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Marc Mason is a freelance writer based in Tempe, AZ.

Sunday, December 18, 2011  

I was texting with a friend yesterday afternoon, and we were commiserating about some of the feelings that get drudged up around this time of year. Speaking for myself, I can struggle quite a bit during the holiday season- like many people, I have depressive issues associated with this time of year. Every year I take certain steps to deal with it and keep myself going, and so far this year they seem to be working out reasonably well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it continues.

When we were done texting, I was thinking about my friend and how much fun we had the last time we hung out, and a phrase from eons ago popped into my head: that one of the reasons I like and respect her so much is because she is not a Jedi.

Like many people my age, I grew up as a STAR WARS kid. Seeing the first film back in 1977 activated my imagination and set me on a course that in many ways I am still on today. I grew up in a small town in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, so the idea of escaping, going on an adventure, tapping a fantastical super power, and becoming a great hero? Gold. To millions of us, the idea was gold.

Then THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and something happened in that film that changed my perspective completely.

You all know the story. Luke goes off to meet Yoda and begin training as a Jedi. Early on, Luke is a whiny bitch, and Yoda is a dickhead. Classic buddy movie stuff, really. But one line of dialogue stuck out to me after I left the theatre: “Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things.”

Insert the sound of a needle screeching across a record. What. The. Fuck?

Let me get this straight: you’re blessed with this amazing superpower, you have the most amazing weapon in the universe at your side, and you’re supposed to treat it like it is nothing but a fucking burden? Are you shitting me with that crap? Basically, being a Jedi means you have to shove your head up your ass and never smile. Well Han Solo got the girl, had a cool ship, and loves the hell out of his life. Fuck you, Yoda. If using the force means having a stick shoved up my ass, I’ll pass, thanks.

My friend has done so much cool shit in her life. Adventure, excitement, travel… she has the soul of a poet and the guts of a pirate. If I had the proverbial chance to go back and do it all over again, I would follow in her footsteps as far as getting outside my comfort zone and taking the world head on. A Jedi might not crave these things, but a fun, full-of-life human being does.

Yoda’s little credo really means that you should be obedient and not question things. Even the slightest glance at what is happening in our world right now shows us the peril of doing that. We need to question authority. We need to be disobedient. Anything else and those with the power will only continue to consolidate more of it, and at the expense of those without it.

I want more out of my life and from my world than to just sit by idly. So, no thanks, you short, green putz. I’ll stick to my cravings. Even if occasionally I wind up frozen in carbonite.

8:29 PM

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