Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted at the box office this past weekend with a domestic opening total of $247 million, $610 million worldwide. It is poised to continue to shatter box office records this Christmas season.
After high anticipation and long lines, many like myself were able to see this long awaited movie. Though some elements are not suitable for younger viewers, I saw many people like myself leaving with a sense of satisfaction and optimism. In this season of hope this Christmas that is shrouded by terrorism here are some lessons for your children.
Lake Mary Counselor offers 4 Life Lessons Kids and Teens Can Learn from Star Wars.
1. Enemies Can Become Friends.
Finn, the Stormtrooper, trained for war grows a conscience when faced with his first battle. He comes to despise the merciless killing of the First Order and helps fighter Pilot, Poe, escape the clutches of Kylo Ren. The two then become fast friends. This teaches kids that even people on opposite sides can become friends in the face of common challenges.
2. You Have More Strength Than you Know.
Rey, the scavenger from the planet of Jakku, longs to be reunited with her lost family. However, after meeting the droid BB8 her path crosses with Kylo Ren. In the movie, they engage in an epic lightsaber battle when she realizes that unbeknownst to her the Force is strong in her. This teaches kids and teens that even when you feel all hope is gone and your strength is failing let courage, the light in you, help propel you to greatness.
3. We All Have to Choose Either to Walk in the Light or Darkness.
In the movie Kylo Ren is beseeched by his father, Han Solo, to turn back from the dark side. Many teens have choices to make when it comes to friendship, bullying, sex, drugs or illegal behavior. If someone is choosing the dark side of life it does not mean that you should as well. The end outcomes of the dark side of the Force or bad choices in life are pain and suffering, just as Master Yoda in the original trilogy said.
4. Doing the Right Thing Comes with Sacrifice
Many sacrifices are made by characters in The Force Awakens. In the opening sequences, Lor San Tekka sacrifices himself to keep information safe on the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker. As the movie progresses, other characters do the same to help the Resistance escape the clutches of the First Order. This teaches kids that doing the right thing sometimes comes with sacrifice and that sacrifice might even be your own life just like those who shielded their co-workers in the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Teens might not have to sacrifice their own lives but they might be faced with sacrificing friendship, money, reputation, sexual purity, etc… Know that if you do the right thing what it leaves you with is a sense of purpose and self-respect that no one can ever take away.
Undoubtedly, many kids and teens will see Star Wars: The Force Awakens once if not more than once this Christmas season. If you as a parent see it with your child, be sure to ask them what lessons they learned from the movie. Encourage them to see it not just as entertainment but as a guide for life challenges that they face in everyday life.
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Author: Lyris Steuber, MA, LMFT is a Lake Mary Marriage Therapist & Couples and Individual Counselor with Total Life Counseling Center. Total Life Counseling Center specializes in marriage and family therapy and our experts can be reached at (407) 248-0030.