Five life lessons we learned from The Last Jedi
First up, here’s our Star Wars: The Last Jedi review: Wow! Just wow.
Here at Balance, we have been fortunate enough to see a preview of Star Wars: Episode VIII ahead of its release. Director Rian Johnson’s film is packed with surprises and, as lovers of all things Force-related, we want to keep them that way so don’t worry, there will be no plot spoilers here.
What we can reveal though, is that the film is also packed with the sort of personal development take-away tidbits that would appeal to any Balance reader, regardless of whether or not you think Mace Windu sounds like some sort of personal defence spray.
So, cue cosmic titles and Imperial March theme… here are five reasons why we think every Balance reader will LOVE Star Wars: The Last Jedi…
Warning: contains mild spoilers but nothing that will impact the cinematic experience.
1) “Following your gut” plays a key role
Straight off the bat/lightsaber, Rey (Daisy Ridley) makes a key, early breakthrough by following her gut, with sheer intuition guiding her, rather than heart or head. As we know from the denouement to The Force Awakens, Rey has tracked Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to a remote island planet. Desperate to be trained by her would-be mentor, Rey traipses after Luke across the rainswept island before eventually giving up the ghost by following a calling, thereby stumbling upon sacred Jedi texts and proving to Luke that she’s more than just a pest. As Rey says: “I need someone to show me my place in all of this.”
Balance says: Be honest: when has your intuition ever let you down? Still doubting your intuition? Sleep on it (although not on a slab of rock, like poor Rey has to).
2) Balance is crucial
If you’re a Star Wars fan and don’t meditate, that will most likely change once you’ve seen The Last Jedi. “I felt something,” says Rey. “It awakened. But now I need to know how to wield it.” Again, we’re not spoiling much when we say Luke teaches Rey the ways of the Force, with meditation, “balance” and “energy” all proving crucial when it comes to focusing the mind and fulfilling potential. After all, meditation reduces stress, increases happiness and improves self-awareness. To the uninitiated, we recommend the audiobook Mindfulness: The Eight-Week Meditation Programme for a Frantic World.
Balance says: As the title of our magazine suggests, we know that living a balanced life is key to living your best life.
3) Office politics are to be avoided
Generally speaking, the Rebel Alliance and Resistance have always been a harmonious lot. Heck, remember everyone dancing at the end of Return Of The Jedi? That’s a happy working environment right there. The odd bit of mild bickering aside, and the good guys have generally put on a united front. Quite right, when you’ve got the likes of Darth Vader (heavy) breathing down your neck. Johnson, however, tackles office politics with Resistance lynchpins Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) clashing head on. Remember in your office when Graham from accounts had that bust-up with Janice from sales by the photocopier? This is worse than that. Anyone who’s taken the day job a bit too seriously will feel their cheeks flush as ego, jealousy and sheer pig-headedness all get an unlikely run out. Yes, in a Star Wars film.
Balance says: Graham from accounts has been busting your chops? Perhaps give him a wide berth. Office politics can lead to anxiety, effect sleep and generally lead you on the path to the Dark Side. And Graham from accounts is most likely a jerk.
4) Don’t lose hope (not ever)
Typically of Star Wars, things get dark in the second outing of a trilogy (think Han Solo getting frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back or Count Dooku proving too much for Anakin and Obi Wan in Attack Of The Clones). And in The Last Jedi things really get how-the-heck-are-they-going-to
Balance says: Obviously we’ve written a fairly frivolous piece here. However, gentle humour aside, Christmas can be a dark time for many people. If this is you or someone you know, please do reach out. And there are few better bonding exercises than a joint trip to the cinema followed by a post-film debrief (and The Last Jedi demands a post-film debrief. And a second viewing followed by another debrief).
5) Be the hero you always dreamed of being
Johnson does a terrific job of giving plenty of characters the opportunity to be a hero. Balance can scarcely remember a film crammed with so many moments where you want to cheer, applaud and simply scream at the screen. And what The Last Jedi teaches all of us is that you can always be a hero. That doesn’t mean climbing into a spaceship, firing up a lightsaber or moving objects with your mind (all of these are tricky, especially when you’re sat on the Northern line). But it does mean doing the right thing, being selfless or performing a random act of kindness. Go on. Admit it. Who hasn’t felt like a fully fledged hero once they’ve helped a parent with a buggy up a flight of stairs?
Balance says: It’s Christmas. There’s no better time to be a hero. Donate those clothes to the local charity shop. Finally set up that direct debit to a worthy cause. And the next time you walk past that person on the street who looks under duress, ask them if they’re OK. We might never be as cool as Poe Dameron when he says: “We are the spark that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down.” But, by Jedi, you can get close.