Beware the Dark Side of the Force:
Welcome to our second devotional about messages from the movies. Alan Macdonald says, “While some Christians believe it is safer to avoid film and videos altogether, most would accept that films can entertain, inform and even teach us new truths about life.” (Movies in Close-up). I agree with him. I enjoy watching movies. Now there are many films that I would never see – such as those full of grossly immoral content. But I believe there are many good movies out there that are not only fun entertainment, but also contain good messages as well. Take the original Star Wars trilogy for example: a great metaphor for the Christian life…
Luke Skywalker is like a believer who must learn to use the Force to defeat Darth Vader and the powers of Evil. In the same way, the Christian needs God’s help to defeat the devil and the powers of Darkness. The Force in the Star Wars movies is similar, but not identical, to God. For example, Obi-wan Kenobi describes the Force like this: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”In a similar way, God is the one who gives the Christian his power (strength), but God wasn’t created by all living things, rather God is the Creator of all living things. God surrounds us and penetrates us – in Him we live and move and have our being. And God binds the galaxy together. Obviously any metaphorical comparison we make between Star Wars and Christianity is going to be flawed and imperfect, but it’s still fun.
In Star Wars: A New Hope, Obi-wan Kenobi warned Luke about the dangers of the Dark Side, “Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.”Obi-wan could be seen as a symbol of Jesus. He is killed in a battle with the bad guy, Darth Vader, but he returns from the dead in spiritual form to lead Luke in the ways of the Force. Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for…if I depart, I will send (the Holy Spirit) to you.” (John 16:7). After Jesus rose from the dead, He sent His other self, the Holy Spirit, to come and guide Christians into all truth (John 16:13). Just like Obi-wan did with Luke. Obi-wan spoke to the young Jedi these words of wisdom, “Use the force, Luke, let it guide your actions.”
In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke learns the ways of the force from Yoda. Yoda says, “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger…fear…aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.” Darth Vader could be seen as a type of the devil or a backslidden Christian. Darth Vader was once a good Jedi knight named Anakin Skywalker (the hero of Star Wars Episodes I-III) who was consumed by a hunger for power that led him down the path to the Dark Side. Just like the devil who was an angel of light who fell into the trap of pride. Christians too can be tempted by the devil to turn to evil, just like Darth Vader tried to tempt Luke Skywalker to join him on the Dark Side. That’s why the Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
The message in Star Wars is: beware of the Dark Side. Like Yoda said, “Once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny, consume you it will.”
Pastor Chris Jordan