"The director worked hard to give us our childhood back!" my 43 year old husband told me, his 40 old wife, on my way out to see the new Star Wars movie, "The Force Awakens." Forty minutes into The Force Awakens, I realized that my husband had actually undersold this movie. My 12 year old daughter was enjoying a film better than anything I had experienced. The female lead, Rey, is a STEM teacher's dream. Rey is a techie with advance computer programining. She climbs cliffs and swings lightsabers with the athletic ease. Rey is pretty, smart and best of, extremely funny.
"This movie has jokes!" my 12 year old tells me happily. I remember the past 6 movies she has patiently sat through, the "classic" Star Wars, where the dialogue was practically non-existent. Star Wars became a classic of good versus evil based on computer graphics and sci-fi shorthand. This movie has all the best features but with the added grown-up additions of a plot and multi-layered characters.
Without giving away the plot, this film is a great resource for Catholic Families. The 'lightsaber' is a good metaphor for the practicality of a good prayer life. The evil Kyo Ren, tells the inexperienced heroine, Rey, "I can be your teacher." Yet Rey's power with the blue lightsaber, which once belonged to the long missing Luke Skywalker, is something powerful and innate. In a critical battle, Rey closes her eyes and accesses a powerful force inside of her self. Rey's access to the "Force" is one of the clearest secular examples of how prayerful meditation can enhance the power of the Holy Spirit that exists within all Christians. Carmelite mystic, Elizabeth of the Trinity, told us to focus on the power of the "Trinity which exists within us." That's a pretty deep metaphor to explore. After this watching this movie, I started thinking about my daily prayer time as my "Jedi mind training."
The most powerful force in the world can be a woman with a clear mind and full heart. Thank you "The Force Awakens" for giving me back my childhood love of the Star Wars franchise!
Check out my friend Rita's Star Wars Movie Review for advice on taking even younger children to The Force Awakens.