Teaching with Star Wars: Rey and Accepting Change in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sometimes, going out of our comfort zone can be an amazing opportunity.

Looking for an activity that’s fun, engaging, and educational? Each week, Teaching with Star Wars will offer unique lessons for you and your younglings that promise to foster opportunities for discovery and learning, all through the lens of a galaxy far, far away. And it sounds like the bell just rang, so let’s head to the classroom now. Punch it, Chewie!

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey, a Jakku scavenger strong with the Force, hears an ominous sound from the basement of Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana. She finds a box, and inside, a lightsaber. Upon touching it, she has a vision of many startling images that bombard her with sites and sounds of destruction and chaos. What do these visions mean, and why are they being shown to her? Rey has had enough uncertainty and danger in her young life, and really has no idea what is going on.

Upon exiting the vision, she is soon confronted by Maz, who tells her the lightsaber calls to her and she should embrace this new path. But Rey is not interested and tells Maz she does not want to go near the lightsaber. No, she wants to get back to Jakku.

In the tradition of Joseph Campbell, she refuses the call to adventure, and does not want to do anything that takes her out of her comfort zone. Why can’t things just stay the way they are? Why does she have to take the lightsaber? Rey’s life would be much easier if she did not have to deal with something that was clearly going to guide her in a direction she was not ready for.

However, life does that to us on occasion. You are in a good place, doing your thing, and suddenly life throws you a big curve ball. It can be really intimidating to learn new things, especially when you don’t feel worthy, prepared, or ready to take on the burden or responsibility. But, that does not mean it will not be good for you in the long run.

Have you ever had to learn a new skill, lesson, or task that took you out of your comfort zone? What made you resist? Was it a lack of motivation, fear, or the uncertainty that comes with trying something new? It may have been a combination of all three!

Ask your Padawan to think about a time when they were asked to try something new. It may seem a bit scary at first, but if you stick with it, you might open up your life to a world of possibilities. Yes, change can be frightening, but perhaps it is even scarier not to take that chance in the first place. You never know where in the galaxy that lesson might take you.

Dan Zehr is the host and brand director of Coffee With Kenobi, a podcast that examines the mythology of Star Wars from a place of intelligence and humor. He is also a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning.

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