The Professor and the Jedi Master…

“Sometimes, being Yoda sucks; you can quote me on that” – Me to a friend as I slowly, stiffly, and not without help, walked out of the movie theater last weekend.

Many friends in various places have made the case over the years that I’m a lot like Yoda.  One of my mentors once explained that “he [Welty] hobbles around a lot, and he moves slow, but you put a Lightsaber in his hand…”  Not to mention that he’s my favorite character in the Star Wars universe, so I’ve gladly embraced that mantle (and it’s the one voice I actually care about knowing how to mimic). Yoda is a classic example of first impressions and appearance masking what’s really going on (the Philosophy and Popular Culture volume on Star Wars and Philosophy talks of Yoda fulfilling the mythic and literary role of the “Trickster”; similar to Mr. Miagi in The Karate Kid) and that tends to happen to me often.

I love being Yoda, but sometimes being Yoda sucks. As impressive as Yoda is, you never see him in his prime; very little is actually know about his younger years, his training, and other details of the character’s life.  I’ve had to face the reality that I’ll likely never see my prime in a temporal sense, that the “oldness” that I carry in my bones will always be there.  The silver lining is that my reality makes it easier to anticipate and appreciate the sea of silver glass and white sands of a Far Greater Country someday, where this “oldness” will pass away and all things will be made new.

Gazing patiently from the other side of the equation is “The Professor” (a.k.a. Charles Xavier).  This character is another that many friends believe that I embody, and it is a second mantle I’ve embraced (even affecting an occasional suit choice).  What is winsome about Professor X (beyond his actual powers, his awesome chair – more so the one in the 90’s cartoon – and that Patrick Stewart is the Professor) is his understanding and acceptance of his gifts.  One of the facets of the character that the five movies that the character has appeared in has not explained – but the 90’s cartoon does well – is that his mental powers are actually tied to his ability to walk or be dependent upon his chair.  Simply put, when Charles  Xavier finds himself in a place where mutant powers do not function he can walk; it’s his gift that prevents his increased mobility, and yet the gift that prevents mobility has helped craft his understanding of the world he inhabits and his place in it.  I also think the mobility issues that the Professor has help keep him humble (or at least more humble than he might be without them); something I’m willing to bet I would be guilty of if I wasn’t in similar circumstances as Professor X.

This is the other side: to rest in a proper understanding of the gift and why facets of life must be as they are in order for the gift to execute properly.   The truths I’ve gleaned from these two characters create an exceptional tension to live in but a sometimes difficult path to navigate; one that takes both the mental power of Wisdom and a Lightsaber.

Posted on by Aaron in Comic Books/Superheroes, Star Trek, Star Wars

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

2 Responses to The Professor and the Jedi Master…

  1. Pingback: We've been given SUPERPOWERS... - Aaron Welty | Aaron Welty

  2. Bruce

    Wise words, as usual, Prof!

Add a Comment