Welcome to the Family

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you.

(And also with you.)

Ah, Star Wars. There’s been quite a lot going on in the Star Wars corner of the world lately–the new movie, the TV shows, the Battlefront game. Lots for the fans to get excited about. And boy, are they excited. You can hear them screaming in the streets every time a new piece of info is released.

I have always appreciated the existence of Star Wars, but I never really got into it, truth be told. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just… don’t want to. There’s not this driving need to go out and watch the movies. I suppose if someone offered to marathon them with me, I would say yes, but I have no need to do so on my own. Star Wars is cool, the fandom is great, but I’m a-okay if I’m not a part of it.

Well, sort of.

It was an accident, I swear. I never meant to get into it, but Star Wars Rebels just happened to be on TV and I just happened to leave it on that channel, which led to me just happening to watch one two three episodes. And then the rest of the season. Which then led to me obsessively looking online for info as to when the new episodes would be coming out.

And now I’m hooked. Yet another cartoon I’ve fallen head over heels in love with.

So of course, naturally, I feel the need to gush about it :P

Star Wars Rebels is a beautiful show in a lot of ways, from the symbolic lighting to the wonderfully expressive graphics to the oft-dark storyline (torture, guys–literal torture), but perhaps the most powerful virtue it has is its representation of family.

“We’re not exactly anything. We’re a crew. A team. In some ways, a family.”

Sabine Wren, Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars itself has created an amazing family of fans. From the tiniest of toddlers to the grey-hairedest of adults, there’s an incredible sense of unity between generations. You see it today, on Star Wars Day, and you see it in conventions like Star Wars Celebration. The common love for the Star Wars world bridges the gaps and brings all kinds of fans together. And once you enter this intergalactic family, you’re in it for life.

Star Wars Rebels does a lot to emulate this sense of family. This group of rebels joined together under some pretty dire circumstances. Living in a dangerous galaxy, fighting against the oppressive Empire, narrowly avoiding death time and again, doing all they can to give hope to the people around them, helping those who can’t help themselves. There are a few small victories, but a lot of massive losses. It’s hard to not succumb to despair in a time like this. But when things seem too overwhelming, this precious Space Family has each others’ backs.

There’s something incredible about the bonds that can form in such grim situations. It’s incredible, how people who are at one time strangers can very quickly come to trust each other wholeheartedly when lives are on the line. Time and again in the show, you see someone who is uncertain, afraid, vulnerable, and you see how they are strengthened, comforted, and supported by the rest of the family. There is a deep love between these motley rebels and it’s what gives them their indomitable courage in the face of such overwhelming odds.

I mean, I’m always a sucker for character dynamics, but Star Wars Rebels gives me a lot to work with. Seeing the way each character interacts, seeing how they express their care… it’s heartwarming. You see Kanan, surviving Jedi of Order 66, faltering in his leadership because he’s afraid he’s not good enough. You see Hera, brave Twi’lek pilot, making the most heartwrenching decisions for the good of her crew. You see Sabine, young Mandalorian explosives expert, questioning the crew’s path because she’s afraid of losing everything. You see Zeb, a surviving Lasat of his planet’s annihilation, unsure how to express himself after being so strong for so long. And you see Ezra, the young Space Blueberry padawan, experience all sorts of growing pains as he learns how to open his heart to others. There’s so much emotion in this show, it’s insane.

Every member of the crew has experienced something different–something painful that the others can’t truly understand. They come from different walks of life with different perspectives and motivations, but they’ve all come together because they’ve all shared the same hopelessness. The same fear, the same loneliness. And in each other, they found hope, courage, and comfort.

And then there’s these two. Agh, they make my heart explode with feels. They drive me insane, but I love it. The relationship they have is golden. The bond they’ve formed is so precious. I love them. But they drive me nuts.

I’m such a big fan of the family-but-not-really-family dynamic. It takes a lot, for people to trust each other so deeply like that. Especially when living in such difficult times. It can be so easy, to let pain and fear harden your heart and strengthen your defences. It isn’t easy to let someone in and see your vulnerability. But when you do… this is what happens. You gain a family.

It happens in a lot of stories. It happens in a lot of real-life situations. A special camaraderie can be found on the battlefield, out on the streets, in impoverished countries–even in places like high school. Anywhere that people experience a common despair, there is the potential for bonding. There is the potential for trust and love. There is the potential for family.

And when such a family is formed–a true family, with bonds that will never break–that is when we find our greatest strength.

Together, as one.

Incredible.

What family-but-not-really-family have you found?

May you always have a family to support you, whether blood-bound or soul-bound.

-Alex

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