Star Wars: A Better Hope


“The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

Hebrews 7:18-19


The writer of Hebrews has probably seen Star Wars by now.


(I am pretty sure that in Heaven they stream the original trilogy 24/7. In Hell, they just stream a constant loop of Jar Jar’s most memorable moments.)


She (She? Interesting!) probably sat down in one of Heavens biggest cinemas, grabbed some popcorn and a coke (Regular coke. Diet drinks don’t exist in Heaven.), and kicked back in her chair as that wonderful text crawl popped up on screen. “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Music blasts throughout the theater as a bunch of angels start clapping and cheering. Of course, all of the music is done by live orchestra with Mozart conducting (Mozart is in Heaven, right?), and the writer of Hebrews sees the title of the film scroll up:


“A New Hope.”


As any Star Wars fan knows, this “New Hope” that the title speaks of could have multiple meanings. It could be the rebel alliance, and the hope of defeating the evil empire. It could be the stolen Death Star plans and the hope that finding a weakness in the designs will stop the monstrous planet killer from achieving its goals. It could be any number of other things, but we come to find out through the course of the movie that the New Hope is actually a person, and that his name is Luke Skywalker.


And the writer of Hebrews is probably sitting there the whole time watching the film and thinking, “this is what I was writing about. The New Hope, the Better Hope, is not a thing, but a person.”


And His name is Jesus Christ.


You see, the Jewish people didn’t need a new hope, they needed a better hope. One that wasn’t written on tablets of stone, but on their hearts. They didn’t need an earthly priest (senators), they needed an eternal heavenly priest (Jedi’s). They had been relying on the law to save them for so long, that when their Luke showed up on the scene, they couldn’t even recognize Him. You see, they had the plans to the Death Star (the law), but without someone to fly the Trench Run and make the impossible shot (live a sinless life), the hope that the blueprints brought (hope of salvation) would be worthless.


The law is good and holy and perfect, and with it comes the hope of salvation. But, with our fallen natures, we have no way of using it properly just as the rebels had no way of utilizing the blueprints to the Death Star.


Enter Jesus, who is our better and lasting hope. The One alone who can fire the impossible shot (keeping the law perfectly), and with it, destroys death once and for all. He returns victorious, and though He was the one who did all the work, we receive the gold medals right along with him.


And not just Luke, but what about Obi-Wan who sacrifices himself to by the others time? Obi-Wan who also states that if you strike him down he will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine?


What about the force itself? The thing that gives power, and binds all living beings together.


I mean, all analogies break down at some point, but the picture of the gospel is so clearly here it’s crazy hard to miss.


I can only imagine that the guy (Guy? Less interesting.) who wrote Hebrews is watching as the credits roll and thinking to himself, “Lucas stole all of this!”


And you know what, he probably did. But I doubt he did it consciously.


C.S. Lewis believed that every great story throughout history, the stories that resonate with us in our inner being, are secretly retellings of the gospel message.


Think of all the archetypes of Christ and the gospel that can be found throughout great movies. E.T., Superman, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Lion King, Spiderman, Shawshank Redemption, Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz, 12 Angry Men, and too many more to list. Even great stories and books are filled with the gospel narrative, and you would be hard-pressed to find a great work of literature that didn’t somehow incorporate the themes of sacrifice, love, and forgiveness.


The gospel message permeates every aspect of our lives, and it is this message that is written on every human heart. It is the longing for eternity that we all feel. It is our quest for purpose and meaning, and the reason that both Christians and non-Christians alike all reach outside of ourselves for something otherworldly. It is the question of, “why are we here?”


The thing (Thing? Super interesting!) that wrote Hebrews gets up in-between films and heads to the concession stand. It (It?) is excited to see how the next film in the trilogy points the viewer to that lasting, better Hope, that the entire Bible itself was pointing towards.


As Force Friday approaches (as well as the new film), I thought it would be fun to stick with Star Wars for awhile and delve into the gospel themes that are hidden throughout the trilogy. I wont be messing with the newer films, because, frankly, I think Lucas completely abandoned his old methods and just made up stuff to sell toys. That is not to say that even those flawed films don’t have glimmers of the gospel in them, just simply that I cant stand them and they are awful and they shouldn’t exist.


Stop looking for a new hope, and embrace the better hope that is already here. Jesus will never disappoint, never abandon, and he alone is our, “only hope.”


Jesus not only can fly the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, but He is the creator of the Kessel Run.


He is better in every way.


Cue credits.


Start Empire Strikes Back.


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