The concept of free will on one hand, and determinism on the other reeks of philosophical drivel to those that work a nine to five job. Who cares about that stuff except stoners, and hipsters with a twitter feed to cliff notes from Nietzsche?
Tony Loiseleur's brilliant story on Amanda Lucas doesn't explore that debate, but it does reveal what to many feels like a refutation of determinism: who but an animal of pure volition would choose to become a professional fighter in the uncertain world of female MMA despite being the daughter of the man who gave birth to Star Wars?
What makes Amanda Lucas' story so interesting is not just that many of us probably envy her childhood (well...before 1999 at least). But that in a world that is desperate for stars, the daughter of George Lucas competing in "our" sport has flown under the radar.
It's easy to be suspicious of these endeavors. Is it a cry for help? A demand for attention? A "phase", which only the privileged can so often afford? These are not the impressions you get from reading about Lucas. She fulfills every responsibility you'd expect from a fighter despite a difficult weight cut in one sequence. And ultimately, the image of Amanda Lucas the reader gets is that of an individual who is simply doing what she loves.
Hard to believe someone with a privileged background could simply love fighting? Try this experiment. Explain to me why your heart begins to race, and your palms begins to sweat as you process the visuals of Boba Fett, the Millennium Falcon, the labored but robotic breathing of Darth Vader, the arrogant charm of Han Solo, or the snowy landscape littered with All Terrain Armored Transport Walkers...
Those are all things that simultaneously defy explanation, validate themselves, and reveal your quirks (and lack of a social life in many cases), but for which you probably can't explain. Chances are, you can relate to Amanda's unlikely story in some way. Simply put, our passions don't lend themselves to classification. How would she like to be thought of?
She remains to the world, not "Amanda Lucas, the fighter," but still rather "Amanda Lucas, daughter of Star Wars creator George Lucas." Difficult as it may be, it is a distinction she hopes she can change before she hangs up the gloves.
"I’d love for them to think, ‘Hey, she was a great fighter,’ and, hopefully, maybe that I was a good champion if that can ever happen," she says with a hopeful smile. "Definitely not just, ‘Oh, she was George Lucas’ daughter.’ I’d want people to remember that I did something on my own and that it was pretty cool."