Are We Looking at Our Own Jedi Moment?

by midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Kevin Homan, PM

I was lucky this last year that I got the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s off so it was nice to spend the week with my family and not have any work to worry about. On the Tuesday after Christmas we went out and watched Coco as a family. My wife and I both made the mistake of chopping onions towards the end of the movie, and while its a wonderful movie, Coco isn’t the particular movie I’m talking about (but seriously go see it). I am, of course, referencing Star Wars here, as several days later my son and I finally went out and saw The Last Jedi. The movie seems to be polarizing to Star Wars fans, some liking the movie, others not. I happened to very much enjoy the movie, and while no movie is perfect, I found it very enjoyable and feel it really furthered the lore of the Star Wars universe. I also, a day later, found myself thinking about the movie, its relation to the Prequels (more on that shortly), and the relation between Freemasonry and the fictional Jedi Order.

To begin, we go all the way back to the Prequels, a VERY sore subject for darn near 99% of Star Wars fandom (I happen to be in that 99%). However, I do think the prequels do get one thing right: the Jedi Order, and the rise of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. Now, it's easy to see the movies and just say “well, Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine was so powerful, that along with Anakin Skywalker as the most powerful Jedi, they took over the entire galaxy”. That’s all well and good, but it also ignores that the Jedi Order had Jedi who were just as powerful in the Force as Sheev Palpatine. In the Phantom Menace, when Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Master Qui-Gon Jinn first meet Anakin Skywalker, Qui-Gon instantly can “feel” that Anakin is Force sensitive. Furthermore, mention is made that the Order is able to detect Force sensitive children from birth, so it shouldn’t be too much of a leap to assume that Palpatine at some point should have come across the radar of the Jedi Order, yet he didn’t. Why? Fan theories and even the books have filled in a simple explanation, but the simplest explanation is...the Jedi Order became complacent, and forgot their ways. Their complacency was their downfall, just as it will be Freemasonry’s if we don’t do something about it.

In short, Freemasonry, like any other organization has had its ups, and downs. Our most notable ups would be after World War I, and World War II. With the period after World War II seeing growth in both membership, as well as growth in Masonic buildings. We brought in members, enjoyed lavish buildings and filled our coffers, but largely acted as a men's club and not much else. 

Which brings us to today. Our buildings, which were once opulent, have either been sold or are in need of massively expensive overhauls from years of neglect. Our members are dying off. And year after year, Grand Lodges across the country are losing members in droves instead of adding replacements to keep us alive. What happened? Like the Jedi Order, we became complacent. Lodges deferred Temple repairs and updates at a time when it would have been more affordable and eventually put themselves in a bind, with decreased membership, and income low because dues hadn’t been raised. Lodges either had to sell their property or just let it continue to fester. Lodges that did attempt to raise dues either had a revolt, or the membership outright voted not to increase it. Comfortability in our surroundings led to complacency. We downsized buildings, merged Lodges or just outright closed them altogether. 

The Last Jedi struggles with another theme, that of, "We need a hero." We need a recognizable hero. Initially Rey doesn’t understand this, and the point isn’t hammered home until the very end of the movie (which I won’t spoil here) that it isn’t about Skywalker’s, Solo’s or Akhbar’s. The Last Jedi isn’t about a recognizable name from the past coming out of hiding to save the day. It’s about the future, Rey, and Finn and Poe. The Rebellion (now the Resistance) , the Jedi Order (and the Sith) are now in the hands of Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren. Luke, Leia and the rest did their job, they saved the day once already, but now it's time for a new generation to step up and do the same. 

This topic is something I see Lodges and Masonic organizations struggling with; We (naturally) focus on our generation, our friend groups and peers, when we should be instead, looking forward. This is not to say we should just ignore our peer group and only look to the younger generations to save us. It will take ALL of us to save us. But the point I’m trying to make is that interest in Freemasonry is out there among the millennial generation and we have millennials among our ranks. We need to cater our message to them to get them to come out in greater numbers. Many Lodges and organizations use Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Twitter, which is great and keeps us quickly on the same page, but these efforts need to go further. We need to make sure we don’t skip a generation; We need to bring in the millennials. And eventually the millennials will be who will is running the show and they will need to figure out how to speak to the generations that follow them.

Freemasonry and its future hinges on what we do next. It hinges on us speaking to the next generation, to let them know it's “their time to lead”. If we can’t do that it may be the end of the Republic.


WB Kevin Homan was Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in August of 2007 at Olive Branch Lodge No. 114 in Leesburg, VA., and since then has like many Masons, involved himself in more and more bodies. In addition to being a Past Master of Olive Branch Lodge, Kevin is a member of Potomac Chapter No. 88, RAM, Piedmont Commandery No. 26 and the Alexandria Scottish Rite Bodies. Additionally Bro Kevin is a member of several of the York Rite invitational Bodies. Bro Homan has been married to his wife Hillary for the past ten years and they have three wonderful (mostly) children. When he’s not doing something with his family or the Lodge Kevin enjoys a good glass of Scotch, the occasional cigar and reading a good book in his office, which “smells of leather-bound books and rich mahogany.

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