People have waited patiently (or not) for new Star Wars stories. First, came the remastered versions, then the prequels, animated TV shows, and now finally a new movie. Time will tell if the new movie will live up to the hype or the marketing. However, there is something that needs to be discussed:
Is Star Wars hurting or helping people?
There are two very differing perspectives:
The first perspective is that with wise parents and training of the mind (as done to my fellow apologist in the link and as done to me) one can use the fantastical world created by George Lucas to train people to come closer to Christ. There are great discussion point in the stories:
- There is evil and it is powerful
- Han Solo is awesome (only if he shoots first) and could be the modern day Andrew MacPhee from C.S. Lewis ‘That Hideous Strength’
- While evil is powerful and scary there is always hope
- There is good and it wins even though there are cliff hangers
- There is redemption available for everyone, even Darth Vader (but remember redemption comes from God not from deeds)
This can be done for any story, but we need to ‘capture every thought’ so discuss them with your friends and family. See the worldview in them and address it. Note that the Star Wars universe has a pagan worldview at its core but the fight against good and evil also shows us that relativism has to be false! So there are both good and bad in the series. We live in a fallen world so as Paul has told us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, we need to make sure that what we take in is thought about.
As a start there are a series of movie discussions on this blog here: https://windmillfighter.wordpress.com/category/stories/movies/
The second perspective is that we can take things too far. I have known many people who while Christians worship Star Wars more than God. Like any idol, God may let them have it until they learn it cannot compare to what is real. When He chooses that to happen, unfortunately, it takes people away from reality.
So is Star Wars helping or hurting people?
The answer is in the picture of Willrow Hood above. While disaster hits in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and people are evacuating only grabbing what is precious to them this background character grabs a single item. This item looks like a ice cream maker – and there are many theories on what this item in the file universe represents. For the sake of argument let us say the item he choose to rescue above all others is an ice-cream maker.
In the first perspective, we see the reality underneath the dressing of fantasy. We see the God-given creative impulse reflected (dimly like anything in this fallen world so hence why discussion and discernment is necessary). In this sense Star wars is “good”, and can be used to teach people about how the real world works. These approach will leave behind the ‘ice-cream makers’ and instead have a trained mind that holds onto what is good, noble, and trust-worthy that any good story points to.
In the second perspective, we see people hiding from reality by diving into the fantasy world. We see a worshiping of an idol that will not judge them, pose any restrictions, and is anything that they want it to be (you can even have the orthodox who only believe in the original trilogy and the reformed who believe in the prequel interpretation). In this sense these people will grab their ‘ice-cream maker’ instead of anything else because it will comfort them… but will never save them.
What things really matter in life? Do we try and save our ‘ice-cream makers’ when disaster strikes? If so, challenge yourself to destroy that idol.