The previous live action advertisement for Star Wars: Battlefront got me emotional and nostalgic for a time where things were a lot simpler than they are now. The latest advert for Star Wars: Battlefront has me feeling a little emotional but not in the same way I felt when I watched the last one for the first time.
In the latest advert they use one particular moment from the Original Trilogy that everyone who knows Star Wars will remember. It's when Obi-Wan Kenobi dies and his robes and lightsaber hit the floor, symbolizing his death (there's a lot that could be written about this particular moment but I'm not trying to focus on death right now).
And a lot of people see that as problematic or confusing or a strange choice for the marketing team. I, on the other hand, saw it differently. A lot differently actually. All the people in the trailer are "disappearing", leaving their clothes behind much like Obi-Wan did in the movie (this is where it gets weird for most people). And it begs the viewer to wonder where they've gone.
About halfway through the trailer, it's revealed that they're finding themselves in Star Wars: Battlefront. I don't think that the trailer is implying that people are sacrificing themselves to play the game, the way Obi-Wan sacrificed himself for Luke. But that Star Wars: Battlefront and video games in general are an escape from the mundanity of the real world. Or in my case, an escape from my own life and my personal demons.
The moment Anna Kendrick (yeah, she's in the advert for some reason) shows up in the trailer is the one that made me think about the whole advert more critically. She's cutting a sandwich, at home, alone, and then quotes some of Obi-Wan's last words:
If you strike me down. I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
And then she disappears like everyone else in the advert. And that's okay. I mean, it's a running theme throughout. But for some reason, it got to me; in a real personal way.
When I first watched this scene, I was a kid. A little beautiful, emotional baby boy. And I thought it was a cool thing to say. I thought Ben Kenobi was cool. And that was my initial idea on the whole scene. But after growing up a bit and having some of my own life to live, I realized that the line resonates with me on a deeper level.
I'm somewhat open about suffering from depression. And I've felt more powerless in my life than I have empowered. But there were only a couple things that made me feel okay. One of the things that made me stop feeling like I had buildings and boulders on my shoulders was video games. I'd get lost in the games I was playing. And, honestly, at those times getting lost in a piece a media that I was in control of was exactly what I needed. Spending all day being spat on, or ridiculed by my bosses, or told that I wouldn't amount to anything by teachers wasn't an ideal situation for me and being able to forget through gaming is something that's helped me make it this far.
I felt like I was struck down constantly. But when I'd get home from class or work, I'd sit down in front of my television sit and figure things out with the sticks. And that's what the Battlefront advert reminded me of. It reminded me of escaping the problems that were/are around me through gaming. It's how I'd decompress. It's still, the only time I really feel like I have control of what's in front of me. And if I can get all this negative shit out digitally, I think I'll be all the better for it. [@nicolejb actually wrote about how games help with this mental illness and, you know, it feels good to feel validated in how I deal with my problems]
So while the advert came to a close, I smiled to myself a little bit. Not just because the game looks amazing, but it reminded me what games have done for me my whole life. And I can't wait to get into Star Wars: Battlefront when I get the chance. Because even though the world around me will continue to strike me down (so to speak), I'll come back -- every time -- more powerful.