I have two boys. They are 8 and 9 years old. So you can guess what they love. Star Wars. The first movie, the original first movie, came out when I was in the third grade. I didn’t see it in the theater. According to my church, that was an evil forbidden place. It wasn’t until I was in high school and VHS came out that I was able to see it for the first time. My dad, sister, and I trekked a mile through the snow on a snow day in Little Rock, AR, to the grocery store and a video store, and I finally saw it. The ethics of not being able to see it in the theater but it being OK to rent it on video tape is for another discussion altogether. Suffice it to say that I feel it is important to be consistent with standards, and this was not consistent. But I digress.
So Karmen is OOT this weekend, Wed through Sat, so us boys have been on a Star Wars binge. I have never seen the new 2nd and 3rd movies. My boys have. It was one of those things where I had been trying to hold out, them seeing it I mean, especially on the 3rd one because I had heard that it was a little dark (if you know anything about the story you will pardon the pun), but they had seen it at relatives houses over holidays and lake houses over vacations with friends. So I needed to catch up, and catch up I have. I wouldn’t claim to be some fanatic who will show up at 7, 8, and 9 in costume (if George Lucas decides to cash in again by adding to his empire (again pardon the pun)), but I do think the story line is pretty darn good.
Well tonight we watched 3, The Revenge of the Sith, and I noticed a very interesting thing. Actually a biblical thing. Maybe I am not putting out anything new here with this observation, but I thought it worth a post. There is truth and good all over the place in this world, even in things that seem on the surface to be bad, and I believe that in these places where truth is evident, God is working there. Well there is some solid truth in the Star Wars story. From this point on if you don’t know the story, you may be lost with what I have to say.
Anakin Skywalker is believed by the Jedi, the keepers of the good side of The Force, to be a manifestation of an ancient prophesy which predicts and individual to come along that stabilizes The Force. But it becomes apparent through the first 2 movies in the series that Anakin is a troubled soul who is filled with fear of various sorts. He has lost his mother which was devastating for him, and it fuels a low grade anger within him along with a fear of losing those close to him. He marries, which is against the Jedi code, keeps the marriage secret, and then his wife becomes pregnant. As with his mother, he begins to have nightmares which predict his wife’s death during childbirth. The Sith, the keepers of the dark side of The Force, recognize Anakin’s fears and use them to turn him against the Jedi. He ends up destroying all the Jedi except Yoda and his own master, OB1 Kenobi. The Sith fuel fear and hate in Anakin and lie to him about the fact that by learning the dark side of The Force, he will be able to save his wife from death. When this doesn’t occur and she does die in childbirth, his hate and fear come full circle and he is left with no other option than to continue on in the path he has chosen. He becomes Darth Vader and is eventually killed by Luke Skywalker, his own son, who when he comes of age helps resurrect the Jedi under the apprenticeship of the exiled Yoda and OB1 Kenobi. That is what the original three movies, now 4, 5, and 6, are all about. It really is an amazing story line.
What I noticed is this, and Yoda even says it in the movie: Anakin is not able to let go of the things he loves. His fear of losing the things and people he loves it what leads to his turn to evil and eventual destruction. And I think this is exactly what Christ is talking about when he talks about he who wants to save his live must lose it. He is telling us that we have to hold on to things in this life loosely and not let possession of them consume us. Our love for God and yearning to relate to him must be the thing that consumes us just like the Jedi are consumed with an intimate knowledge of and harmony with the good side of The Force. We, like the Jedi, cannot be consumed with the things of this world as they can be taken in an instant, and an unwillingness to lose them will destroy us.
You may think I am crazy, but that message is in there. I don’t have any idea what George Lucas believes, and probably most would say that Star Wars is more “New Age-ish” than anything, but there are plenty of Christlike ideals in there, and my boys and I had some good discussion tonight about good versus evil.
Well, now I feel like watching Apocalypto by myself. Definitely not a kids movie. May The Force be with you.