This saying should automatically make you think of the now Disney-owned franchise of Star Wars. I have long been a fan of this galaxy far, far away. This article is my attempt to harmonise the two worlds – Star Wars and the Christian faith.
The stories of Star Wars all carry themes that can find a parallel in the Bible, but I exclude the Sequel Trilogy/storylines from this article.
I am one with the force and the force is with me
Obi-Wan Kenobi teaches Luke in Episode IV: A New Hope, that, the force is ‘…an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.’
Similarly, the apostle Paul teaches us that there is ‘one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,’ and that Jesus Christ holds all things together. In both narratives, the implication is mind-blowing: from the smallest particle to the expanse of space, this power is all-consuming and arguably unfathomable.
Fulfil your destiny
In the original trilogy, Darth Vader challenged Luke Skywalker to ‘fulfil your destiny’. Vader of course had evil Sith-based plans but the challenge can resonate with much of the Christian message.
Jesus himself had his own destiny to fulfil. We see this in Luke chapter 19, verse 10: ‘For the son of Man came to seek and save the lost.’
Part of Jesus mission was to provide a ‘spiritual destiny’ – to those who would believe in Him, the words from John chapter 10 verse 10 state ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to abundance.’
From obscurity to identity and purpose
The parallels within the Star Wars universe – of Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode I: The Phantom Menace show the young protagonist (Luke and Anakin respectively) beginning their story as a nobody. Both were thrust into adventure through their encounters with the Jedi – Obiwan/Old Ben for Luke, and Quigon for young Anakin. The transition also came with discovering their identity.
The Christian concept of destiny is also combined with the Christian identity. Similarly, until we come to faith, we are in relative obscurity. But, part of the faith journey is the discovery that we have been chosen by God. As an extension of the Jews being God’s chosen people, the believers of Jesus become children of God. Identity, destiny and vision all come together under Christ and God. We can know who we are, we can all unite in purpose in serving God, and we can all look forward to returning to His Holy presence in heaven.
Lightsabers and swords
Lightsabers have been compared to laser swords. We learn that to a Jedi, their lightsaber is their life. Considering a Jedi padawan’s journey includes finding the Kyber crystal and then they are to build their lightsaber using the force, the two form a close relationship.
Fun fact – Obiwan takes Anakin’s lightsaber after defeating him at the of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – representing him taking away the symbol of Anakin’s life.
In Ephesians chapter 6 Paul uses the Roman military armour to highlight aspects or attributes important to the spiritual battle. The sword represents the Word of God – it is the sole offensive weapon in the list. Hebrews chapter four, verse 12 also calls the Word of God living and active, presenting it as ‘sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’
Beware: The Dark Side
The dark side of the force represents evil. We learn more about the Sith in the Prequel Trilogy and their code – but it is inherently selfish and self-seeking. Side by side, the two are clearly diametrically opposed. Both cannot be true and the absolute truth and reality is both acknowledge there is the Force. You can extend this analogy to our world – good vs evil; God vs Satan.
The chosen one
In Star Wars, the Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy also had a focal point on the prophecy of the Chosen One, who would bring balance to the Force. Both trilogies show that Anakin would fulfil his destiny as the Chosen One. This is also why the recent Sequel Trilogy should really be ignored.
Jesus is our Chosen One. The Old Testament prophecies all point to His first coming, and also His second coming. It is through Jesus that we can find forgiveness of our sins. As John chapter 14 verse 6 states, ‘Jesus answered, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.
Only faith in Christ can restore us to God and provide us with the true peace.
The redemption of Darth Vader is also a key lesson – there is always time to change and repent. His redemption and return of good in the form of Anakin is an example of the power of our Gospel – no one is ever too far gone to be saved – in our case – by Jesus.
Star Wars offers an imperfect, yet intriguing look at spiritual themes which we can apply in our real life, and ultimately point to Jesus through them. I also like to think of the Force being the equivalent of the Holy Spirit in our world.
God from our galaxy could indeed be the Force in the Star Wars galaxy!
Nic Lee works by day as a Business Analyst Consultant whilst, outside of business hours, maintains an IT support & website services business. He volunteers with 89.9 LightFM (Christian Community Radio). Nic has served for over twenty years in his local church, in worship, technology consulting, life group leading and event management.