The Journal of the Whills

I recently watched in it’s entirety, over a period of two days, the entire journey of what is one of the greatest stories ever told in film, one I will not refer to by it’s commercial name, but may refer to here as sw. SW was something that occupied my generations minds for our entire lives, and I think there’s a mystery to it that can’t be understood simply on a fictional basis, or even an aesthetic evaluation. For me, it’s simpler and more suprising. Almost a modern fairy tale, the story is a history of a philosophy, in my opinion bearing a strong resemblance to the zen tradtition, but that is only one reading of it, because for so many of us, we made our own stories from it, because a choice was made in it’s construction: plastic toys.

We purchased them and held on to them, and they remain valuable today. How many stories did our generation come up with in our own imaginations as we play acted, beautifully, and in so much innocence, with these figures throughout our childhoods. As an otaku, I moved more toward Japanese styles of heros stories, but these moments in childhood are unmistakable, so allow me my own reading, just as you may have your own.

For me, sw is a psychological journey of the mind, as it reaches toward self mastery. At the end of the saga, we find Rey realizing who she is, not by birth, but by her own experiences. And for me what emerged in the pandemic was quite similiar. It’s a rebirth. which we can sublimate into our own realities, what ever they may be. In my reading, there was no war in sw, everything was a mental construct, a journal, in a land far away, in our conciousness. In particular I am moved by the idea of fire, which Luke makes for his father, which, in the mystery in the forest of yoda’s place of refuge, he discovers is himself. A line I came across recently, which is the full sumation of this blog, quoted at the first moment of every page, is a line about work from Suzuki Roshi:

‘When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.’ ~Shunryu Suzuki-roshi

In this way, that is what happens at the end of the original trilogy, the trial is over, the long journey of sw, and through the selfless work of the alliance, everything transcends. I’d love to sit down and talk with the directors and writers and see their thoughts about this, and their own visions, but also, we carry our own, and perhaps that is the mystery, so strange, so beautiful, about the journal of the whills.

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