“Mommy, who’s your favorite Star Wars character?”
Kitty and I had just finished seeing The Force Awakens in the theaters. Now we were meeting up with Mommy for dinner. This was Kitty’s second screening of the film. To say it’s her favorite movie would be a massive understatement. She’s pretty well obsessed with all things Star Wars.
“OK, who’s your second favorite Star Wars character?”
“Han Solo,” Stephanie answered with a smile. “I know you’re just trying to get me to say ‘Luke Skywalker’ so you can talk about him.”
Determined as ever, Kitty turned her attention to me. “Daddy, who’s your favorite Star Wars character?”
She doesn’t realize it, but Kitty is on to something. One of my favorite authors, John Eldredge, has an interesting exercise that’s based on this kind of conversation. Eldredge has talked at length about why we gravitate to certain characters over others:
“Quite often you’ll find that you identify with a certain character in a movie you love. The reason why is that their life is speaking to you about something written deep on your heart about your life!” ~ John and Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: A guided journal: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
It’s a great exercise, and a great conversation starter, to talk about our favorite characters in a film. It’s easier when a new film comes out, especially one that most of us has seen like The Force Awakens. There’s a natural starting point.
Beyond the film’s ubiquitous nature, The Force Awakens is brimming with interesting characters and intriguing story lines. Poe is an amazing fighter pilot with a sarcastic wit to boot. Rey is is conflicted between the adventurous path she’s on and the need to stay home and wait on her family to return. Even old favorites like Han and Leia are given new character arcs.
Even with all these new characters to choose from, Kitty is still drawn to Luke Skywalker. And for good reason. Luke represents the unproven hero of a story thrust onto a big stage; our desire for the underdog to win; and the struggle for good to win over evil, even when those two forces are fighting within one’s own heart.
As for me, while Rey is my favorite character, I can relate to Finn the most. Finn starts out the movie as a stomtrooper, then suffers an identity crisis as he flees the dark side but isn’t ready to stand up and fight against it. I think for me it points out both worthy traits and potential weaknesses. Like Finn, I desire to fight injustice in the world. On the other hand, I have a strong desire to please others and not rock the boat, which sometimes shows up as wanting to avoid conflict.
Examine the characters in the film and search your own heart, and you can learn some things about yourself. Hey, if nothing else, it could give you an excuse to see the movie again.
Now you. What character in The Force Awakens do you relate to the most? Why?