Politics, Moderate



Using The Force to spread the love of ballet

Esther J. Cepeda on

Of course, I'm referring to Herr Drosselmeyer, the shadowy godfather figure who brings young Clara the titular nutcracker in the famous ballet, and "The Last Jedi's" Kylo Ren, the film's stand-in for Darth Vader.

I really like Darth Vader -- not as much I liked the totally underrated Darth Maul, who was too short-lived for the taste of this non-true "Star Wars" fan. But still, Vader's the undisputed top dog of the franchise. He's the moneymaker.

I'm not alone in thinking this. For as many people who love the "Star Wars" lore for the plucky upstarts, organized under the banner of "The Resistance," who stage never-ending rebellions against the "Empire," far more people dress up as Darth Vader for Halloween.

Sure, crowds like to cheer on The Resistance because it represents the underdog fighting for justice. For instance, the main government of the universe, the "New Republic," considers this Resistance a bunch of "dead-enders with an unfortunate fixation on the past," according to the StarWars.com database.

But just as many revel in the dark side.

The dark side is seductive, passionate and just plain fun.

And this is why "Star Wars" has been such an enduring, beloved hit -- it plays to the human experience of embodying both darkness and light.

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It's no coincidence that the big to-do going into the premier of "The Last Jedi" is that Luke Skywalker, who is a Jedi, and the putative good guy, appears on both the "light side" and "dark side" movie posters promoting the upcoming movie. It seems like shadows are always hanging over "the force."

In the end, it's all good, because when it comes to our entertainment, we can have it both ways -- we can be slightly frightened of Herr Drosselmeyer and beguiled by his magic just as we can revile, but savor, the raw power of the Sith.

And if you're doing your family a favor this holiday season by indulging them in one of your less-than-favorite favorite traditions, bless you -- and may the force be with you.


Esther Cepeda's email address is estherjcepeda@washpost.com.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group



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