How a Line From Blink-182’s New Single Refers to Star Wars


Is that title clickbait or what? I mean, it doesn’t really count since you can read this intro before you actually click, but still…anyway, let me start by saying please refrain from letting your personal musical tastes scare you away; your opinion of Blink-182 and/or their music is irrelevant as I’m merely discussing one line from their new single “Bored to Death,” and not the pros and cons of pop punk or anything like that (though I do really like the song, so feel free to make fun of me if you’d like). As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to listen to the song for this post to make sense, so your ears won’t have to cheat on Blake Shelton. All is well. Now, follow me to the mosh pit and let’s get started…

“There’s a stranger staring at the ceiling,
rescuing a tiger from a tree.”

The first time I heard this I thought, “well, that doesn’t make any sense.” And, of course, it’s not supposed to; it’s not meant to be taken literally. My initial attempt to unravel the lyric lead me to something like:  when you see a stranger, you have no idea what they’re up against, what they’re dealing with. They may appear to be innocently staring at nothing, but inside they’re wrestling with demons, dealing with loss, suffering, i.e. trying to do something as seemingly preposterous as rescuing a tiger from a tree. Then, because just about everything I think about ends up coming around to Star Wars, I decided this was really about Rey and Luke at the end of The Force Awakens and going forward into Episode VIII.

Rey, the Stranger
ReytheStranger Okay, all lineage theories, etc. aside, for all we know right now, Rey is a stranger when she appears before Luke. And what does she do when she sees him? Does she introduce herself or even offer a greeting? No, she remains a stranger and simply stares at him. He is the ceiling. He is the top, the pinnacle of the light side of the Force, everything Rey now aspires to be. She stares at him knowing she’s about to embark on a journey that will be even more arduous and dangerous than trying to rescue a tiger from a tree. And how does she start this journey? By poking the tiger, showing him something that, rather than ease his mind, instead incites his existing turmoil, but it was the only play she had; those were the cards she was dealt, and you can’t improve your hand before working with what you have…

Luke, the Tiger
LuketheTiger Under normal circumstances, there is absolutely no reason a tiger couldn’t rescue itself from a tree, but these are not normal circumstances. Just as Luke is the ceiling, he’s also the tiger:  he’s strong, agile, top of the Force food chain…but his mind is rattled. He was tasked by Yoda to “pass on what you have learned,” but, in doing so, inadvertently created a monster in Kylo Ren who destroyed all he had built. Now he’s backed himself up a tree and it’s not that he can’t come down, but that he won’t. He’s isolated himself in an attempt to learn to be perfect from the past, but clearly the Jedi of old were flawed; look how they ended up…he needs someone to rescue him so that he can, once again, rescue the galaxy and successfully create a New Jedi Order (get it?). Snoke said it himself, “if Skywalker returns, the new Jedi will rise.” If the stranger rescues the tiger, they will be unstoppable. I believe Episode VIII will be all about this process, setting up the showdown in Episode IX…it’s sure to be bumpy, but it’ll be one hell of a ride…

So there you have it. Basically everything is about Star Wars if you try hard enough. I don’t think this was much of a stretch, though, personally. When this came to me it was a pretty bright light bulb moment; it definitely makes me like the song more, too, because now it immediately reminds me of Star Wars and gets me thinking about Rey and Luke and how their relationship will take shape…you might say “Bored to Death” gets me excited as hell for Episode VIII (terrible, I know). So, thanks Blink-182, keep up the hidden Star Wars references. Well, that’ll do it for this post…let me know what you think in the comments below, and I’ll catch you next time…until then, may the Force be with you…


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