I grew up watching Star Wars, Princess Bride, and Star Trek.
My parents have good taste, and passed on their love for the classics on to us. Some of my earliest memories of movies include the trilogy that involved light sabers, a large hairy dude, and some inexplicably lovable robots. Of the entire series, the romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia has always been my favorite part. I have always been a romantic, and the ongoing attraction between those two seemed, to me, perfection. Their relationship was up there in my estimation with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, and Westley and Buttercup.While watching the utterly disappointing second trilogy (Jar Jar Binks anyone?) with the overdone special effects, strange creatures, and disjointed plot twists I could not help but wonder what had happened to Han and Leia. Where had their story taken them?
Spoiler Alert If you intend to watch the newest Star Wars movie DO NOT read past this point. There is no going back after I reveal certain aspects of the plot. I repeat, do not continue! You have been warned.
Therefore, when the newest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was coming out and I found out it would include C-3PO, R2-D2, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Han Solo I was utterly elated! I, also, heard that the director, J.J.Abrams was attempting to make this newest movie more in line with the first trilogy which was exciting news.
With a lot of optimism (and even more popcorn) hubs and I headed to our local theater for a few hours of enjoyment.
We were, for the most part, not disappointed.
This film lived up to every good thing I had heard attributed to it. The beauty and magic of the first trilogy was resurrected in this beautifully made movie. Abrams’ choice to limit the special effects, introduce new and diverse characters, and bank on just enough nostalgia to carry the movie made this film a beautifully poignant experience.
As I walked out of the theater, tossing my empty popcorn container in the trash as I hurried by, flush with excitement, and chattering incessantly about the positive aspects of this film I could not help but feel a pang of disappointment in regards to my long held beliefs that Han Solo and Princess Leia had lived happily ever after. This movie had dashed those hopes, and tarnished the loveliness of their relationship in the first trilogy.
While Han and Leia might have had a romance, and even got married–the test of time caused their relationship to lose their luster, and drift apart. This, to me, was a major disappointment. The movie would have been deeper had Leia and Han been flying around space as a couple . Their characters would have evolved with the passing of time rather than Han simply in the same bachelor pad (bachelor spaceship? Is that a thing?) that he inhabited as a twenty-year-old. Their relationship would have add depth, and richness to an already stellar movie. I truly believe that a couple that fought so hard for each other, when they were young, could have continued to fight for their marriage, thirty years later.
The majority of movies quietly teach us that the initial stage of a relationship is where the romance is found, and years later the two people that were so enraptured with each other have next to no romance whatsoever. I believe that this message has seeped into our culture. A majority of couples try to extend the dating relationship, and cohabitation has become the norm. Fear of commitment is often wrapped up in the wariness that with marriage comes boredom, and the eventual demise of the relationship. Movies and shows about hot flings are showcased as the epitome of romance (50 Shades of Grey, Sex in the City, etc…) while marriages always seem to fall apart.
Let’s remember, in our own marriages, that while difficult times come we do not need to settle for living across the galaxy from each other, estranged, and embittered. Marriages can work. Romance can be kept alive. And the first stage of the relationship does not have to be the best part.
The best is yet to come.
What did you think of the new Star Wars movie?
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