If you know me, you know that I love Star Wars! But why? I mean, the movies are pretty cheesy, with plenty of plot-holes and clunky dialogues, “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere” (Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones). Though these statements of why not to watch Star Wars are true, there are also the action scenes, the books, the video games, and most definitely– the lightsabers–these are what sell it for me. All of that, and because of one other reason that flows much deeper.
The top reason why I love Star Wars, is because how much I can apply being a Jedi, to being a Christian. Now true, it is no secret that the philosophy of the Force has been heavily shaped by Taoism, Zoroastrianism, as well as influenced by other eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Stoicism; however, there are still many aspects of Star Wars that can be loosely related to Christianity. Now, know that I do not uphold it as Scripture, nor am I trying to add to the Bible (for the Bible only is the Word of God); however, I do believe that perspective and knowledge can still be gained from looking at other religions, such as the ones that have shaped the ideas of the Jedi and the Force.
“For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is.” –Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
Master Yoda tells how the Force is his ally. How he lets it flow through him, that he does not control it. And it is discovered in The Phantom Menace that the Jedi’s connection to the Force comes from the midichlorians that live within him, allowing him access to many abilities, such as to heal, to see the future, and to mind trick Stormtroopers. Similarly how the Holy Spirit lives within a Christian. How he cannot control it, and how it allows him access to abilities and gifts, how the Holy Spirit becomes his powerful ally.
“We’re keepers of the peace, not soldiers.” –Mace Windu, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Now this is an interesting quote. For the Jedis’ role were to be peacekeepers across the galaxy, yet there were several times which they were needed to play the roles of generals and soldiers in many galactic wars. It’s interesting, because Christians are called out to be both. To be both peacekeepers, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9), and to be soldiers, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:11-12). Just as the Jedi have a sworn enemy, the Sith, who they do battle with, so too do Christians have a sworn enemy, the Devil and his angels.
Obi-Wan held up Anakin’s dropped lightsaber and said, “Next time, try not to lose it.”
“This weapon is your life.” –Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
The lightsaber is a Jedi Knights’ sword, their “life,” as Obi-Wan puts it. Just as the Bible should be the sword–the life of a Christian, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
“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.” –Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Jedi had a Code which they were to uphold, such as having no physical attachments; they lived differently than those around them. Like the Jedi, Christians have also been called out to be set apart, to be holy. To not live like the world (John 17:14-16), but to live by the morals and commands of God. Just as we are tempted to sin, to break our codes and to fall into temptation, so too were the Jedi tempted by the dark side of the Force. For to live by the dark side, to break their Code, would have been much easier for the Jedi. However, they were called out to be set apart, to resist the false promises that the dark side had to offer them.
Also like the Jedi, we too are encouraged not to fear (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 14:22-33), to fear nothing, but the Lord, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7); peace (shalom), being a minor theme throughout the Bible. However, unlike the Jedi, we can be angry. It is a natural human emotion, and was not Jesus himself enraged when he overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13)? Nevertheless, we are called out to have a righteous anger, not an unrighteous one: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:26).
Yoda looked away from Luke, “I cannot teach him,” he said. “The boy has no patience.”
“He will learn patience,” said Obi-Wan.
“Much anger in him… like his father.”
“Was I any different when you taught me?” –Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Patience, a portion of the fruit of the Spirit, that comes from being like Christ (Galatians 5:22-23).
“The Ambassadors are Jedi Knights, I believe.” –TC-14, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
“You’re a Jedi Knight, aren’ you?” asked Anakin
“. . . What makes you think that?” asked Qui-Gon.
“I saw you’re laser sword. Only Jedis carry that kind of weapon.” –Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Lastly, a Jedi could be easily recognized because of both his lightsaber that hung from his belt, and because of his traditional Jedi robes that he wore, making him stand out as a sore thumb in a crowd. Just as a Christian should be easily recognized, instead of being a chameleon of society.
This is why I love Star Wars so much. Because not only is it cool to watch and to read about the Jedi, but because I can also imagine myself as a Jedi Knight for Christ! Perhaps it’s corny, but it has brought to me much encouragement throughout all these years.