OK, full disclosure. I finally managed to see “the movie”. My son and I set the date to renew a tradition now decades old( which in itself is hard to believe). We have watched each of the movies as they were released. He, even as a child, as he collected tons of action figures, managed to memorize the trash compacter scened from the first movie. So, there we sat in one of these upscale movies in Marlton, N.J. with every seat taken, ready to renew this father-son tradition. Very fitting for this movie franchise. And, truth be told, as the lights dimmed and that theme music started, yes, there was a rush and a willingness to be taken to this galaxy far away, far away from Presidential “debates”, ISIS, police shootings, starving refugees, and who knows what else. It was great to see old friends. The “Falcon”, Han and Chewy, The Princess now General, R2 and C3P0 and even Luke!
Why do I even mention all of this? I watched this film and saw things in it that I never saw before. Age has a way of doing that. First, I was there with my son,now grown and married, and again thought of all those moments of father-son time with my own dad. Those memories that we did not know we were making when we were there, but now, stand out in sort of beautiful aura. And then the themes. You know (because of the tons of reviews) the refrences to Greek mythology, Freudian psychology, etc. It is all there in plain view. Yet, something else struck me that touched me as it relates to us as we grow a little older (as did the heroes of the initial trilogy). There is a not so subtle theme of searching here. And, I think, a theme of wanting to be with someone. There is a sense of alone-ness in our heroes, a desire to connect with something greater, a search for a true reason for being, a meaning. Yes, it is framed in good vs evil challenges, but on a personal level, these heroes are alone, alone in the universe, each trying to find something and someone to give them that sense of purpose and meaning. That “galaxy far away”, that mythologicol “Eden” is present in each of us. What are we seraching for? What sense of meaning do we require? What is that fundemntal need in each of us not to be alone, to be isolated, as if we were isolated on our own empty planet, scavenging for sustanence. As each of us age, this desire for community, relationships and meaning gets stronger; it can compel us to change our life, it can ask us to re-examine what we want and how we wish to live. And that is good.
Rabbi Richard F Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.