Of Star Wars, Wonderful Lives, and Terrifying New Beginnings at the End of the Decade

If movies’ final scenes and shots are their final statements (and they are), the final statement of The Rise of Skywalker drags Rey back to the lonely place she began. The visual language places her alone in yet another desert, surrounded only by dead people and sand. Yes, she has friends elsewhere, but that’s just it — they’re offscreen… For anyone who’s struggled with isolation or loneliness, this ending is absolutely crushing. It tells those people that no matter what they do, they’ll always be alone; that their closest companions will all die; and through Ben’s absence, that the person with whom they connected most intimately will be straight-up forgotten. It confirms deep, terrible fears. Final images mean a lot, and this final image is damaging and hurtful, made all the crueller because Rey’s passed over in favour of cramming in yet another bit of Star Wars iconography.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced us to a girl with abandonment issues who put on a dusty old space helmet and looked to the stars, yearning to be somebody. Numerous audience members no doubt saw themselves in Rey. The Last Jedi sent those audience members a message unprecedented in Star Wars: that even “nobodies” can become somebodies — they need only muster the spark to do so. Over-optimistic? Maybe. But in The Rise of Skywalker, anyone who identified with that girl in the desert is outright denied that optimism, told that their importance is pre-defined by a lineage out of their control. And worst of all, in its ultimate cinematic statement, it tells you that you’ll just end up alone anyway.

In another desert.

Surrounded by ghosts.

There are bottled up stores of joy and affection in me, untouched for decades, just waiting for someone with the password to come along and open the vault.

What I hate most about the way things are isn’t that you can’t be there for me. It’s that I can’t be there for you.

At a certain point you accept the idea that nobody who you’re into will ever be into you and that you’re always going to be alone because it hurts less than continuing to hope that somehow it’s finally gonna happen for you when it already happened for everyone else decades ago.

Never know what to do when I’m around people who talk as if sex just is or has been a pretty standard part of everyone’s life at some point. Like, no, there are those of us who have just never found anyone with whom we could really share that aspect of life.

I’ve been alone for so long now that as much as I want to meet someone great I’m also scared of it because I’m afraid if/when I do they won’t understand or accept that I’m a bit fucked up by how long I’ve been alone. But I can’t hide it or pretend I haven’t been affected by it.

You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

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