I was the victim of child abuse as a young boy and later as a young man. There was nothing I could really do about it. One parent stood idly by as the other took out their anger on me, emotionally and physically. There was no solace to be found at home for me except in the form of Star Wars.
Star Wars was a tonic.
It was like sucking a thumb or putting on that security blanket. It was a coping mechanism. And it helped me get through all the worst times of my life. Return of the Jedi was the one Star Wars film as a child I found the most soothing. Part of it was the idea that your parents could take off the mask of Darth Vader and the outward trappings of a Sith and show you the good inside of them. Redemption for the ultimate evil was a hope I clung to during my formative years, and it was the storytelling of George Lucas that gave it to me.
For the first time in a long time, watching election results from across the country I felt like that abused child once more. Instead of at the hands of my parents, the abuse came in the form of the GOP. They certainly look like the older generation to a young person, and, as largely old, white men they have more than a passing resemblance to the Emperor, Darth Sidious.
Like Yoda sensing the destruction of Order 66 from the treetops of Kashyyyk, the turnover ofthe Senate made my heart ache. And I could no longer watch the results. The shroud of the dark side had fallen. For the next two years (at least) the haze of dark side will cloud our vision and we'll go into exile, biding our time until our return. Hope was there, but last night I could feel none of it.
As more results from around the country poured in, anxiety took me and I had no where else to turn.
My abusive parent was winning the shouting match with the idle, spineless parent and there was nothing I could do but retreat to my bedroom.
But sleep did not come.
I needed the comforting sounds of Return of the Jedi to lull me to sleep once more.
And the hope that movie brought me as a child came back to offer me solace as an adult, covering my aching heart like a salve. I know that however futile the battle seems now, no matter how oppressed my friends will become, there is still that hope to cling to.
Good will win in the end.
The Dark Times won't-can't-last forever and that's something to remember.
Bryan Young is the author of "A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination," the editor-in-chief of the nerd news and review site Big Shiny Robot!, and is the co-host of the Star Wars podcast, "Full of Sith."