“Luke … I am your father.”
It’s the climactic line from the memorable and futuristic coming of age story, Star Wars. The words are spoken by Darth Vader, the formidable antagonist. They represent a dark twist in the story line that is Luke Skywalker’s, hero’s journey. He has left home and family, searched the galaxy for knowledge and experience, and after facing many trials and challenges, he has survived. After an epic battle with horrific losses, Luke finds and confronts the leader of the dark forces. It is both climactic and elemental, because this is the scene where Darth Vader delivers the classic line quoted above. Darth Vader steps out of the role of villain to become an elder. He honors his son for his heroic deeds; even invites Luke to join him on the dark side. In this way the words are a kind of blessing by the dark father. It is the only one he has to give…and it will feed the young warrior’s soul.
Where do all the heroes go? If they survive, young men can become fathers, and then – if they are fortunate or lucky enough – some may become elders. It is by definition, an influential role, one that can have profound impacts on the health of our communities. Sadly, events like Ferguson, Missouri demonstrate a profound lack of positive masculine role models. I believe that there is a critical need for balanced mature men to step up and fill these roles, to give back to community by becoming an elder.
It is my hope that the launch of my latest book, Icarus and the Wing Builder, is a step in that direction.