Before I shut off the lights at the Pencilstorm office on Christmas Eve, I have one last assignment to finish: this year’s Pencilstorm Christmas blog.
While past years I’ve talked about telling my kids the truth about Christmas, that rock musicians make the best Santas or gratitude, this year I’d like to share my favorite Christmas Movie: Star Wars.
No, not the recent one, the original. And by original I mean A New Hope.
It’s the perfect Christmas movie! There’s gifts (Luke gets a lightsaber), a sleigh (Millennium Falcon), Christmas Magic (the Force) and even a Christmas Miracle (destroying the Death Star with a direct hit to an exhaust vent).
But to me, the most Christmasy part of the movie is when Luke Skywalker is standing over the burned down farmhouse of his uncle and aunt on Tatooine. Right there is when he decides to be a Jedi and commit to making the universe a better place. He has nothing at all but he decides there’s hope for a better tomorrow and he wants to be the catalyst for it.
Hope. Christmas is about a new hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better than the current moment and the days past. And with the year we’ve all had in 2017, can’t we use a little bit of it?
Ugh. What a terrible year we’ve had! Nazis. Sexual misconduct. Collusion with Russians. Major hurricanes. Wildfires. Mass shootings: Vegas, a Texas Church, a California school and lots others. Bombing at the Ariana Grande Concert. Train derailments. Ohio State Fair accident.
We gained President Trump and lost Tom Petty.
I’ve had some personal struggles, too, in 2017, as I’m sure many of you have had as well.
But here’s the thing: if some fictional character can stand over the fresh grave of his foster parents and somehow still having the strength to think he can save the world from evil, maybe I can stand over the grave of 2017 and vow to make 2018 a better time to live in.
So this Christmas, after dinner, I plan to sit down with the family and watch the best Christmas movie ever - A New Hope. When I’m done, I’ll figure out what I can do to make next year turn out better. And if everyone who reads this commits to making the world a better place for everyone, then maybe we can spread hope everywhere. (A rebellion against the evil empire, if you will.)
From all of us here at Pencilstorm, to you and your families, we wish you a happy holidays and hope that 2018 brings you everything you need.
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.