As I sit down and write this, I began looking back at the good times and the bad times in my almost 32-years of existence. I have come to realize that I am not perfect nor invincible. I am neither almighty or immortal. I’m an proud idiot who loves comic books and science fiction, and pro-wrestling. I enjoy writing, blogging or podcasting about those genres. And you know what? I’m damn proud of it. You read that right. And it if wasn’t for my admiration for those things, I don’t think I would piece together how the the world works.
When it comes to my life and all of what I just mentioned above, I think of the Kessel Run. I write this because when I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story, I was once again that 10-year old boy who wanted to be Han Solo. I didn’t want to be Luke Skywalker. I wanted to be Han Solo. I wanted to have the Millennium Falcon as my own ship. I wanted Princess Leia to be my girlfriend. I wanted to be a general of the Rebel Alliance. Hell, I wanted to be frozen in carbonite. I wanted to tell people at the right damn moment to ‘never to me the odds.’ Say what you want but, that movie brought those desires back.
When I saw that scene of Han flying the Falcon right into the an uncharted path in the Kessel Run with TIE Fighters chasing him. There was debris that could have gotten Han and his friends killed. Or even worse. The Falcon could have been blown up in a giant ball of Coaxium. But with faith in himself and his pilot abilities, Solo beat the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. It wasn’t like the Corellian woke up one morning with a huge smile on his face and walked up to Chewbacca and said: “Ya know Chewie, I’m going to beat the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.” No, this was just the icing on the cake. Han wanted he and his friends to survive and live.
The point I’m making is that in my life, I have had to go in sometimes through an uncharted path even if I had a guide (Han had Lando’s droid L3 , albeit, she hated his guts). My Kessel Run like the one in Solo has been full of debris. One of them finding out about my diagnosis of Aspergers at age 17 and Von Hippel Lindau Syndrome nine years later at age 25. Such debris had bruise and battered me just like the debris in the Kessel Run nearly wrecked the Falcon. And yes, such debris probably would have killed me.
But even though I was terrified, I got through it. I knew Han was terrified despite knowing he was an amazing and phenomenal pilot. He didn’t want to die but he knew that he didn’t get out, the Imperial were going to blow him and his friends sky high.
I feel that we all have to run our own Kessel Run. I do it everyday when I go to work. The debris could come in the form of a customer yelling at me or a write up from a supervisor. I go through the Kessel Run when it comes doing my podcasts. The debris could come from a trolling listener who always has something to say. I go through the Kessel Run when I am dealing with VHL. A debris could come in the form of a surgery (granted my surgeon at Mayo Clinic sometimes reminds me of Wedge Antilles). I go through the Kessel Run when freelance writing. The debris could be in the form of a reader pointing out that I misquoted someone or said an unsubstantiated fact. The Kessel Run is everyday. It is in all of us.
Now as I write this, I think of WWE Superstar Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoa’i. He definitely had to fly through his Kessel Run and a debris came in the form of Leukemia. When I heard the news that his Leukemia had returned…I felt shocked and sadness. How could this bigger than life wrestler go through such a thing? Well…I don’t know the answer to that question. All I do know is that he is human. And this guy has been through so much debris in his Kessel Run. The fans booed him out of the building despite him being the good guy and going out to the WWE ring with a smile on his face. And he prevailed. But he is not finished with his run yet.
I even think of Alden Ehrenreich when many of the fans trashed him for being in Solo. He had to go through his Kessel Run when he ran into debris in the form of the many fans giving him flak and the rumors said that he needed an acting coach. For what it was worth, he did a damn good job as Han Solo and was his very own Han Solo. Even Harrison Ford said that he should be his own Han Solo. And he did it with a smile on his face and Solo actually was liked by some fans. It was a true Star Wars movie and most certainly better than The Last Jedi.
I could name a couple more examples of many people (real and fictional) who went/are going through the Kessel Runs of their lives: My grandparents, my parents, my siblings, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my nephews, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Rick Grimes, George Washington, Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruz, Daryl Dixon, Maggie Rhee, Glenn Rhee, Michonne, Joseph Pulitzer, Chris Jericho, Harriet Tubman, John F. Kennedy, Jackie Robinson, Clark “Superman” Kent, Steve “Captain America” Rogers, Bruce “Batman” Wayne, Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon, Barry “The Flash” Allen, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…I can name many. We all are going through a Kessel Run. Rich or poor. Man or woman. Republican or Democrat. Black, white, yellow, brown, green, red, blue. The Kessel Run does not discriminate. You will go through it just like Han did, I promise you but, it will be fun and worth it as long as you have faith in yourself. And it would be scary but it would be fun.
In conclusion…I just wanted to thank Han Solo (Harrison Ford and Alden Ehrenreich) for helping me make sense of my life. If it wasn’t for Han Solo, I feel like I wouldn’t get some part of my life. In some sense…I feel like Han Solo an influence on my life much like Zorro was to Batman.
Superman made me believe that a man could fly. Batman made me believe that a man could fight through tragedy. Han Solo made me believe that a man can overcome the odds as long as he told the doubters to: “Never tell me the odds!”
My final message to you people: never let anyone tell you the odds, no matter the debris in your life called the Kessel Run.