Lessons from the Star Wars Saga: The Importance of Mindfulness

StarWars.com

Lessons from the Star Wars Saga is a series exploring powerful themes in Star Wars. For more than 40 years, the epic adventures in a galaxy far, far away have also been significant explorations of the human experience in our own universe.

When Obi-Wan Kenobi tells young Luke Skywalker to stretch out with his feelings, have you ever wondered what that actually means? And is it an ability limited just to Jedi and Force wielders in the galaxy far, far away? Absolutely not.

Yoda teaches Luke Skywalker on Dagobah.

The seemingly simple instruction is at the heart of one of the Jedi’s core tenets: Mindfulness. From Yoda’s teachings to Luke in the original trilogy, to some of Qui-Gon’s most famous sayings, and even Luke’s instructions to Rey to just breathe in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, one of the prevailing themes in Star Wars is focusing on the present moment. We might not be Jedi in the real world, but we could all use a mindful pause in our busy days to appreciate the galaxy around us.

Mindfulness is the practice of stopping to take in the moment, including being aware of your emotions and everything around you. Remove all the distractions and the clutter of thoughts in your mind — the nagging to-do list and errands you need to run — and just breathe. Be aware of the world around you for a minute. In other words, stretch out with your feelings.

Qui-Gon Jinn on Tatooine.

Qui-Gon Jinn uses mindfulness to ease anxieties of what might happen in the future, a lesson he imparts on his young Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. Be conscious of the future, he agrees. “But not at the expense of the present moment,” he tells Obi-Wan. In other words, don’t get so wrapped up in the “what if” that you forget to live in the now.

Anakin comforts Padme.

Anakin Skywalker’s fall can be traced back, in part, to a fear of the future and the desire to control it, a fear that Sheev Palpatine preyed on to complete his turn to the dark side.

Luke Skywalker watches the twin suns set on Tatooine.

As a young farm boy, Luke was often distracted by dreaming of what his future might hold, a fact Yoda admonished him for. “All his life has he looked away to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was! What he was doing!” Yoda says with irritation in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

While it’s a difficult lesson for Luke to learn, it’s obvious that he finally does; in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi he is more mindful, less reactive, and focused on his surroundings.

It’s a lesson he imparts later on Rey. When Luke begins teaching her about the Force, he says simply, “Just breathe.” Slowing down and taking a deep breath is a vital part of mindfulness. Judging by the first few seconds of the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it’s a Jedi value that Luke has successfully passed on.

And you can practice mindfulness in almost anything you do when you pause to focus on the present moment. How do you feel? What do you hear and smell? What can you appreciate right now? You may be surprised at what you might notice inwardly and outwardly when you just breathe.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.

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Lessons from the Star Wars Saga: The Importance of Mindfulness

5 Tips for Joining Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Battlefront II‘s Battle of Geonosis

StarWars.com

Even on the frontlines of the Battle of Geonosis, the first major Clone Wars conflict between the clone troopers of the Galactic Republic and the Separatist droid army, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi is a composed, precise fighter and leader. Striding across the dusty battleground that’s the center of the new Star Wars Battlefront II update, it’s clear that the legendary warrior’s style makes him a master of defense and a worthy addition to the fan-favorite game.

General Grievous in Star Wars Battlefront II.

Now you can follow Obi-Wan into battle, join the 212th Attack Battalion, and take on General Grievous himself while dominating the legendary battleground,  get behind the controls of a massive six-legged AT-TE battle tank or gain a tactical advantage to disarm one. StarWars.com spoke with Battlefront II assistant producer Michael Dailey to help you master the Jedi’s abilities, traverse the harsh terrain, and emerge victorious to begin the Clone Wars.

1. Make a play for the AT-TE first. During the first phase of Galactic Assault, the Republic forces find themselves in desperate need of reinforcements. “In this phase there are two different locations the Republic must capture to advance the mode,” Dailey says. “But you may want to consider gathering your squad to capture the Acquire Vehicle objective first. Securing that objective will give the Republic forces instant access to an All Terrain Tactical Enforcer, otherwise known as the AT-TE, earlier.” And having a massive walker at your disposal is always a win.

2. You’re in control now! While other Galactic Assault game modes that feature vehicle targets follow clear linear paths, the AT-TEs stand out from the crowd because ‘they are fully controllable by players,” Dailey says. So hop behind the control panel yourself and take it for a spin or protect the walker from battle droid attacks. One way or another, you’re going to need the AT-TEs to get off this rock alive. “They are required for successful completion of both phase two and three of the battle. If they are all destroyed, it will be victory for the Separatists,” Dailey warns.

3. Which means, if you’re a Separatist, the walkers are your primary target. “As a Separatist, your priority should be to destroy the AT-TEs assaulting your forces, especially during phase two and three,” Dailey says. The vehicles are heavily armored, but not without some fatal flaws. “Separatists should focus their attacks on the underside and exposed sections of the vehicle near the center legs to deal maximum damage and take the walkers down quickly.”

4. Hello there. Game designers beautifully captured Master Obi-Wan’s physical appearance and unique personality, as well as his legendary lightsaber skills. “While creating Obi-Wan, it was important for us to capture his nature as a master of defensive lightsaber styles,” Dailey says, which means the character has the highest amount of stamina for any hero wielding a lightsaber in the game. “Approach combat situations defensively to take advantage of this and make the most out of Obi-Wan’s talents.”

5. Mind tricks don’t work on me. “Obi-Wan’s Restrictive Mind Trick ability might seem similar to Rey’s Mind Trick at first blush, but they have quite a different effect,” Dailey says. When playing as Rey, the mind trick reverses the player’s controls. But Obi-Wan’s mind trick disables the other player’s special abilities and prevents those affected from dodging. “While this power is useful against standard troopers, its greatest strength will be found when clashing with enemy villains.”

Now around the survivors a perimeter create and prepare to wage your own fight in the Battle of Geonosis update.

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

5 Tips for Joining Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Battlefront II‘s Battle of Geonosis