Sunday, 17 December 2017

Never mind the Skywalker's...

"Luke, we're gonna have company!"
Han Solo - A New Hope.

There's an absolutely silly but deliciously fun moment at the start of the new Star Wars movie, the Last Jedi. It's doesn't involve magic, light sabers, knights or anything beyond straightforward, died in the wall, gall.

The entire rebel alliance is standing on a knife-edge of survival... the latest rendition of the Empire is about to expunge them from existence, and all that stands in their way is a rough, volatile cowboy of a pilot. I won't say what he does, but it's both ridiculous and highly amusing.

It was Poe Dameron's "destiny" to not only jump into Han Solo's shoes in this episode, but to do so with lashings of gusto (hence, Leia's approval), and it underscored the fact that what makes worthwhile 'moments' in any movie is not having beings who can wield all kinds of powers (because you're quickly left thinking why don't they just do "X" and resolve whatever) but those who are truly most like us, who are boldly doing something great one minute, and making a total hash of it the next. That's Poe, whose 'presence' echos through another entire strand of the movie even when he's not on screen, via the deeds of his wacky side-kick, BB8. Poe is also the one who delivers, what for me is the defining line of the entire movie. Paraphrasing  C S Lewis in a row with acting commander Admiral Holdo, Poe states, "if you only believe in the sun in the light, it's no use in the darkness". Lewis, of course, said something similar in respect to Christianity - you believe in it not because you see the Sun, but because by its light you see everything else.

This walking one man triumph and tragedy of a character was the redeeming aspect of this 'christmas' movie. I wasn't made anxious or excited about what Luke or Rey or Kylo or any of the others were going to do (Let's face it, they've already 'got the t-shirt' for much of it); I was amused and "oh-boy"-ing about what Poe was up to, because he was me and you - no hero; just someone embroiled in all this, racing along on a hope that he'd make it back into the sunlight.

Destiny really isn't about us trying to control whatever 'forces' we think are in play, it's far more about facing the mirth and horror as we are, and looking for a helping hand to break in that isn't us. That's why what we celebrate over the next week or so really counts. If we focus on the Gospel accounts of that extraordinary night, when our world, our mess, was visited by the salvation of heaven, then we can come to relax amidst the mess, because the light has truly pierced our darkness. "This is a true and faithful saying", notes Paul, "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1;15).

So, keep on flying, for there is a Sun of Righteousness, and allow some time this Christmas to marvel in the precious delight of the radiance of that gift.

A joyous Christmas!

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