My Star Wars New Year’s Resolutions - by Wal Ozello

Everything right now is Star Wars-themed and we at Pencilstorm hope it’s not too late to hop on the bandwagon. I don’t claim to have some confounded theory on who Rey is related to, but I do have some ideas on how I can better myself in 2016 through life lessons learned in the Star Wars movies. So here’s my three New Year’s Resolutions through the lens of the greatest science fiction movies ever.

Ignore the fear; embrace the light.

If you’re a Star Wars geek, you must be familiar with the Yoda quote. If not, know that it’s basically a math equation: fear=hate=anger=suffering=dark side. With the coming election year, many politicians will try to capitalize on our emotion of fear: scary immigrants, loss of employment, terrorism, gun violence, taking away your guns, taking away your reproductive rights, and general destruction of the American lifestyle that you know.  I commit to not fall victim to this fear-mongering. America is the greatest country in the world. I’m not scared of any of this crap the media or the politicians are trying to feed me. I’m done with fear and all about believing in the good in this country. This would be a wonderful resolution for everyone at a personal level. Can you imagine the power of light side of the force in all of us?

Have My Friends’ Back More Often in 2016.

One of my favorite moments in all the Star Wars movies is at the end of A New Hope when Han Solo shows back up during the attack on the Death Star to cover Luke, hit Darth Vader’s ship, and send it reeling into space.  An on-going theme throughout all of the movies is the power of strong friendship. As we get older, life gets more complex and we tend to focus on tactical things to get us through: groceries, work, shuffling the kids to a sporting event, go here, get this, run, run, run. Time well spent with others seem to slip through the cracks. Frankly, I want 2016 to be more about YOU and less about ME. Wouldn’t it be an awesome year if all of us were more like the Han Solo of “You're all clear, kid, now let's blow this thing and go home!” than the “I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I'm in it for the money.” Han Solo?

Believe There’s Always A Simple Solution.

Did you ever notice that there’s always a simple solution to destroy the big bad thing that the Empire has concocted? Remember the Death Star? The ultimate power in the universe? Luke destroyed it by sending a blast down a thermal exhaust port. While many thought it was impossible, Luke knew he could hit it because he used to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 back home. There are many more examples of dire situations they got stuck in: the trash compactor, trapped on Cloud City, Han Solo carbonite, the new bigger badder Death Star, and the even bigger badder Starkiller in The Force Awakens. There’s always something that seems impossible that all of a sudden there’s simple solution to defeat. In 2016, I’m committing to believing in simple solutions for everything. Whether it’s the impossible feat of lower gun violence or helping my son with his overwhelming math homework, there’s a simple solution around the corner.  All I have to do is believe it can be done.

The year ahead will be a rough ride… a kind of transition year until we get to 2017. Things may get worse before they get better. But I do know one thing: I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of The Force Awakens on Blu-Ray which releases in April. I’ll be watching that over and over instead of the election hype.

From all of us here at Pencilstorm, may the force be with you in 2016. Happy New Year.

Wal Ozello is a science fiction techno-thriller novelist and the author of Assignment 1989 ,  Revolution 1990, and Sacrifice 2086. He's the lead singer of the former Columbus rock band Armada and a frequent customer at Colin's Coffee.