To those of you who love Star Wars: I must confess, I was nineteen years old before I ever saw Episodes IV-VI. If it had not been for my friend, Robin, I would not have seen them at all. More than a decade later, my sweet Eric asked me to watch all the Star Wars movies and to blog about how each one relates to relationships.
So, I spent several days watching each episode, taking notes, and trying to fully understand what was going on. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it, but I still think I would need to watch them all over again each to fully grasp everything. In the meantime, I will try to share my insights from one of the most popular movie series of all time; however, as Yoda would say, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
What struck me the most from the first Star Wars movie is the importance of having a wise mentor. Qui-Gon Jinn was a wise Jedi. He had to be great, he trained Obi-Wan Kenobi! When he met young Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine, he knew there was something special about him. When he tested his blood, Qui-Gon found that Anakin had more midi-chlorians than he had ever seen recorded – even more than Yoda! (“Midi-chlorians were intelligent microscopic life forms that lived symbiotically inside the cells of all living things. When present in sufficient numbers, they could allow their symbiont to detect the pervasive energy field known as the Force.” – from Wookieepedia, The Star Wars Wiki)
Qui-Gon Jinn believed in Anakin so much that he made a deal with Anakin’s owner (as Anakin was a slave-boy), Watto, that if Anakin won a pod race, he would be freed to come live and train with Qui-Gon (and that Watto would give them the parts to fix their ship and prize money), but if he lost, Watto got to keep Anakin and the queen’s ship. It was an incredibly risky deal, but Qui-Gon sensed that the force was strong with Anakin. The race was death defying to say the least, but in the end, Anakin won and he left his homeland and mother behind to live and train with Qui-Gon.
Qui-Gon brought Anakin before the Jedi counsel as the one he believed was prophesied to bring balance to the force. Everyone on the counsel was concerned, sensing danger in Anakin, but Qui-Gon continued to believe. Later, during a fight with Darth Maul, Qui-Gon was stabbed in the chest with a lightsaber, and as he was taking his final breaths, he asked Obi-Wan to train Anakin. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a mentor in your life that believed in you so much that he or she would be thinking about you during those final moments?
Mentors are invaluable at helping us uncover our own potential, at showing us a less cluttered path to success, and at training us to accomplish above and beyond what they have accomplished. Eric and I both strongly recommend that any young couple get to know and older married couple that they admire (preferably with children the young couple’s ages), to build a relationship with them, and to be their students. Watch how they treat each other. Ask them advice. Find out what they learned during their journey that could help you with yours. Ask them what pitfalls to avoid. Find out how they handled conflicts and if they wished they had handled them differently. Let them train you on how to fight fair – like a marriage Jedi.
Others watching The Phantom Menace for the first time may have come away with other insights. I was struck by the passion and determination Qui-Gon had for training young Skywalker. We can have a close mentor relationship like Qui-Gon and Anakin where the mentor seeks out the student; however, in reality, you and your sweetheart will likely have to find a mentor couple. Chances are a mentor couple is not going to land on your planet and find you.
Notice the lifestyles of those older couples around you. Pay attention to what others say about them. If they are highly respected and kind to each other, take them out and pay for their lunch, get to know them, and bring a pad of paper to write down their insights. They may just become like second parents to you both!
What has The Phantom Menace taught you about relationships?