pillar to sustain what she had believed in.
Then the meet up happened. Eyes to eyes, face to face. Luke Skywalker accepted the lightsaber from Rey, examined it for seconds. And just like it meant nothing, he tossed it over his shoulder.
Right in her eyes, Luke destroyed what she worked on. The Jedi she met wasn’t as same as the Jedi in a story. In a blink, that legendary Jedi master disappointed her. Her trust collapsed. What else she could do, if the trust collapsed.
In time, the balance came. It built what already ruined. It worked strangely. As strange as how the sacred Jedi tree and texts were burned by the master himself, Yoda. Not only Rey, Luke also found there was something wrong about his trust. Now he knew there was the greater master compared to Yoda: his failures.
Ben Solo, he put himself on his greatest battle. He understood that to demolish meant giving birth for something new. He murdered Snoke, using his Force to work with Luke’s lightsaber. In a glance, it looked like he would join Rey and the rebels. But he chose his own path, tried to get rid of his inner conflict. But as the life itself, the conflict would be still there. It grew something new, something bigger, something more hurting. Something more worth fighting for.
Luke fought against Ben. They met in a battle. Luke used his Force for the last time, to fix what he ruined. What he ruined wasn’t Ben Solo, it wasn’t the Jedi temple -but the hope itself. He met Leia for the first time in a hope, then he decided to say goodbye to Leia in the same hope.
All the old heroes were gone, all the old villains were gone. We closed the story we had grown up by.
My new friends at work told me, “It’s easier for you because you have been settled, Mba.” I threw a smile, then I began to count my losses. All the pains, all the failures, all the curses, all the rejections -they have worked strangely, as strange as to watch Luke dies. If only it existed, I would use the Force to take off all the shitty feelings that have laid inside me. But as same as the Force doesn’t exist to be used to lift the rock, those shitty feelings don’t mean to be faded away in a blink.
I count my loss. And somehow, when I look inside, there’s still an enough space for another loss. Then I know the old losses are gone. They become the past. They fade away without noticing me. Because they have not to.
PS: The writing is based on what I captured when I watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo is from hypb.imgix.net. May the Force be with you.