The Gospel according to Luke (Skywalker)

You can’t blame churches for feeling a little left out of the “Star Wars” frenzy. The Advent season used to be about waiting for the birth of Jesus, but this year Jesus is in danger of being upstaged by “The Force Awakens,” which arrives a week earlier.

And yet it’s hard to imagine going to the lengths of Berlin’s Zion Church, which on Dec. 20 plans to conduct a Star Wars-themed worship service. You’d think a church that once had the anti-Hitler theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer in its pulpit wouldn’t have to resort to stories about fictional heroes to get people into the pews, but there you are.

The German news site The Local quotes a pastor there as linking Christmas to “Star Wars” as follows:

“In the decisive scene of Episode VI, Luke Skywalker is being persuaded to join the Emperor’s side — the evil side,” [Lucas] Ludewig explained. “Luke resists, with the words: ‘I will never turn to the Dark Side.’ This corresponds with the Bible verse: ‘Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.'”

Yes, it’s a bit of a reach. In other words: If beat them you cannot, join them you must.

  • Patirck

    “Yes, it’s a bit of a reach. In other words: If beat them you cannot, join them you must.”

    Spot on Yodaization of the old saw aside, I’m pretty much sure that’s nearly directly opposite from the meaning of the quoted bible verse (or St. Luke’s word’s, for that matter.)

    • It’s opposite of the bible verse but in line with the outcome of the movie.

      Luke went to the Dark Side as Yoda predicted…

  • Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

    • asiljoy

      I see what you did there.

  • Jeff C.

    The link to The Local doesn’t work, Eric.

  • Gary F

    I saw the first one, and the second one, which I found out later weren’t the first and second ones. So I stopped caring.

    I don’t follow Star Wars because its RACIST!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDFnrNtqAjo&feature=youtu.be

    • Khatti

      I saw the first one about thirty times in the theater…and Melissa Harris Perry is free to think what she wants.

  • Rob

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a little child grew up to lead them.

  • MrE85

    There actually was a Star Wars Holiday special shown only once on Friday, November 17, 1978. It was the work of Satan, those who saw it would later say.

    • Lindsey

      You can definitely find parts of it on Youtube. It’s not good.

  • Khatti

    Möge die Macht mit dir sein!

  • John

    I haven’t watched the movies (the ones from the 70’s) in a long time. I also haven’t been to church in a long time, so take this as being based on shaky memory.

    weren’t the first three movies pretty biblical in their trajectory? Luke as savior, etc? It doesn’t seem that big a stretch to try to integrate that into a church service.

    This one seems a bit on the nose though.

    • Mark

      I think they followed more on the hero’s journey as described by Joseph Campbell (I think Lucas used Campbell as an advisor) although I’m sure a number of biblical figures’ stories would follow the same path.

      • ec99

        Lot of epic themes: the journey (“The Odyssey” et al), the hero progresses in knowledge (“Beowulf”), etc.

  • >>You’d think a church that once had the anti-Hitler theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer in its pulpit wouldn’t have to resort to stories about fictional heroes to get people into the pews, but there you are.<< (emphasis mine).

    Isn't that a church's MO?

  • lindblomeagles

    To me, Star Wars represents the history of a nation more so than religion. When we first meet Mark Hamel on his desert home world in the late 1970s, the Empire already governs an area, to which Carrie Fischer, a member of the royal family, has not been able to rule because the Empire’s military ensures the Empire has the power to over-rule and dissolve Leia’s royal family. We also learn from Han Solo’s meeting with Ben Kenobi in the Creature Cantina, that the Empire restricts, among other things, trade because Solo is a smuggler, and the Millennium Falcon is a smuggling cargo ship. The subject of Trade Restrictions comes up again when Lucas introduces Billy Dee Williams in the Empire Strikes Back. Billy Dee is President of a mining colony, whose profits are small and under the radar of the Empire, until Harrison Ford and Co. head there to escape the Emperor. To maintain its governing ability, the Empire seeks those who advocate an end to the Empire, i.e. those who would inspire Civil War. Known as the Rebel Alliance, they are led by Carrie Fischer, the overthrown Princess, and the Rebels, more or less, fight guerilla style wars against the Empire, rarely taking on the Empire’s military head on, but actively seeking to cripple the Empire’s best defense system, the Death Star, or, as we know it, the strongest military base. Only in the last two Star Wars’ installments do we get a sense of a more democratically elected area that is allegedly endangered by an evil force. Even then, the evil force, known as Chancellor, actually receives total political power from the Imperial Senate, rather than taking power with a standing army. In fact, the very democracy, with the Jedi by its side, that was SO worried about an evil Sith Lord coming to power, creates the very army (storm troopers) that keeps the military power the Empire enjoys in the first three Star Wars movies. Voter beware sums up the series best; a theme more appropriate for Election 2016.