For many this will be blasphemy! I did not like the latest in the Star Wars franchise. The Force Awakens was too much of a rehashing of the original, A New Hope. I was hoping for a fresh story with complex character development. I was disappointed.
As I argued with friends who loved the movie, I became even more convinced of my negative opinion. They argued that this new installment introduced the Star Wars universe to a brand new generation of kids. That explained it; it was a watered down children's movie.
I've been stewing on this for over a year. I indignantly replay all of those obvious parallels from the originals in irritation and scorn. The last scene when Hans Solo is killed by his son on the walkway is a total rip off from when Vader tries to kill Luke on the walkway! As I continued to fume about this, a powerful insight came upon me.
I was 16 when I saw the original movie. I identified with the reluctant hero Luke and have always tried to play that role throughout life. But I am now 56. I am in the second half of my life. My identification is now with Hans Solo (yes, like Hans, I still have my dashing good looks and suave personality!). I have lived a full life and have had some exciting adventures. But I also have regrets about my past and concerns about my future. Hans' death is a reminder that life is a gift that may quickly be taken away.
The Force that awoke in me was the realization that I have a limited number of days. My strength, my cognition, and my adaptability are diminishing faster than I prefer. This challenges me to re-evaluate how I use my time, resources, and energy. Am I still clinging to that myth of eternal youth and endless possibilities. Or, am I appropriately honoring God, loving and providing for my family, and ministering to the people God has put in my life?