Five Insights on Trading Lives in Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War asks the question, “can we sacrifice a life for the greater good?” As nearly every character must give their answer, the movie presents compelling, emotional arguments for and against, leaving the audience with the tension of the question. While we may have to wait for a thematic resolution in the next Avenger’s film, let’s see 5 insights from the movie with political implications. (Lots of spoilers.)

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Why You Might Be on the Dark Side

I love Star Wars, and I love discussing it on social media. Sometimes however, fans make disturbing comments. I find people who root for the Jedi, but based on their opinions, they would be Sith. This serves as a warning against hypocrisy and a call to examine ourselves in all areas of life.

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Cloud Atlas: Why Everyone Should Learn the Stories of the Oppressed

Cloud Atlas, a movie based on David Mitchell’s novel, tells the story about the universal struggle for justice. Consequently, this cannot be limited to one point in time, but occurs around the world and over the span of centuries. While people make the same mistakes and find similar solutions, the characters and audience learn we need the stories of those who have gone before us, and we need to see the world through the eyes of the oppressed.

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How The Last Jedi Teaches Us Balance

“The Jedi must end.”

Why would Luke say this? We heard it in the trailer, and the movie teaches us the lesson Luke learns the hard way. (Spoilers below.) If we grow beyond the mistakes of Jedi Masters, we’ll find a balance in our lives — and our politics — that is needed for the galaxy far away and the one we live in.

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A Christmas Truce, Civil Religion, and Refugees

On Christmas Eve of 1914, the unthinkable happened. Soldiers from opposing armies defeated warfare itself to celebrate the birth of Christ. While using fictional characters, Joyeux Noel depicts the historical events of World War I that actually occurred in multiple places along the front. But when the commanding officers learn what happened, we see a clash of religions, of two very different versions of “Christianity”: Biblical spirituality and civil religion. This clash continues today, and we need to identify this false faith in order to overcome it, especially in the current controversy regarding refugees.

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How Anakin Brings Balance to the Force

A Jedi prophecy said that the chosen one would bring the Force back into balance. Did Anakin fulfill it? If so, how? Obi-Wan thought this meant he would “destroy the Sith, not join them”. But how would that be balance?

The prophecy can be understood, but it requires an unorthodox explanation of the Force, heretical to the Jedi, but true to the films. This even reconciles key tenets of Eastern and Western spirituality and exhorts us to attain a balanced life, while purely good, uncompromising with evil.

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How Batman Teaches Us To Vote

In The Dark Knight, the Joker brings people face-to-face with their true selves. In danger and chaos, who will they be? In some ways, the 2016 US presidential election does the same.

While some voters truly support their candidate, many feel that they must choose the lesser of two evils. But The Dark Knight draws a line that we cannot cross, even if it means voting third party or abstaining.
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Team Captain America, Team Iron Man, or Independent

So, are you Team Cap or Team Iron Man? You need to pick a side! Or do you?

In Captain America: Civil War, the heroes must answer a political question: “Should the UN have oversight of the Avengers?” (Spoilers follow.) It would seem that they are forced to pick sides, which quickly leads to violence. Then, the internet lit up with fans deciding if they are on Team Captain America or Team Iron Man. Must we so quickly define allegiances, or could this tendency be a fundamental problem in American politics today?

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3 Innocent Paths to the Dark Side… of Politics

Contains spoilers for Star Wars Rebels, episode “Twilight of the Apprentice”

The dark side can often appear obvious, even cartoonish. But, in the season two finale of Star Wars Rebels, an actual cartoon, we see a path to the dark side subtly presented, not characterized by overt acts of evil, but by innocent actions and attitudes which can seduce a well-meaning individual. This speaks caution to the viewers, especially as it relates to our political choices.
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