1. Fatherly advice…
Darth Vader: Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.
You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. ~ Leviticus 19:17 ESV
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. ~ 1 John 3:15 ESV
Sorry Darth, you’ve gotten a bit confused since going over to the Dark Side. Hatred is not the way to destroy others, it is the way we destroy ourselves. More on destruction and how it is truly accomplished below.
2. Desperation and Fear…
Darth Sidious: You are fulfilling your destiny, Anakin. Become my apprentice. Learn to use the dark side of the Force. There’s no turning back now.
Anakin Skywalker: I will do whatever you ask. Just help me save Padme’s life. I can’t live without her. If she dies, I don’t know what I will do.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 ESV
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. ~ 1 John 4:18 ESV
Poor Anakin. His fear and desperation has blinded him from the truth. That only in love can we save. Had Anakin remained on the Light Side, Padmé would not have died when she did. It was his hatred that killed her.
Eventually she would have died—we all do. When we can approach our death and the death of those we love without fear, that’s how we truly save ourselves and them. If we know that “death is but the next great adventure” for those who live in love (God is love) what is there to fear? If we know that we’ve given our heart to Christ and followed him through life, allowed him to perfect us in love, then we can live our days hear in peace and joy as we wait for our life in eternity. We can live all our days, even the hardest, in love without fear and desperation leading us to destruction.
Darth Vader: [having cornered Luke during their lightsaber battle] You are beaten. It is useless to resist. Don’t let yourself be destroyed as Obi-Wan did.
Hmmm, Dark One, was Obi-Wan really destroyed?
Luke: Search your feelings, Father, you can’t do this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate.
Darth Vader: It is too late for me, son. The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your master now.
Luke: Then my father is truly dead.
How can Vader, walking, breathing, and talking, be “truly” dead? Because death is not about our bodies, it is about our souls. It is about who we are on the inside. Which is why Vader thinks Obi-Wan was destroyed, when really we know that he’s only become more powerful since the death of his body.
How do we destroy? By loving. Luke destroyed the darkness in Vader by loving him so much that Anakin was raised back to life and Light. Hatred destroys only oursevles. It can hurt others, kill others, wound others, but it can only destroy the one who chooses hate. However, love has the power to save ourselves and others. It is the power that raises dead things back to life. You have an enemy you want to destroy? Stop hating them and start loving them. It’s hard at first, but it is so worth it in the end.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. ~ 1 Peter 4:8 NIV
The passion of love bursting into flame is more powerful than death, stronger than the grave. Love cannot be drowned by oceans or floods; it cannot be bought, no matter what is offered. ~ Song of Solomon 8:6-7 CEV
4. The Dark Side…
Ah, Darth, you give us another Potter/Bible throwback…
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! ~ Matthew 6:21-23 NLT
Anakin’s treasure was Padmé. An admiral person to treasure. The problem: he didn’t really love her. He was obsessed with her, but obsession not the same as love. If he really loved Padmé, he would have never turned to the Dark Side to save her. Rather, he turned because he feared life without her. He feared for himself. His treasure then wasn’t actually Padmé, it was how Padmé made him feel.
Because Anakin was clouded in deep, deep darkness as he strived to save his treasure, he was easily lead to thinking his darkness was light and light was darkness. He was easily deceived into following a path of destruction rather than salvation. And Darth is a destroyed man in this moment BUT, as we learned earlier, Luke’s love will resurrect and restore Anakin to the Light. (Don’t you just love a happy ending?)
5. The Conflict Within…
Luke: Your thoughts betray you, Father. I feel the good in you, the conflict.
Darth Vader: There is no conflict.
Luke: You couldn’t bring yourself to kill me before and I don’t believe you’ll destroy me now.
Darth Vader: You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.
Darth Vader is not the only one in a state of conflict between light and darkness. Luke struggles to choose light several times. And we all do really. Every time we are presented with the easy-Dark path or more difficult-Light path, we have to arbitrate the conflict within ourselves and choose which route to take. Sadly, the Dark path is the one that usually feels best in the moment and is the easiest to fall into—so, many of us do. The Light Side, while more difficult at first, is the one with the better payoff in the end but, because it is difficult and usually contrary to our momentary feelings, few choose to walk this path.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. ~ Matthew 7:12-14 ESV
Darth Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6 ESV
Even Darth Vader had faith, how much more should those who have given themselves to the Light have!
7. The Force…
Darth Vader: Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV
Everything we have or can do is meaningless if we do not have the Force… if we do not have the Spirit of Love (of God).
What’s your favorite Darth Vader/Anakin quote?