Dancing with the Trinity

A reflection on Star Wars

This week another Star Wars movie hits the theaters and I couldn’t be more excited.

Star Wars was the spark that awakened my imagination.

It was my “first step into a larger world.”

Most of my childhood imagination and playtime was consumed by the thought of flying through space, pretending I was Luke Skywalker wielding a lightsaber fighting for a rebellion that stood against an evil empire. I have such good memories of my friends and I playing with Star Wars toys and action figures, wondering what more story could be told, and debating theories of what would happen next.

And thank the Force, Star Wars (Disney/Marvel) is keeping the story alive. Sure, they are driven to make money, the marketing machine is in full force, and they will keep making movies as long as people spend money to see them. Well count me all in!

But I also believe there is something hard wired within us for creating and telling stories, for imagining a “larger world”, to long for hope, to struggle with the light and the darkness within and outside of ourselves, wrestling with “our destiny” and not being locked into “the way it has always been done”, exploring how our past shapes our future and how we don’t have to let our past shape our future. As a person of faith I connect with this ancient and postmodern idea that there is a mystical and allusive “Force” that binds all living things together.

I plan to go into this movie and next chapter in the saga with an open mind, with a childlike imagination and faith that I’m in for another great ride. Oh yes, I will have opinions… I have been super critical of the prequels, the sagas many plot holes and story missteps. I don’t expect “The Last Jedi” to be perfect, but I do expect to be amazed by the visual and musical spectacle, surprised by an amazing plot twist or disappointed they didn’t take the story in a direction I would like (or maybe all at the same time!). This movie will reveal to me once again the importance and messiness of relationships and storytelling. It will inspire me to continue my journey with my “small band of rebels” to resist and fight against evil and tyranny.

That kind of sounds like life, this is how I experience faith.

At its core, at least for me, Star Wars draws me into a childlike imagination of a larger universe where anything is possible. Star Wars awakens my imagination which is “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” There may be a “last Jedi” but there is more story to be told, and plenty of imagination to explore a large and complicated universe.

“May the Force be with You”… and as Lutherans should respond, “and also with you.”

Pastor Will Rose