There’s an important moment in Star Wars: Episode VI – perhaps the most important in the entire franchise – when Luke Skywalker faces off against his father Darth Vader.
After a bruising fight, Luke stands over his father with a lightsaber to his throat and, in that moment, he stands at a crossroads: does he choose the dark side, or the light?
“Your hate has made you powerful. Now fulfill your destiny and take your father’s place at my side,” Emperor Palpatine snarls.
But Luke doesn’t give in. “Never,” he says defiantly, throwing away his weapon. “I’ll never turn to the dark side.”
This Jedi philosophy of non-violence is of course rooted in a broader cultural and political movement espoused by historic leaders like Martin Luther King and Gandhi – and it’s absolutely key, I think, to why Star Wars is such a cultural phenomenon. It makes these characters people we can look up to. There’s something inherently good about them.
And Mark Hamill, who’s played Luke Skywalker for decades, has praised 10-year-old Aiden Vazquez, from Desert Hot Springs, California, for living up to this principle of non-violence even in the face of violent school bullies.
Aiden was hospitalized after bullies reportedly punched him in the face, leaving him with stitches above his eye, and stole his backpack at school on Monday.
When Aiden’s mother asked why he didn’t fight back, he told her it was “not the Jedi way,” according to ABC13.
“I’m so proud of you for showing that you can be a Jedi in real life,” Hamill tweeted on Wednesday. “Congratulations, Aiden - The Force will be with YOU… Always!!! Your fan, mh.”
Good on you, Aiden, there can’t be many things better than knowing the actual Luke Skywalker is on your side. May the force be with you.
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(Image: Lucasfilm / Disney)