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.
Les Misérables powerfully and uncomfortably presents poverty, injustice, and evil. It asks, “What will you do about it?” Inspired by historical data and faith in God’s promises, we can follow the nonviolent, proactive, and sacrificial example of Jean Valjean (and also Jesus).
While our favorite stories depict the victory of good over evil, they align most closely to the Good News—or Gospel—of Jesus when this triumph comes through the transformation, not defeat, of the antagonist. In agreement with Christ’s teaching, Mary Poppins musically identifies that the secret to redemption is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.
In the original trilogy, Han Solo embodies the archetypal reluctant hero, as he transforms from a selfish, cynical individual to one who sacrifices for others. Unlike Vader’s journey from his murderous commitment to the Dark Side, we can more easily identify with Han’s redemptive arc as we seek to look beyond ourselves and live selflessly. But Solo changes the story. How? And what can we learn from Han’s new arc?
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.
Spiritual Thoughts on Doctor Who, Episode “Boom Town”
Having started with the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, I enjoyed watching Doctor Who from my first episode. Great TV makes you feel the tension between opposing ideas and contemplate the nuance found in a complicated world, and the 11th episode, “Boom Town” does exactly this as it considers the question, “How do you treat the guilty?”
Continue reading You Must Be Hatched Again!
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”
A Spiritual Analysis of Once Upon A Time, Episode “The Evil Queen”
Contains Minor Spoilers
The Evil Queen does not have the best track record. It’s the whole “evil” thing. As she hunts Snow White, she questions the people of a town where Snow took refuge. When the people don’t give any information on Snow’s whereabouts, she has them all killed. So is this woman, able to murder an entire town without a second thought also able to repent? Is it still possible, after all this brutality, that she can let go of evil and embrace love, selflessness, and kindness?
Continue reading Can the Evil Queen be Forgiven?
Spiritual Thoughts on the Original Star Wars Trilogy
Throughout the original trilogy of the Star Wars, the small and weak defeat the large and powerful. Similarly, Jesus taught his followers, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5) But how? Through force of arms, just like powerful oppressors? Let’s see how Jesus Christ and Luke Skywalker approach evil, and how they win.
Continue reading The Meek shall Inherit the… Galaxy?