The Star Wars series, which has captivated millions of moviegoers, is possibly the most popular Hollywood production in history. Yet, few realize that the series is full of not-so-subtle inferences from the world’s best-selling book—the Bible.
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Similar to the recent Matrix movies, Star Wars contains elements of biblical truth mixed with much fiction. Such films are extremely popular, as they produce a fictional world that appears to address the mysteries of life—appealing to everyone’s desire to understand the unknown.
The Star Wars saga portrays a war of good versus evil, and contains many themes similar to those found in the Bible. Some have a hint of truth to them. Others have come from manmade “traditional” Christian beliefs—counterfeits to biblical truths.
The Star Wars epic begins “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…,” in which there is an ongoing battle between the forces of good (the Jedi knights) and evil (the Sith warriors).
In real history, a titanic cosmic battle was also fought. In the very beginning, God first created angels, then, some time later, He created the universe. This was such an awesome sight that the angels shouted for joy (Job 38:4-7). But eventually something went wrong among the angels.
Among these spirit beings was a powerful arch (cherubim) angel, Lucifer, who was in charge of one third of all the angels. Lucifer and his angels were sent to earth to take care of it—to improve and finish it.
Lucifer was a brilliant being, and the book of Isaiah explains that he began to think that he was as great as God: “For you [Lucifer] have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (14:13). Lucifer, whose name was changed to Satan (meaning adversary), convinced those of whom he was in charge that God was unfair. He was able to sway them to rise in revolt against their Creator, in an attempt to overthrow God. However, Satan lost the battle and was cast back down to earth: “I [Christ] beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18).
Because of this rebellion, the earth became “without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen. 1:2). All life on earth was destroyed. It is probable that this led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
There are other parallels. We need to ask what are they and what lessons can be learned from them. You will see that, as the rest of the article develops, elements of the Star Wars series are counterfeits of the world’s brand of Christianity—which is a counterfeit of true Christianity! The world’s Christianity, like Star Wars, mixes truth and error. Let’s notice.
In Stars Wars, the “bad guys” came to be in charge of the empire. Before then, good ruled the galaxy. The people of the republic came to believe that supporting a high-profile senator named Palpatine was the right cause, but the truth is that he had his own evil scheme to turn the republic into a tyrannical empire.
In much the same way, traditional Christianity, and the world at large, who believe they are supporting the right cause, are, in reality, greatly deceived. For instance, many Christians believe they are “spreading” God’s kingdom now, but Jesus Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from here” (John 18:36).
In the movie series, the people are led to believe that good is in control. But the reality is that the “bad guys” are in control. In a similar sense, most people assume that this is God’s world, yet it is not. After the initial battle described above, Satan was cast back down to earth, where he continues to be the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). When he tempted Christ, Satan stated that he had the authority to give the world to Him; due to Christ’s response, we can glean that He and the devil understood that this is Satan’s world (Matt. 4:8-10).
The effects of Satan governing this world are apparent—famine, war, anger, bitterness, murder, abuses of every type, corruption, etc. Ask yourself: Would these effects be so rampant if the kingdom of God were here now? This present evil world (Gal. 1:4) will be replaced when Jesus Christ returns to reclaim it!
Both the Jedi and the Sith derive supernatural power from “the force.” The Sith lords are on the “dark side” of this force.
This “force” is a resemblance of God’s Holy Spirit. Like the Holy Spirit, it is impersonal and is a source of great power.
Consider some similarities of the force to the Holy Spirit. When asking how to differentiate between the good side and the bad, Luke Skywalker was told by his master, Yoda, “You will know when you are at peace.” In the same sense, there are fruits of the Spirit. And notice that one of these fruits is peace: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).
Another similarity is related to the midichlorians, which are an element of the force. In the series, there was a prophecy of a coming savior, (comparable to prophecies of Jesus Christ) “one who would come and bring balance to the force.” The one who would fulfill this prophecy would be begotten by the midichlorians. Anakin Skywalker, one of the main characters, had potential to fulfill this prophecy. His mother claimed that Anakin was conceived without a father.
Observe the similarity in the following scripture: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isa. 7:14). Jesus was born to a virgin, Mary, and was conceived with the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus who had more Holy Spirit than any human being (John 3:34), Anakin had a midichlorian count much higher than the Jedi had ever seen.
There are ways in which the force is not comparable to the Holy Spirit. While the force is said to be in every person, the Holy Spirit is given by God at conversion and combines with the spirit in man, allowing man to understand the spiritual things of God (I Cor. 2:11). Also, while the force can be used for both good and evil, the Holy Spirit cannot be used for evil—only good (I John 1:5).
Throughout the series, the Jedi knights are always fighting for good. New Jedis are always being trained by their masters. As a young boy, Anakin Skywalker, the one who had potential to fulfill the prophecy, is discovered by the Jedi and begins to train in their art. Later in his life, he is assigned to protect the Princess of Naboo, Padme. During this mission, he falls in love with her, and secretly marries her. This brings us to another comparison. Anakin secretly married because marriage is not allowed for the Jedi, for they believe that attachment to others will only lead to jealousy.
Much of professing Christianity believes that celibacy is a higher state of being for its priests. This teaching, however, does not come from the Bible—it is a pagan custom of men. Notice Genesis 2:18 “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Also see Ephesians 5:33, I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6.)
Another element of the Jedi, which is comparable to true Christianity, is that they live a selfless life. Their purpose is to protect and care for all other life. They dedicate their entire lives to fighting evil in order to keep the universe at peace. While Jedi fight on a physical plane using physical weapons, true Christians fight on a spiritual level with spiritual weapons (Eph. 6:11-18). Also, God’s way of life can be described as the way of give—outflowing and outgoing care and concern for others. A Christian lives a life of selflessness, as a living sacrifice! On the other hand, the Sith lead a selfish life, similar to Satan’s way of get—grasping for oneself at the expense of others.
Let’s continue with more of the story line. During a battle between the Galactic republic and the separatists, Senator Palpatine is taken hostage by Count Grievous. Anakin sets out to rescue him. Anakin returns from this mission to find that his wife Padme is pregnant.
Anakin has a vision that Padme will die in childbirth. When he describes the vision to Jedi master Yoda, he is told not to mourn those who die, as they will go to a better place. Yoda also said that the fear of loss is a path to the dark side.
When Anakin also tells this vision to Senator Palpatine (the Sith lord), he is told that there is a way he can save his wife—a way to overcome death. If he is willing to turn to the dark side, he can learn to use a great power that no Jedi has ever had. Palpatine uses lies and deceit, as well as vanity, to get Anakin to follow him. He knows that Anakin could defeat him. He tells Anakin that the Jedi are holding him back from his true potential; they do not fully recognize his talents. He also tells him that those who would like to understand the mystery must embrace all sides of the force in order to come to the full knowledge of how to harness its power.
The manipulation that Palpatine foisted upon Anakin can be compared to how Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan subtly appealed to Eve’s vanity and said that God was limiting her potential. (Read Genesis 3:1-6.)
Continuing, Anakin believes Palpatine’s lies and submits to learning the ways of the dark side as Darth Vader. He gives in to the lust for the power to decide who can live and who can die. Darth Vader (meaning dark lord of the Sith) becomes Palpatine’s right hand man.
Palpatine used subtle deceit, manipulation and outright lies to gain control of the Galactic Republic. Satan himself is the father of lies and manipulates human beings for his purpose. Christ, when talking to the Pharisees, said, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Palpatine convinced Anakin that he would be able to save his wife from death. In the end, this turned out to be a lie, as Anakin did not save his wife from dying. Similarly, Eve was told by Satan “you shall not die,” but this was a lie as well.
Palpatine was so cunning that people believed that he was trying to save the Republic from the evil that he himself was perpetrating. Consider this verse: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:14).
Now let’s look at Anakin (Darth Vader) and understand more inferences that come from the Bible.
The light in Anakin went out, he could no longer think correctly. The hate inside overpowered him, causing him to walk in total darkness. In the same way, if Christians allow Satan to influence them, they can take on wrong attitudes. The opposite of darkness is light, and the two cannot mix: “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” (I John 1:5-7).
Also note that Darth Vader once occupied a prestigious office with the Jedi, being the youngest ever allowed to sit on the Council—just as Satan was once the “anointed cherub that covers; and…set…upon the holy mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:14).
The Jedi believe that death is not to be feared. They believe that when one dies he becomes a part of the force. When a certain Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was in a battle with Darth Vader, he said, “If my blade finds its mark, you will cease to exist. But if you can cut me down, I will become more powerful.” Two points must be noted here. The evil die—cease to exist—and the good continue to live on. This has elements of truth mixed with error when it comes to human beings on earth.
Consider. Many professing Christians believe that they will go to heaven when they die. This is not consistent with what the Bible teaches. Notice what the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, said, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten” (Ecc. 9:5).
Now look at what the apostle Paul wrote about a “change” that will come to all true Christians (carefully read the following): “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump…the dead shall be raised…and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory” (I Cor. 15:51-52, 54),
In Star Wars, Kenobi’s statement implies that those who are evil die and cease to exist. In the world today, the most common misconception is of people roasting forever in hell. Apart from what the Bible teaches, ask yourself: What kind of God is capable of this? Would a loving God design an everlasting torture chamber? If so, He (as well as all of the relatives of those condemned) would have to witness—for the rest of eternity—the suffering of those that He had condemned to such a “hell.”
The truth of the matter is that like the movie, those who ultimately do not submit to God’s way will cease to exist: “For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, says the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 4:1-3).
The righteous will rule with Jesus Christ as spirit beings in God’s kingdom, and the wicked will be ashes under their feet.
As Christ was tempted by Satan (recorded in Matthew 4:2-11), so were Anakin and his son Luke. They were both tempted before having the opportunity to become Jedi. As we have already discussed, Anakin gave into the temptation and joined the dark side. Luke, on the other hand, resisted both attempts (one by Darth Vader, the other by Palpatine) to draw him to the dark side, and he eventually brought balance to the force.
Christ was also tempted to submit to Satan (Matt. 4:9), but He overcame the devil in this titanic battle. In overcoming Satan, Christ qualified to replace him on the throne of earth. As King of kings, Christ will bring peace to earth, not “balance to the force.” (It is interesting to note that all the temptations in Star Wars were on high ground, similar to Christ’s temptation on a mountain.)
In reality, a galactic battle of good versus evil is not being waged out in space. There is no “battle” for the earth going on between God and Satan, as many assume there is. If such were the case, then it would seem that God is losing—badly—when taking into account all the troubles and evils in this world. The truth is that God is much more powerful than Satan is, and He is in complete control of the universe. He is allowing Satan to continue for a short time longer so that man can learn that Satan’s ways lead to death. The time will come when God will bind Satan (Rev. 20:2).
The true Christian must submit to the God of the universe in order to overcome human nature. After we completely surrender to God, He will fight our battles.
The question arises. What is man’s destiny? The answer will astound you. Man has been blinded to the very purpose for his existence. Satan, using the religions of this world, has done his utmost to keep this purpose hidden.
God has created mankind for one purpose, to share the entire universe with Him. But man must do two things before God will finalize His creation: (1) He must overcome his own human nature. This nature is the pull toward vanity, self-centeredness, lust, greed, hatred, envy, jealousy and hostility toward God. And (2) He must be born again—changed from mortal to immortal, from flesh to spirit.
God is offering every human being an opportunity to have eternal life. While science fiction movies can be interesting, sometimes containing elements of truth, they do not hold the key to your destiny!
The Bible foretells that Jesus Christ will descend from heaven to wage war on a mankind that has rebelled against its Creator. He, along with His saints, will restore God’s government on the earth (Isa. 9:6-7). Christ will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will judge in righteousness and establish lasting peace. It is at this point that Christ will ultimately bring “balance” to earth.
To find out more of what can be your incredible future read our book The Awesome Potential of Man. Also, you may want to visit our website to learn more about the subjects mentioned in this article, such as the Holy Spirit, heaven, hell, salvation and conversion.