Back in February I devoted a whole post to love lessons from Star Wars. What if you aren’t in a relationship, though? What if you don’t really want to be? Star Wars is still here for you. In spite of the fact that romantic attraction is an important part of the storyline, the love and support between friends is vital to the survival of all of my favorite characters and the destruction of the Empire itself.
So let’s take a moment to sit at the foot of the masters and discover what Star Wars can teach us about friendship.
The bickering buddies
Is there a better example of this style of friendship than C-3PO and R2-D2? Bickering buddies can sometimes be hard for outsiders to understand, but this pair supports and complements one another in ways that no one else could. They are so much better together.
I’ll be the first to admit that C-3PO has his flaws. Between his patronizing attitude and his tendency to whine, sometimes we overlook the things he does for Artoo. How many times does he translate his little buddy’s beeps and whistles? He always keeps an eye out for the little droid, and never appears happier than when he is reunited with R2 after a dangerous outing.
Artoo, in his turn, gives Threepio little pushes in directions that he wouldn’t take on his own. Sometimes the push is literal, like when he nudges right C-3PO off the edge of Jabba’s barge. More often it is just heading off into the distance and expecting his companion to follow. Without those prompts, Threepio might just stay in one place and never move forward, never take a risk, and so never experience all the universe has to offer him.
The adventuring team
Leia, Luke and Han display the benefits of a more traditional friendship. While there is always that romantic tension in the background, it is their consistent commitment to being there for each other that made me love them all.
They taught me that friends…
Put up with our quirks.
Oh, they will tease us about them. They may even disagree with us about the value of “ancient religions and hokey weapons”. Yet they will sit sit beside us as we don helmets with blast shields and try to master our newly found affinity with the Force. Or so I hear..
Return to catch us when we fall, even risking their own safety.
Han took the chance that he’d never spend his reward to help his new friends destroy the first Death Star. Luke gave up his chance to study with a Master when he made the decision to go back to save his friends. Leia didn’t know why she felt a call. Yet she trusted her instincts and made that return trip to rescue Luke, in spite of all the dangers. They took these risks not just because they were a team – but because they were friends.
Help us to grow to our full potential.
Leia, Han, and Luke have unique paths to follow. They have differing skills, strengths, and goals. In the movies, it’s clear to see that they support one another along the way. I haven’t read many of the novels that extend the story, and I don’t know what the new movies will bring, but I hope that the friendship they share continues to serve as an example for each new crop of Star Wars fans.
What other lessons about friendship can we glean from the Star Wars Universe? Which friendships are your favorites?