I felt nervous going into The Rise of Skywalker. Would the new movie continue the message of original trilogy or would it detract? Specifically, would Episode IX emphasize redemption and mercy, or would it just conclude the Skywalker saga with a big fight? I left the theater with a big smile, knowing the film not only affirmed the earlier work, but “finished what it started.” Spoilers follow.
Joseph Campbell boldly claims in The Hero with a Thousand Faces that ancient stories across cultures portray the “monomyth”, detailing the hero’s journey. Testing the assertion, does Jesus Christ of the Gospels follow this template? To a degree, yes, but his life and teaching also stand in contrast to the underlying worldview that Campbell professes. Let us delve into his story and come face to face with Jesus the Hero.
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.)
In Dan Simmon’s novels, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, Sol Weintraub dreams that a voice tells him to sacrifice “your daughter, your only daughter Rachel whom you love”. As a Jewish ethics professor, he questions the morality of sacrifice and any god who would ask for it, whether in his case or in the story of Abraham and Isaac. While he raises typical objections, the events of the story change his perspective, giving us insight into sacrifice and the purposes of God.
If you’ve seen Wonder Woman and loved it, ask yourself, “Why?” True, it has witty dialogue, like-able characters, and impressive action sequences, but most importantly, its message speaks to our hearts. The film retells key themes from the Greatest Story Ever Told, the Good News of Jesus. Don’t believe me? I’ll let the movie speak for itself, providing Wonder Woman quotes with minimal commentary.
In giving his life for Luke and appearing after death, Obi-Wan Kenobi clearly fits the role of a Christ figure. But, let’s dive deeper than that and learn from Obi-Wan’s 19 years on Tatooine. While minimizing spoilers from Star Wars Comic #7 and Star Wars Rebels: “Twin Suns”, we can see how his—dare I say—temptation in the desert enables him to give his life so easily. At the same time, this does not help him discover a critical fallacy in his Jedi faith. Continue reading Obi-Wan and Jesus, Alike but Not
Beauty and the Beast is a story of repentance. The Beast’s sin of pride and selfishness brought the curse upon himself and his whole household. He must repent and learn to love and to be loved before the last rose petal falls, or he will remain cursed forever.
Who are the heroes of Star Wars? Luke Skywalker? Leia Organa? Han Solo? Yes, but Rogue One (contains spoilers) shows us that there are more heroes than we could imagine—some named and most unnamed—who play critical roles in the successful recovery of the Death Star plans and, consequently, its destruction. As they press on with no guarantee of success or survival, they model for us how we can persevere in hope, faith, and love.
Ever wonder what it would be like if Jesus came as a Japanese Anime superhero for children? Well, now you don’t have to. Meet Anpanman, who’s head is made of bread called anpan. Even though he has typical superhero powers such as flying and delivering the incredibly powerful “anpunch”, he often saves hungry children by sacrificially giving them a piece of his head to eat. In so doing, he becomes incredibly weak until his father figure bakes him a new head and his strength returns.
A Spiritual Analysis of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
With a heavy heart, I write about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you’ve seen the movie, you know why, and if you haven’t, stop reading immediately and go see it. Continue reading When Love Doesn’t “Work”