Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jesus Gone Bad

This past weekend I embarked on the journey to watch the first 3 episodes of Star Wars. Unfortunately, due to the continuous exertion demanded from the hours of entertainment, my DVD player overheated and my quest was postponed. After the purchase of a new DVD player, I have endured the 3 episodes of the "Pre-trilogy" and have made many interesting connections between young Anakin Skywalker and Jesus.

[in case the video does not embed,

Many people are familiar with the video clip i posted above from Mel Gibson's The Passion. Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before His arrest. We see He is very much capable of human emotion, but does not let it consume Him. He asks God to spare Him from His fate if possible, but if it is not possible, than let God's will be done. Satan senses His moment of weakness and encourages Him to stray from God's will. In the end, Jesus is not swayed, rejects Satan, and willfully walks from the garden towards His eminent death.

It is said in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus was tempted three times in the dessert after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. The first temptation played on Jesus' humanity and hunger. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread" (Matthew 4: 3). The second temptation implored Jesus to test God. The devil took him to the holy city and on the highest point of the temple he said, "If you are the Son of God throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone'" (Matthew 4: 5, 6). The third and final temptation plays to humanly greed and power. The devil took him to a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world and said, "All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me." To all these temptations, Jesus resists. He denies his humanly thoughts, emotions, and wants to obey God and follow his will.

But what if He did not reject Satan? What if on the peak of the great mountain He said to Satan, "OK, I'll rule the world and worship you." ? What if Jesus fell from grace and embraced the Dark Side?

In a way, the Star Wars saga is answering these questions. Anakin Skywalker is Jesus and Darth Vader is Jesus fallen from God's grace.
Many similarities between the story of Jesus and Anakin has led me to this conclusion. First and foremost, both were immaculate conceptions. Jesus, Son of God, was created from the Holy Spirit. Anakin, Son of the Metachlorians, was created from the Force. Both men spent their adolescents engulfed in their "religion." Jesus studied the scriptures while Anakin trained in the Jedi arts. Anakin becomes a very powerful Jedi and Jesus, referred many times as Rabbi, becomes the pentacle of his own religion: Christianity.
A more straightforward comparison is that of Darth Sidious and Satan. The Sith Lord is the evil master of the dark side. He is manipulating and persuasive. As chancellor Palpitine, he manipulates the Senate and as Darth Sidious he manipulates his apprentices. In pertaining to biblical texts. Darth Sidious exploits Anakin's human emotions and his lack of control over them. He offers Anakin the power to save his wife, Padme from dying in childbirth, in return for pledging his allegiance to the Dark Side, and consequently Darth Sidious. This can be seen as symbolism of Satan's temptations offered to Jesus in the desert and in the garden. However, unlike Jesus, Anakin cannot control his human emotions and gives into his desires and makes a deal with the devil. So, what if Jesus conceded to the third temptation in the dessert?
If Anakin is Jesus, Darth Vader is Jesus gone bad.

1 comment:

BSM said...

Keeping with your analogy...

He too makes a sacrifice to restore balance. Only it's 20 or so years later!