Luke Skywalker is the focus of our Christian themes in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. Join us as we discuss how he is like the prophet Elijah and how the destruction of the Jedi Order will free him from the toxic guilt he carries from losing Ben Solo.
For your convenience, you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:
- 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
- 00:02:57 – Movie Discussion
- 00:22:11 – Christian Themes in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
- 00:27:57 – Listener Feedback and Well-Mannered Frivolity
- 00:59:52 – More Christian Themes in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Our first impression of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a darkly comedic one. Rey, who has traveled long and far to find the lost Jedi Master, hands him his very own lightsaber. As we expect Luke to take it and resume his noble position as the classic good guy, he thwarts our expectations by exhaling a quip and tossing the lightsaber over his shoulder.
This subversive gesture shows us a different Luke. While we may be accustomed to Luke being the proactive hero who’s ready to jump the proverbial blaster, we see instead an aging warrior who wants nothing more to do with war. More than that, we see a brooding vagabond roosting in what he has chosen as his final resting place.
Too many similarities can be drawn between Luke in The Last Jedi and the Old Testament prophet Elijah in the early part of 1 Kings 19. Like the Jedi Master, Elijah has seen a lot of wonderful and terrible things and has even participated in many of those wonderful and terrible things.
Luke is on the run from the First Order, and Elijah is on the run from King Ahab and Jezebel. They both fear for their lives, and they both would rather lay down and die alone rather face their captors. It’s a thlipsis to be sure, and not one that can be taken lightly.
Like a fatally wounded animal who wanders off to be alone, Luke has isolated himself on Temple Island on the watery planet of Ahch-To to die. Luke’s wound, however, is not physical but spiritual. He has been spiritually broken with guilt for “creating” Kylo Ren. Luke hurts because he believes his lack of trust in Ben Solo is what turned him into Kylo Ren.
Something deeper is impeding Luke from healing from his guilt. If I (Brenden) were to assign any theological interpretation to Luke overbearing guilt, I would say that it has its foundation in the Jedi Order in the same way that the Law came so that sin may increase.
As I’ve discussed before, I believe that the Jedi Order is a flawed system in that it promotes “order” and “peace” while claiming to be “morally neutral.” It sounds good for a while, but we’ve seen throughout the whole saga how it always comes back to bite the Jedi. This time is no exception.
Once Luke perceives that he has lost Rey in the same way that he lost Ben, he sets out to burn the Great. But when he hesitates to set it ablaze, Yoda appears and strikes it down with a bolt of lightning. Yoda, too, recognizes the need for the Jedi Order to end.
In that climactic moment, Yoda saves Luke and restores him from his guilt in the same way that Jesus came to seek and save the lost sheep of Israel. As Luke’ guilt is healed by the destruction of the Jedi Order, so was God’s peoples’ collective sin assuaged by Jesus.
Listen to the show and join the conversation by sharing your favorite parts in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and tell us about any Christian themes you may have found in the film.
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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