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A Saga for a New Year: A New Hope | S.D. Henke

I woke up this New Year’s morning with zero idea on how to ring in the new year. What I knew for certain was that my day always starts with writing. Okay, I thought, I’ll start with some kind of New Year’s resolution-y thing to ring in the moment.

Hubby’s been sick, kids have been out of school, and we’ve had loads of time we haven’t had in a while. So, there I am brainstorming with my morning stretches while the coffee perks and all that comes into my head is Star Wars.

I guess I should confess that I’ve spent the break on a unique sort of binge. A total galactical geek out, watching Star Wars with my two boys. I’ve even gone as far as signing up for the free week of Disney Plus to delve into the new string of Star Wars fandom with the new mega-hit series, The Mandalorian. There’s been no order to the chaos, and just yesterday, we spent the last day of 2019 at the theatre to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (aka Star Wars: Episode IX) and supposedly the last in the series.

For some reason, the beginning and end of the most successful franchise to spin us into the next millennium left me with a certain sort of lingering grief that I obviously needed to process. Since all this nonsense began, I started asking myself big-picture questions.  Even mid-watch, right smack dab during an action scene, I caught myself grinning like a little kid who looks up at the night’s stars contemplating his or her overwhelming existence. So here I am, at the start of a new year with Star Wars posing an existential question.

What I’ve come to realize is the distinctive power of this epic story. I started thinking about that level of creation and the physics of when and where ‘exactly’ did the Star Wars saga begin and end. Does it really ever end? Conceptually, just the simple fact that it comes from long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, means that it stays right here with me in a kind of forever space filled with the vastness of my own imagination. These are starbursts of ideas that never really have to die out. I love believing that this grand multi-verse of eternal concepts can keep expanding. Story matter breathing life into antimatter (Blah, blah-bity, blah), and now my brain officially hurts. So, let me wrap this up with what I’ve come to decipher in these last few days of bingeful bliss. The birth of any universe sits in the place of imagination and it spans eons if we want it to. It doesn’t ever have to end.

Phew! Deep breath. Just the mere thought of an end to this kind of mega-magnificence would be like the stars no longer shining in the sky.  

So today of all days, I’d like to share this unraveling of notions. Perhaps you’re thinking like me how you feel we could use this kind of hope right now, right? So, how about we make a communal New Year’s resolution that stays the course as we enter 2020. Maybe our ‘Be With Me’ focus can shift to the fact that the story can go on. That the dark side can be led to the light. And (spoiler alert), Rey may have put away the Skywalker and Palpatine sabers deep down where the story of light and dark began, but that doesn’t mean it has to end. I see it as a new beginning, and I hope I’m not alone in this universe of thinking.

Spiritually and philosophically, it gives me a new optimism. A promise that stories are forever, and hope that heroes have no end. That they endure and will continue to greet the next generation of star gazing storytellers to come.

For now and forever, Happy New Year and here’s to many, many more eons of A New Hope!

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