People can be foolish when they say that Star Wars is for kids or is “kids movie”. They are only looking at the surface of it and failing to realize that despite how the movie has child elements, it really is about human morals and dilemmas, black vs. white, and the murky grey in between.
So it really bothers me when people say that I am “childish” because I love Star Wars. I completely disagree and it really angers me. Star Wars does help me connect with my inner child, but not in a bad way, nor in a way that needs to be mocked.
Sometimes I don’t want to be an adult. There are times when all I want to do is go home to my parent’s house and the times where dinner was made for me, I didn’t have to do dishes, didn’t have to worry about bills and didn’t have to worry about another person. I have an attachment towards my childhood and at times, I want to block out my current life and pressures.
As I realized this, I sometimes wonder if Anakin also didn’t want to grow up. Though he was a slave, he seems to have had a pretty good life on Tatooine. I am not discounting the fact that he was a slave and that it presented many hardships, merely noting that he had a very loving mother, a great imagination, and intelligence that allowed him to build things in his spare time. But with this childhood, it also caused an extreme attachment and I believe, in the future, nostalgia for it. When he was ripped (yes, the Jedi basically ripped him from his life, though we are supposed to look at it as a “choice”) from his childhood, he automatically starts associating his childhood with warm, fuzzy, happy feelings. When Shmi is almost/ essentially murdered by the Sand People, it’s a murder of everything he connected with that childhood. Shmi encapsulated his happy childhood and with her dead, instead of his attachment dying, he grew to hate everything that took her and his nostalgia away from him. I believe that, in a sense, he began to hate the Jedi at this moment. They took him away from Shmi, essentially, his childhood and with her murder, he will never get that happiness back.
On the other hand, we have Padmé, who was given responsibility and duties at a very young age. She did have a happy childhood, but it was constantly interwoven with “life” pressures. I mean, she was in the “Legislative Youth Program”, for Pete’s sake. I think Padmé wanted some of that nostalgic youth feeling. Everyone has something inside of them that cries out for that innocence of childhood, that life before you became disillusioned. When Padmé and Anakin grew to know each other better and fell in love, that first love feeling represented that innocence, a shadow of the feeling that comes with an ideal childhood. Unfortunately, Padmé gripped onto that innocence too tightly and to a feeling that can never exist. First love romance will never last, you can only hope that it gradually fades into something more true to life; similar to when a child’s innocence is lost, you hope it happens gradually and not with something brutal. Padmé was given too much responsibility too soon and sought for an escape through Anakin…and we all know how that ended.
Finally, I think we find a good balance in Luke. Luke had a good childhood, but it was slightly tainted with the fact that the people raising him were not his real parents. He did get to fly T-16’s in Beggar’s Canyon and shoot womp rats. We know that he had good friends, Biggs Darklighter and Camie Loneozner, and enjoyed working on droids and moisture vaporators at the homestead. Though he and his Uncle clashed over Luke’s desire to see the world, the discipline was what the child needed. By the time of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s brutal murder, Luke was not a child anymore and could handle the emotions better. As Luke continues through his life, we see a more balanced human being. He still has that childlike innocence, but it’s grounded in reality. His innocence comes out in the way he believes in the Rebellion and how he believes that his father, Anakin, can be saved from the dark side. And guess what? He was right on both accounts.
I’m not sure where I was going with this speculation, mainly just exploring the ideas of childhoods and how they played out in Star Wars. Luke is my favorite main character in the Original Trilogy and it reassures me that he turned out okay. Also, perhaps this thought process helped prove to myself that, no, I am not childish for loving Star Wars.