Saturday, May 21, 2005

Darth Jesus

I greatly enjoyed watching the latest Star Wars installement, Revenge of the Sith, earlier this week.

Across the six movies in the Star Wars series, Anakin Skywalker -- the Chosen One -- has a "virgin birth" in The Phantom Menace and after a spectacular fall in Revenge of the Sith ends up redeeming the galaxy from the evil empire and gaining "eternal life" in Return of the Jedi. The mythic elements are quite powerful -- Joseph Campbell would be very proud of his apprentice, George Lucas.

Examining the Star Wars saga for parallels in the Christian mythos it came to me that the story of Darth Vader is somewhat like what the story of Jesus would have been if he'd given in to temptation in the desert and taken up secular power in first century Palestine, only to have a change of heart and die on the cross in the last reel after all.

Human heroes, it seems, are more real if they've got feet of clay. It impresses me that despite influences that would have tried to suppress expressions of the humanity of Jesus in the gospels, the picture of Jesus as a fallible human being still remains clear. The disciples exasperate him, he is wracked by doubts, his anger gets the best of him, and so on.

Come to think of it, it's only through love for his son that Darth Vader is saved in Return of the Jedi. Maybe there's something to be said for the patriarchal Father of some parts of the Old Testament -- the God that has no problem killing innocents or destroying entire cities -- being redeemed by love for the Son.

2 Comments:

Blogger the reverend mommy said...

Welcome to the Blogosphere!
I didn't think you would be able to resist!

11:06 AM  
Blogger hooey said...

Nice blog Dave. I, too, have a blog; a very progressive one.
http://educationalvignette.blogspot.com/

12:11 PM  

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