Aug. 31, 2022

DARK FORCES: Mental Health in Star Wars

DARK FORCES: Mental Health in Star Wars

How Star Wars characters handle depression and other mental health issues

In recent years, Star Wars has had some striking depictions of heroes struggling with internal demons. Some might even say depression. In this conversation, we discuss how Obi-Wan, Luke, and Anakin/Vader do battle with enemies within.

And if you ever find yourself struggling to cope, here are some free resources you can go to for help:

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI Family Support Groups are structured, peer-led support groups for those supporting the recovery of a family member with mental illness. NAMI Connection is a structured, peer-led support group for any adult who has experienced symptoms of a serious mental illness.

SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.






[00:00:00] Josh: Welcome to Trash Compactor. I'm Josh. And today I'm joined by Murray.

[00:00:06] Murray: Oh, hello.

[00:00:07] Josh: And Chris.

[00:00:08] Chris: Hey.

[00:00:09] Josh: And today we're gonna be talking about mental health and mental health as it relates to Star Wars. This discussion is gonna be mostly from an in-universe perspective about certain characters and things they went through.

[00:00:21] But for some context, we will probably be discussing our own personal experiences in the real world. I know that all three of us have had our own experiences dealing with mental health struggles and, you know, one of the things just right off the bat, I'm wondering if you guys can think of a specific time in your life where some piece of fiction, it's star wars or not.

[00:00:46] has gotten you through a tough time, or if, you know, maybe you saw something in a character in something you read or something you watched that, you know, you kind of saw yourself in maybe, and it sort of helped you through what you were going through.

[00:01:00] Murray: Well, um, for me, this is like the worst answer to give to a question like that, but it's just like all the time constantly. Like I just . And so I, um, well, this is a really good to talk about visuals in an audio, uh, medium, but like, so I have a lot of tattoos and almost all of them are like some sort of pop cultural reference that I use as like little, like, um, almost like memento style, except for like in image, like things to remind myself of.

[00:01:29] Um, and so I have like, A ton of stuff, like from, you know, like one of my favorites, I'm showing them, but the audience can hear, it's like two fingers snuffing outta match. And that's from Lawrence of Arabia because, you

[00:01:42] know, when he says, he says, what's the, he goes, ow, that hurts. What's the secret. He goes, the secret is not minding that it hurts.

[00:01:49] And now they're talking about snuffing out a match, but for me, that's just like life in general, you know, like, oh, what's the secret to, you know, like sorting through mental health and stuff like that. And you know, all this stuff that sucks. It's like, well, the, the only secret is like just doing it and not minding that it sucks.

[00:02:05] Like, so I have, I'm like memento with all like pop culture stuff. And every time I read something or watch something, I'm like, oh, I get it. I get it. This guy. Awesome. I'm like, so like, uh, cloud strife from, uh, uh, final, fancy seven, like the, he saves the world and then he is just like clinically depressed.

[00:02:23] like, after that, I'm like, I get it. I get it. I've never saved the world, but I get it. So for me, it's like all the time, always.

[00:02:30] Chris: Uh, I was just gonna say no. I mean, I, I hear that. So, you know, my, my personal experience with depression was, uh, thankfully really limited because it was, it was situ it was a situational depression, which I know a lot of people struggled with during COVID. it took me a little while to, to that that was what was going on, and, and get myself a therapist and, and really talk through it.

[00:02:49] But, but much in the same way, I also have tattoos that help, like, remind me. Especially when I was depressed and was having trouble getting off the couch, like it was part of why I was depressed was because, I it's important to me to be a very active and involved father, as a stayat home parent.

[00:03:08] And I just, I wasn't doing that while I was depressed before I realized what was happening, even after I lost what was happening, I was better about it. But, um, know, I would like try an activity with, with my kiddo outside of like television like two minutes. And when it wasn't successful, I was back on the couch and he was back in front of the TV and I just, I felt like absolute shit about it.

[00:03:26] You know, I felt like an awful because, you know, here's this, this, three year old and you know, four year old. And why is he in front of the TV as much as he is? And it helped because that I could look at my tattoo, the one that I got from my son, um, on my arm, on the inside of my arm, where it's, where it's prominent and I can see it.

[00:03:45] Um, and it would remind me of what I was trying to do. For him and what I was trying to give him and that sometimes I'm gonna come up short, but this was a reminder to patient to, to, to, to, to treat myself with some grace. but specific to your question, Josh, I'll say that I definitely that experience COVID, uh, rewatching west wing, west wing helped me a lot.

[00:04:11] It made me feel better. I know it's, you know, especially, uh, in the time of Trump, it was very much a fantasy, but it made me feel better. avatar last Airbender, which I discovered during COVID and it was so light and funny and later on, yeah, it got heavier, but it was, it was real. Um, so, so those were definitely some instances, like things that, that really literally helped me when I was, when I was at low points.

[00:04:35] Josh: you know, one of the things that I think star wars has leaned into, a lot more recently is showing us characters, showing us our heroes struggling. And, you know, as someone who has had And continues to have, mental health struggles.

[00:04:51] I find it very, I think inspiring is the word I'm looking for to see characters, especially heroic characters who have done larger than life things, struggling with life, the way that I struggle sometimes, you know, I think that makes me relate more to these kind of unrelatable characters.

[00:05:14] you can. do something heroic and your experience of life in the world can still, , be really hard.

[00:05:21] And those struggles can be just as hard, if not harder than the actual physical fights or the,

[00:05:28] Chris: Absolutely.

[00:05:29] Josh: the, the outward struggles.

[00:05:31] Chris: No, absolutely. And I, and I, these are characters that I. You know, I, I had have said in the past that, you know, uh, growing up, even though they're very different, I really liked Batman and I really liked Spider-Man the superhero I, I wanted to be, but Spider-Man was the superhero that I could be.

[00:05:48] And I think that's what we see with some of these characters in star wars, the way you're describing them, you know, is that accessible. not just, oh, I wish I were that character. It's I can relate to this character now through their struggles. So I, I could be this character I could relate better.

[00:06:03] And that's, know, I think that makes for, for much more compelling storytelling.

[00:06:08] Josh: No, I agree. And I also think this is something that we'll probably touch on, but I do find it very interesting. We're gonna be talking about three characters in Star Wars in particular today and the mental health struggles that we see them. Going through, depicted in the star wars, movies and series.

[00:06:28] I find the reaction from fans to be very interesting. I know, obviously there was a lot of, negative reaction about how Luke Skywalker was depicted in The Last Jedi and not quite to the same degree. but there was also some consternation about, seeing how broken Obi-Wan was in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show.

[00:06:51] And I do have to say that those reactions kind of puzzle me a little bit, I think on paper, like on a superficial level, like I understand the idea that you looked up to these heroic characters and then when you see them Portrayed in a, I guess unflattering light, like, showing vulnerabilities or not, you know, being perfect and so heroic.

[00:07:19] so stereotypically heroic. I could, I guess I can understand

[00:07:23] like that kind of not sitting, right.

[00:07:26] I guess.

[00:07:27] Chris: to have that reaction when I was younger. I think I've, I've, I've outgrown it now, but when I was younger, I did not like watching. end of Empire Strikes Back because here's Luke, who's lost the fight lost. His hand despairing has to be rescued by his friends.

[00:07:44] And she treated like very gently. Like he did not save his friends. He didn't do anything he set out to do. And it used to make me when I was younger, very uncomfortable to see Luke like that. So I, I, I think I get it. It's just that I, I feel like I outgrew that reaction a while ago.

[00:08:01] Murray: I think that, um, there's a few things that come into play like one I'm sure we'll talk on in, uh, about later. Uh, so I'll just touch on it now. And I love more camel obviously, but I think the reason for the last Jedi fall out was because he said, oh, I disagree with what they did with my character. And like, and so that opens up a whole can of worms where you McGregor didn't do that.

[00:08:24] So there's gonna be less, uh, issue with that. But I think what happens is for us and of our, our age group, which is getting pretty long in the tooth fellows, but, um, We grew up with, you know, like Rambo and, uh, you know, Arnold Swartz, Neer, and all his stuff. And they, as much as I love, like, I love Rambo to the extent my whole life, that my family still calls me Bo like as a nickname, like, and

[00:08:52] I'm gonna be, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I AB like I, well, uh, and I don't like the, the newer stuff and the last movie was like the worst thing I ever saw, but, but in general, but the thing is he, he gets like sad, like one time, like in, uh, Rambo two, you know, he's a wa he's wandering and he is a little scared in Rambo one, but like, he doesn't have any sort of like weakness or emotion and, you know, like Arnold Schwarzenegger never showed any of that in his movies.

[00:09:20] Like Commando's not sitting there like depressed, like, oh man, my daughter's missing. He's just like rip Warren. Ready to go. And

[00:09:27] so when we're,

[00:09:28] Chris: wills was one of the first ones to sort of,

[00:09:31] Murray: yeah, right.

[00:09:31] Chris: of vulnerability to,

[00:09:33] Murray: Yeah, through in, um, in diehard and then especially like the last boy scout, uh, Shane black, you know, he was very, he's like an alcohol, you know, stuff that's been done in novels, like, and writing, uh, and even in some like older movies, even though the acting's not on like what it is now, because movies were different back then.

[00:09:53] But you know, some of the black and white movies deals with, um, mental health and like, you know, flawed characters that are like alcoholics or, you know, just something that's not like, oh, look how perfect and pristine I am. And so

[00:10:07] getting back to that, Oh, I'm sorry. I was just saying, so getting back to those types of characters after our lives of these action heroes, just always winning the day.

[00:10:16] No doubt, no, anything like that? Oh, it's a, an alien from another planet. Awar Neer is gonna find a way to beat it. Like it's, you know, there's no anything. So then we're kind of like philosophized to that, right? Is that the right word? And then all of a sudden we see something that breaks that rhythm and we're just like, oh, what the fuck?

[00:10:33] This sucks. Like, especially when people don't have a grasp on depression and they think it's like the ultimate weakness or something like that.

[00:10:41] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I guess so. I, I mean, again, like I, I think what you're saying is right. I just, I don't know. Maybe I'm at a place where I just have a hard time, wrapping my head around that mindset. Like I get it, I get it.

[00:10:54] the term that I keep thinking of hearing what you were saying is, toxic masculinity,

[00:11:00] Murray: Yeah. Yep. Yeah.

[00:11:01] Josh: the, idea that masculinity men are very limited in the kinds of, and reactions they are

[00:11:09] Murray: Mm-hmm

[00:11:10] Josh: to have, it's a very, narrow definition of what's quote unquote acceptable, behavior. So, so, and I actually, frankly, think that that's where a lot of the, more virent critiques are coming from, because I do think that, those views are kind of comorbid with other sort of, what I would consider less savory social and political views as well.

[00:11:30] Um,

[00:11:32] I think it's sort of a reactionary. it's a reactionary impulse, that's sort of about, preserving this fragile, lost notion of masculinity that never actually existed.

[00:11:45] Murray: Yeah. And, and I think,

[00:11:46] something that like is stumps, the three of us specifically is that we're all writers in, in, in some CAPA capacity with screenplays or plays or novels. So the idea of like a one dimensional character is the least appealing thing

[00:12:01] for, for us to Yeah. To like wrap our minds around like,

[00:12:04] Josh: Yeah. uh, just to seeing The Last Jedi was like, that's the Star Wars movie that I wish I would have written.

[00:12:11] Murray: mm. Yeah.

[00:12:12] Josh: So, uh, Murray, let's start with you what character are you gonna be talking about?

[00:12:16] Murray: The character I'm talking about is Watto. No, just joking.

[00:12:18] Chris: Oh, it's such a strong choice. I

[00:12:20] Murray: yeah. Uh, no Obi-Wan. especially because the new series really like struck me and, um, I was, I was like, wow, this is like, like Obi-Wan is one of those, those characteristics that for the most part was very, were like one dimensional Rambo style up EV every time we saw him.

[00:12:41] Right. He's just, he doesn't have, he didn't really have. Anything to, I guess be said about, I mean, you would think maybe reminiscing about your former student who like you maimed and has turned around to destroy everything. You would have some emotion in talking to Luke about that and stuff, but overall, um, like Alkin didn't, he is great.

[00:13:03] Don't get me wrong. I'm just saying, in terms of emotional depth to the character, wasn't really there. And then when new McGregor first was, uh, Obi-Wan in the prequels, that there's just not an, a lot of emotional range that he, not that for him, but like that his character was expecting, you know, or, uh, expected of.

[00:13:25] So when we got to this character in the show, I, it really just struck me. , because for me it was like mental health, like a depression mixed with like fear slash anxiety of being found out. and then like your faith, uh, in what he believed in is completely rocked. And, um, and I'm sure we'll touch on this with the last Jedi, but what I really loved about Obi-Wan is to me, there has been an, um, an uptick of characters that get so heartbroken or distressed that they throw out everything that they stood for, everything that they once loved, and they become this complete, um, like, uh, fraction of what they used to be.

[00:14:17] But to me, that's not really what happens. And, um, if, if Chris doesn't mind me, uh, reiterating the example that he said of his, uh, what he struggles with with his son

[00:14:28] is like,

[00:14:29] Chris: means, go for.

[00:14:30] Murray: the way that mental health works is you have every desire, every conscious desire to play and be, be present and relevant and do all these things.

[00:14:43] But there's just something that is blocking you from being able to do that. There's some sort of veil of mental health that is, that gets in the way sometimes, but you don't go, fuck it, fuck being a dad. Like, you know, like you still like, no, I still yearn to, to be that because that's, I love my child.

[00:15:01] That's, that's what I want. And I think that in so many of these things where like, oh, let's make a, a character suffer from like depression. They just like the character just throws out everything that they love. Um, and once stood for, and that's what's jarring,

[00:15:16] Chris: I mean, a depression also looks different for different people and I, I am not, you know, again, we're, as Josh mentioned, we're not experts or anything. We're talking about our own personal experience and, and, and everything. And we have varying, sort of, uh, involvement with it.

[00:15:29] But, but I think, you know what you're saying makes a lot of sense. Uh, for a lot of people it's like wearing a it's like forced to wear a suit of, of heavy armor, like chain mail or

[00:15:40] Murray: Mm

[00:15:41] Chris: it slows you down or it stops you from getting up outta bed in the morning, that sort of thing.

[00:15:45] And for other people there, I think there are, you know, there certainly are people who will throw it all away and quit. I think the problem I have with that narrative is that it's been portrayed. often and so

[00:15:57] Murray: mm-hmm

[00:15:58] Chris: and without any regard for context,

[00:16:01] Murray: yeah.

[00:16:01] Chris: that it ends up sort of being in my opinion, irresponsible, because the way that I'm hearing you describe depression, like, I, we still wanna do these things, but like we're being stopped does seem to be sort of the majority of experience, but the way it's, but it's not portrayed that way in media.

[00:16:17] Right. And I do

[00:16:19] Murray: No

[00:16:19] Chris: responsibility when you're, when you're an artist think about the context in which you're creating a thing. Uh, in the context of health and depression specifically, that when creators are sloppy with that sort of portrayal they don't think about how it will be received.

[00:16:38] You know, I think that's, I, I personally think that that's irresponsible. So I, I agree with what you're saying. I, I would like to see more, more of the, the,

[00:16:47] Murray: complexity to it. Yeah.

[00:16:49] Chris: than the whole, you know, fuck it. I'm giving up because that is common and it definitely happens.

[00:16:54] But I think, you know, again, as artists, we have a responsibility to the, the context of the moment.

[00:17:00] Josh: Well, no, I'm just curious. , do you know that it's less common for a fact? because like my, my thing is that. seeing a character who has given up, you know, really what it is is that they're running away from the things that remind them of what hurts.

[00:17:17] So it's sort of like, well, if I don't have those things that I care about in my life anymore, then they won't be able to hurt me anymore.

[00:17:23] Chris: This is just based on the reading that again as not, and somebody who's not an expert, but who's done. Who's read about it a pretty decent amount. I will say over the past, like seven years, will say that it's, um, there's there, there's a thought in some circles that everybody is somewhere on the autism spectrum, we're all there somewhere.

[00:17:45] And so. So it's sort of based on what I've read. There's there's, there are a lot of people who deal with sort of like sort of low grade depression. Um, but it's not necessarily identified as such because there isn't a premium put on our mental health. Um, so

[00:18:01] Murray: Hmm.

[00:18:01] Chris: lot of people who sort of deal with that low grade depression, rather than it's spiking into the more severe, the more severe depression that we often see that that has people quitting on a thing or, or giving up in, movies and film and then TV.

[00:18:17] Murray: Yeah,

[00:18:18] Chris: on my own, my own reading. So this is very, very anecdotal

[00:18:21] Josh: I mean, that certainly makes.

[00:18:23] Murray: Yeah, I get why in movies, they have to do it cuz they have a much more compressed timeframe to try to have a character change, you know? the thing is, um, I have two, two quick movie examples that are not from star wars. I promise I'll get back to it. But um, the, the thing for me, thing for me and um, this is gonna sound out there, but I think you guys will understand it.

[00:18:45] The way that I personally view depression and I know this is like fucking weird, but like I think that depression is a living, breathing creature that like is inside of us. And like you could, if you're like familiar with the press depressive episodes, you could like feel it.

[00:19:09] Coming, like you could feel like for me, I have different triggers, like, um, One, I get very nihilistic when I'm in depression, things where I'm like, oh fuck, nothing matters. Like I did all this and what good did it get me? And then I also get very obsessive, um, which I think is a trait more attributed to anxiety where I'll just watch the same shit over and over again, like community seasons, one through three seasons, one through three season.

[00:19:34] Like I just, like, as soon as I finish it, I started again. Um, and it's so when I see myself doing that or I keep replaying a song over and over and over again, like, oh God, if I listened to this Bruce Springsteen song, one more time, I'm gonna explode. But it's just like, there's just something like, to me, I'm like, okay, you know what?

[00:19:52] This means? Like, you, you like, almost like the beast is, is coming back up. Like, I could almost feel it like, almost like a, a wear Wolf, but you don't like change. It's all internal, you know, like an, an inside out werewolf or something. Like, I don't know how to explain it, but in, in a movie the best, I've the best two movies.

[00:20:10] I think I've seen. It as, and I don't think they were talking well, one was the Baba duke, which is a horror movie, but it's like, that is the most like that is depression. Like in a nutshell, like the whole movie and the fact that spoiler alert mu this, if you haven't, um, seen it yet, but the fact that the, the Baba duke cannot be defeated, it just gets like locked away and they have to like, tend to it on occasion.

[00:20:35] Otherwise it gets out of control and becomes the monster again. And then, um, the other one is anomal Lisa, which was that Charlie Kaufman stop motion thing where everybody, oh, it's incredible. Every character is voiced by Tom Newan, child, adult, female. And it's just like, yeah, it's just like, oh no, that's the like, everything just seems bland and the same, and there's no like spice to anything.

[00:21:05] So that's my view of, um, depression. So when I see people throwing away like characters, throwing away, everything that they loved and cared about, uh, I guess, especially with when it comes to star wars, where has a lot of like religious aspects to it, you know, of course there are like believers of religions that just say, fuck it.

[00:21:27] I'm out. This is like garbage, but more often than not, you have people. Excuse me, I'll say that. Um, one of them where I would love more than anything, as much as I love talking about religion in the Bible, I would love more than anything. Just like, fuck it. This is like, not even worth it. This is horses shit. Um, it's more grief than it's worth, but then I can't like my friend, um, My friend, Jay baker, he, he puts it. He says, he's haunted by God. And that's how I feel like I'm haunted by these beliefs that I cannot like walk away from it. And so when I see like a Luke Skywalker in last Jedi walk away from something that he was so instrumental in, like literally he was the, the last remaining Jedi for a while.

[00:22:15] You know, he saved the galaxy, he saved everything. And then he gets to a point where he's like, you know what, fuck the force. Fuck all of this I'm out. Um, it doesn't ring true to me, but when you have like Obi-Wan and you see him going to work every day in that kind of like, anomal Lisa, just like repetitive thing, he's got his schedule.

[00:22:33] And you could tell that he hates it. You could tell that he's sad. You could tell that just like they were saying in the show like Jedi have like this stink, like they're good deeds, like leave this like trail. Like you could see that he wants to do. The right thing. He wants to defend that guy. That's getting pushed around at work.

[00:22:51] Like he wants to do these things and he's haunted by the, that desire to do it, but he just can't bring himself to do it. And, you know, and that's kind of, um, why I tied it in with Chris's story where you have the strong desire to do something and you just can't like, do it. It's hard to explain to people that haven't experienced it.

[00:23:11] Cuz it's just like, like I have family members that are like, oh, go for a job, go do this. It's like, oh, well I don't know, go fuck yourself because that's not how it works. Like, um, yeah, you're gonna have to bleep like all this stuff out. Sorry. But, um,

[00:23:23] Josh: Have you listed this podcast? I

[00:23:25] Murray: that's true. But I

[00:23:26] I'm, I'm on like, yeah,

[00:23:28] Chris: listening to?

[00:23:29] Murray: I'm on like a tangent, so I'm like worse than ever.

[00:23:31] But like, but when people don't. Get it, that's the type of like, um, information they offer. So I could see them looking at a show like Obi-Wan or last Jedi and just like not getting it, not getting the desire to do the right thing, but just you, you can't, and it's like walking through mud, like you just, you want to get there.

[00:23:52] It's like, um, I, I describe it sometimes as like how we know of like a functional alcoholic. Like you have functional depression, like, it's just like, you get up, you go to work, you do the thing, but you don't do anything afterwards. You don't want to talk to people. You don't wanna do anything. He's just like going through the motions.

[00:24:09] And so that was an aspect of n that I really loved. And the fact that he still was like, come on, like, talk to me, like master, where are you? It's the same feeling of betrayal and feeling abandoned, but still being so haunted that you can't like, just let it go.

[00:24:26] Josh: yeah, I think you're right. I think the depiction of Obi-Wan, who's obviously very depressed and very broken when we see him in the first few episodes of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. Like it definitely is a depiction of depression that rings very true, we literally do see him, going through the motions, like he gets up, he goes to work. The show makes it pretty clear that he has given up, he meets that other Jedi, that the inquisitor are hunting, And he's, begging Obi-Wan for help.

[00:24:56] And Obi-Wan is like, no, you need to forget this. Like we lost and it's over. And for me, I was really struck by how disconnected Obi-Wan was from the

[00:25:06] force to the point where, trying to levitate an object was a big struggle for him to retap in, to that, that state of mind to be able to do that.

[00:25:17] Like that hit home with me in a surprising way, You know, when you go through a depression and you've been sort of out of the game for a while, that first time you tried to do something that you used to do all the time and it's like

[00:25:31] Murray: so full of rust and

[00:25:32] mud and Yeah, it's

[00:25:33] Josh: yeah. Like as soon as I saw it, I was like, yes, like that really feels right. Like, that really resonates. Like that really made me feel, you know, what he was going through in a way that I don't think that I had,

[00:25:47] Murray: Yeah. And his, desire to do nothing like it, like into the sense of like when, um, Jimmy Smiths. What's his character's name?

[00:25:56] Josh: bail. Yeah.

[00:25:57] Murray: yeah, bill

[00:25:58] he's like, you

[00:25:59] Josh: him for help. And he's like,

[00:26:00] Murray: He's like, no. And it's like, and that's something that I could relate to cuz it's just like, especially when I'm in the state, like I just hate doing things.

[00:26:08] It doesn't, it's not like, oh, I hate going out. I hate doing like, no, I hate doing, just doing stuff, just doing things. I just want to do nothing. But then I'm mad at myself for not wanting to do anything like, but it's so it's just like for someone to be like laying that at his feet and of course. Of course there is the sense of loyalty to Luke, but then there is a little bit of, is he just using that as an excuse to

[00:26:31] get out of doing doing self?

[00:26:34] Yeah. And I'm sure he doesn't find that he's worthy anymore because he's so rusty and stuff like that. But overall, like, it's just like, I don't, I just don't wanna do it. You know, like if I was, and who knows if he was better at setting boundaries, maybe he would've wouldn't have done it in the first place, but it's just, uh,

[00:26:49] Josh: He literally lives in a cave where he has like a mat. on the floor. and the idea that he's been living here for 10 years

[00:26:57] Murray: yeah,

[00:26:58] Josh: You know, one of the things that also happens when you're in a depression is you stop taking care of yourself and you close yourself off from other people. you keep yourself isolated, which from my understanding is like one of the worst things you can

[00:27:12] do for yourself, when you're depressed.

[00:27:14] And also one of the insidious things about it is that a lot of what depression makes you want. to do are the exact opposite things you should be doing to quote unquote, take care of yourself to get out of it. So one of the big ones is, the connection and the human interaction and the community and the friendships.

[00:27:33] You need that to get you out of the depression. But what depression really, does to you is, is it makes you wanna be away from people and just be

[00:27:42] alone.

[00:27:43] Chris: It

[00:27:43] Murray: cause it, yeah, it's a living, breathing creature that feeds itself and it feeds itself

[00:27:50] And one thing that I know that I actively have to do is take my cues from other people. Like, oftentimes I'm seeing kind of like a push over me because my wife will be like, oh, do you wanna go for a walk? And I do not wanna go for a walk, but I know that I have to follow her lead because yeah, exactly.

[00:28:07] Cause if I give into what I want, I will be stuck here forever. So I will. So it's like, oh, do you want so, so, and so wants to hang out. Do you want to go? Like it's like, no, but yeah, let me just get, get ready to go. And then

[00:28:21] when I'm out

[00:28:21] Chris: to have a Sherpa

[00:28:23] Murray: yeah, exactly. A hundred percent and so that is something, so I just have to open the door and let my cat out.

[00:28:29] Josh: No problem. Speaking of Sherpa

[00:28:33] Chris: right, right.

[00:28:35] Murray: Exactly. Exactly. Sorry.

[00:28:37] Um,

[00:28:37] Josh: no, that's certainly very true. And I think you can see that in Obi-Wan, he needs, he needs the prodding from bail, organic, his friend, right? who's like, no, I need you You're going to do this

[00:28:49] Murray: Yeah,

[00:28:49] Chris: And later from Leia

[00:28:50] Murray: Let yeah.

[00:28:51] Josh: And later from Leia.

[00:28:52] Murray: Yeah. A hundred percent

[00:28:53] Josh: Um,

[00:28:54] Chris: it again. Like he, you know, she, he gets it from TA too, because he does, he starts to, it gets to a point where he needs her help too. And, and I think that's part of, that's part of what we see from depression too. Right. Is that like, The onus that it puts on the people we love to help guide us.

[00:29:12] And friends and family we have, the stronger our network of support is, uh, the easier it is because it's, it's spread out. And because we do need, sometimes we need help from, from different people. He was in a place where he wasn't to hear from, well, he wasn't able to hear what Lao was saying.

[00:29:28] So Tala stepped in, right? Like sometimes

[00:29:31] Murray: Mm.

[00:29:31] Chris: that's what we need is, is sort of that network of support, which is also the reason why, like at the end of this episode, we're gonna share some resources like hotlines and stuff that people can call because not always enough to, to just rely on people.

[00:29:42] We love. Sometimes we, we need more support than those people can

[00:29:45] Murray: Yeah.

[00:29:46] Chris: And, you know, the more frankly, you know, uh, many hands make light work and that, that applies to the support that need when we go through through mental health, you know,

[00:29:56] Murray: And for sure. And some of that, um, support also comes from like, don't, don't feel that you have to, um, be around people that don't suffer from depression, because I know for me, I have support on both sides, whereas like I could be, I could talk to, to Josh and just be like, oh no, man, I I've been Mia. You know, I'm, I'm going through it right now.

[00:30:19] Just like my mental. Game's not there. And like, he, he gets it, you know, , it's not like a, there's no like, oh, why don't you just try turning that frown upside down? Like he just like, like you, you, you get it because you've been there. So having people that understand you be Sherpa also, like it's almost like a leapfrogging, like, all right now, help me.

[00:30:41] I'll help you.

[00:30:42] Chris: It's a shared experience, which is good, but you're still talking to somebody who not a mental health professional, which is why sometimes these resources are really important because, it's it

[00:30:51] Josh: yeah,

[00:30:52] Chris: don't always know how to stop us from spiraling. Sometimes

[00:30:54] Murray: Yeah. Yep.

[00:30:55] Chris: being supportive, but really what they're doing is they're facilitating spiraling and spiraling is not productive.

[00:31:00] if you called like 9 88, they can gently redirect you because that's what they've been trained for. Right. So like,

[00:31:07] Josh: For sure.

[00:31:08] Chris: I think that it's, it, it depends sometimes what we need can come from a friend sometimes it can't, sometimes it needs to come from a

[00:31:14] Murray: Yeah.

[00:31:15] Chris: you're right.

[00:31:15] Like, it's, it's an attempt to support, but it sort of ends up being a, a, a

[00:31:20] Murray: Like an echo chamber.

[00:31:22] Yeah. Sometimes. Yeah. Um, and everybody go to therapy therapy teaches you one thing and that's everybody should be going to

[00:31:29] therapy.

[00:31:30] Josh: Yeah. I I

[00:31:31] I

[00:31:31] agree.

[00:31:33] Murray: it's not a bad thing. It's not a negative thing. Everybody just go to

[00:31:37] therapy.

[00:31:37] Josh: not to get off on too much of a tangent, but I think there's a belief that. You only avail yourself of these resources when you are in active crisis,

[00:31:46] like you only see a therapist when you're in a depression or when something really awful is happening

[00:31:53] but especially if you're someone prone to depression or other, , mental health struggles, I really think that it's, it's kind of like a muscle that I think you need to, um, stay in good mental shape, like mental fitness so that when you do fall off the horse or whatever the metaphor is, I'm currently riding right

[00:32:12] Murray: yeah.

[00:32:12] Josh: it's not that you don't get hurt. but you recover quickly and the damage is that much less.

[00:32:19] Right. So,

[00:32:20] Chris: we're playing a game, damage prevention armor are much more useful than healing. Oh no. We wanna be able to heal, but sometimes you've taken

[00:32:29] Murray: yeah.

[00:32:29] Chris: damage that it's a really toll order. Why not

[00:32:31] Murray: Yeah. You can't. Yeah.

[00:32:33] Chris: you can.

[00:32:34] Josh: Yeah. so, and it's interesting too, because in the context of Star Wars, like, I know there are medical droids. I don't know if there are therapy, droids. Um, yeah, but I think the way that Obi-Wan Kenobi depicted,, the mental state of Obi-Wan, certainly grow very true.

[00:32:50] Murray: And very true for someone who hasn't experienced any of that until then, you know what I'm saying? Like

[00:32:56] he was like, yeah.

[00:32:58] Chris: you know, what I, what I planned on talking about tonight as well is, seeing a person react to that when they haven't had to deal with it before

[00:33:06] Murray: Yeah. When you're always on top of the mountain, it's, uh,

[00:33:09] Josh: right, exactly, exactly. Yeah. So, Chris, let's, talk about your character.

[00:33:13] Chris: sure. I was gonna be talking about Luke and, um,

[00:33:16] Josh: sorry, Luke. Luke who? Luke

[00:33:18] Chris: oh, so you know him in relation to Watto. So basically what happened was wa.

[00:33:24] Murray: Oh, yeah. That's uh,

[00:33:26] Chris: Um,

[00:33:27] Josh: Watto's slave's son. Sun,

[00:33:29] Murray: yeah, yep. Yeah. He's a minor character. He just passes in the

[00:33:33] background.

[00:33:34] Yeah.

[00:33:35] Chris: Wars through the lens of Watto. Um, so you know, when we're talking about Luke Skywalker

[00:33:42] Murray: oh, star killer.

[00:33:44] Yes. Yes.

[00:33:45] Chris: Yeah. Um, you know, it's interesting. Cause I went back and I re-watched Last Jedi. I didn't feel the need to watch the original trilogy because I feel like I know them well enough, but it was interesting going back.

[00:33:55] And re-watching The Last Jedi, because aside from some of the humor that for me sort of doesn't work the beginning of the movie, it just reminded me of what, what a strong, I thought portrayal. It was of Luke, um, that he's, that he's struggling this and. know, it's, it's interesting because you mentioned it earlier, Murray, you mentioned this idea of, of giving up on a thing and walking away from it and, and how that, that, that hit you wrong way with

[00:34:23] Murray: mm-hmm

[00:34:25] Chris: And the more I was thinking about it, it's not that he, it goes more, I think, hand in hand with what you were describing earlier, Josh. And I think what we see Obi-Wan do, right? Which is decides that his responsibility is Luke period full stop uses that as a reason to. Engage in other places, Luke does the same thing. He decides the Jedi have to end. The only way the Jedi can end is if nobody ever finds the sacred Jedi texts and

[00:34:55] Murray: Mm

[00:34:56] Chris: so by isolating himself there, he has removed the only person who could teach Jedi the galaxy. he's preventing people from somehow stumbling upon the ancient Jedi text, because it's important to him that this not be perpetuated.

[00:35:11] It's important to him that he be the last Jedi. what he has done he has found a different purpose. And it's not really, even though he sort of starts to teach Ray,

[00:35:22] Murray: mm-hmm

[00:35:23] Chris: he talks to Yoda

[00:35:24] Murray: yeah.

[00:35:25] Chris: him, know, this is, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true fate of all masters.

[00:35:32] Um, you know, he, he, Luke had never really outside of empire, which there aren't really any lasting consequences. Luke has not failed.

[00:35:42] Murray: Yeah.

[00:35:43] Chris: in new hope, um, he may be like, we don't really see him blame himself for Obi-Wan's death. Like he's upset that Obi-Wan is gone, but he doesn't really seem to blame himself for, for Ben's death.

[00:35:54] Um, and then in empire, you know, he, he fails to beat Vader and that stings, but nobody gets hurt because of him. Right. though he was told his, that this, that the struggle his friends were going through would be undone. doesn't any drawback to him showing up in cloud city is not, does not to be noticed by him.

[00:36:15] And then we've got return of the Jedi where he does succeed in turning Vader. He does succeed in saving his father. He does succeed apparently though it would be undone later in destroying the emperor. Um, you know, he's never really dealt with failure before. I think one of the most interesting things with regards to depression. And I do think it is depression

[00:36:39] Murray: Hm.

[00:36:39] Chris: he's be, he's been forgiven by the person who's forgiveness. He craves most Leia. Leia told him that she doesn't blame him. says this, he acknowledged it. And this is another thing about depression, right? Is that intellectually, he understands that Leia doesn't blame him because he's the one who tells Rey, he doesn't, he doesn't forgive himself.

[00:37:00] Murray: mentally and emotionally, he's like, oh, she's just saying that like, you know

[00:37:03] yeah. Yep.

[00:37:05] Chris: that she's being the strong one because, because she's always the strong one. Right. And he says the line like Han was very Haun about it. The notion of, you know, Ben being trained by him Han was very

[00:37:14] Murray: Hm.

[00:37:15] Chris: But, but this was what HanLeia wanted and the struggle that Luke has, and it's not until Ray helps pull him out of it.

[00:37:23] It's not until Yoda steps in and does something about it.

[00:37:26] Murray: Burns the Jedi text. He's like, fuck it. No one could have 'em it doesn't change anything.

[00:37:31] Yeah.

[00:37:31] Chris: he talks to Luke, he, and he says, still your eye is always on the horizon, not on the here and the now and reminding him, you know, why this is important. And he does say that we lost, um, he says, you know, you lost Ben Solo.

[00:37:47] cannot afford, you cannot afford to lose Ray.

[00:37:50] Murray: Hmm.

[00:37:51] Chris: He says we cannot afford to lose Ray. So it's, it's again, that support system, it's the two of them together, right.

[00:37:56] Murray: Yeah, that's a bit like people underestimate the power of the word. We, when you're going through shit.

[00:38:03] Chris: right. Um, and he says specifically, he says the greatest teacher failure is,

[00:38:11] Murray: Hmm.

[00:38:12] Chris: doesn't know that he doesn't know that because he hasn't really failed before.

[00:38:16] So

[00:38:16] Murray: Yeah.

[00:38:17] Chris: on this monumental scale where most of his students are murdered his star pupil, who takes the remaining living students to the dark side,

[00:38:27] Murray: Mm.

[00:38:27] Chris: That's failure on a monumental scale. And so I, it was interesting because the more I thought about the more I was like, this is a, this is a situational depression, and he's not going to be able to escape it unless he gets help for it.

[00:38:41] But it's a situation that caused it, which I can relate to because I spoke about it earlier, that situational depression is something that people go through. And, and even though my situational depression is over, because the situation that caused it is me personally, more or less over, there's still fallout to deal with.

[00:39:00] So even though I'm not depressed anymore, I am still dealing with the fallout of that. And so I think until Luke gets the help that he needs, it just, it just fucking lingers, you know, it just hangs over him. So it's really interesting in my mind, watching the last Jedi that particular lens, through that lens of depression is super interesting because it's not that he has sort of his task, It's that he has repurposed himself. And so that's sort of how he justifies stepping away is that this is the priority is ending the Jedi not saving the universe, not saving the galaxy

[00:39:38] Murray: yeah, like trying to like stop the pain before it happens.

[00:39:40] Uh, one.

[00:39:41] Chris: and feeling like he's being productive in a way too, because he's, he's doing the thing is most important, or at least he has

[00:39:48] Murray: Yeah.

[00:39:49] Chris: most important.

[00:39:50] Murray: one, one thing that you touched on. Oh, is that, uh, major stumbling point with mental health is there is a fallout that does happen from depressive episodes. And I've seen people, mainly my dad when he was alive, not grasp that. And so whenever he would have an upswing from his like manic depression state, he would in almost instantly go back into it because people would still be upset by or hurt by things he said or did or didn't do.

[00:40:21] And he was almost kind of like, no, but that was, I was like, you know, not myself, so, but almost. Saying, sorry. As if that like UN rings, bells and UNS spills, milk and stuff like that. But it's just like, no, like if you like, he, would've done a lot better to understand that once you're out of your depressive state or the you're on the upswing, you still have ramifications that you almost have to close those loops out, otherwise they will linger and fester in those people.

[00:40:54] And so when, um, you mentioned the aftermath, I forgot the exact context because I started thinking about this rant. Um, but the, but that is a major component in mental health that people, um, kind of overlook is like, even though you are out of a, a swing, like, um, the low point, you know, you're out of the valley, there still might be residual stuff that you have to deal with from pain or sadness or hurt that you've caused in that state.

[00:41:23] And no one's blaming you for it, but there is still,

[00:41:27] Josh: Stuff that you have to. Yeah, no, no. And it's interesting too, because sometimes the very thought of that having to like, quote unquote, clean up the mess that you made can sort of make you take longer to come out because you know, that you like have the pile of dirty laundry in

[00:41:42] the corner of the room is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

[00:41:46] It's like , there's a variation of a meme, uh, that I see all the time. It's like, you know, this, horrible, task that has been giving me so much anxiety for weeks and weeks like, I just spent 15 minutes and I got it done. And now I'm feeling a lot better.

[00:41:58] it's like,

[00:41:59] it's like, you know, it's like, so, but that is a real thing though. The idea that, you know, I could imagine Luke, I mean, it must have crossed his mind, like, if he ever left his self-imposed exile and he'd be like, oh, I'll have to talk to Leia and I'll have Han and I'll

[00:42:17] Murray: I have to see everybody.

[00:42:18] Josh: I'll have to face them and like that idea. And, Chris, I thought that your read was very insightful, but particularly the idea that, Luke is someone who's never had to face this kind of failure on this scale before.

[00:42:31] And, um, you know, the first time that you, experienced like a major depressive episode, It's sort of like, you think that's it like, you know, this is just what

[00:42:41] Murray: This is life now.

[00:42:42] Yeah. Yep.

[00:42:43] Yeah. Yep.

[00:42:44] Josh: sort of in line with that train of thought, something that, that also really strikes me about we find Luke in The Last Jedi, this idea

[00:42:56] Murray: Watto's slave's son

[00:42:58] Chris: What? Sorry. Right. Thank you.

[00:42:59] Murray: Yeah.

[00:42:59] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. Uh um, but, one of the things that really strikes for me about Luke in The Last Jedi is this idea that you can do the thing, you can win the greatest struggle you can achieve the impossible. You can have your moment, but then there's still more work that you have to do, right?

[00:43:18] Like, this idea that you think it's over this thing you've been working toward you did it, you achieved it. And no there's still more that you have to do. And there are still opportunities to fuck up. like when Luke says, Dripping with this venom almost in The Last Jedi he's like, because I was Luke Skywalker, Jedi

[00:43:37] master, right?

[00:43:38] Murray: Yeah,

[00:43:38] Chris: you if you have not gone back for listeners, if you have not gone back and watched that scene, it is who it's a rough watch because I really think for as much as mark Hamel disagreed with the direction that Luke went in,

[00:43:50] Josh: Now he really nails it.

[00:43:51] Murray: I think,

[00:43:53] Chris: scene.

[00:43:54] Murray: I think once he got into actually like going past reading the script and into it, I think he was probably like, oh, I shouldn't have said anything because

[00:44:02] I fucking get it now.

[00:44:04] Josh: so, but he's also said, he thinks that the last Jedi has the depth and the complexity that The Empire Strikes Back has. Like he, he, he, I think realizes there's a lot of stuff there and it kind of needs the time to be sort of, sat with, so, but, the thing I was saying about, Luke, like he sort of, has this. contempt, I think for the hubris of his past self, you know, thinking he could rebuild the Jedi and he was wise enough, to do it. And his nephew was, safe being trained under his auspices. And then I think, when he went through what he went through and it all blew up in his face, he was also, pissed off at the hubris of the Jedi.

[00:44:46] Chris: oh, no, absolutely. He talks about it. He talks about how he's like, you know, under the Jedi, they allowed city to wipe them height of their power. At the height

[00:44:56] Josh: Yeah.

[00:44:57] Chris: they allow Darius to destroy the Republic, create the, um, empire and wipe out the Jedi all in one fell swoop. And I,

[00:45:04] Josh: And they also created Darth Vader.

[00:45:06] Chris: and they create Vader.

[00:45:07] So like there is, and, and he, it's not, it it's, he's created by his Jedi teacher. It's not incidental. Right. Cuz that's, that's what he does. He blames Obi-Wan. fall in the way he sort of phrases it. He says was his teacher which of course resonates with Luke because Luke

[00:45:26] Murray: he's Bens teacher. Yeah.

[00:45:28] Chris: he's right.

[00:45:29] Ben is his fault. And it's really interesting because I like what you say about the legend and the way he just, he this, this and this disgusted, because I know this came before and spoiler alert for the Mandalorian, but like we see legend Luke,

[00:45:46] Murray: yeah. Yep.

[00:45:48] Chris: in his, in his little X wing.

[00:45:50] Like they like they're in the control room and they're going X wing

[00:45:54] Murray: Yeah,

[00:45:55] Chris: he just takes down all of these dark troopers without breaking a sweat. Like there's

[00:45:59] Murray: Yep. No, it's incredible. Yeah.

[00:46:01] Chris: do it. Right. So he does. So we see Luke at the height of his powers. And so if you watch it in that context, which again, last shot I came first, but like, think that scene becomes even more powerful because we see that Luke bought into his own legend for that hubris that you were describing,

[00:46:16] Murray: Mm-hmm

[00:46:18] Josh: Well, yeah, well, so, so the other thing, he's smarting from that, but then again, this is his first experience with this kind of disappointment, this kind of failure, this kind of depression, and the idea that, There's still work to be done.

[00:46:33] Like this isn't the end. And in some ways, you know, when you're on the inside of a depression the thought that this is not the end, that there is more to be done that you will have to do, can sometimes add insult to injury and that can make it even harder to get out of the place, knowing that you have to pull yourself out of this again.

[00:46:55] Murray: Yeah. It's, it's like pre exhaustion, like you're exhausted before you even attempt the task. Like, just thinking about it makes you exhausted

[00:47:04] to too exhausted.

[00:47:06] Chris: too about Luke, is that because it's his first time with that kind of failure and his first time, as far as we know, dealing with depression, you don't know that you need help when you need help. And Luke doesn't know that he needs help because there is no help that can, that can help him.

[00:47:22] Right? Like, it's, it's, that's the other insidious part of depression is if you haven't really been able to identify it before, and sometimes even if you've been through it before, you can't always identify when you need and you don't, you don't go out and get like what you were saying earlier, Josh, you don't go out and get help when you don't think you need it.

[00:47:40] Josh: Right.

[00:47:40] Murray: the, the thing . That, again, I'm no expert, I'm no anything, but there's something to be, to keep in mind that when you're in a depressive state, the goal posts move, and that's not a bad thing. Like I've had friends that say like, when they're going through it, and they're like, oh, it took me till like one o'clock to get outta bed and showered.

[00:48:01] And I'm like, with all honesty, no irony or anything I'm like, but you got out of bed and you showered. That's huge. Maybe yesterday, that was just, would've been nothing that would've been, not, not even worth thinking about, but the fact that today you're so deep into it, but you still manage to get out of bed and take a shower.

[00:48:19] That's like, That's that's equivalent. Yeah. Of like climbing Everest and maybe tomorrow will be easier. Or you're like, oh, I, I barely had energy to. To eat lunch. So I just made a peanut butter sandwich, like, but you got up and you ate and that's fucking huge today. And it wouldn't to tomorrow. Maybe it's a piece of cake, but today, like it's okay to move the goal post because they have to move because when you're so deep in the, in depression, like you hold yourself to a non depressed standard

[00:48:51] and

[00:48:52] that's not fair.

[00:48:53] Josh: Well, so, so that brings up a really interesting point as well. Like, uh, you know, talking about kind of grading everything on a curve when you're like a Jedi master, The Last Jedi who is, who

[00:49:07] defeated the emperor, you have farther to fall.

[00:49:11] And I think when you also. buy into the legend. I think the failure does not compute which compounds the failure and compounds the depression because it's sort of like, how could this have happened

[00:49:24] Murray: Yeah,

[00:49:24] Josh: me?

[00:49:25] Murray: yeah. Of all people to me, like I saved the world. I saved the galaxy, not even the world. I saved the galaxy. How could this happen to me? Yep.

[00:49:33] Josh: And I defeated Darth Vader and I, did all this stuff. So, so I mean, to me the thing that is really, um, kind of inspiring to me about Luke ins, the last Jedi is it's a reminder that for heroes, who we look up to, the work is never done.

[00:49:47] you can win the battle, you can win the day. but it's not because You are just that great. And you're gonna win every time. It's like, no, it's because, choosing to work at something and choosing to be good is a choice that takes a lot of effort that you have to work at every single day.

[00:50:02] it's not just something that is going to happen. And I think, the choice to be good, the choice to be a hero, the choice to do the right thing, the choice to go after it, whatever it is. that's, uh, a commitment you have to recommit yourself to every day and, you can stumble.

[00:50:18] And I think for Luke who had never, failed at something that large before, I think he didn't, you know, know how to handle.

[00:50:26] Murray: Uh, going off of that, there's this imagery, um, and it fits into this episode, even though it has nothing to do with Star Wars is there's a, the TV show Scrubs. I actually can't watch it anymore because it was like the first show that when I was at my lowest point, I just watched it.

[00:50:41] I can't even tell you how many times I watched nothing but Scrubs. I didn't watch anything else on TV, just Scrubs on, repeat on DVDs, so it's like, I, as much as I like the show, it's like going back to that timeframe of my mind is, is rough, but there is this great, great episode in which, the.

[00:50:58] John McGinley character. Um, Dr. Cox, there's a big thing in which he hasn't lost a patient all day. He's doing an all day shift, 24 hours and he hasn't lost a single patient. So they're trying to treat it like a, like a baseball game, like a perfect game. Like nobody talked to him, like he's, he's throwing a perfect game.

[00:51:15] And then it's like 1155. And one of his patients starts flat lining and they're like doing compressions and everything like that. And, the patient passes away with five minutes left and then the character of Elliott's like, wait, it's only me, you in here.

[00:51:30] Let's not say anything. it's just five minutes and then you'll have that the perfect game. And Dr. Cox, the John McKinley is like, there's nothing wrong. With throwing a one hitter, like we did our best, and this is what happens. But the line that sticks out to me is like, you better buckle up because the next game starts in five minutes, you know?

[00:51:49] So like kind of what you were saying that continuum of like, not to be all Buddhist, but like life is a, a journey, right? It's not a destination because if you look at it as a destination, then it's like, all right, now what, okay. Now what I've reached this destination now, what, but what it is is just a cycling, a cycle of like, fail again, fail better.

[00:52:07] Right. That's Samuel Beckett, I think fail again, fail better, fail again, fail better. And so,

[00:52:12] you

[00:52:12] know, if we're, yeah, if we're dealing with, with Luke, uh, getting back to, to that, like who's never dealt with failure and he's never felt the, that Like to him, the destination is like, no, I've reached a destination and I failed.

[00:52:26] But in reality, it's like, no, the next game starts in five minutes. Fail again, fail better. so

[00:52:31] Josh: So, so this idea, you know, Luke was always a very, , like naive kind of character. And so to me, the idea that that's his reaction to being faced with this huge failure to me reads very true. It's like he, he, he has to learn this lesson that he's never learned.

[00:52:50] Murray: and it goes to show that Yoda who has experienced this level of loss many times over is the one that's just like, dude, like, fuck the texts. We are the text, like the, you know, not to keep repeating myself, but the next game starts in five minutes and this girl needs you. So you gotta get it together, you

[00:53:08] know?

[00:53:09] Chris: and Yoda remembers, you know, he, he tried to, he tried to teach, teach Luke. We see that in Empire. He tried to

[00:53:14] Murray: Hmm.

[00:53:15] Chris: didn't wanna learn that lesson. And he sort of just never did.

[00:53:18] Murray: And just, just like that, whatever, like Luke is always bringing, like, seeing what he brings with him. Right. You know, that that's uh,

[00:53:27] Josh: Yes. Yes,

[00:53:29] Chris: right.

[00:53:30] Josh: That's wow. Yeah. You just blew my mind. Um, because no, I mean, that's, very true. I mean, not for nothing like, this is, kind of a tricky line. I wanna walk because, depression obviously is a very real phenomenon that is not, it's not all in your head, but it is

[00:53:47] Murray: yeah, yeah. A hundred percent. Yep.

[00:53:49] Josh: and like some of the things that you can do to kind of fortify your mind and train your mind is like, all, sorts of, meditation practices and all sorts of things you know, there's a phenomenon, called negative self talk where you don't maybe realize it, but the way you are talking to yourself internally is reinforcing this narrative, this view of the world and of yourself that is very negative.

[00:54:16] Right. And, you know, it's a tricky thing because you're so used to sort of sitting in your your own subjective experience of yourself and the world.

[00:54:25] It's like, you know, this like soup of your own thoughts and feelings and everything that, that you lose, the, the perspective that would, help you, navigate these, struggles. Not, not solve them or prevent them

[00:54:39] Murray: but no navigate is the perfect way to say it. Yeah.

[00:54:41] Josh: Yeah.

[00:54:42] Chris: Well that's, I mean, that's Buddhism, right? The Buddhism of, you know, don't try and don't try and avoid the pain. brings

[00:54:49] Josh: yeah.

[00:54:50] Murray: The secret is not minding that it hurts. Boom circle background, baby.

[00:54:54] Josh: well, so just really quickly, I want to, discuss a third character, which is, Anakin Skywalker

[00:55:01] Murray: Oh, Watto's slave?

[00:55:02] Josh: Yeah, yes. Watto's slave. Exactly. So Anakin Skywalker slash Darth Vader, who I don't think you necessarily think of when you think of mental health struggles. , but I think, the psychology of Anan is really interesting and where he finds himself, he kind of ends up in a depression of his own making.

[00:55:25] and it's interesting because I think in so many ways, he's, very emotionally immature. And I think the combination of him being inducted into the Jedi at the age that he was, I think was a recipe for disaster.

[00:55:41] Murray: You sound just like the council, man. Geez. What a narc.

[00:55:45] Josh: well, well, so, but so,

[00:55:46] Murray: no joking.

[00:55:47] Josh: so I've said this in the past. what's interesting about the Jedi when we see them in the prequels is, they know that, fear of loss and attachment and all of these, intense emotions can lead someone to fall to the dark side.

[00:56:02] And then what the Jedi have done is they have just made it. So they separate you from your attachments when you're a very small child, so you don't have any, so you don't have to worry about that.

[00:56:14] Murray: God, that's so creepy. When you think about it,

[00:56:17] Josh: so, but it's interesting though, like when you, when you try to kind of, codify this institution, of the Jedi, that's supposed to be, very spiritual and everything, when you codify it and you make these rules for how to be a Jedi, like you try to, you know, kind of nip these things in the bud and like, you can't, you can't make everyone Zen, like there's no fool proof way to do that.

[00:56:38] so their solution is like kind of scary. but the reason is so when Anakin, he's what, he's nine years old. He's 10 years old

[00:56:46] in episode one. He was taken away from his mother and what's very interesting is that he was a slave. So his, view of power is like very binary.

[00:56:59] The powerful have control over the week. And, I think his way of seeing the world is very black and white. and I don't think he can separate the desire for power if you have the power then, That's

[00:57:12] good. Exactly. Yes. Thank

[00:57:15] you.

[00:57:15] Murray: like he he's like such a good cautionary tale of people that besides being like misled and, and, and tricked and stuff like that. But if he has the power, he could do things correctly that other people were not able to do. But he's so corrupted that, that just the power envelopes. And then he's just, all of a sudden empire, you know, it's like, it's a, it's a little comically fast, how quick he comes to these conclusions by understand the movie had a time crunch, but there's like, um, do you know what I'm saying?

[00:57:46] Like, he's like seeing it slow burn might have been better, but the, he does fit in this, um, the, uh, this talk of mental health, even though he's. The ultimate villain because just in, um, uh, shit, revenge of the fifth, um, where he, like, he thinks that everyone's against him and he's seeing all these things that are, are not true.

[00:58:09] Like, oh, you brought Obi-Wan here. Like you guys are teaming up against me. You're like, and when you get, uh, the, a strange thing about depression is you get very selfish and self-centered at the same time that you're thinking that no one cares about you. It's a very weird thing. Like you think

[00:58:26] that no, one's thinking about you but everybody's

[00:58:29] Josh: you think that you're being singled out and that the world is against you, right?

[00:58:32] Murray: Yeah. But at the same time, no one gives a shit about you. Like, it's very weird.

[00:58:37] And so he is like, oh, you everyone's out to get me. And then, you know, all those other things kick in of like, they're just jealous or they're scared or like, um, stuff and yeah,

[00:58:51] it's, it's very fitting.

[00:58:52] Josh: the other interesting thing though, I don't think he has another model for feeling love and compassion beyond, possession,

[00:59:01] Murray: Oh,

[00:59:02] Josh: because of his experience as a slave and his understanding of power dynamics. So when he's faced with losing his wife, he's clearly freaking out and the Jedi are very ill-equipped to know how to handle this.

[00:59:18] There's a scene that I go to all the time in Revenge of the Sith , where he goes to Yoda for help essentially. And, Yoda basically says, you have to train yourself, to let go of everything that you fear to lose. And that's like the opposite of what's helpful for Anakin to hear right now.

[00:59:36] He's he's saying I am scared because I am about to lose something I love and I don't know how to handle it. And Yoda's essentially like, well, figure out how to not care about that.

[00:59:47] Chris: Right.

[00:59:47] Josh: Uh,

[00:59:47] Murray: There's

[00:59:48] Chris: there's a sort of Buddhist teaching in there, but not handled in a Buddhist way at all.

[00:59:53] Josh: yeah. Well, so, so because. I don't think they have the tools to know what to do with this.

[01:00:00] Murray: and there's, um, there's this, this song I had to look up the, I forgot. the band's name is Jared Mees and the Grown Children, but they have this line the line goes and I'm trying to love what I know will leave. And I'm trying not to grieve prematurely and that's like, that's like, Anakin's struggle.

[01:00:19] Right? Like, he's so scared of losing, he's only focused, like he's grieving prematurely a loss that hasn't happened yet. And like, because of that, he suffers that loss, which he is ill like,

[01:00:32] uh,

[01:00:33] does not have the ability to

[01:00:34] Chris: horizon, not on the here and the.

[01:00:37] Murray: yeah.

[01:00:37] Yep.

[01:00:38] Josh: No, that's very true. so obviously, when Anakin is confronted with all of this, he, he compensates for the loss, by blaming everyone around him and

[01:00:47] Murray: Except for himself. Yeah.

[01:00:49] Josh: except for himself. And he just, he just becomes very hateful and very angry. And that's, the prison of his own making that, he's in for the next 20, 25 years.

[01:00:59] Murray: yeah.

[01:01:00] Josh: and you know, it's really interesting. I came across this quote on Instagram of all places. there's an account called starwarsconres C-O-N-R-E-S. Short for Star Wars and conflict resolution.

[01:01:13] Murray: Hmm.

[01:01:13] Josh: And, they interviewed a bunch of, guess experts about, conflict resolution and, negotiation and how it intersects with Star Wars.

[01:01:22] And there was this one quote, in regards to the conflict and the transformation of Darth Vader, the quote is: "In many ways, Anakin becomes the opposite of his former self. Indeed in times of stress, it becomes easier to define ourselves by what we are, not as opposed to what we

[01:01:37] Murray: Hmm. Damn. That's

[01:01:39] true. Yeah,

[01:01:40] Chris: well, I mean, that, that makes.

[01:01:42] Josh: yeah. And I read that and, all of a sudden, the Anakin and Darth Vader, separation, like kind of made a lot of sense, like, whereas previously I had sort of seen them as two separate characters. Like that actually makes a lot of sense. to me, the idea that, when faced with this horrible loss, he redefined himself as the opposite of everything that he was.

[01:02:05] Murray: mm-hmm

[01:02:06] no, I've seen that like again, with my dad and his struggles with mental health, he, because when I was young, so when he, my dad was maybe two or three years older than we are now, cuz I think we're all the same age. But um, he got very sick and he was sick for the remainder 30 years of his life.

[01:02:23] And so he lost his ability to do a lot of things. He used to run marathons, he ran like five of 'em. He used to cycle like 60 miles, like on like a, like a road bike and all the stuff he used to play sports. And then for the remainder of his life, even to the, when he was old enough that he would not have been able to do those things.

[01:02:42] Anyways, he always. Like judged himself by everything that he couldn't do. He couldn't run anymore. He couldn't cycle anymore. And he didn't wanna play golf because he wasn't gonna be able to drive the ball. Like, I don't know how matter of fucking many yards that he used to, you know, like, so everything about his identity came about like, oh, he can't work anymore.

[01:03:04] So like, everything was what he was not. And like everything rather than focusing on the here and now and what he could do, it was almost like he lost all the value that he saw in himself because he always just saw what he was not.

[01:03:22] So like,

[01:03:23] Chris: lines up, I think, and thank you for sharing that Murray.

[01:03:27] Murray: oh, no problem.

[01:03:27] Chris: know, that really, also lines up with cuz all the characters we're talking about here are male and that does line up with, um, the way masculinity has, has been sort of defined and forged in this country has to do with this, this notion of, of, um, There's a purpose to and there are many purposes to other izing.

[01:03:50] And one of the reasons to otherwise because those are unquote shortcomings. The standard is the standard in this country is CIS straight, you know, hetero male, white male. That's the standard. Um, you know, so you end up in this situation too, when it comes to depression and what you're describing as defining yourself by all the things that you are not, that stands in, interestingly, in direct contrast to the purpose of otherizing as it relates to masculinity in this country.

[01:04:25] And so I think that's, that's interesting too, because the characters that we're talking about, again, they they're all men who are affected by depression how easy it is to spiral and start defining yourself by you are not, which end up being your weakness, which is also again how, how.

[01:04:42] works is defining. These are, these are flaws. These are problems to be fixed.

[01:04:48] Josh: absolutely. And I think, you know, something that's really interesting to me about, Anakin Skywalker and his fall. you know, and I've said this a lot in the last few years. I think we all had a similar experience seeing it almost 20 years ago. Now, when you know, his fall seemed kind of abrupt and seemed kind of, um, hard to of accept the depiction of it.

[01:05:11] Murray: mm-hmm

[01:05:11] Josh: In the last five to 10 years or so, I've really reevaluated that. because we see a lot of dispossessed, angry young men who kind of have started to, believe these horrible, not true things in response to this, you know, sense of, desperation or, frustration or confusion, or, you know, not getting the things that they have been led to believe are rightfully theirs and like trying to come up with an explanation for it. And I think when I see ane and Skywalker now in the prequels, I see a cautionary tale, a depiction of an angry young white man who, who, um, who is acting out and who turns into an evil monster and the whole galaxy, pays for it.

[01:05:59] And I don't think it's a coincidence that, this individual story. The story of this one individual is intertwined with the fall of a cosmopolitan democracy,

[01:06:11] into a, totalitarian state,

[01:06:14] Because I think there is a connection.

[01:06:17] Murray: yeah, I think, um, kind of also touching on what you said when we were talking about the, um, I'm not meaning selfish or self-centered in a, Like the way that it's normally used, because when I'm talking about depression, I'm also talking about myself. Yeah. Like, um,

[01:06:32] Chris: a bad to it.

[01:06:33] Murray: yeah. And so there is what we're seeing now in that same vein is this, like this selfish, like the whole world's against me type vibe.

[01:06:42] And it's coming through in very dangerous ways where there's people of power and stuff, but also in like things that make your me like roll my eyes, like, um, say any story that's told on TV or movie that is from a female's point of view or a minority's point of view or heaven help us a, a minority, uh, female, then it's just kind of like, there's like, oh, there's this agenda to it, all this, like, wokes up, there's an agenda.

[01:07:08] It's like, no, not every story. That's not about a white male. Is an attack or an agenda, you know, it's just like, like the example that I'm thinking of the most, besides she Hulk, uh, even though that was a comic, as far as I know, um, is the new predator movie it's getting like, like almost like hate bomb reviewed because oh, of course it needs to be, you know, like a native American female that does all this stuff.

[01:07:36] It's like, but that's not, there's no like agenda to it. Like other people have stories to tell, but when we get into this mindset where everything is against, like, um, I was gonna say against me, but I love that band. And I don't wanna, um, bring negative connotations to the phrase, but everything's against us, like, uh, and an attack on us, even when it has nothing to do with us.

[01:07:58] And that kind of is also where we found, find Anakin, especially towards the, the third movie is everything's a purposeful attack on him. when it's like, but it's, it's not, you're like. You're just there, man.

[01:08:13] Josh: Oh, that's very interesting. you know, my closing thought, , that I think is relevant to all three of these, examples is that, you know, something we do have to remind ourselves is that in the context of these stories, the stakes really, really are that high, right? Like,

[01:08:29] Murray: Mm-hmm

[01:08:29] yeah.

[01:08:30] Josh: Like everything is a little bit heightened.

[01:08:32] Right. so I think that, these, thoughtful naturalistic, depictions of character struggling with mental illness do have to live alongside literal, galactic,

[01:08:45] Chris: Sure REM

[01:08:45] Josh: uh,

[01:08:47] Chris: Yeah.

[01:08:47] Josh: yeah. Yeah. So, so it can be kind of tricky. I would just say that, I appreciate the attempt to show the other side, the not so great side of, heroism.

[01:09:01] Murray: Yeah, very true.

[01:09:02] Josh: I would say. Uh, what about you guys? Any closing thought.

[01:09:05] Murray: I think I've said everything that I've ever thought in my life on this topic. So I think, I think we're good, but, uh, everybody, this is important to talk about, take the stigma out of it.

[01:09:14] You don't have to go bragging about being depressed, but take the stigma out of it. So people are more comfortable knowing that they're not alone. I highly encourage therapy. Um, and yeah, that's, uh, that's where I am.

[01:09:28] Josh: I also co-sign the, uh, the seeking therapy, I think it's, I think it's good for everybody. And I'll just reiterate that it's not just for when you're in crisis. I think it's actually most effective and most useful to do it semi regularly. You

[01:09:41] don't have to do it every week. Yeah.

[01:09:44] Chris: It's it.

[01:09:44] Josh: Um,

[01:09:45] Chris: Um, and also to be clear, when I say preventative, I don't mean it will prevent depression. That's not how it works, it's a preventative from, know, from it being worse than maybe it could be.

[01:09:55] Murray: Yeah.

[01:09:56] Chris: you the tools to, it gives you the tools to navigate it.

[01:09:59] That's a, that's the phrase

[01:10:00] Murray: Yes.

[01:10:01] Chris: word that was used earlier navigate, and I think it's great. Let's stick with that.

[01:10:04] Josh: I mean, like if you break your leg, if you're like you know, like a healthy athlete, who's in great shape, you will recover, much more completely and much more rapidly.

[01:10:13] Versus like, if you're really outta shape and you don't take care of yourself and you break your leg, you may have a harder, time

[01:10:18] recovering from

[01:10:19] Murray: Mm. Yeah,

[01:10:20] Josh: Chris, I know you have some resources handy , for any of our listeners , who are, struggling

[01:10:26] with mental.

[01:10:27] Chris: Um, and I will say that's sort of my parting thought on this is that. you know, there, there are resources that'll help out there, but that doesn't, that also shouldn't invalidate the experience that you have. I would say that the 9 88 suicide and crisis lifeline that's that's now available, I think is great.

[01:10:44] Uh, it's the us based suicide prevention network. over 160 crisis centers that provide 24 7 service via toll free hotline. Again, the number is 9 88 and that's available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Okay. So it's not just for suicide. It is for, for mental health crisis as well.

[01:11:03] I would say visit That's N-A-M-I dot org.. And Josh, I don't know if you can, you can share some of these links that I'm gonna mention. In the, in

[01:11:13] Josh: For sure.

[01:11:13] Chris: or whatever, that would be great. Um,

[01:11:15] Josh: Absolut.

[01:11:15] Chris: is just an amazing organization. It's the national, uh, Alliance on mental illness. They have, uh, I believe it's, I wanna say it's 50 chapters across the, across the country.

[01:11:25] they do, they do really, really terrific work. They provide resources, and this is not just for people dealing with mental health issues. also run workshops and provide services for friends and family of people who are dealing with that. so it's support for your support system too. So, uh, can't say enough good things about NAMI.

[01:11:41] And then the last thing I wanna share um, the substance abuse and mental health services administration, they have a national hot helpline, uh, SA M HS a. So they've got a, they've got a helpline as well. It's free, it's confidential, 24 7. Um, and they have, uh, referral treatment, referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and or substance use disorders in English and in Spanish that's 1 806, 6, 2 help.

[01:12:09] 1-800-662-FOUR 3 5 7. And, um, know, even if you don't think you need those resources, sometimes it's worth writing the number down or it's worth knowing 9 88 because somebody else might need it. um, you know, it's nice to have to these resources and know that they're because not everybody else that they exist.

[01:12:29] And, um, you know, on a, on a personal level, I I've been working for a, I volunteered for a while and now I work there, with a helpline for domestic, for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

[01:12:41] Murray: Hmm.

[01:12:41] Chris: you know, a lot of people will call looking for shelter and that's, that's not what we do. We connect them with shelters area and beyond, um, excuse me.

[01:12:49] And sometimes that's what they're looking for. They're looking for numbers and, you know, I, I know that you could quote unquote, just Google it, but it's not always that easy,

[01:12:58] Murray: Hmm.

[01:12:58] Chris: when somebody's in crisis. So

[01:13:00] Murray: Yeah.

[01:13:00] Chris: those are some, I think, great resources for people who

[01:13:03] Murray: Awesome.

[01:13:03] Chris: depression or know people who are struggling with depression, uh, there is help out there and sometimes it does take more than one try, but it, but you are worth it.

[01:13:12] So that's, that's it.

[01:13:13] Murray: For sure.

[01:13:14] Josh: Absolutely. Thanks so much, Chris, for compiling that and for sharing it. And again, uh, those will be in the show notes. if you like, what you heard, please rate and review the show on your podcast platform of choice. We are and trashcompod across all social media.

[01:13:30] And we'll see you on the next one.

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