THE FORCE AWAKENS: Sacrifice and New Life | FCC 98

Han Solo is a believer, an evangelist, a disciple, and a martyr for the same kind of faith that Rey is just starting to believe is real. In this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast, we discuss these Christian themes and so much more as we review Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:40 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:25:48 – Christian Themes in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
  • 01:01:02 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:06:28 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:12:46 – Lightning Round
  • 01:16:03 – Upcoming

Han Solo: Believer, Evangelist, Disciple, and Martyr

Star Wars: The Force Awakens picks up thirty years after the destruction of the Empire. The First Order is now the corporate manifestation of the Dark Side, and with no more Jedi around to fight them – Luke Skywalker is missing in action, after all – everyone has returned to their regularly scheduled lives. This includes none other than Han Solo, the Corellian smuggler turned war hero.

In the beginning, Han Solo thought the Force, the Jedi, and the Dark Side were all nothing but the simple tricks and nonsense of a hokey religion; he now knows that it’s true – all of it – and he is now a believer. And now that he is such, he feels compelled to confirm it for Rey and Finn as he finds them on the Millennium Falcon, making him an evangelist.

This image from STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS shows Harrison Ford as Han Solo.

He is so affected by the efforts of the Light Side that he has disciplined himself into standing up for it even if it means his death – the textbook definition of a disciple. And that discipline ultimately leads to his death and thus completes his character arc as a martyr. How poignant an example of someone going from having zero faith to having enough faith to die for it.

The Force Awakens for Rey

To the rest of the universe, life on Jakku is life in a galactic junkyard, but to Rey, it is home. A scavenger like Han,  she lives in the shell of a run-down AT-AT and wanders the desert in search of anything she can sell for food at the Niima Outpost. It’s a hard life, but it is the only one Rey has ever known. Even when she is offered a job aboard the Millennium Falcon, she is hesitant to accept it because she feels the need to return home.

Furthermore, when Maz Kanata tells Rey that the Force is calling to her, Rey runs away from the calling only to be kidnapped by Kylo Ren. Her captivity, however, proves to be the best opportunity to live by the Force. We’ll see how much longer she can live by the Force in the films to come, but for now, we as the audience know that while she may be strong in the force, she definitely needs to be trained and disciplined into living that life.

This image from STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS shows Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn.

The same can be said for us whenever we hear God’s invitation to join His kingdom. It may be a weird, alienating, and even grotesque experience, but it’s an invitation nonetheless. But just as Rey goes from running away from the Force to running to it, so can we transform from a life of running away from God to a more abundant life running with Him.

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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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys! What a quick home video release, and for me it’s a bit soon for a re-watch, but I do still love this film. One thing I picked up is Rey’s love for her family. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NET) says about love that “It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” My theory is that she is indeed Luke’s daughter, and was placed on Jakku for safekeeping from Kylo Ren and the First Order. There she had faith that her family would come back for her, and while she wanted to return to Jakku to practice that faith, it turned out that the circumstances that took her away from Jakku led her to her father after all. Her perseverance was well founded, accurate, and rewarded- just not in the particular way that she thought it would be. How often does that happen to us as believers? God blesses us so often, just not always in the way we were planning on.

    I watch everything I can with captions, it helps me understand dialogue so much better. I highly recommend it, and a side benefit is that I have no issues with foreign language films since I’m used to reading captions all the time. However, I still can’t make sense out of what Chewie’s talking about, all I get on subtitles is RRROOOONN!

    If you like Domhnall Gleeson, you may enjoy About Time, from the writer of Love Actually. Think Groundhog Day, only less funny and more endearing, with some great work by Bill Nighy to boot. It does some interesting things with time travel, and has some really heartfelt moments.

    Love the show guys, keep up the good work! #muhweeladgimli

    P.S.- Michael, one semester of post graduate school does not equal a master’s degree. That’s not how school works!! 😉

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