Is Star Wars Christian? It may seem like a strange statement, but the Star Wars films definitely have Christian themes. Growing up, I remember my best friend’s father–who was our pastor–would let his kids watch the films because they had biblical themes in them. And it’s true, to an extent.
I’m going to go over a few different ways in which Star Wars shows us some biblically based themes. Although some of these are not explicitly Bible-based, the Bible shares these themes.
Good vs. Evil
This is the most obvious theme throughout all of the Star Wars movies. And it’s also the main theme of the Bible, and Christianity for that matter.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
– Revelation 12:7–10 NIV
According to the Bible, there’s a spiritual battle going on. And in the life of every Christian, there’s a battle between their sin nature and what they know God wants them to do. And this same theme is certainly in the Star Wars films. The evil “empire” is at war with the good “rebels”. Or in later films, the Jedi order is at war with the Sith.
Everyone’s part of something bigger
All the main characters in Star Wars seem to be pretty aware that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. And the film makes it clear that they are. “The Force” moves people to do certain things, and
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV
Like the other things I’ve listed, temptation isn’t exclusively biblical. It exists in other religions and things other than Christianity. But the Bible talks a lot about temptation; and so does Star Wars.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
– Matthew 4:1
The Bible talks about the temptation Jesus endured, but also talks of the temptations we as Christians will encounter. And it warns us against succumbing to our temptations. Star Wars–in a way– talks about the same thing.
Take, for example, episode three where Anakin turns to the dark side. This shows Anakin succumbing to temptation, and the result is disastrous. Not only does it leave him badly mutilated, but his love–and the one he wanted to protect–dies. This is a perfect example of how we should do what is right, and not do something we know is wrong, even if we have reason to justify it.
It takes the entire series for Anakin to come full circle. He remains “evil” for his whole life after succumbing to his temptation. It takes his son to bring him back for a moment of redemption. Anakin, or Darth Vader at the time, kills the ultimate evil at the end of episode 6. This is a depiction of redemption. Darth Vader is seen as having come back to the good side at the end of his life.
I don’t think I even need to quote a verse, everyone knows that redemption is found in the Bible. Christians believe that anyone can be redeemed. Paul, who was once a murderer, became Christianity’s most famous Christian.
Obviously, Star Wars is not some hugely obvious Christian franchise. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some Christian elements to it. And I guess you could apply the same logic I used in this post to a lot of movies, but I still thought this was a fun topic.
Let me know what you think in the comments!