I Cried During The Force Awakens, and It Wasn’t When You Think

I finally saw The Force Awakens!  I waited until my brother came home for Christmas so we could see it as a family.  Since so much of the Star Wars universe revolves around family, I think this was the right choice.  Thankfully, I successfully avoided spoilers before walking into the theater, so I got to watch wide-eyed and delighted as my 27-year-old self regressed twenty years and became enraptured in the world of my childhood.

If you haven’t seen it yet, STOP READING.  SPOILERS AHEAD.

There is so much I could talk about (BB-8 is SO CUTE, Chewbacca is hilarious, it’s so good to see Han and Leia, there is diversity everywhere and it is amazing) but I want to focus on the scene that made me well up with tears.  No, it wasn’t [REDACTED BECAUSE THAT’S SUCH A BIG SPOILER].

It was when Rey used the force to summon Luke’s lightsaber and used it to fight against Kylo Ren.

I did not expect to start crying, but seeing a girl using the force, twirling a lightsaber, BEING A JEDI….it gave me all the feels.

I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog how much Star Wars meant to me as a kid.  I used to tape-record the dialogue, then write out scripts so I could live in the universe line by line.  I accumulated magazines, books, figurines, and knick knacks.  I loved and hated the prequels, but saw them multiple times in theaters despite my ambivalence.  I admired Leia and Padme, but I fell in love with Luke and Obi Wan.  I wanted to be them so badly. They were noble, strong, and calm.  They were Jedi.

As I grew up, I realized that as a girl, I didn’t really have a place in the Star Wars fandom.  When a friend gifted me figurines for Christmas one year at school, multiple people said, “YOU like Star Wars?  But you’re a girl.”  Every time I joined a group of boys talking about the Millennium Falcon or force lightning or the music, it was clear that I was a Special Snowflake, an oddity, a girl who was obsessed with a boy’s movie.

This wouldn’t have been a big deal for someone who wasn’t so often paralyzed by crippling self-consciousness.  But I cared desperately about fitting in, so I shoved my love of fantasy to the side (until Lord of the Rings brought it back in fuller force than ever).

Today, that all changed.  Watching The Force Awakens, and realizing that the title is referring to REY, A GIRL, a girl whose power with the force is awakened….who gets to fight with a lightsaber AND pilot the Millennium Falcon, well.  My heart exploded.  I cried.  My 7-year-old self was redeemed, assured that girls can be Jedi too.  More than that, I was overwhelmed by how lucky little girls are today.  They can go see the newest Star Wars movie and be starstruck by an awesome girl who fights, runs, fixes, and wins.  I am delighted into giggling fits at the idea of little girls asking for lightsabers for Christmas, twirling them around the living room and making whooshing noises, and if anyone says, “Lightsabers aren’t for girls” they can shoot back “Rey had one!”

I loved the movie for so many reasons, but it stole my heart because of one:  Girls can be Jedi too.


6 thoughts on “I Cried During The Force Awakens, and It Wasn’t When You Think

  1. Marissa February 18, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    Rey is a wonderful character! I think one of the things I like best about this film is that the other charters don’t make a big deal about her being a girl. She’s a strong character in every way, who happens to be a woman.

    This is one reason I love Clone Wars so much (started watching it for the first time before TFA came out, and now I’m in season 4). There’s quite a few ladies with lightsabers leading armies and sitting on the Jedi counsel, and Ahsoka has become one of my very favorite Star Wars characters.


    • Tricia February 18, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Great point! It will be a wonderful era when we have fewer Strong Female Characters and instead have Strong Characters who happen to either be female or male.

      I haven’t watched Clone Wars! Should I? I’m guessing you’ll say yes, so please fill me in on why it’s so awesome.


      • Marissa February 18, 2016 / 10:38 pm

        I’m enjoying Clone Wars far more than I expected. I thought it was just as a kid’s series, but I’ve been impressed with the character development and plot lines. There are some episodes and scenes that are geared more toward younger audiences, but I don’t usually mind (though animated Jar Jar annoys me even more than film-version).

        I think my favorite part about Clone Wars is that it shows a different side of Anakin. For much of the show, we see him in his element as a Jedi Knight and military commander, rather than the “whiny teenager” so many people accused him of being in Attack of the Clones. There are also some good episodes developing his relationship with Padme. I haven’t gotten to the later episodes yet, but I hear they provide some good set-up for his turn to the Dark Side.

        Ahsoka Tano is another great thing about Clone Wars. She’s a wonderful character, and the first lady Jedi we really see much of in-cannon. I also like that other Jedi characters show up and do interesting things (this has made me more upset that Kit Fisto died in Episode III). We also learn more about the Force, and there’s a really interesting episode that discusses Anakin’s role as the Chosen One. And there’s Asajj Ventress, who starts out a great villain and turns into a fascinating, complicated character.

        Also, the narrator’s voice is epic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCM9J7mFkCg


        • Tricia February 18, 2016 / 11:23 pm

          Wow! That was a really effective sell. 🙂 I’m all for a deeper look at Anakin – he’s a complex character who deserves a massive amount of development and exploration. And More Lady Jedi is obviously my jam!

          Is there a lot of Obi Wan Kenobi?? He is my prequel trilogy fav. If there is, I might be willing to forgive the existence of cartoon Jar Jar Binks.


      • Marissa February 19, 2016 / 12:16 am

        Ewan McGreggor’s Obi-Wan is my favorite character in the prequels, too. Obi-Wan is in Clone Wars quite a bit. I wasn’t completely sold on his portrayal in the series at first, but it grew on me. I just watched a really good story arc of 4 episodes where he goes undercover as a bounty hunter. That was fun!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tricia February 19, 2016 / 9:06 am

          It just sounds better and better! I’ll definitely give the show a shot.

          Liked by 1 person

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