This post originally appeared on OTYCD in February 2018.
Believe it, you matter: The meaning of ‘You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.’
Sarah Jane here.
Every now and again you’ll see me slip a line into a post:
“You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.”
It’s a paraphrase of a line in the 1981 film Time Bandits.
It comes from a scene toward the end, when (spoiler alert) God (yes, that one) comes to collect the Time Bandits and take them back with him, where they will pay penance for stealing God’s map and traveling through time to commit robberies by serving in lowly jobs with a pay cut back-dated to the beginning of time.
One of the Time Bandits asks if Kevin, the young mortal boy who joined them on their travels, can come along to what God calls creation:
What about my friend, sir? Can he come with us?
No, of course not. This isn’t a school outing.
But sir, he deserves something. I mean, without him–
Oh. don’t go on about it. He’s got to stay here to carry on the fight.
The line is mysterious, and deliberately so.
The film ends soon after, with Kevin still the age of a preteen boy.
We never learn any more about the nature of the fight God mentions, or why Kevin is the one who needs to fight, and what God might mean when he says that Kevin needs to stay back on Earth and carry on the fight.
When things feel extra bad and weird and hopeless and miserable, I think back to this line from one of my favorite films, and I imagine I’m Kevin.
No matter what happens, I’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight until I can’t fight any longer, or until an impeccably dressed Ralph Richardson and six ragged-looking little thieves show up to spirit me away.
I’d prefer the latter way to go, for what it’s worth.
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