The Last Jedi and ADHD


A fair number of people have asked what I thought of The Last Jedi. I’m hoping, with the DVD freshly out, that things have calmed down enough this won’t be controversial. Because I have some thoughts that are relevant to my work and hopefully to you.

Whether or not you liked The Last Jedi, are playing the “underwhelmed” game, or anything else, it has some really important themes that are worth addressing.

Leave the past behind

This includes old prejudices. Up until the moment he dies, Snoke cannot conceive of the possibility that Rey might not be from some noble Force Family. He gave up on guessing, but he didn’t give up that idea. And he was dead wrong. Leave our past prejudices behind. Kill them if we have to.

We don’t have to be from the proper race, gender, orientation, or (especially) the right socioeconomic background to be special and achieve great things. And neither does Rey.

Also, don't be afraid to go forward, move on to something better. And sometimes we can't without intentionally leaving something else behind. If I'm forever mourning some project I never finished, that's energy I'm not putting forward towards something new and better that I am more likely to do an benefit from. (Or some old attitude about who I think I should be.)

Jedi lessons

This might be the most controversial bit, but my new favorite Yoda line of all time is in The Last Jedi.

Not all of Yoda’s lines have sat so well with me. “Do or do not. There is no try,” sounds a little too close to the nightmare phrases so many ADHDers hear growing up. Phrases like, “If you really cared, you would just do it,” still haunt some of us to our cores. I get that it’s supposed to be about really giving something your all, but there’s got to be a way to say that without setting off all the perfectionist alarms.

Instead, in The Last Jedi, Yoda says something that should sing out to anyone who is really listening— especially ADHDers. …Ready?

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”

Wait… Yoda is saying that I don’t need to be ashamed or guilty about the things I didn’t succeed at? I should try anyway and embrace my failures, learn from them, and get back on the horse?? That I can be better tomorrow than I am today? By failing!?!

This is the antidote to fear and debilitating perfectionism! It’s the very reason to keep doing things and take risks. This is my Yoda.