Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Christian Messages Found in Star Wars

  • Ryan Duncan
  • 2017 15 Dec
10 Christian Messages Found in <i>Star Wars</i>

It’s been an entire year since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and with the premier of the next installment only days away, fans are practically going bonkers with anticipation. The new chapter promises to return Star Wars to its climactic cliffhanger. Old faces will reappear, and young heroes will rise to shepherd the galaxy through another battle against evil. Interestingly enough, while the epic space opera has never been overtly Christian, it still incorporates themes which reflect the Gospel.

So buckle up kids, fire up the hyperdrive, and prepare for lightspeed. Here are ten Christian messages you don’t want to miss in Star Wars.

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    Who would you say is the hero of Star Wars? Maybe Luke Skywalker, he is the last Jedi Knight, and the only one who can defeat Darth Vader. Then again, Princess Leia was leading the rebellion years before he came along. What about old Obi-Wan? He sacrificed everything to give the galaxy a chance at peace, and he even stuck around after death to offer support.

    In truth, each of these characters is fighting for something bigger than themselves. No matter how grand their individual achievements may be, it’s all done in the name of preserving galactic freedom. As Christians, we know the Body of Christ is made up of many people. 1st Corinthians even teach us that we all have an important role to play in Christ’s ministry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a princess or a moisture farmer, we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    2. Extraordinary Things Can Come from Unlikely Places

    Of all the planets in the Star Wars universe, perhaps none is more unremarkable than the desert world of Tatooine. Orbiting twin suns in the galaxy’s outer rim, Tatooine is a harsh and desolate place ruled by gangsters. Both the Empire and the Rebellion ignore the planet, preferring to focus on more important worlds like the industrial Coruscant or the beautiful Naboo. Despite all this, Tatooine has served as the origin point for some truly extraordinary characters. Anakin Skywalker was born there, his son Luke grew up there, not to mention the smuggler Han Solo was discovered there.

    Much like Tatooine, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a place so inconsequential it barely showed up on a map. The first people to hear of his birth were shepherds, men who fell on the lowest rung of the cast system. Even his parents were unlikely, just a simple carpenter and a virgin girl. Yet God has a way of taking ordinary things and transforming them into something truly exceptional.

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    3. We All Need A Wise Mentor

    By the end of Episode VI (Return of the Jedi for you non-geeks), it’s clear Luke Skywalker has matured into quite the powerful Jedi. He’s got a spiffy new lightsaber, mastered his force powers, and resisted the pull of the dark side. This is all obscenely cool, but we need to remember Luke didn’t get this way on his own. When his journey started Luke had Obi-Wan to shepherd, advise, and encourage him. Later, Yoda would take over as his teacher and pass on the essential teachings of the force. Luke became a great Jedi because he had great teachers to help him.

    In the same way, young believers need wise mentors who will help them grow. The Christian walk was never meant to be undertaken alone, and we can only learn so much on our own ability. Having teachers who will challenge, instruct, and support the next generation in their pursuit of God is of monumental importance. It could mean the difference between a thriving church and a stagnant community.

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    4. Christians Need an Elegant Weapon

    It’s hard to imagine the iconic Jedi without their lightsaber. Obi-Wan describes these trusty laser-swords as “an elegant weapon”, and in the hands of a master, it’s hard to argue with his assessment. A lightsaber can cut through metal, deflect blaster shots, and even bring light to dark places. When armed with one of these, a Jedi is a formidable foe. Without it, they’re in deep trouble.

    Like the lightsaber, scripture is often portrayed as being a weapon. In Ephesians 6, believers are called to take up “the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God” in order to do battle with the enemy. While a lightsaber may be the hallmark of a true Jedi Knight, the Bible is the tool of a true Christian. When we keep it close, we can be a force for good, but without it, we’re next to useless.

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    5. Your Actions are What Make You Extraordinary

    Nearly everything in the Star Wars universe revolves around the Jedi. They’re the ones who can use the force, they’re the ones with crazy laser-swords, and they’re the ones always leading the charge for galactic freedom. Anybody who doesn’t share their amazing abilities has to stand in back with the Ewoks, or at least, that’s how things appear. Yet in Rouge One we see the Jedi are gone, so it’s up to the average human (alien?) to step up and protect the innocent, and boy do they ever. This was the chapter where the galaxy saw you didn’t need to be extraordinary to make a difference.

    Christians can sometimes be a bit conceited. We put too much focus on huge accomplishments and forget the simple actions at the heart of our faith: courage, charity, forgiveness. These virtues are what create lasting change in our world. God doesn’t need you to save the planet, he only asks that you act justly, show mercy, and walk humbly with him through life (Micah 6:8).

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    6. Even the Best of Us Can Fall

    There are few villains in the Star Wars universe more menacing than Darth Vader. With his crimson lightsaber and ragged breathing, this Dark Lord of the Sith inspires fear wherever he goes. Audiences have witnessed him destroy planets, murder subordinates, and even torture his own children. Yet, perhaps the most distressing aspect of Vader’s character is that he used to be good. Long ago, Vader was a Jedi Knight named Anakin Skywalker who fought to protect the people of the Galactic Republic.

    Skywalker was a great hero, but pride and anger led him over to the dark side. In the same way, even the best Christians are susceptible to sin and brokenness. Just look at Peter, who denied Christ, or David, who was guilty of murder and adultery. Sin, the dark side, is very real, and every Christian must be on guard against temptation.

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    7. You Must Master Your Fear

    Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” intones Yoda ominously. Throughout the Star Wars chronology we see how fear undermines the actions of our heroes. Fear of failure and loss leads Anakin down a path he knows is wrong. Fear of conflict almost keeps the rebels from standing up to the Empire. Just recently, fear of weakness pushes Kylo Ren to murder his own father! Fear has the potential to tear us down and leave us crippled.

    Scripture maintains that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Anyone who follows Christ must learn to master their fear. It won’t happen without a struggle, but it is possible. Jesus is greater than anything the darkness can send at you, for he has defeated death itself!

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    8. It’s Never Too Late for Redemption

    At the very end of The Return of the Jedi, just when it seems that all hope is lost, something incredible happens. Darth Vader, the longstanding antagonist of the series, sacrifices himself to save his son and defeat the emperor. Vader had believed he was too far gone to ever find redemption. He had done so many terrible things, betrayed so many people. How could he ever be forgiven?
     
    Luke, on the other hand (no pun intended), never lost faith in Vader. In fact, he believed so strongly he was willing to pay the ultimate price for his forgiveness. There are many people like Vadar who look back on their mistakes and think it’s too late, but they are wrong. I doesn’t matter how far we’ve strayed or how mangled we’ve become, Jesus gave his life so that we could be forgiven (John 3:16). God doesn’t need to save you, He already has.
  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    9. Be Mindful of the Next Generation

    Star Wars may take place in a galaxy far, far away, but it also unfolds over the course of many, many years. In this time, we watch several characters grow into themselves, make crucial decisions, and ultimately leave their mark on history. Yet the story never ends there. A new generation is always waiting to take up the mantle, and the choices of those who came before have a profound effect on who these younglings become. Everyone should be mindful of their legacy, especially Christians.  

    At its heart, Scripture teaches believers not only to follow the gospel but to convey its message to a new generation. Parents are instructed to train up their children in the ways of God (Proverbs 22:6). Readers are reminded that life is short (Psalm 144:4) and what we do in this world will echo long after we’re gone (Matthew 25:44-45). It can be tempting to focus only on the here-and-now, but a wise disciple looks toward the future. For we are only a small chapter in God’s grand narrative.

  • 1. We are All Part of Something Bigger

    10. Be the Hope Your World Needs

    Hope is a heavy theme in the Star Wars universe. In each episode we see a galaxy at war. Evil is in power and those fighting for the side of freedom are besieged, beleaguered, and facing impossible odds. Still, despite everything, selfless heroes rise up to defend the weak, and when all hope seems lost, they create more. The actions of individuals like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Poe Dameron, Rey and Finn are what ignite the fire of courage in others. By standing against the shadow, they show the universe that evil can be defeated.

    God calls his followers to be lights in a very dark world. Where there is hatred, we should bring love. Where there is fear, we should bring courage. Where others would take vengeance, we must offer forgiveness, and when the world needs hope, our actions should supply it. No matter how far the darkness fall, there is still hope in the love and power of Jesus Christ. If the Lord is for us, who can be against us?

    *Editor's Note: The following is adapted from 5 Christian Messages Found in Star Wars. To read the original article, follow this link.

    **Portions of this article were loosely drawn from Paul Kent’s phenomenal book The Real Force: A 40-Day Devotional. Find the book here!