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Spiritual Review of "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith"
Ramesh C. Reddy
"Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005)
Picture Source: http://www.imdb.com
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is about the forces of good versus evil taking center stage. It starts out with Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (played by Hayden Christensen) on a mission to rescue the Chancellor (Ian McDiarmid) who was kidnapped by the rebellion against the Republic. Skywalker and Kenobi have a showdown against Count Dooku (played by Christopher Lee) who had defeated both of them in Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The Chancellor is rescued and the story begins.
Just as Skywalker got dreams about his mother dying, he starts getting dreams about Padma (played by Natalie Portman) dying and vows to do whatever it takes to make sure she lives. It is his desire to make sure his dream does not come true that the enemy takes advantage of. This begins the chain of events that eventually endanger him and make him susceptible to the dark side of the force even as Yoda (Voice of Frank Oz) warns him.
This is an excellent movie to take your family to! This movie addresses issues dealing with loyalty, death, trust, betrayal, pride, lust, power, dreams, community, the forces of good versus evil, and the occult. It is rated PG-13 for action violence.
Spiritual Implications: SPOILER ALERT and the characters role could be seen from different points of view!
Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi come to rescue the Chancellor from the grips of Count Dooku. To accomplish it, they have to go against Count Dooku who defeated both of them in Episode II. Rather than handling it on his own like he did in Episode II, Skywalker comes to understand that he needs Kenobi’s help to defeat Count Dooku because he realizes it would take both of their abilities to defeat the evil Count Dooku.
This reminds me of rescuing the lost who are held prisoner by Satan. To rescue the lost from the clutches of Satan, we see Jesus Christ sending his disciples two-by-two and not alone.
“And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. (Mark 6:6-7, NIV)
"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:1-3, NIV)
Why is it, I wondered?
I believe the reason Jesus sent them two-by-two is so that they can uplift and build each other up and rely on both of their strengths to reach the lost and begin a rescue attempt from the enemy. It would have been easier, if just one person had done it, to get discouraged or be negatively influenced by the dark side! But now, they can build each other up in the ways of the Lord as they reach the lost and begin a rescue attempt.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV)
Going back to the movie, Count Dooku is defeated by the combined efforts of Skywalker and Kenobi. Now he is at the mercy of Skywalker when he loses his arms in the fight and is on his knees. Skywalker has the chance to spare his life and still rescue the Chancellor. The Chancellor wants Skywalker to kill Count Dooku but Skywalker knows he will violate the Jedi code by killing him. Chancellor tells Skywalker that Skywalker lost his arm last time because of Dooku, so he should not feel bad for Dooku but kill him.
You have to watch the movie to find out what happens to Dooku.
This reminds me of how Jesus came to emphasize forgiveness and grace, not to emphasize vengeance. I do not however believe this means that in war situations we let the enemy strike the first blow. When it comes to war we are not just fighting for ourselves but representing the interests of our people and the nation. I believe Jesus’ statements are for individual people in normal circumstances.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. ‘But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39, NIV)
The Chancellor is rescued but the Jedi council feels very uneasy about Skywalker’s relationship and closeness to the Chancellor. The Chancellor tells Skywalker to be his right hand person in the Senate. Skywalker brings the request before the Council who deny the request because he is not a Master Jedi. Skywalker is not only angered but shocked because he is on the Council but was not made a Master Jedi. He knows in his heart that the code of the Jedi is to be selfless and think about other people than their own desires and self-interests. But Skywalker is so consumed with pride and lust for power that they slowly take over him after being influenced negatively even when Kenobi his Master tells him to have patience.
You have to watch the movie to find out how pride becomes his undoing.
This reminds of the Bible speaking on the issues of pride and selflessness.
“Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.” (Psalm 73:6-7, NIV)
“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Proverbs 13:10, NIV)
“The proud and arrogant man-"Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.” (Proverbs 21:24, NIV)
“A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (Proverbs 29:23, NIV)
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, NIV)
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2, NIV)
“In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” (Proverbs 10:4, NIV)
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8, NIV)
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” (James 4:1-2, NIV)
“You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, NIV)
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:7-10, NIV)
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:3-8, NIV)
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13, NIV)
The community of the Jedi Council did not feel that Skywalker was ready to be a master. On his own Skywalker felt he could but he did not have the support of the community as the Jedi Council of Knights consult Yoda and decide what is best for the Republic.
This reminds me of the disciples as a community choosing a leader. Any disciple did not do it on his own but consulted the Lord for guidance and chose a leader
“Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs." (Luke 1:24-25, NIV)
Skywalker is so consumed with pride that he cannot seem to apply the Jedi code of selflessness but everything he does becomes self-oriented after his pride and self takes deep root.
Skywalker receives a dream that his wife Padma dies as she is giving birth to children. This shocks him and makes him tremble. He already lost his mom in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones and could not save her after he got his dream. He vows to find a way so his loved ones don’t die anymore. Now in Episode III, he fears the same thing might happen to his wife and shares his dream with Yoda who is the Master of all the Jedis.
Yoda tells him, “Fear of death is dangerous and can lead you to the darkside.”
Skywalker is so afraid that his wife will die even when she tells him it’s just a dream that he is willing to go any length to make sure his wife lives. I mean any length. Fear of death of his wife is what the darkside exploits.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV)
I believe dreams can be warnings of what is to come if changes are not made, what is to come if interpreted the wrong way, or what could happen and preparations need to be made. The role of dreams is biblical but when exploited by the wrong people such as fortune-tellers, tarot card readers, or anyone from the dark side which is against the Lord and His ways, there can be danger!
You will have to see the movie to find out if Skywalker’s dream comes true or if he is able to stop it from happening.
This reminds me of Biblical Scripture dealing with dreams.
“Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it. "I cannot do it," Joseph replied to Pharaoh, "but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires." (Genesis 41:15-16, NIV)
“The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:32-32, NIV)
"This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you." (Daniel 4:18, NIV)
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." (Matthew 2:11-13, NIV)
Yoda, is the wisest person in the movie and gives Skywalker wise advice but Skywalker is so consumed with fear that he takes the advice of the Chancellor. The Chancellor tells Skywalker that knowing the ways of the dark side and acting on them can save his wife.
Skywalker acts on them but to find out if his actions saved his wife from death, you have to the movie watch.
This reminds me of people from Scripture who entertained the dark side to find answers to dreams and life’s questions when it was against the Lord to consult them. Saul who was the King of Israel fell into that trap and was rejected as King. Skywalker did it in the movie and lost being a Jedi Knight after turning to the dark side.
“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11, NIV)
“When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.” (Daniel 4:7, NIV)
“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king." (1 Samuel 15:23, NIV)
Skywalker is so afraid of death that he gives himself to the dark side which can be the worst death of all because he just gave his soul to the devil who the Emperor represents.
The Emperor promised him good things but they were all lies in the end.
Yoda can be seen as a God-figure who wants the best for the people. The Jedi Knights can be seen as soldiers in God’s army whose purpose is to serve their leader, Yoda and give their lives to protect all that is good. Skywalker can be seen as Judas Iscariot. Obi-Wan Kenobi can be seen as the Arch-Angel Michael.
Just as God sent His people to fight wars against the enemy to protect Israel and the Promised Land from the evil nations, Yoda sends the Jedi Knights to protect the Republic from the Emperor and evil beings.
This reminds me of Biblical Scripture dealing with souls and life.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10, NIV)
“For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:14-18, NIV)
The dream he got about Padma was to save him from destruction but he perceived the dream to be the death of Padma because he got his advice from the dark side and its ways. Satan promises but cannot deliver.
“All this I will give you," he [Satan] said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:9-11, NIV)
“What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:27-28, NIV)
Skywalker could have used the teachings of the Jedi against the Emperor but instead gave in. He had the teachings of Yoda to apply but did not while as Jesus brought God into the picture to defeat Satan’s temptations.
Jesus said, “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” (John 8:43-45, NIV)
Sadly that is what happened to Skywalker. Rather than belonging to Yoda and the Jedi Knights, he decided to belong to the Emperor and carried out the Emperors desires. Sadly, many in this world do the same.
Our Father in Heaven wants us to belong to Him and follow His Word because He has the best interests in mind for us! Instead, many choose to follow the ways of this world and the prince of this world, as Skywalker did instead of following the Word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:1-4, NIV)
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13, NIV)
Instead of belonging to all that is good, Skywalker goes on a killing spree and even mentions to his wife that he was doing all this for her to keep her alive. But his wife wants to live for the Way and not for Satan. She rebukes him and tells him that she does not know him anymore because she believes he gave his soul to the Emperor representing Satan.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26, NIV)
When Skywalker hears what she told him, he hits her so hard that she falls to the ground. Everything Skywalker did, he stated it was because he loved her but that’s not what love is about. The dark side so consumed him that he hated the one he was supposed to love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13, NIV)
Skywalker lost what love is about and may have killed Padma if it were not for Jedi Kanobi who comes to her rescue. He did not want to fight Skywalker because he was like a brother to him but Yoda told him that he is not the person Kanobi knew and has given himself away to the dark side.
This reminds me of the conversation between God & Samuel and between Samuel & Saul when King Saul disobeyed God and went his own way.
“Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.” (1 Samuel 15:10-11, NIV)
“Samuel said, "Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.' Why did you not obey the LORD ? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD ?" (1 Samuel 15:17-19, NIV)
Skywalker was very young but became the first young person ever to serve on the Jedi Council of Knights. He was sent on a mission to destroy the wicked deeds of the Sith but instead of obeying Yoda and the Council of Knights, he joins with the Sith and does evil in the eyes of the Jedi Council.
Later, there is a battle between the forces of good and evil. Kenobi fights Skywalker as the place around them becomes a lake of fire. Even during the fight, Kenobi pleads with Skywalker to renounce the way of the dark side and come back to the Jedi. Skywalker refuses and they fight with their swords which cut sharper than an ax.
You have to watch the movie to find out what happens to Skywalker and Padma after the refusal.
“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10, NIV)
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels”
“where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. “Everyone will be salted with fire.” (Matthew 25:41, Mark 9:48-49 NIV)
"If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:6, NIV)
“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6, NIV)
"In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7, NIV)
“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14-15, NIV)
If you have taken the time to read this review and the spiritual implications, you will see the dangerous of the darkside and it is better to be on the side of Good with God. We cannot fight the dark side on our own but need to take the help God provides for us because we will be dealing with Satan and his demonic influences in this world. Only God can provide us a way to defeat the devil.
“I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave. (John 14:30-31, NIV)
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'(John 15:18-25, NIV)
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and
in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take
your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against
flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavenly realms.
Questions to ponder:
How do you react to bad dreams or nightmares you get?
How important is to keep a code if it may cost you or your loved one’s life? What if the code was the Word of God?
How can a person who is supposed to be on the side of good turn to the dark side? What do you think causes it?
What is your greatest fear and how do you deal with your fears?
What do you think God wants from you?
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