Spoiler, there isn’t much substance to I what have to say. Also, I am spoiling the end of the Skywalker saga. After reading an excellent essay by Rabbi Harry Maryles that was a reaction to an eloquently writing article by the OU’s President, Rabb Mark Bane (whose writing I absolutely love) I decided to do something that I normally don’t do when after reading a post by Rabbi Maryles, I went to the comments. Reading them, it hit me, all of his readers must be Star Wars fans. Why, because the joke is that no one hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans. Let me explain.
Like many fans, I can be biased and critical when it comes to change, innovation, or retcon (retroactive continuity) of Star Wars mythology. Many hardcore fans will scream until they are blue in the face about changes in “Force powers”, feminism, Social Justice Wars, lack of lack of race inclusion, and more. Reading over many comments on Rabbi Maryles’ post it seems that most people feel comfortable pushing their agendas as cornerstones of why there can be no Achdus among frum Jews. I even pushed my own agenda by commenting that I’d be embarrassed if a non-Orthodox friend were to read the comments because it’s obvious that we can’t get along. We, frum Jews, are more critical of our brethren than any other group and I believe this is traffic jam stopping the Geulah.
Why, because, as a Star Wars fan, I fell prey to losing sight of the big picture. That picture is that each of us need to celebrate the common ground that we share. No matter if it’s the Yid that complains that the Agudath Israel takes ownership for the Siyum (well, they did organize the thing) or Star Wars fan that complains that Rey was too over-powered of a character the big picture is lost. That picture, in my own little view, is that in the end good triumphs over evil.
Trust me, no legit Star Wars fan is complaining after seeing THE RISE OF SKYWALKER that the Jedi won the ultimate battle. There are no people on Reddit writing posts that express their dismay that the Sith lost. Achdus is about putting aside the things that make us different and focusing of each of us being an eved Hashem and loving Hashem’s Jews, those that follow the Torah like we do and those who don’t. They all count.
I like the ending, but I am still frustrated with the last trilogy building up some kind of “you need a balance” narrative, something Anakin Skywalker was also supposed to do “he will bring balance to the force”, and then not running with it to conclusion. Maybe the Jedi could have won by raising the nitzotzos of Sith, allowing the resulting Jedi-prime to have emotions, healthy relationships, etc… without fear that every emotion (including that fear) will lead one to anger and the dark side.