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May the Force be with you…as long as you have the right background

With the release of the final trailer and soaring pre-release tickets sales, my world is abuzz with anticipation for the final Star Wars movie of the latest trilogy and the end of the Skywalker saga.


As the days slip by and the first showing of opening night inches closer (for which, of course, I already have tickets), it becomes harder to sleep, to concentrate, to sit still. And with this bitter-sweet release of the end of a story 40-years in the making, with millions of fans, generating billions of dollars – it all comes down to a highly anticipated, hotly debated, emotionally contested question:

Who are Rey’s parents?

The origin of the lead protagonist of this latest Star Wars trilogy, Rey, has been a mystery. Is she born of Jedi (the good guys) or Sith (the bad guys), neither, both? Is she of prominent lineage or are her parent's complete nobodies? Was her very existence purposeful and planned or happenstance?

These burning questions are driving the fandom into a frenzy. But… perhaps what we should be asking is, does it matter?

Heroes - please submit your resume here…

What drives us to care so much about our hero’s background? For two movies we have watched her save the day, earn our trust and loyalty, and have us at the edge of our seats as she encounters every obstacle, hoping she prevails. And yet, we must know if her parents are good or evil, influential or simple scavengers. 

But what will this knowledge do – will we think differently of Rey, our beloved hero? Will she become different with the discovery - suddenly choosing a different path or gaining different skills?

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Isn’t Rey’s abilities, her skills, her actions enough? The path to her future is in front of her, not behind, and each step along that path is her choice, not dictated by her background or lineage. Therefore, shouldn’t we judge her based on what she has done, not what she is? After all, isn’t this what we would all want and deserve when we are being judged?

Whether deciding if one is worthy of being a hero of the Jedi or of being a hero of our own organization, leave background and the lineage out of it and evaluate those hero candidates based on their skills and abilities and actions. 

May the Force be with you - all

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