As someone struggling with mental illnesses, Star Wars actually allows me to relate to the characters pretty well. In Empire, I related to Luke’s character – it could’ve been me walking into the cave in Dagobah, it could’ve been me having all that anger in me, it could’ve been me choosing between Dark and Light.
I never thought of it that way until my psychologist pointed it out – he made me rethink my stance on the franchise and I gave it a chance a week ago. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have watched the new movie.I wouldn’t have learned so much about myself either.
The Force is like mindfulness – choosing the Light side is harder and it also means putting in a LOT of effort, energy and commitment towards change and resilience. Giving in to the Dark side is easy, just allow your anger to control you. Just let your mental illness take over and do whatever it wants. It’s so easy.
Daily, I choose the Light side – sometimes I fail and I let my anger, depression, anxiety and ADHD take over so I get the struggle Luke had to go through. I get why it’s so hard for someone to become a Jedi. Overcoming oneself is perhaps one of the greatest challenges someone can have. And I also get why Anakin became Vader. We could all be like Luke in the cave, seeing our faces under Vader’s helmet but I’m reminded that like Anakin, Luke had a choice to make and he made a choice to overcome himself.
Turns out, it’s our daily choices that shape who we really are, not our pasts.
Here’s a link to an article written by Dr Ali Mattu on mindfulness and Star Wars. It’s a very interesting read and very insightful!