Every other day, you hear about the negative influence that certain movies and just about everything else in our media-saturated society have on kids, but what you might not expect is a movie having the opposite effect. As in, the Force.
Would you channel the Jedi if you were attacked by operatives from the Dark Side? That was what 10-year-old Aiden Vazquez of Palm Springs, California, did when confronted by a pack of bullies who supposedly stole his backpack and punched him in the face after school, leaving him with a bloody cut above his eye that landed him in the emergency room and in need of serious stitches. When Aiden's mother asked him why he didn’t retaliate (with or without a lightsaber), he answered that he was following the Jedi Code.
“I told my mom, I got it from Star Wars, that it’s not the Jedi way,” Aiden, who has been assaulted before, told KMIR, a Palm Springs affiliate of NBC.
Jedi can’t just throw around their powers. In Star Wars canon, they are forbidden from using their supernatural abilities vengefully or selfishly, and must fight against fear, anger, and hatred that will inevitably begin to creep into anyone’s mind after one too many encounters with a Sith lord.
It was the rejection of the Jedi Code that ultimately turned Anakin into Darth Vader — but it was Aiden's adherence it that earned him a shout-out from none other than a legendary Jedi himself, Mark Hamill.
Almost 7,000 shares and 600-something comments later, there is no way school authorities are going to ignore this.
While self-defense is not taboo in Star Wars — Skywalker himself could put cowards in their place by just waving his hand —there are no paranormal abilities to rely on in this galaxy. The anger that can build up in bullying targets who are constantly taunted and abused can be extremely difficult to hold back, and even the fear of being bullied can cast a sinister shadow over victims. Yoda did famously quote that fear is the path to the Dark Side.
It remains to be seen whether whoever turned on Aiden will be dealt with appropriately, but at least Aiden now has the backing of a real Jedi.