When I was about to turn ten years old, the first Star Wars movie was released (May 25, 1977). Following the rejection of his Flash Gordon pitch George Lucas developed the idea of a space opera that included a hero that fought space creatures in foreign galaxies, by tracing the genres origins to the 1905 science-fantasy Gulliver on Mars, by Edwin Arnold. We would not see the movie until the next year when my Aunt Louise took my brother and I to viewing at a Denver theatre.
My aunt was with us because my dad had just endured an horrific accident related to his work. He was severely burned and would succumb to the injuries’ relentless tax on his body eight months later. So, as one might expect, my memories of the movie are mixed. It was a relief to be drawn into this galaxy far, far away—if only for a couple of hours. But watching the scene when Luke visits the aftermath of the attack on his home, the charred bodies of his aunt and uncle lying on the ground, was a bit of a jolt.
My dad was the loveliest of human beings. His legacy strong. All three of my younger brothers are beautiful humans, loving husbands, nurturing fathers. My youngest son is now eleven and I have seen the other three live well past the age I last saw my father, able to enjoy growing up in a home where both parents live. For that I am unspeakably grateful.
I also know that my children are ever aware of their heritage. They express characteristics that remind me of my dad, I hear him in Lysander’s voice! We have pictures, I tell stories and together we visited his grave in the mountains of Colorado where they sensed his presence, quite profound.
So whatever it is that George Lucas meant to convey by the force that was to be with those who fought for the good, we know a force that runs deep in our veins. It surpasses DNA – my youngest son is of South Korean genetic makeup yet unquestionably bears the qualities of my father. All of my children follow the same impulse to love people, and go to distant lands to love more people—though my dad was never able to fulfill his dreams himself, his children and grandchildren are living them out. It is a force that is ever present, a bond stronger than death, sourced by a God who exists outside of time beyond the farthest galaxies.
And so may the force be also with you on this fourth of May! And may the Love that gives it power and the grace that makes it inviting and the peace that sustains it, draw you closer to those who surround you today.