Three Things Star Wars Can Teach Us About Christianity

It’s not at all surprising that Disney chose to release the seventh installment of the Star Wars series, The Force Awakens, during the Christmas season. Sure this time of year is great for movie-goers, but I think the Christian narrative parallels the epic science fiction series more than you might imagine.

So this weekend, as millions flock to theaters, here are a few similarities to consider.

The Force

A long time ago, in a village far, far away…

When George Lucas originally crafted the Star Wars series, he used an all-binding, metaphysical power called, the Force, as his central idea. The Force maintains a balance between good and evil among the universe and allows individuals to tap into both sides of its nature.

The Jedi, or the guardians of the Force, rely upon its presence to guide them through adversity as they battle the Dark Side.

In the Christian narrative, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin entered into the story. Throughout the Old Testament and the history of God’s people, the Jews, there is a similar struggle between good and evil. From the beginning, God provides supernatural assistance to those who call upon His name.

I laughingly think of all the instances where the Force aided the Jedi and where God’s Spirit aided His people.

For example, as Luke and Obi-Wan-Kenobi are escaping the storm trooper’s barricade in A New Hope, Obi-Wan says, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

In the Old Testament, Rahab, a prostitute, hides spies sent by Joshua saying, “They left. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.”

“May the Force be with you.”

A Prophetic Savior

In Lucas’s story, there is a prophecy which states that there would be one who would bring balance to the Force. We learn in the prequel trilogy that this one is believed to be Anakin Skywalker, a child. And we attach to this character because of the promise surrounding his birth.

In the Christian narrative, God sends his son, Jesus, as the prophetic Savior, a Messiah for His people’s redemption. And we first learn of Jesus at his birth at Christmas—the child in a manger.

Of course there are many differences, but isn’t it curious that both Jesus and Anakin, at one point in the story, go to the Dark Side?

Anakin becomes the evil sith lord, Darth Vader, while Jesus bears the sins of humanity in His death on the cross and descends into hell on the behalf of mankind.

Another interesting similarity is that both figures die during the story but later appear as risen.

Seeing the similarity yet?

Wisdom from the Past

Lastly, and probably my favorite parallel, is the idea that both the Jedi and God’s people are aided by their predecessors.

In the films, Luke is aided by both Obi-Wan and Yoda, Jedi Masters who showed him the ways of the Force. Even after their death, they are able to aid Luke through the power and community they held together.

As a Christian, the greatest revelation I’ve had is learning from my Christian brothers and sisters who have gone before me.

In the Bible, we’re given stories of God’s people. In our lives of faith, we learn from those faithful individuals who have modeled obedience and service.

I think of Abraham and Joseph and Moses and David. And in the New Testament: Peter and Paul and James and John. In each of these stories, I’ve learned valuable lessons from these long-dead patriarchs that have shaped my relationship with God.

As we model our lives after theirs, we experience the power of community we share in our faith in God.

◊♦◊

Too often we may feel like Christianity is obtuse and unreliable.

I would never suggest that the Star Wars series could or should supplant the Gospel, but with this newfound perspective, I believe it can enhance the story and further cement the narrative in our hearts and minds.

In a way, Lucas is simply shadowing the deep truths of scripture, thus giving us a perspective to engage our faith in a more impactful and meaningful relationship.

MH

, ,

  • Matthew, hello and Merry-Merry-Blessed Christmas to you and all those you hold so dear. My name is Amber-Lee and I found you, Rachel and Mike during my frustrated search tonight for ONE WORD… to base 2014 and all I aspire to be and do, on. (I do so love the fact that I no longer miss these blessings!!)

    As I found my way over here, to you, I started reading your blogs, filling my heart with the love that is so easy to feel here and moved onto some of the post’s comments ~ I have been following and reading Joseph Lalonde for almost a year now and when I saw him speaking with you here, well, I knew that my answer would come… I was on the right path.

    I am still waiting for that ONE WORD to come to me, to feel it in my gut, as a very good friend said it must ~ I am also a blogger, I blog for our business in Alaska, so the WORD needs to work for my entire life…although that shouldn’t make much of a difference because- HA! My work IS my life! I do so love what we do… I am a single momma, in a very remote area of the Wrangell Mountains and we will be celebrating our 90th Anniversary in 2014. 2013 was a VERY challenging (snort!) year with blessings hidden in each disaster that tested our resolve. We stand firm.

    I believe STRONGLY that these tests were an opportunity to prove and show my Faith, as we kept working to move forward and Stay the Path… but, not everyone sees things my way (no, I don’t get it either!). I look forward to getting to know you all and to enjoy being part of something so special with others.

    I am so blessed to have found you.

    • Amber-Lee – Thank YOU so much for your kind words. Happy that you’ve found My One Word. Don’t hesitate to visit their site at http://www.myoneword.org. I’ll be praying for your discovery of your word in 2014 and we look forward to walking with you in whatever way we can. Please stay in touch!

  • Pingback: Defining Trust | Matt Ham()