Harrison Ford’s Gift: ‘A Force Awakens’ for a new generation

With all the bad things going on, especially the incredible disappointment that Bill Cosby has turned out to be, like anyone else, I like to maintain my sanity with a little good news from time to time. As America was striking a bad nuclear deal with Iran, Donald Trump was calling out the problems of illegal aliens, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were declaring that the rich needed to be robbed so that their wealth could be redistributed to the poor, I watched closely the events of the San Diego Comic Con where the mythology of the upcoming year’s movies were released to a public hungry for hope. Specifically to that point was a Star Wars panel for the upcoming film, The Force Awakens where all the actors came to speak about the film, and to my surprise Harrison Ford showed up for what I think is the first time since his plane crash in March of 2015.

Harrison Ford has purposely stayed away from the character he made so popular, Han Solo for nearly 40 years now so it was surprising to me to see him promoting the film with a bit of emotion to his voice. Han Solo as I’ve said before is by far my favorite character, so much so that I wore a Han Solo t-shirt that I happen to love the day of his famous plane crash in Santa Monica—much to the down turned mouths of many who deal with me on a daily basis. I personally like Harrison Ford. I don’t like his ear-ring, but I like the actor as one of my favorite all time movie personalities. He has had that ear-ring since he turned 50 years old. I can say now that I’m close to 50 myself, that I have absolutely no desire to get an ear-ring of my own. It’s just not going to happen, under any circumstances. But I think otherwise, he’s a good guy, so I watched his portion of The Force Awakens panels intensely—as a pleasant distraction from the news of the day.

It was announced recently that there will be future Han Solo movies as well, which I think is wonderful for a new generation of children. Han Solo is one of the most popular Star Wars characters and it will be great to see more of him in the future. My generation grew up on him in just a few movies, really on the strength of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. So it will be wonderful for the children of today to see a LOT more of him and The Millennium Falcon even is it isn’t Harrison Ford playing the iconic character. There are a lot of things to be worried about regarding our future generations, but Han Solo, and more Star Wars is not one of them. I can remember how much hope it gave me as a young person growing up, and for millions of children growing up in a confusing time with strangely obsessed adults over sexual relationships, Star Wars is wonderfully free of those types of tensions, and allow the mind to expand with imagination in ways that are entirely healthy.

As NASA proudly did their first ever orbit of Pluto some days after the San Diego Comic Con 2015 I couldn’t help but wonder how many of those scientists and technicians were avid Star Wars fans. It’s just a guess, but I’d bet the number is somewhere around 98%. There’s always an oddball out there who represents the 2%. But without question, Star Wars had some major hand in the recent Pluto mission if not but in inspiring thousands of engineers, astrophysicists and mathematicians to pursue science degrees because Star Wars inclined them to learn about worlds beyond the borders of earth. I’m not crazy about everything that Disney does. I did not appreciate them joining the White House in putting rainbow colors on their famous castle. I do not like their progressive politics, I understand that a lot of creative people tend to lean toward the political left, and Disney as a company has a lot of creative people working within it. I think also that Uncle Walt would roll over in his grave over a lot of things the company Disney does. But……….what they are doing with Star Wars is very powerful and will be absolutely inspiring to a new generation of youth. For many, it may be the most important thing that happens in their lives, and I am excited for the new films for that reason.

After The Force Awakens panel everyone in that hall, Harrison Ford included went over to watch a John Williams inspired concert celebrating Star Wars music, and I loved watching the enthusiasm from thousands of fans of all ages. But most of all it was Harrison Ford who really drove the point home. Here was a man who has been a marvelous personal success. He’s a real life pilot and will always be known as Indiana Jones. But before Indiana Jones there was Han Solo and Harrison Ford gave his fans what they wanted most, an endorsement of these new Star Wars films by the legend himself. No future endeavor without George Lucas being directly involved would be accepted unless Ford put his stamp of approval on the work, and that happened at the San Diego Comic Con in a way that is reshaping movie history as we speak. And the ramifications of that will be incredibly positive for our culture as a human race. So for just a bit I saw a glimmer of hope that I was very relieved to see. At the core of that hope was Harrison Ford, complete with a fresh scar from his crash on his forehead. For a guy who was 72 years old and had every excuse not to, Harrison Ford moved mountains of hope for future children in a way that politicians can never contemplate over thousands of years of attempting. For those children of the future, I was very happy.

Rich Hoffman


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2 thoughts on “Harrison Ford’s Gift: ‘A Force Awakens’ for a new generation

  1. I vividly remember taking my son to see the first Star Wars film and how excited he was. He started collecting the figures and other paraphernalia that were reminders of the movie. We still have many of these “treasures” packed away for him. Movies certainly are a fun way to escape reality. As my husband was an engineer with the space program our reality contributed to a “man on the moon.”


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