On Easter Monday my family watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi for the first time.
It was really all my brother’s doing. He’d been really keen to watch Star Wars; without his enthusiasm I might never have got around to watching it. But I’m glad I did.
It seemed especially appropriate, or maybe ironic, to watch Return of the Jedi the day after Easter.
All stories try to tell us something. This is why stories are so powerful, so popular. Every story attempts to tell us something about the nature of reality, what the world is like, or should be like.
Ever notice how you subconsciously want to be like the characters you read about? As determined as Frodo Baggins, as heroic as Luke Skywalker, as loyal as Sam Gamgee or as smart as Sherlock Holmes? That’s the power of story inspiring you.
Ever notice how the tales of love and family in movies like Old Yella, Cheaper by the Dozen, Sound of Music, Cars, Up and yes, Star Wars tug at your heartstrings? That’s the power of story, showing you the beauty of the themes it talks about.
Well told, stories can become powerful ways to show a message to millions of people across the world, and subconsciously attract them to it.
Star Wars is like that. Star Wars is a skilfully told, classic exciting adventure, and through the adventure and the flash machines and the explosions, it weaves a story of love, family and the power of humanity.
I hope you’ve watched the movies, because otherwise I’m so going to spoil it for you.
Throughout Return of the Jedi, Luke is hoping that he can “turn” his father back to the good side of the Force. He believes there is still good in Darth Vader, and that the ties of love between father and son can bring that out in him. Meanwhile, the Emperor believes that once you turn evil there is no going back. Annakin Skywalker gave in to his feelings of hatred and anger, and now there can be no redemption for him.
See how it seemed appropriate or ironic (I’m not sure which) to watch it right after Easter?
Star Wars paints a universe where good and evil lives inside everyone, and they have to choose whom they will serve. It promises that you can resist evil like Luke did, and that the ties of love and family offer a chance of salvation, even at the cost of great sacrifice, even for Darth Vader. It declares that through your innate powers, you can do all things.
The Bible also paints a universe where good and evil fight for control of humanity. But humans are enslaved to sin, since the garden of Eden. But there is a new hope! Jesus came down and through His self-sacrifice, broke the power of sin over our lives. Belief in the love of Christ gives us redemption, and through Christ, we can do all things.
These stories are so similar but so different. In Star Wars, Darth Vader’s love for his son, and Luke’s love for his father, saves Vader from evil. In reality, Christ’s love for us saves us, even when we were still sinners and did not love Him. In Star Wars, Luke’s power comes from within him, from his connection with The Force. In reality, we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.
Star Wars is so powerful because it is dealing with a fundamental part of human existence, and it takes a little bit of truth and mixes it in with a lie.
But as long as we long for redemption, as long as we want to know that there is good and that there is evil, and that we can be on the good side, then we will want to watch movies that promise that. Like Star Wars. iHis