Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Star Wars Jesus: You Have a Destiny

Caleb Grimes - Author

“Your destiny lies along a different path from mine.”

“Your destiny lies along a different path from mine,” Obi-Wan says to Luke. When the Millennium Falcon is tractor-beamed into the Death Star, Obi-Wan Kenobi senses Darth Vader's presence. He knows, too, that Vader can sense his presence. Knowing that Luke is Vader’s son, Obi-Wan quickly surmises that to protect Luke he must go somewhere alone. He intuits that Vader will be attracted to his presence and that they must, therefore, meet and fight. It is with this knowledge that Obi-Wan understands that his destiny is separate from Luke’s.

What is the right way to see destiny?

God does predestine us all to know him. He also knows most of us won't choose him. We can control our destiny in that we can choose to do good things to help us become better people, and we can choose to do things that help us decline. Of course, what we do every day of our lives effects if we are rich or poor, smart or dumb, wise or foolish.

It is also true, then, that if we get drunk every day, are constantly crass, selfishly obstinate, sexually immoral and refuse to educate ourselves, etc. we are not suddenly going to be healthy, wealthy and wise.

It's like everything we do and everything we are is in a video game where you build up points or powers or skills … but you can build up good ones that help toward good goals or bad ones that help toward bad goals, and there is not a lot of crossover. Then, in the video game of our lives we can only go so far on our own. We are finite just like the character we play on our favorite game.

We need help from the devil if we are going to be really evil. And we need help from God if we are going to be good. Odd thing about this game of ours is that the pursuit of good (righteousness, holiness, etc) is that it kind of works opposite to the direction we might think is forward.

It just does not make sense that if you want to be the greatest you must be the least, but it is true in the myth story of Star Wars™, and this points to the true myth of God coming to us. Maybe this is working out our destiny, but the example of Obi-Wan in relation to destiny is curious, compelling and it strikes a true chord.

Obi-Wan felt the force leading him to a confrontation with Vader and it seems he understood before the fight that he must allow himself to be killed so that the light side of the force could become stronger … however that works.

But there is an element to which Obi-Wan and the way he allowed himself to be killed, then became a spirit able to talk to Luke, was like Christ’s death, his ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit to us. In fact, in early versions of the screenplay, this was Lucas’ intent. (Skywalking, pg. 145, cited in Unlocking the Mystery of the Force by Frank Allnutt.)

Obi-Wan helps me imagine Philippians 1:20-21:

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now, as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Maybe this is the right way to see destiny. Self-sacrifice, whether resulting in life or in death is what we are to aim for. In doing this, we shortcut any selfish desires that we seem to involve our lives with, hoping fate and destiny will smile on us and make us great people.

Towards this understanding, it is also good to mention that as much dying by Vader's lightsaber is a sacrifice, the way Obi-Wan watches over Luke from afar on that dusty, remote planet of Tatooine for twenty years is also a very great sacrifice. Some days sacrifice looks like a quick lightsaber through the belly, some days—most days probably—it is a lowly, dusty thing.

*Devotion from Caleb Grimes’ new book, Star Wars Jesus, A Spiritual Commentary on the Reality of the Force. Used with permission.

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