by Brooke Manolis
Luke, Leia or Han Solo?
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
James 1:2-4 TLV
We are definitely a Star Wars family. We own all the movies, have seen the newer additions and own *several* ship replicas and various related collector’s items. You get the picture. However, it’s not just because there are cool ships and lightsabers that we like these movies. There is depth, a beautiful and painful recognition of the human experience in them. You can see yourself in the characters...your good traits and your flaws, your triumphs and your battles, good and evil.
After going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, my husband and I were discussing the film. He brought something up that really stuck with me that I’d like to share. I won’t get to engrossed in relaying the story to you (non-Star Wars fans, breathe your sigh of relief), but suffice it to say that things aren’t good and some really tough stuff has happened to each of these characters. It’s not that bad things happened, it’s how they handled those things that speaks volumes. When confronted with hardships, Luke, Leia and Han Solo react completely different from each other, which made me think...which one am I?
Luke was a powerful, skilled leader. He had such enthusiasm and passion for what he believed and he was quick to make things happen. However, he experienced some devastating events later in life. His zeal and commitment was severely tested. So, how did he respond? He ran for the hills and was never heard from again. He was so devastated by the guilt and weight of life’s hardships. Likewise, Han Solo and Leia had incredibly painful things happen to them. Unlike Luke, Han didn’t run, but he went back to his old ways...smuggling and making back-handed deals with some not-so-great people. That leaves my personal favorite, Leia. She, among all of these characters, remained steadfast and even worked HARDER to restore Good to the universe. From the first movie onward, Leia never gave up hope and did not let the evils of life tear out the good inside of her.
We all have and, sadly, will continue to face hardships in life. Yeshua says in John 16:33 that “in the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”
There is no escaping the hard parts of life, however, it is our response to the hardships that define us. We can run from it all and hope that time and distance will make us forget. The issue with running, is that it doesn’t just get smaller in the distance, it becomes the monster in your blind spot. You’ll never know when you will have to face it again, but you will face it. Just like Luke did, when Rey came to find him and confronted him with the truth.
We can also return to old habits that once numbed or busied our minds as a distraction. Han Solo was BETTER than the smuggling he did. He had a good heart and made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs (Just let me have the ONE reference)! However, trials overwhelmed him, and old habits die hard.
The third option, and the one that God would have us choose, is to keep the faith and keep fighting. We meet Leia in the midst of the rebellion and we visit her again in the throes of battle. She is so fierce, so steady, and never gives up hope. That of course, leaves little room for error, you may think, but it’s just the opposite. Being steadfast and persevering is available to us all, flaws and all. We may be afraid, stressed out, angry, sad, and making mistakes along the way, but we should still strive to keep going. In the end, that is all Leia did. She knew that her work was important, and she never laid it down, even in the face of what she thought was defeat.
That is us, friends. We do important work. We herald the Kingdom of God. We love our friends, families, and neighbors as Yeshua would. We take a stand for righteousness. We take care of the orphan and the widow. We are part of the greatest Resistance to ever grace the universe. Things get dark and they will get darker still, but take heart, His light will match that darkness. We are fighting a war unseen, and we needn’t run from it or fall into the idle habits that distract us. KEEP FIGHTING. You are not alone. There is always a remnant of the faithful and always time to begin fighting again. Live like Leia, and keep fighting the good fight.
Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you'll never make it through the night.
- General Leia Organa
Brooke Manolis is the Marketing Director of Meuchad. She has been involved in the Messianic Jewish Worship Community since she was 15 years old. She can be found reading all the books she can find, watching all the movies, and fostering her love for 80s and 90s vibes. She is married to Toby Manolis and they have two sweet kiddos.