On this episode of Finding Christ In Cinema, we fly to Kamino to witness the creation of the Clone Army and find Christian themes in STAR WARS II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Is the Jedi Code just as broken as the Law of the Old Testament? Will there ever be any hope for it like in the New Testament? All that and more in 3…2…1!
ATTACK OF THE CLONES…aka MORE STAR WARS
Yes, friends: we have returned to the “galaxy far, far away.” Chances are, we will be going through the complete saga (even as the new episode come out). Then again, we’ll also be going through all of the Harry Potter films as well. We’ll be going back and forth between these series and The Hunger Games and The Matrix and…well, our docket is filling up quickly.
But our return to the films of the Force is met with my personal and pretentious dismay. Because my whole life I’ve never been that much of a Star Wars fan (unlike another who host this podcast and shall remain Michael…). I always thought they were “cool” – as in cool enough to tuck away in it own, little corner of my brain and never get back out.
However, after reviewing these first two films for the show, I have to recant my former groans and past discontent because now I have found something to latch onto. I have found a thread so strong that to pull on it is to shake the whole universe of these films, and this thread I am resolved to follow through to the end.
And I’ll introduce this thread with a seemingly heretical statement: the Jedi Order is a broken system.
Please put down the bucket of boiling tar, stuff those feathers back in the sack, and hear me out on this one.
Yes, as it is revealed in the first trilogy – and into the second trilogy – the Jedi Order is a broken facility that offers no hope for it’s members. But what is this brokenness? What is causing these rifts? I think the best way to track it down to this film is by following Anakin Skywalker.
From the very start, we see discord between Anakin and his master Obi-Wan. The latter can admire the padawan’s power, but he is skeptical of his arrogant attitude. Meanwhile, the former can admire his master’s wisdom, but he is skeptical of his isolating demeanor. What’s strange is that they are both just trying to follow the protocol set forth by the Jedi Code.
Later on in the film, as the stoic Obi-Wan is travelling to Kamino, Anakin has been given charge over Padme. This is problematic for Anakin because if he wants to become of a Jedi, he has to wean himself from affection. But, as we all know, the two confess their love for one another (and eventually get married).
This love is jeopardized when the Jedi are escaping from Dooku’s arena, and Padme is shuffled out of the helicopter. Moreover, it is jeopardized when Obi-Wan forbids Anakin to let his feelings for Padme get in the way of fulfilling his duty to the Jedi Order.
In fact, it seems that any time Anakin tries to help those whom he loves – any time he acts beyond the perimeters of the Jedi Order – he is scorned, rebuked, and discouraged by Obi-Wan for doing so. Is Obi-Wan just some heartless wretch? No, he’s just trying to keep his young padawan in line with the duties of the Jedi Code. And if we are to judge a tree by the fruit, then Obi-Wan is a bad tree.
However, this instance of the padawan rebelling and embracing the Dark Side isn’t a random fluke – it’s a trend. Case in point: Count Dooku was Yoda’s padawan…and look how that turned out.
We can apply the same principle here: if we are to judge Yoda by Dooku, then Yoda is a bad tree. But neither Yoda nor Obi-Wan are bad trees in and of themselves.
I think the problem comes from trying to fulfill the law through works – the same problem humanity has had since it left the garden.
Because you can do the things that the Jedi are supposed to do and not be a true Jedi. Just like under the Old Testament, the Israelites could do things that Israelites were supposed to do and not be a true Israelite. Furthermore, we can do the things that Christians are supposed to do and not be a Christian. (Remember the Sunday Assembly from Youth Challenge Today episodes 15 and 19?)
This is why there is no hope in the Jedi Order as it is: because fulfilling it only relies on works and does nothing for the internal soul.
But thankfully for us, under the New Covenant, the only way we can fulfill God’s law is through love.
Here’s my key passage for this episode:
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
I love how Paul brings up the Ten Commandments in this passage. Because in a sense, the Ten Commandments are like the tenets of the Jedi Code. At least within the respect of how people try to uphold them.
But time proved that neither the Old Testament Law nor the Jedi Code could be fulfilled by works alone, but by unconditional love.
Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.
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