The solidarity of brokenness is palpable in this seemingly random meeting. The willingness to risk making a fool of oneself by finding comfort in another person as wounded as ourselves is what makes these words so powerful.
Loneliness may also be shared. This is the twist that pulls me into this song: "I could be lonely with you." This is the hope of every friendship, drawing us into another person. This song could easily be a prayer for our times, and definitely an anthem for recent months in my own life.
My reading of Belden Lane's The Solace of Fierce Landscapes engages the idea that brokenness is part of what it means to be human:
"Our culture substitutes the glamorous for the grotesque, denying this awkward vision of the imago Dei. Our definitions of the human rule out bizarre and broken forms. People dying of cancer possess none of the power or beauty that we assume to be the principal marks of human worth. If we define the person exclusively in terms of rational ability and productivity, someone with Down's syndrome will inevitably appear to be less than whole. The eccentric, the ugly, the abnormal lie beyond the measure of our societal norms. We're left with a stylized and truncated humanity, dangerously imagining itself complete." (1998, page 33)
There is a wholeness that comes only through brokenness. Healing does not need to happen before the wound. There is hope in brokenness, entered into through finding oneself alone and honestly appearing before the other. In this moment of clarity, loneliness finds a friend, and brokenness begins to collapse into something more complete.
The Rebel Force Radio podcast has produced ten hours of commentary and reaction to the film. It really shows the extremes of satisfaction and dissatisfaction regarding the film.
(Click on each one to go to the episode page.)
In light of some of the extreme distress in the fandom, I want to leave you with one of the best moments from The Last Jedi--Yoda's conversation with Luke on Ahch To.
For all of you that think the canon is being betrayed by J.J., Rian and their ilk, here is a short 30 minute podcast Imaginary Worlds episode on The Canon Revisited. The host Eric Molinsky invites Ben Newman, a rabbi friend, to discuss the expansion of the SW canon. It is sweet to hear them talk about biblical hermeneutics and midrashim in light of the Star Wars Universe (link below).
I've always thought there have been religious elements to Star Wars fandom. In the absence of actual religion, people will try to find meaning somewhere else.
For me, Star Wars is not my religion. I don't need it to define my life. I don't take the films or the Star Wars universe so seriously. I don't need to. I enjoy it, but that's all.
I have seen the film three times: opening night, once the next week, and again last night.
First of all, nothing brings out the kid in me like the opening crawl and blaring anthem at the beginning of a film in the Star Wars saga. I still watch these films as that kid. It's a swashbuckling Saturday matinee epic adventure for a 21st century audience.
I love it . . . but it's not my religion. I had to learn early on to stop taking it so seriously, man.
My first viewing, however, left me ambivalent. I loved some things, and I didn't care for some other things. First things first.
What I loved after the first viewing . . .
A great listen for those that loved the film, go to Rebel Force Radio page and listen to their reactions about one hour after seeing the film on opening night (link below):