When I was a kid, my parents introduced my brother and me to a movie series entitled, Star Wars. They probably didn’t think that we’d fall in love with the series as much as we already have, because all I remember is that we kept watching the movies, and have board games, video games, books, and toys that are all Star Wars-themed. Needless to say, my brother and I are geeks when it comes to this thing. We know the movies like the back of our hand, and have even gone through the trouble of researching more about the story and the characters. We love it!
What is so amazing about this series is how it encompasses so many generations (especially after the release of the trilogy prequel), up until today.
George Lucas, you are amazing. HAHA!
Who would have known that one day, God would use my love for Star Wars to speak to me about His love.
For those who are unaware of what I am raving about, Star Wars is based on a very futuristic setting where space travel is normal and cars can fly. It’s kind of like Star Trek, only people fight each other with laser swords called “lightsabers” and its color can tell you whether a character is from the good side or the bad side (with an exception to General Grievous – Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith – who uses the swords of the good guys he’d killed). Ah yes, the good guys are called Jedi, by the way, and their swords are usually any color besides red, because it is used by those on the “dark side” who are called, Sith.
They both believe in this supreme power that supposedly “binds us and penetrates us” (Obi-wan Kenobi; Episode 4: A New Hope), but have different takes on it. The Jedi are peacemakers while the Sith are, well, the opposite, and pretty much the reason why we have a story at all.
Now, the series revolves around many characters, but one character I would like to focus on will be the very ambiguous Anakin Skywalker. Ambiguous, because from the very beginning he was branded as the “chosen one” who would “bring balance to the force” (meaning to say that evil will be eliminated), BUT there was a struggle seen in him by Master Yoda of the Jedi, and that struggle was with fear – the fear of loss more particularly.
“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda; Episode 1: Phantom Menace
This fear drove Anakin to the dark side of the force and from Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, all the way to Episode 6: Return of the Jedi, he was known as a sith lord called Darth Vader, under the influence of Darth Sidious, otherwise known as “The Emperor”.
Just like Anakin, we, as followers of Christ sometimes stray from the path that God has ordained for us. Anakin was supposed to be the chosen one, but now, it didn’t seem like he could ever be, because he chose the wrong side.
As believers, sometimes we make the wrong choices, and the funny thing is that sometimes we already know that they’re wrong, but we do them anyway because of peer pressure, or momentary pleasure… it could be anything! The grass always seems greener on the other side, until we get there and realize that maybe it was not so green after all. And that’s what happened to Darth Vader. Deceived by the Emperor that there is more freedom in the dark side, he made the wrong decision of leaving the Jedi and became a Sith; which is what Satan does. He deceives us into thinking that there is more freedom in disobedience, but in reality, we are binding ourselves to the weight of sin, which is what God has been trying to free us from all along.
For those who know the story, you know that Darth Vader doesn’t stay evil forever and for those who don’t know the story, you may be thinking, “HUH? How did that happen?”
You see, Darth Vader had a son named Luke who makes his first appearance in Episode 3, as a baby. But let’s fast-forward a couple of years to Episode 4, when Luke’s probably in his 20s. A strange turn of events leads Luke down the same path his father had started on – being a Jedi – and unlike everyone else, Luke had the determination to turn his father back to the good side. And after much thought, it suddenly struck me that that’s exactly what some Christians are missing in their lives. Luke-ness.
We can be so absorbed in our own worlds that we forget all about those who really need to hear about the goodness of the Lord. We can also be so judgmental of those who make mistakes, then instead of confronting them and helping them get back on track, we talk about their mistakes behind their back and wait for the gossip to reach them before actually addressing the problem. As compared to what Luke did… He basically surrendered himself to the enemy, so that he could talk to his father. And when they finally met, Luke didn’t condemn Darth Vader.
When things were already getting really heated up in Episode 6, Luke said something that really struck me, and it was this (talking to Darth Vader):
“[Father,] I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate.”
And for those who are lost, for those who are struggling, sometimes that all they need to hear – that’s all they need to know.
In one of our youth gatherings, our pastor spoke about how love “bears all things, believes all thing, hopes all things, and endures all things” (1 Corinthians 17:3), and it may sound really cheesy but Luke must have loved his father a lot to believe in him that way.
I mean, Darth Vader was a murderer, a liar… But Luke never never never gave up, because he loved his father. And that’s what a lot of Christians are missing – LOVE.
The genuine type.
Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth about love, because he saw that the way they were loving was wrong. Conditional love. That’s what they were giving, when the Lord has commanded us to love the way He does which is the agape kind of love – unconditional.
The problem is that most of us don’t want to love unconditionally because we’re afraid that it won’t work. Some of us have tried and don’t want to try again because we’ve gotten hurt. But that shouldn’t be an excuse.
The problem is that even if people say that they are believers, if you haven’t experienced a real relationship with the Lord, conditional love is all you are ever going to know.
And the really big problem is that some of us believers are selfish, because we can’t love others enough to show them what God’s love is like.
Instead of loving people who make mistakes, we push them away, and once they start to feel like we’re too “holy” to have them around, it’ll be harder to get them out of the dark side. God does not hold a hierarchy in terms of who is more holy in His eyes, because we have all made mistakes and all deserve to be separated from Him for eternity, but one of the most generic yet most beautiful verses in the Bible, John 3:16 says,
“For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“For God SO LOVED the world…..”
The problem is that most of us don’t want to love unconditionally because we’re afraid that it won’t work. Some of us have tried and don’t want to try again because we’ve gotten hurt. But what did the Lord say through Paul about love in 1 Corinthians 17:8?
“LOVE NEVER FAILS…”
Wherever you are, whoever you are…. I love you.
But God loves you more than my human capacity for love can ever comprehend.
As for what happened to Darth Vader………
I won’t spoil how he continued on being the “chosen one.” You’ll just have to watch the series to find out! It’s really good, you won’t be disappointed! Haha!
God bless, and may the force be with you :)