When Fiction Makes Me Feel Real

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So last week was a tough week for me as a fan of entertainment. So much had happened by Wednesday and by Saturday night i felt odd, sad, empty and eerily happy….

I’m not one to get emotional at the movies, books or other forms of entertainment. I love exploring the concepts, i enjoy talking about plot, development, narrative and story beats with friends who are equally savvy and interested but last week was different.

Damian Wayne’s death and Ahsoka Tano’s departure in the Clone Wars has impacted me in a way i could never begin to expect. Having recently graduated from college, i am in an odd place where the crossroads are before me and the child seeking adventure in me is anxious to live life and enjoy but the harsh adult in me scolds him in every way possible back to reality. You see i began following the stories of Damian, the son of Batman and Ahsoka, Anakin’s apprentice back in 2008, at a time where i was immersed in my own world, struggling through sophomore year of high school and trying to make friendships last when i seemed to be socially unable to connect with people. I began getting more and more immersed in comics at the time and i was always a Star Wars buff so Clone Wars was a no brainer for me. There is no hiding it, i grew up with those characters, found myself connecting with them on a level i couldn’t begin to comprehend, until now. I was a bit taken back by DC’s announcement of Damian’s fate and a bit angry. On Wednesday i read the issue and my god!, Morrison was right, i did feel like a part of me died, like i knew this person. But i’m happy i felt pain in this way; Why? because it’s a testament that i was not wrong in choosing to follow these characters who i grew to love and accept into their respective mythos. Ahsoka was not initially accepted by fans as they saw her as an absurdity, another George Lucas scheme. Damian was viewed as a cliché move by Batman fans who wanted him dead as soon as his arrogance was displayed. On Saturday night i saw The Clone Wars on my DVR and wow, i was amazed at the beautiful ending and tragic words exchanged between her and Anakin. Two beloved fictional characters have left the positions i liked having them in. As it is always been said: “All good things come to an end”. The ending matters little to me, i see that now. It is the journey that has made their endings so powerful, so praiseworthy.

Ahsoka gained immense popularity in Star Wars fandom and Damian found his day in the sun with the Batman mythos, and they grew, far beyond what their original purposes may have been. I grew as they grew, i changed as they changed and i learned from works of fiction so powerful that i got to a stage in my life where i was done being the kid longing for social acceptance and became the kid satisfied with what he has, able to talk to a stranger in confidence and able to stand before the face of an issue in life and take it head on. Ahsoka became the confident and memorable Jedi she always strived to be: learning from mistakes and doing good, not by what a strict code forces on her but by what was humanly right. Damian learned to tame himself and direct his anger in a useful way, he taught me that our past doesn’t define us and that we are the pilots of our own destinies and we are capable of drastic change when we are determined enough. On Wednesday Damian died a hero, saving lives in a fictional world where his fictional self learned the non fictional truth that we are who we choose to be. He wanted to be the hero and he was. On Saturday, Ahsoka chose to leave the crumbling Jedi Order after being blamed for a crime she didn’t commit. She left not out of anger or pure sadness but because she had outgrown them. She is forever better than the Jedi Order who grew so flawed and arrogant which led to their demise. With Clone Wars possibly being over and Grant Morrison wrapping up his seven-year run on Batman in June with Batman Inc #12; it seems the characters that helped me grow up are leaving. It’s not goodbye as it never is. My world, it will end but theirs is forever flowing, a fictional world of endless possibilities where the witness who peeks at it from our mortal world may look upon it and find a piece of themselves and maybe for just a few minutes be transported to a world of beautiful fiction where the laws of science and nature are defied and where good will always conquer evil. I spent a good deal of time with these characters and i do not leave empty-handed. I bring back with me lessons of life, morals, and fond memories of a time when i grew up to learn the beauty that i can find within myself, and the world around me. So thank you Dave Filoni and Grant Morrison, you two have given me characters i will cherish forever. Death and endings are only temporary in fiction. And so i await the return of both characters in the coming future, may they return to teach me again and if not me, then another kid who also needs a little help figuring out life. After all there’s always something a little ways down the road, and my road seems to go farther than my eyes can see. Thank you.

– Buzz

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