Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Force Ten

Reading a book before seeing the movie is one thing but books that are written after a movie becomes a huge mega hit are entirely another genre.
H and I read The Life and Times of Obi Wan Kenobi recently - it was his pick. Admittedly I found it to be a slog. Books about Star Wars (and there are loads of them) remind me of Barbie. It's all about what kind of clothes the characters are wearing and what color the beam on their light saber is.
I've been less excited about H's obsession with Star Wars than I was with his Moby Dick fixation. 
I won't deny it. I'm a literary snob who prefers my son reenact Nantucket sleigh rides in the front yard (which he did) rather than fight scenes from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars movies seem to be all chase scenes and laser fighting to me. 
But then H noticed the correlation between Yoda and Zen. Which is that Yoda meditates - and Mommy meditates.
Then, at the end of the Life and Times of Obi Wan there was this description of the protagonist becoming one with the Force that was so like the analogy of swimming on the surface of the sea while walking on the bottom of the ocean it was uncanny. The Force - the energy of all things - it's kind of a Zen concept.
In fact the whole idea of being one with the Force and that the Force is all around us and we just need to recognize it, that is, to not be in duality with the Force.
I think the Force is Buddha nature. The Force might be the intersection of time and space. It could be that. Or it could be whatever Dan said it was in our dharma talk last week (I forgot what he actually did say).
Which led me to thinking I ought maybe to revisit the character of Obi Wan Kenobi. Why had H picked a book about him anyway? 
While we're at it we might a sky why are there even books (we're talking entire chapter books here) written about Obi Wan?
He's not the hero (that's Luke)
He's not the villain (that's Darth Vader)
He's not the Jedi Master (that's Yoda)
He's not comic relief (that's C3PO)
He's not even the side kick (that's Hans Solo)
So who is he?
He's the teacher.
He's the father figure.
He's the guy who advocates for Luke.
He's the guy who has found the middle way.
Woah. Is George Lucas a Buddhist?
Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it. Maybe Star Wars is just being a movie and you know, exhibiting its movie nature. Because sometimes a movie, is just a movie.

song: Force Ten • artist: Rush

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