Perspective

Right or Wrong, Black or White, Good or Evil... I saw the new Star Wars movie this weekend and I was struck by two quotes.. Late in the movie, Anakin(Darth Vader) says to Obi Wan: " From my perspective the Jedi are evil" and when you think about it... the only thing that differentiates the two sides was faith in the future. Both believe they are doing the right thing. Who am I to judge? The hinge point is not solely based on actions, it was based on what you believe the intent for the future is about coupled with an "instinctive" view of what is right. Is that instinct coupled with our desire to reach out to God? I think so...

The other quote that jumped out at me was Yoda speaking to Anakin Skywalker earlier in the movie.. and the "master jedi" said: "you should not be afraid of death, death is only a part of life... you should be happy when your loved ones pass on and join the force".... I know, I know.. Here I go again, trying to ground my theology in pop culture.. it is a flawed approach... I get that, but I think there is some relevance to listening to the voice of these artists. The writers, producers and directors of a film series like Star Wars are trying for something that may be beyond them... They are on one level trying to make money.. just like we all are. But on some other level, they are trying to make a statement which influences the world. Entertainment and Art linked with metaphors addressing theology and deep doctrinal divides.. Causality vs Predestination.. does it sound familiar? it does to me.. I wrote a personal journal entry like this last year after a marathon viewing of The Matrix trilogy. I even bought a study guide and reread the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy looking and analyzing the Christian themes after a similar marathon event.... It was an amazing study for me...

The preview scenes shown in my trip to the theater were for an upcoming release of "Chronicles of Narnia" Wow I am excited for that. It will be a tremendous opportunity to reach out and talk with my friends about Christianity directly... using the stories of CS Lewis as a discussion point.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Jeff, I don't understand what you mean by the following: "The hinge point is not solely based on actions, it was based on what you believe the intent for the future is about coupled with an "instinctive" view of what is right. Is that instinct coupled with our desire to reach out to God?"
explain please.
I do agree with you about movie makers trying to make a statement to today's culture. Funny how we can pull Christian teachings out of Star Wars or Matrix. It makes you wonder if somehow God is speaking through these infuential folks whether they realize it or not.
Jeff Prillaman said…
Basically, the actions of the Jedi Master and the Sith Lord were not all that different...Windu in particular, was about to execute the evil master.. Darth Vader was actually trying to remain true to the Jedi "way". Both were overlapping in the other's domain..They were acting in the grey area where we all live every day.

It was their intention and ultimate view of the outcome that mattered.

Sith: was about gaining power and bringing peace through domination..
Jedi: was about keeping power, but ultimately giving it up for the people..

Somehow it was okay in my mind for Windu to kill the Sith, but where did my "instinctive" view of that action come from? Often, good is not so far from evil... I think that my thinking about good vs bad stems from my innate desire for God's grace and power in my life.

If you deal in the reality that the Jedi on some level did need to be concerned about maintaining their monastic order... there was certainly a conflict even on the good side..plus, we all know that Darth Vader is ultimately redeemed by love and sacrifice.. VERY Christian idea there..
Anonymous said…
ok... let me see if I understand what you're saying...
You believe that the filmakers make a movie for money alone? That if there is any similarities to Religion or Faith it is purely coincidental? And you say this after your Matrix marathon? After reading Lord of the Rings? After The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Ever see Dune.. ? Of course you have. And that was written by whom? And what did he go on to do/build?
How many levels of thought can you derive from a "simple" statement - whether given by a jedi or the scriptures? Depends on your experiences and desire to evaluate the phrase from different perspectives... You and I both know that a truly sophisticated piece of work - written, spoken or sung - is one that touches many different people on many different levels. These are smart people. There are many levels. And yes, I think Yoda is cool...

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