***WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS ROGUE ONE SPOILERS!!!***
We’re well into January 2017 and you’ve probably already created your list of New Year’s Resolutions, but I’d like to give you an idea for something else you should add to your list: Be a rebel.
We should all be rebels.
No, I don’t think we should go around blowing stuff up, but I do think we could take some cues from the rebels in Rogue One to help us get out of the funk our world seems to be in at the moment.
If you haven’t seen the film yet, then you’ve clearly been living under a rock and should go find the nearest cinema immediately.
Why do I think we should all be rebels? Well, besides the obvious cool factor of wearing a leather jacket, running around spaceships with blasters firing and the fact that we should all want to fight against the Empire, let me tell you what this article is about: Hope.
“Rebellions are built on hope.”
With all the negativity splashing across the headlines and filling our facebook feeds, it’s time for a change. It feels like people have picked two extreme opposing sides, whether it’s politics or human rights or something else. Our focus has been on what separates us and surprise, surprise, it’s only dividing us further.
We need to look more at being people who walk with hope and the Rogue One rebels are great examples for this.
Jyn is the kind of girl who could take all the bad stuff that’s happened to her and decide to go live under a rock somewhere. Her mother is killed in front of her. Her father is taken from her. Not just to another country but to another world. Perhaps even another galaxy.
She’s raised by a rough character, an extremist, who seems to abandon her at the age of sixteen and she embarks on an early career as a street fighter, smuggler and petty criminal. She lives as an outcast and goes by different alias’ but when she’s presented with her father’s message, that’s been smuggled to her at great risk, she doesn’t back down from the fight.
She chooses to rebel.
While this lands her into all kinds of trouble. We can learn something from her wild spirit, because time and time again she chooses hope.
We’ll take the next chance, and the next, until we win, or the chances are spent.” – Jyn Erso, Rogue One
She’s relentless and the only way you can be that relentless is if you choose to side with hope, even when you know there is a ninety-seven point six percent chance of failure.
We could learn something from this.
Anytime the world tries to pull us down. Anytime we feel our dream getting farther and farther away instead of closer. Anytime we break our diet and feel like a failure. Or anytime we feel like all people do is shun us, instead of letting those moments get to us, we could change our thinking and hold on to the next chance and the next and the next, until there are no more left.
We can choose to push forward in hope of a better tomorrow because we’re helping to create that better tomorrow.
How do we incorporate this? By fighting for what we believe in and making sure our beliefs are healthy and bring hope to those around us. Write stories that will inspire people to be their best selves. Act in films that promote hope and unity in a world that’s becoming more and more divided. Share content on your facebook that will build people up instead of tearing them down.
Whether it’s the stories we write, the films we produce, or we make a choice to not rise to someone else’s anger, it all aids to being a hopeful rebel.
Probably one of my favorite examples of this unwavering hope comes from Chirrut. He’s a blind warrior-monk who served as a Guardian of the Whills before it was destroyed by the Empire.
When we first meet him in the film, he’s lost so much of the hope and faith he had. He’s become a wayward street preacher, who doesn’t seem really interested in what he’s doing.
Then he meets Jyn in the market and something wakes up in him. Maybe he senses the wild hope in her and wants a part of it for himself.
Again, he’s a character that has every right to shut the world out. He’s blind, he’s failed at keeping the temple safe and now wanders the street without a purpose.
While Lucasfilm has said nothing about how he became blind, they have confirmed that he wasn’t born blind. Which means, it was something he had to learn to push through.
He didn’t lose his hope after becoming blind. I’m sure it was very difficult for him, but his warrior skills and the way he listens to his enemy coming toward him, tells me he honed his body to be a warrior after he was blind.
Just like Jyn, he chooses hope and look how far it got him. He has almost superhuman capabilities with that staff and bow!
Again, we can take a great lesson in this. No matter what obstacles we face in our lives, it’s not over until it’s over.
As cheesy as it is, our lives are a gift, so why not go for our dreams with everything we’ve got. Chirrut does. He doesn’t let blindness stop him. He knows he still has great potential and so he does everything in his power to reach that potential.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all went for our full potential.
If we all lived from a place of personal hope– that we are capable of so much more than we think, that we can write that novel, shoot that film, star in that show on broadway, or run that marathon, we’d be living in such a different world. It would take hard work and perseverance, but if we lived in a mind set that we can do it, we’d be just like blind Chirrut.
We have hope
Perhaps the biggest reason I think we should all be rebels is because there’s no guarantee that even if we live with hope we’ll get to see the final outcome.
In a film or book, we know there’s going to be an ending. A conclusion. For us, we have no guarantee we’ll get to live through the chaos of our lives and see our story come to a satisfying end.
I think that’s where Rogue One stands out over other similar films and stories.
Not a single one of our Rogue One rebels make it to the end. They all die and what makes them even more heroic is they know they’re not going to make it, but they still cling to hope to the very end. They still fight and take the next chance and the next until there’s no more left.
Jyn fights bad guy Orson Krennic to send the Death Star plans to waiting starships and Chirrut walks into the midst of blaster fire to flip a switch in order to help her.
They’re all spread out, in little groups of two and three, but they all still choose hope again and again.
Think about it.
The Death Star plans wouldn’t have gotten out if one of them had let the obstacles get in their way. If Chirrut had decided it was too much of a risk to walk out into a war zone then the plans would never have gotten through. If Jyn had let her own vengeance to lash out at the man who killed her parents get in the way, they would never have fulfilled their mission.
Every single one of them laid down their own agenda and desires to see people they’d never meet become heroes. They each chose to hope that the world would become a better place because they’d done everything possible to see it happen.
Theirs is a tragic story and you’re probably thinking, “Geezzz I don’t want to be a rebel if I’m gonna die!”
I don’t really want to die either. But, I’d like to be the kind of person who holds onto hope, who choses to believe the best in the people around me and who inspires others to go for their dreams.
And I don’t want to look at the Death Star’s of my life and think they’re too big to destroy. I don’t want to look at the Orson’s of my life and let vengeance take me down the road to the Dark Side.
Vengeance looks like the easy way out, but it only makes us more divided.
I see this the most in US politics right now. Both sides seem to be fighting to be heard, but neither seem to be listening to each other. We see the other side as our own personal Empire and Darth Vadar’s instead of seeing them as fellow human beings who are just trying to find the best way forward.
Luke got this better than we do. He refused to fight his father,even though both his mentors and the Emperor were encouraging him to fight. He held on to hope that their was still some good in Vadar.
He could see it, even when it wasn’t apparent to anyone else.
If we can choose to see things like injustice and hatred as our enemy instead of people, we’d be living in a different world.
Which is why I’m choosing to be more like Jyn and Chirrut and the rest of the Rogue One Rebels. I’m choosing hope, because rebellions are built on hope and our world could use a bit of a rebellion to help us see the good in each other again.
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