Paul Kent has authored eight books and coauthored or contributed to many more. His life goal is to spur interest in the Bible for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Paul has loved the Star Wars saga since he saw the original movie poster at age 11. He is the author of The Real Force: A 40-Day Devotional. We asked him to list 9 ways in which the Star Wars series parallels the Bible.
1. Tatooine and humanity
We all want to be stars, but we’re actually dust (Genesis 3:19). Humanity is a lot like Tatooine — dusty and disreputable. Still, Tatooine was a home to heroes, a place of relationships that changed lives . . . and an entire galaxy. God sees that potential in each of us, too. As we obey Him and “work out” our salvation “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), we can become “blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’” And then we will “shine among them like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:15).
2. Luke Skywalker and Moses
When Obi-Wan Kenobi called Luke Skywalker to “learn the ways of the Force” and join the rebellion against the galactic empire, the younger man suddenly found all kinds of reasons to contradict his stated goal of leaving Tatooine. When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt, the adopted grandson of the pharaoh argued against the job four times (Exodus 3-4). Both ultimately followed their calling . . . and changed history.
3. Count Dooku and Judas Iscariot
Once a Jedi knight, Count Dooku walked away in apparent disgust with the galactic republic the Jedi served. Trained by the great Yoda, Dooku ultimately sided with the evil Darth Sidious. Maybe his original motives were pure, but at some point he crossed the line to an outright betrayal of all that was right and good. “Judas,” Jesus once asked His own disciple, “are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48). No wonder the apostle Paul told Timothy to “hold on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith” (1 Timothy 1:19).
4. Major Derlin and the early church
This background character appears in The Empire Strikes Back as a Rebel officer on Hoth. While Princess Leia describes the evacuation mission to a group of orange-suited pilots, Derlin (in real life, John Ratzenberger) stands by quietly in a tan uniform, large goggles perched on the bill of his hat. When Leia finishes, he claps his hands and says, “Everybody to your stations. Let’s go!” Derlin and dozens of other minor players fill out the storyline, supporting the stars like Luke, Han, and Darth Vader . . . kind of like those 3,000 unnamed people who responded to Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, shortly after the Holy Spirit arrived at Pentecost. Big star or backgrounder, we’re all important to God’s overall story.
5. Darth Sidious and Satan
Well, of course, for various reasons — including the politician-turned-dictator’s penchant for deceit. As mentor to the young Queen Amidala of Naboo, the senator named Palpatine seemed exactly the wise and experienced leader needed to manage the crisis of the Trade Federation invasion. But we learn later that Palpatine himself — as an evil Sith lord — actually initiated the conflict, and orchestrated an attempt on Amidala’s life. As Jesus once said of Satan, “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
6. The garbage masher and the fiery furnace
The Death Star trash compactor scene of Episode IV is a metaphor for life. Sometimes, in a world that’s scary and dangerous enough by itself, you find yourself in a really tight spot — and, frankly, it stinks. Three young Jewish nobles in Babylon — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — were in a scary, dangerous world that demanded they bow to the golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3). They chose to rebel, and ended up in a tight (actually, hot) spot, the “fiery furnace.” The good news: God delivered them through, if not from, the flames.
7. The Death Star and pride
It seemed invincible. But we all know the story well enough to recognize the vulnerability of the Death Star. It was a thermal exhaust port, less than two meters wide, connected to the space station’s main power reactor. Because the Death Star defenses were designed for a full-scale assault, rebel analysts had determined an attack by small, single-pilot fighters could possibly succeed. The Grand Moff Tarkin and the Emperor, focusing on their battle station’s power while ignoring its vulnerability, exemplified the truth of Proverbs 16:18 — “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
8. Tauntauns and providence
In the frigid wastes of the planet Hoth, Han Solo cuts open the abdomen of his tauntaun, pushing the freezing Luke inside. “I thought they smelled bad,” Han gasps, “on the outside.” It’s a disagreeable place, to be sure, but in reality the safest spot for Luke — similar to some places God puts His own people. The apostle Paul faced flogging, beatings, stoning, and shipwreck in his work, but he was always safe in God’s hands. “I desire to [die] and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain” (Philippians 1:23-25).
9. Podracing and life
In the Boonta Eve Podrace, young Anakin Skywalker careens over the landscape like a lightning bolt late for a date, twisting and turning, climbing and plunging, fending off surprises both random and of evil intent. That’s a lot like our lives — some feature more twists and turns . . . some have more hills and others more valleys . . . but every life passes quickly. As Job said, “my days are swifter than a runner . . . like eagles swooping down on their prey” (Job 9:25-26). It’s why David prayed, “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you” (Psalm 39:4-5).
Image courtesy of pio3 / Shutterstock.com.