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  • Writer's picturecocoy montenegro

Which Side Of "The Force" Are You On?

I saw Star Wars when it opened in 1977. I was 8 years old and loved it! Raised on Disney-esque movies like "Escape From Witch Mountain" and "Pete's Dragon," Star Wars was very different. There were so many characters in it that everyone could personally relate to at least one of them. Princess Leia was beautiful, tiny, and tough. Luke Skywalker dreamed of doing greater things than working on a solar farm. Obi-Wan Kenobi was wise in the ways of the force, reluctant to come out of retirement. C3PO was intelligent but lacked social skills. R2D2 was the background hero, always saving the day and without much credit. Darth Vader was menacing and desired to rule the galaxy. The Storm Troopers were dutiful followers, equally sinister, wearing those cool white and black costumes. Han Solo was a bit of a rogue, street-smart scoundrel…with his loyal companion Chewbacca, the futuristic equivalent of a 7 ft dog…that could shoot laser pistols. The list of characters grew with each movie…captivating generations.

A few years ago, I heard about "The Star Wars" hotel, officially called The Galactic StarCruiser. It is a 48-hour Star Wars experience, but the price tag seemed daunting. A few weeks ago, I heard they were closing and asked Doug to try and get tickets. He did, and we were fortunate enough to be completely immersed in the Star Wars experience. There's an app you can download to your phone to enhance the adventure. You can receive messages from the StarCruiser staff and carry out errands for any number of characters that contact you. When you board The Galactic StarCruiser, you immediately get welcoming messages from The Captain and The Cruise Director. You get a Star Cruiser tour and a bite to eat in the dining room. At 4pm, there's a muster. Just as we were about to depart, the cruiser was boarded by The First Order, Lt Croy, and 2 stormtroopers. They suspected our passenger vessel was being used to help The Resistance and were there to monitor activity on the ship.

Throughout the experience, I noticed many people dressed up as their favorite Star Wars character, except for the one guy who wore a red shirt from Star Trek. We all know what becomes of the red shirts on Star Trek, so I wasn't too worried about him! As a hypnotist, it was fun to see who each StarCruiser guest identified with. One woman was dressed up all in white, definitely a nod to Princess Leia. Another woman was dressed up in glitter and face paint, clearly a queen from another galaxy. Several men were dressed up as bounty hunters. One gentleman wore all black and a red and black cape, definitely a First Order Supporter. One young teenage girl was dressed in black and wore a hat similar to Lt Croy. She wandered around by herself, spying on all the activity. Another little boy dressed up just like Lt Croy. At the end of the trip, we found out he was a spy for The Resistance!

I got a kick out of seeing who was drawn to "the light side" and "the dark side" of "The Force." On The Galactic Starcruiser, it appeared more people identified with The Resistance (based on the cheering). The First Order had their fans, too, though significantly fewer. When I was contacted by Lt Croy through the app to spy for him, I had to stop and think. I was curious about "the dark side," so I maintained contact briefly. Then I stopped interacting with him and began working for The Resistance. What was it about "the dark side" that was so intriguing? I eventually stopped interacting with him and focused on helping The Resistance. Still, I kept coming back to the idea that perhaps there's a little "light side" and "dark side" of The Force in all of us. How we nurture those sides is what makes the difference.

I'd love to hear from you...which side of The Force do you resonate with? What Star Wars characters do you most identify with and why.

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