We are faced with many challenges throughout our lives. Oftentimes, they seem too difficult to get through, but with the help of faith, family, and friends, we can summon the courage to face said challenges and come out the other side a better and stronger person. This is what I took away from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
While some might say I was brave for watching it all the way through, I do have fond memories of seeing it in a theater with my brother and dad when I was 15 years old. The spectacle of a new Star Wars movie after nearly twenty years got me so pumped, and I thought The Phantom Menace was the greatest thing since the original movies. My opinion has flipped in rewatching it, but there are still genuine moments of courage and bravery worth recognizing from a few main characters.Most highschoolers don’t feel ready to live in an apartment across town, but Anakin is given a life-changing opportunity and little time to make a decision. […] Anakin is willing to walk away from everything he knew and dive into the unknown.
For instance, much is asked of a very young Anakin Skywalker. His world is turned upside down by a couple of Jedi who tell him that he could become a great Jedi warrior, helping to bring peace and justice to the galaxy. I don’t know about you, but I would be overwhelmed if I was told that at 9 years old. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan warn him that if he accepts to take on the training and become a Padawan learner, he will have to leave behind his mother, friends, and the only home he has ever known.
Most highschoolers don’t feel ready to live in an apartment across town, but Anakin is given a life-changing opportunity and little time to make a decision. After seeking his mother’s advice, he agrees to leave all he knows behind for something big, new, and probably scary. It says a lot that Anakin is willing to walk away from everything he knew and dive into the unknown.
We also see bravery from Queen Amidala, better known as Padmé. Everything she does is for the people under her care on Naboo. While viewers would later discover that Palpatine’s counsel was engineered to benefit his secret agenda, she doesn’t always follow his advice. He advises her not to return to Naboo to help in the fight against the Trade Federation’s droid army, but she doesn’t want to hide in fear while her people are threatened. She shows great courage following her gut and going against someone she clearly looks up to and admires.
Padmé displays another layer of bravery by abruptly revealing that she was ruling behind the scenes as a handmaiden. She not only put herself in danger by doing this in secret, but also when she publically dropped her ruse to convince the Gungans—an alien species mistreated by her people—to fight with her. It was an unplanned, bold move of trust. Even her decoy didn’t seem to know she was going to reveal herself either.
The Phantom Menace may not be considered a great movie, but it still has something to say to us today. I can look to these characters and be inspired to be strong and brave in my own life—strong for my son, strong for my family, and strong for my friends.
When Anakin and Padmé had tough choices they were up against it, they didn’t cower away and choose the path of least resistance. They knew that even though things would become difficult, they rose to the challenge and did the best for those around them.Difficulties in life are part of being a human and help us connect to others who end up going through similar situations.
Even when things are going wrong, we should muster the courage to see difficult times through. Difficult times are when we learn and stretch and grow the most, and they’re necessary to becoming wonderful, well rounded human beings. This happened in my own life a little over three years ago when my world crumbled around me as I went through a divorce. I was devastated, but my friends at church and family back home supported and encouraged me. Through them, God gave me the strength to become a braver man and father.
Just like with Anakin and Padmé, going through challenges and hard times help us develop empathy towards others when they’re going through hardships; difficulties in life are part of being a human and help us connect to others who end up going through similar situations. It’s hard to see that during your own crisis, but it’s something to keep in mind as you are stretched through the trial. There’s always a purpose and a lesson to learn.