Saturday, September 02, 2006

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

I just have to say it: Darth Vader is one of my heroes! More specifically: Anakin Skywalker is one of my heroes.

The story of Star Wars is the story of the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker. Ultimately it isn't about the Jedi or the Force, but about the choices of one individual and how those choices shaped a galaxy (perhaps it is worth considering just how much influence your choices have). Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is the central figure in George Lucas' vision of Star Wars.

Why do I consider such a rotten person to be one of my heroes? I consider Anakin/Vader to be a hero because his story is my story. I know far too well what it means to give into the seduction of the darkness and to follow the evil path instead of the righteous one. I also know what it means to find hope and salvation.

Think about how the Emperor convinces Anakin to join the dark side. I believe he goes after two areas in Anakin's life: Anakin's fear and Anakin's pride. Ultimately it is Anakin's fear of losing Padme that causes him to surrender to the call of the Dark Side. In his mind Anakin had no choice but to follow the Emperor when he was offered the false hope of saving Padme's life.

Isn't this one of the ways the Enemy attacks us? We are afraid of being alone and so we enter into an immoral relationship which falsely promises real companionship. We are prideful of are accomplishments at work, but when it looks like we might fail we make an unethical decision in order to keep our "winning streak" alive. Satan will use our fear and our pride to gain a foothold into our lives and eventual convince us that his dark path is the right way to go.

But we know from Anakin's story that he does not remain evil. He is able to escape the evil identity of Darth Vader Sith Lord and once again take on his true identity of Anakin Skywalker Jedi Knight. This redemption was made possible because his son Luke believed there was still good in him. Luke was able to put Anakin in a situation where he once again could live from the good that was in his heart.

No matter what we have done or how far we have slipped there is still good in our hearts. Each one of us is still able to respond to God's calling, but we need to be put in a position to respond. Often what this requires is someone who comes alongside of us, who believes in us, and is willing to walk with us on the path of light. The Apostle Paul reminds of this reality:

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are (Romans 3:21-22; NLT).
We can be saved! Our destiny has not been sealed. We are not doomed to remain in our evil way of living. It is possible for us to live by the good that remains in our hearts. Darth Vader maybe a villain, but Anakin Skywalker reminds us that within every villain there is the potential of a hero.


Christian Eye said...

I don't know if you're writing these yourself of getting them from a book but either way they rock! Kudos, brother.

Paul said...

christian eye,

I have been writing them myself. Though the idea behind them comes from John Eldredge, primarily his book Waking the Dead but also Epic and Wild at Heart. Thanks for the encouragement.

Rick D. said...

Hi Paul!

Glad to see I'm not the only believer who picked up on these themes - I also liked The Matrix (but just the first movie) for things within the cultural context.

Good writing :)

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