Happy Star Wars Wednesday! Today we are going to look at Episode IV, the original Star Wars journey. There is a story structure referred to as the Hero’s Journey. It is prevalent in most of my favorite fandoms, including Star Wars and the Bible.
My earliest memories of Star Wars consisted of R2D2 and C3PO wandering through the desert. I don’t know what it is about desert scenes, but I recoil inwardly from them. So, for many, many, many years I harbored an aversion to all things from galaxies far, far away. Until my church decided to do a summer series looking at five movies and applying them to the Bible. One of those movies was Star Wars. We have a group of super-fans at our church that donated their time, talent, and props turning the lobby into a Star Wars set of sorts. At that point, the Hubby and I realized it was time to give Star Wars another chance, and we’re glad we did because we have become super-fans.
Now, looking back at those scenes in the desert landscape of Tatooine, my mind is racing with Biblical parallels. So, today we are going to look at “Act 1” of the Hero’s Journey, and how Luke’s story resembles that of Moses and of Christ.
Step 1: Ordinary World / Limited Awareness of a Problem
Luke: The evil Empire is oppressing the galaxy, and Luke is much more concerned about joining the academy than becoming a Jedi.
Moses: The evil Pharoah of Egypt, who forgot how Joseph, the Israelite, saved his nation from starvation in the past, has turned the Israelites into slaves. When Moses is born, a proclamation had been made that all baby boys are to be killed for fear that the nation of Israel would grow too strong and overtake the Egyptians. Moses, through the wisdom of his mother and sister, is saved by being placed where the Egyptian princess found him and adopted him. He grows up in the palace, in a world of luxury while his blood relations are slaves.
Christ: Christ, in my opinion, has two journies that overlap and intersect. One as God and the other as Man. His God story begins in Heaven, and he has a huge awareness of the problem—man losing the battle against sin (evil). His Man story begins when he is born in Israel during a time of Roman rule and oppression. The ruler is told of a prophecy about a baby boy who will grow up to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Misunderstanding the meaning of this prophecy and fearful of losing his throne, he orders that all baby boys in the land should be killed. Christ is whisked off to Egypt until it is safe in Israel again. When he returns, he lives in Nazareth in Galilee with his family as a typical Jewish boy (semi-typical).
Step 2: Call to Adventure / Increased Awareness
Luke: R2D2 plays Leia’s message of help, which Luke desires to answer by delivering the droid to Uncle Ben.
Moses: Moses goes down to where the Israelite slaves live and work; there, he discovers how harshly his people have been treated and ends up killing and Egyptian for beating an Israelite slave. Because of this, Moses flees Egypt and lives in exile with a man named Jethro, marries his daughter, and has children of his own.
Christ: Jesus-God sees a suffering and dying world, and decided to enter it as man in order to save it. Jesus-Man is baptized by John the Baptist (his cousin), and declared the Son of God by God himself when the Holy Spirit descends upon him.
Step 3: Refusal of the Call / Reluctant to Change
Luke: Refuses to follow Obi-Wan on his mission to save the galaxy from the Empire because he needs to help with the farm.
Moses: God speaks to Moses in exile through a burning bush, telling him to go and free the Israelites. Moses refuses, stating that he’s unqualified and Pharoah will never listen to him.
Christ: For Christ-Man, I think this is when his mother, Mary, asks him to perform a miracle at the wedding, but Christ resists because it is not yet his time. But he ends up performing the miracle anyway—that is what a good son does. For Christ-God, I think this is when he’s praying in the Garden for the burden of what is about to happen to him to be taken from him if possible.
Step 4: Meeting with the Mentor / Overcoming Reluctance
Luke: R2D2 plays Leia’s full message, revealing Luke is in possession of the Death Star plans. Obi-Wan decides to give Luke his father’s lightsaber and the information that his father was a Jedi, but killed by Vader. This token and extra information helps Luke overcome his reluctance.
Moses: God continues to speak to Moses and shows him signs to perform for Pharoah. His staff turns to a snake and back again upon throwing it down and picking it up. His hand turns white with disease and then healthy again upon putting it in and out of his cloak. Still refusing due to his inability to speak well, God sends him Aaron, his biological brother, to be his spokesperson. Finally Moses consents.
Christ: Jesus-Man goes to Jerusalem for Passover, and is enraged by vendors turning the house of God into a “den of thieves.” He chases them all out. When asked to prove he has authority to do so with a miracle, Jesus consents. He tells them to tear this Temple down and he’ll raise it back up in three days—referring to himself, of course. Jesus-God, upon his prayer recieving a “no,” allows himself to be arrested.
Act 1 complete. Do you agree or disagree with my analysis? Let’s chat below!