Anakin Skywalker and the Seduction of Evil

After yesterday… I’m more convinced than ever that there is not a better movie/story to emulate the Biblical plan of redemption than Star Wars.  Obviously it is NOT the story of scripture, but the truth is that George Lucas has openly admitted that he pulled from the stories of Scripture (he grew up Methodist), and other wise books from other religious backgrounds when he wrote Star Wars.

Jacob is now almost 9.  As he watched Episode III yesterday, I could see his wheels turning, and the understanding of evil and it’s lure ripening in his understanding.  He sees Anakin being deceived, and gradually Palpatine works his way into Anakin’s consciousness as the one who can “save your ‘Padme’ from certain death.”   His identity even changes from Anakin Skywalker to “Darth Vader”.

It occurred to me that Satan does nothing less than the same thing in our lives.  He uses whatever emotional trigger he can use to get a foothold for consideration, and then as time goes on, and the battle rages between that which is right and that which is emotionally satisfying, it gets more and more difficult to make the distinction.

Paul told the Galatian church that the fruits of the Spirit – “against which there is no law” far outweighed the momentary satisfaction of the adversary’s wiles.  To see the struggle with good and evil right before your eyes is something Paul talked about in Scripture, and is pretty amazing in this movie.  One of the coolest lines of Episode III is when Darth Vader and Obi Wan have the argument on the flight deck of the Volcanic planet in Mustafar, and it goes something like this:

Obi Wan:  “Anakin, Palpatine is evil!”
Darth Vader/Anakin:  “From my perspective, the Jedi are evil!”
Obi Wan:  “Well then, you are lost.

Anakin’s perspective was changed by being consumed with truth and a respect for that standard, and over time his respect for it was diminished by one tragic loss after another (his Mother, slavery, threat of his wife’s death).  His understanding of truth was worn down and the “force” no longer flowed through him and his actions.  Very much like the “force” – the holy Spirit of God should embody our attitude such that we remain rooted in holiness, and question it healthily when adversity occurs.

For my kid, I’m glad he has this image of the Emperor tempting Skywalker (whether Anakin, or Luke in Episode VI).  He sees good eventually win, and it’s obvious when Anakin’s legs get cut off below the knee.  Anakin’s response to Obi Wan:  “I hate you!” (in a really evil voice)  Obi Wan’s response reflected the pain of a wise parent who chastens his child:  “Anakin you were my brother, and I loved you.”   It’s a healthy visual backdrop against which we can hang our spiritual walk with God, and the redemptive power of Jesus in our everyday life.  

Obviously, Scripture tells this true story, and God’s redemption through Christ is the great story of homecoming for our lost lives.


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