Three Challenges that Star Wars Helped Me Overcome

April 01, 2016

It's no secret that Star Wars resembles a symbol of hope to many people for many different reasons. No matter where you come from, what you believe, or who you choose to be, there will always be a character in Star Wars that shares the same experiences and struggles that you've faced. I'm fortunate to live a happy and healthy life, but just like everyone else, I deal with emotional struggles on a daily basis too. Star Wars has helped me through many personal challenges and I'd like to share with you three examples of how different characters in Star Wars have showed me how to be strong in tough situations.

Being Content With Feeling Alone- It Gets Better

As soon as Rey started licking her plate of veg-meat and polystarch in The Force Awakens, I felt an instant connection with her. There was something about her innocence of being alone and unembarrassed of licking her plate that made me smile. At that moment, we saw Rey in a vulnerable state of being content with her loneliness. I haven't been living on my own since a young age like Rey has endured, but I did have an uncomfortable transition moving from home to a university a couple years ago. During my freshman year, I didn't get along with my roommates, I ate by myself every day in the dining hall, and I didn't go out with friends like everyone else did. Making friends didn't come natural to me because I was the "weird Star Wars girl" to all of my classmates and couldn't relate to my peers who only spoke about drinking and partying. I have an amazing fiancé and a wonderful best friend who serve as my support system on tough days, but unfortunately both of those special people in my life live many hours away from me and it's hard to have dinner with someone over the phone. 

Seeing Rey make a home out of an abandoned AT-AT, scavenging every day just to get by, and defend herself in dangerous situations spoke volumes to me when I first saw The Force Awakens. Here was this girl exactly my age, who lived all alone with no friends, yet she got up every day and didn't cry about how alone she may have felt. Rey taught me to be content with feeling alone and vulnerable sometimes. She also showed me that in the end, good things will happen to good people and you will eventually make friends- oftentimes with the most unexpected people. Finn instantly befriended Rey upon meeting her on Jakku and proved his loyalty to her when he was determined to find her on Starkiller Base. Despite my emotionally tough freshman and sophomore years, I have made friends with people like Finn who came from completely different backgrounds than me but befriended me out of pure kindness and love. Rey taught me that it's okay to feel alone sometimes because you won't feel like that forever. 

Realizing that People Change- and You Can't Control It



While all of my friends fell in love with Ahsoka Tano when she made her debut in The Clone Wars, I was the odd girl out who didn't truly appreciate the new padawan. It wasn't until her appearance in Star Wars Rebels that I felt a true connection to this character. During my fifth viewing of the Season Two finale of Rebels, it became clear to me why I felt similar to Ahsoka. One of the greatest challenges that Ahsoka has faced was realizing and understanding that her beloved master, Anakin Skywalker, was now the menacing Sith Lord named Darth Vader. As the face of Anakin was revealed through Vader's mask in Rebels, I realized that there was an Anakin in my life too. Someone very dear to me, who shall remain nameless, has changed a great deal since the last time I saw them. This friend of mine was someone that I admired since I was a little girl- someone that I aspired to be like when I grew up.

It hurts to see a loved one after a long time apart and realize that they are not the same person you shared a bond with for many years of your life. Even though she may not understand why her master turned to the dark side, Ahsoka's refusal to leave Vader in the crumbling Sith temple was a sign of strength and compassion. Ahsoka has taught me to never give up on those you love because their true self might not be gone forever. She may never see the light in Vader again, but we know that Vader's good side was redeemed before his life ended. It gives me hope to know that even though this special person in my life has changed for now, that doesn't mean they will be changed forever. Most importantly, Ahsoka has showed me that it's not your fault when someone you love transforms into a different person. There are some things that you don't have the capabilities to control, and that's okay.

Strengthening Family Relationships



Hera Syndulla's relationship with her father Cham was strained when she decided to join the rebellion against the Empire rather than join the Twi'lek resistance struggle. In the Star Wars Rebels episode titled Homecoming, Hera was reunited with her father after not speaking with him for years. This episode hit me in a tender spot because I've always had a tough time seeing eye-to-eye with my father. We have different views on touchy subjects and we don't share much in common. When I was growing up, my dad showed his love for me by providing food on the table every night and a safe home for me to live in, which I was very fortunate to have, but I always felt that he was too busy with work to pay attention to me. After putting forth an effort over and over to find a connection with my dad, I eventually felt defeated and told myself I would never bother my dad for attention again.

By the end of Homecoming, Hera admits that she learned to be a leader by watching her father and he expresses that he's proud of his daughter. This exchange meant a lot to me because it signified that even though you might go years without speaking to your parents, it's never too late to work on a relationship and try improve the situation. Hera's story encouraged me to reach out again to my dad and express to him that I felt like he missed out on a great majority of my childhood because he was too focused on work. Since then, we've found hobbies that we both enjoy doing and we talk more frequently than ever before. Hera and Cham's relationship showed me that it's okay to not have a naturally great relationship with your father. Sometimes strong relationships take a lot of effort and time to build.

No matter what struggles you may be facing in life, it's always a good idea to step back and remember that everyone deals with similar challenges every day. There are plenty of characters in Star Wars that suffer from the same burdens that we try to hide from our peers. Don't be discouraged by heartache- there is always hope.

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for making this post. I'm always glad to hear of people connecting with Star Wars on such personal levels and having a positive impact. It's part of what sets this Universe apart from other fandoms.
    You opened up & took a leap. Good on you. May the Force will be with you. Always.

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  2. thanks for sharing your nicely written and very heart-felt note. thanks

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  3. Ive had the worst week and I happened to stumble upon this post after I saw a photo of you on Instagram. I cant begin to explain how much I related to every word in this post. I just started college and a new job at the same time and I've always been the geeky kid that had no friends. Ive been struggling so much to make a connection with anyone and I am feeling so down and alone.
    Some sort of force power brought me to this page tonight and has totally turned me around.
    Thank you. It is so, so nice to know that someone, so alike me, has felt the same way that I am feeling right now. Im sure you understand.

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