Star Wars: The Force Awakens

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the seventh Star Wars movie to be released. In it, a stormtrooper rejects authority and flees with the help of a Resistance pilot. The stormtrooper, known as Finn, meets a scavenger named Rey and a droid named BB-8. Together, they pursue a mission while overcoming a knight of the dark side who calls himself Kylo Ren.

One could argue the theme of The Force Awakens is notable choices. Viewers are presented with major characters who made significant choices instead of simply accepting their situations. Likewise, real people make powerful choices that impact their immediate and eternal futures (and the destiny of others).

During the course of the movie, we learn Kylo Ren’s history. He is the son of two powerful heroes and has been trained as a Jedi, yet he rejected his promising future to serve the dark side. This character reminds us that we cannot depend on the faith of our parents or a Christian education to save us. Every person must make a personal choice to accept Jesus as his Savior to enjoy eternal life. If we reject Jesus, we will slowly begin to embrace dark thoughts and mask our true identities.

In contrast to Kylo Ren’s tragic decision, viewers are introduced to a character who traded his grim circumstance for a respectable alternative. Finn refused to partake in the battle, rejected his position as a stormtrooper, and fled from the First Order. One admirable decision after another demonstrates his true role as a hero. Like Finn, we are all born into a world of sin and contribute to it by acting with our sin nature. Yet, we can make a choice to obtain a new spiritual nature from Jesus Christ so our inner hero begins to shine.

What notable choice can you make today? Is it the choice to accept Jesus as your Savoir and accept a new spiritual nature? How about the decision to reject those dark thoughts and remove the mask? What about the choice to sin less and shine as a hero with an admirable decision today? I pray you make the right choice today—one that will impact your immediate and eternal future in a positive way.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD:  Viewers didn’t see a strong female lead in anything for many years. Now there is a strong female lead in every movie. Do what you want, but PLEASE make it different than the last movie we saw.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story with a character who makes a notable choice that changes his or her situation.

*There is not much more time to submit your short fiction story for publication in Draw Near’s next ebook Menagerie. Details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/

Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

 

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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was the sixth Star Wars movie to be released. In it, Anakin fears losing Padmé because of a recurring and vivid dream. The chancellor promises to teach him the power to save her using the dark side of the force. After facing an inner struggle, Anakin turns to the dark side and nearly loses his life in battle against Obi-Wan. Padmé dies in childbirth as the Chancellor arranges for Anakin’s medical care.

In all of the Star Wars movies, we see evil represented by the dark side. Specifically in this movie, we see the Chancellor symbolize a Satan-like figure. He is clever. He did not introduce himself as a sith at their first meeting and invite Anakin to come to the dark side. Instead, the Chancellor built a relationship with Anakin while disguising himself as someone good. In 2 Corinthians 11:14, we read this is precisely Satan’s strategy “…for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

After the Chancellor had built a relationship, he exploited Anakin’s negative emotions of fear and anger. Instead of struggling against negative emotions, Anakin gave into them.  Chancellor Palpatine made false promises to the young jedi by offering him the opportunity to use evil powers to save Padmé. Sadly, he surrendered himself in exchange for this power that seemed so important at the time; yet, in the end, he never even obtained. Anakin lost his bright future, healthy body, and the love of his life.

If Christians apply this allegory to our spiritual lives, we can fortify our souls against Satan’s aggression. First, we can recognize and withdraw from people or things in our lives that appear to be good but do not exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). Second, we can reject negative emotions instead of acting on them. If we have fearful thoughts, we can dismiss them and persevere in our circumstance. When we are faced with anger, we can choose to forgive and let go of the rage. Finally, we can turn to God in prayer for the things we want to happen instead of trying to obtain what we want with unnatural powers or by pursuing them without God’s blessing. Satan’s plans for us are death and destruction, but God’s plans are abundant life lived to the fullest. Let us take courage and follow Christ to sure victory!

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Allow the audience to witness the long-lasting, painful consequences of evil actions.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story about a character who makes a bad decision and suffers severe consequences. Allow your character to experience all of the factors that influenced your poor decision.

*There is not much more time to submit your short fiction story for publication in Draw Near’s next ebook Menagerie. Details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/

Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

 

 

 

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones was the fifth Star Wars movie to be released. In it, Obi-Wan discovers a planet that is hidden from the archives. He learns that its inhabitants have been creating an army of clones by replicating a bounty hunter named Jango Fett. There is a great deal of mystery surrounding the order, but it is evident the clones were ordered for the Republic.

These clones have two important modifications to accommodate the Republic’s needs. They undergo growth acceleration to become a mature army at a faster rate, and they are created with a greater ability to be obedient. Surprisingly, Jango Fett requests an unaltered clone for himself. It would seem this villain desires an imperfect son-like figure. (And just like that, viewers are suddenly sympathetic to this enemy.)

Attack of the Clones provides answers for every child of God. Haven’t we all wondered why God created us with free will? Sometimes it is our compassion for people who reject God that makes us question free will. Other times we become frustrated with our own inability to obey God—especially when we are facing the negative consequences of our sin or feel trapped in addictions. Additionally, it might be hard to understand why we couldn’t just become a mature Christian without tests and trials. However, we find our answer in Jango Fett’s impractical decision to have an unaltered clone. Although he is wicked, he still wants Boba to have free will and to live his life without instant maturity.

Imperfection and vulnerability are vital to our relationship with God. It is only when we show love to God with our free will that we can be made perfect through Christ. We must admit our dependence on God and confess our sinfulness to accept the blood of Jesus that purifies us and makes us righteous in the sight of an infinitely holy God. Our free will is the very thing that makes us children of God.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Filmmakers should  explore the beauty of diversification in culture, ethnicity, and race.

NOTE TO WRITERS: The beauty in any written work is its characters. Readers want likable and relatable characters. They also need characters that disappoint and surprise them. (NOTE: There is not much more time to submit your short fiction story for publication in Draw Near’s next ebook Menagerie. Details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

 

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was the fourth Star Wars movie to be released. In it, a Jedi named Qui-Gon discovers a child prodigy and decides to train him as a Jedi. Sadly, Qui-Gon dies in a duel, and his apprentice Obi-Wan agrees to train the child named Anakin. Although he is only nine years old, Anakin helps bring about victory in a final battle against the Trade Federation.

When considering The Phantom Menace from a Christian perspective, we see two major parallels between Anakin and Jesus. First, Anakin’s mother claims he was conceived without a human biological father. It is believed he was conceived by midi-chlorians, which are elements of the Force. According to Matthew 1:18, Jesus’ mother was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. He was also conceived without a biological human father. Both Anakin and Jesus develop special abilities due to their unusual conception.

Secondly, both Jesus and Anakin share the title as “the Chosen One.” Qui-Gon recognizes Anakin as “the Chosen One.” In Star Wars, the prophesied Chosen One would bring about balance to the force. In Biblical prophesy, Jesus is the Chosen One who would bring about justice to the nations (see Isaiah 42:1). The fictional character of Anakin did bring about balance to force by killing the emperor in Return of the Jedi. Similarly, the true person of Jesus brought justice to the nations by giving every person on earth the same opportunity to gain salvation through His blood.

In other ways, Anakin and Jesus can be contrasted. Anakin falls into the trap of fear and turns to the dark side while Jesus stands firm to the death in His battle against Satan. Anakin finally redeems himself by killing the emperor while Jesus redeems not Himself—but all of mankind with His death on the cross. Regardless of their differences, Christian science fiction fans can learn a lot about our true Savior Jesus Christ by analyzing this complicated fictional character Anakin.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Don’t listen to the haters. Jar Jar is loved.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Create complex characters. Let villains be profoundly villainous and heroes be incredibly heroic, but heroes and villains can be still be dynamic characters. (NOTE: There is not much more time to submit your short fiction story for publication in Draw Near’s next ebook Menagerie. Details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

 

 

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi was the third Star Wars movie to be released. In it, Luke and Leia rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. Vader and the Emperor both lose their lives. The Rebellion triumph over the Imperials against all odds.

In this movie, viewers learned that Vader is Luke and Leia’s father. What? How could our heroes be children of this wicked foe? This twist reminds me of John 8:34-44. A group insists they are Abraham’s children and God’s children. Yet, Jesus calls them children of the devil. What a twist! They thought they had no need of the repentance or salvation Christ preached because of their pedigree. This is truly no different than any of us. We are born with a sin nature. Unless we make a choice for Christ, we will continue to belong to the devil.

Just as we must stand firm in our faith, Luke stood firm against the dark side. The Emperor was unable to change him and lost his life. Although Darth Vader had committed unimaginable evil, he had a change of heart at the end. His heart softened, and he chose what was right. As with Vader, we can make a choice for Christ in spite of the multitude and severity of sin we have committed. Christ will accept us with open arms. He will turn no one away who has truly had a change of heart.

In Return of the Jedi, viewers encounter multiple circumstances when it seems the good guys will face defeat. This theme begins with the opening scene with Jabba the Hutt and continues until the final battle against the Imperial. It is true in real life as well. When Jesus was dying on the cross, it appeared He had lost His battle. Then He rose from the dead and proved victorious. In the last book of the Bible, we can read about the true final battle. God is victorious. Make a choice for the winning side today.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: The Ewoks remind us not to underestimate the value of an adorable creature.

NOTE TO WRITERS: We all love a story where the good guys win against all odds.

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was the second Star Wars movie to be released. In it, the young man underwent further training under an older teacher. Meanwhile, the smuggler and princess endured much difficulty while trying to evade their foes. They took refuge with an old friend, but this friend betrayed them and handed them over to their enemy.

As with Star Wars: A New Hope, viewers enjoy some similarities to the details of Christ’s life. In this movie, Han Solo seeks refuge with his friend Lando Calrissian in Cloud City. Lando greeted Han Solo with laughter and a big hug. However, we later discover Lando had secretly made a deal with Darth Vader in exchange for his friends. Sound familiar? Hadn’t a friend of Jesus known as Judas Iscariot secretly made a deal with Christ’s enemies in exchange for Jesus? Judas betrayed his friend with a kiss. Then Jesus was captured by the temple guards.

Although our circumstances may have been different, we can all relate to some sort of betrayal. The people we care about the most have the greatest capacity to hurt us emotionally. The Empire Strikes Back contrasts this horrible betrayal with a growing love between Leia and Han. Although Star Wars is much more complicated than a romantic comedy, this love between a man and a woman is necessary to soften the cold dark universe.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: An intelligent viewership demands complicated relationships, emotions, and details.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Betrayal could make a great theme for your next story.

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

Star Wars: A New Hope

Star Wars

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Star Wars: A New Hope was the first Star Wars movie to be released. In a distant galaxy, a young man finds his way into the middle of a serious situation having to do with a civil war. In order for him to be of assistance, he must rely on an older man to teach him a mysterious power with ancient origins. The two of them team up with a princess and smuggler, but they are captured and the teacher is killed. The young man becomes a hero when he gains victory in a battle.

There seems to be a great deal of spiritual symbolism in this movie. Obi-Wan could be seen as a Christlike figure in that Luke becomes his disciple. Later, he sacrifices himself as Jesus offered Himself for the sake of others. Finally, Obi-Wan appears to Luke even after he had died like Jesus appeared to His disciples after He had died. Of course, there are some differences too. Obi-Wan disappeared, but Jesus remained dead in the flesh. Similarly Obi-Wan reappeared only in spirit, but Jesus’ body rose from the dead.

It is interesting to note that Luke had to be trained in the force. As Christians, we are not instantly flourishing with all of the fruit of the Spirit. We must be trained in righteousness. We may be given gifts of the Spirit, but we must learn to trust in God to gain victory in God’s kingdom. There is a real battle between good and evil going on in the universe. Star Wars: A New Hope reminds us not to give in to the dark side.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Star Wars is a perfect example of how a film can be widely popular without graphic violence or sexual content.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Consider writing an allegory for Christ’s life or the trials of another Biblical character in a different setting.

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

 

 

Twilight Zone: Nothing in the Dark

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Nothing in the Dark (episode 16 of season 3 of Twilight Zone) is an episode where an old woman hides from Mr. Death in her small apartment. She goes to great lengths to avoid him, but he deceives her by posing as a seriously wounded officer. The woman surrenders to Mr. Death, and he escorts her soul from the apartment.

Viewers must admire this old woman’s fortitude in having “fought a thousand battles with death and always won.” We know people like this, don’t we? Life is filled with so many trials that it would seem that anyone who has grown old has overcome death in many battles. In the end death always wins against our flesh, but Christ has won a victory for our soul so we can enjoy eternal life in heaven if we trust Jesus for our salvation. What a glorious victory! Christ has conquered over death for us.

Therefore, Christians need not fear Mr. Death. However, we should not expect Robert Redford either. Death is the consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden, and it is ugly. Death is painful and worth battling. Life is a glorious gift, and it our time to shine the light of Christ in the world. When death can no longer be avoided, we can surrender without fear because when absent from the body then we will be present with the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 5:8).

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: For true authenticity, old women must be played by elderly women—not young women made to look old for the screen.

NOTE TO WRITERS: How would you personify death? What characteristics would he or she have? What role would Christ have in your story?

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

 

Twilight Zone: The Passerby

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

The Passerby is an impressive Twilight Zone episode (season 3, episode 4). A Confederate soldier stops to talk to a woman at the ruins of her southern estate. He learns that she is the wife of a Confederate soldier who has not yet returned from war. Their conversation is briefly interrupted by other soldiers passing by. Eventually, they both come to realize everyone on the road has passed away and is traveling to their eternal destination.

If we analyze the character of the woman, we could presume she and her husband supported the Confederate aim of preserving their grand lifestyle through slavery. Although a movement for the liberation of slaves had begun, they clung to their old ways. Ironically, she lived in ruins instead of maintaining her position as a slave owner. Rather than learning from her mistake, she finds herself in the same parallel circumstance. Instead of embracing her grand eternal destiny, she clung to the ruins of her estate until the last moment when Abraham Lincoln strolled by as the last victim of the Civil War.

As Christians, we should never dawdle on the road to our eternal destiny. We know Jesus Christ is on the other side waiting to embrace us, take away our pain, and wipe away our tears. Yet, many of us find ourselves in the same sad situation as this wife. We are clinging to an old sinful lifestyle when the Lord has already proclaimed “freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Since we are free, we can leave our old sinfulness behind and rejoice in the new pure and holy lifestyle made possible by the Holy Spirit in us. I pray we will be able to see our sin as captivity and enjoy the righteous lifestyle God has planned for us.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Any audience with a heart would be moved to gratitude for our veterans and military forces by a parade of wounded soldiers. Let’s continue to honor them with moving scenes like this.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Parallel events drive home a point and result in a quality piece of literature.

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.

 

Twilight Zone: Time Enough at Last

[This blog may reveal important details about plot development.]

Twilight Zone‘s Time Enough at Last (episode 8 of season 1) was based on a short story by Marilyn Venable. In this amazing episode, a man with a “passion for print” can never find enough time to read. After emerging from a bank vault, he realizes a bomb has killed the rest of the human population. He takes relief in knowing that at last he has time to read until his eyeglasses shatter.

Maybe it is our own tight schedules that make us empathize with this man. The wife and boss torment this man so much that it can be difficult to appreciate their validity. However, they do have a point. Relationships and careers deserve attention, focus, and time. It would seem our bookish friend has neglected them in his quest to entertain himself.

This tale is about a form of greed. People can have an intense desire to use their time selfishly just like others hoard excessive amounts of money. As Christians, we have made Jesus Christ the Lord over our lives. This means all of our money and time actually belong to God. We know the secret to the kingdom of God is that we must give some to gain more. Christians who tithe and freely give money receive God’s plentiful blessings. Likewise, God will free up some time in the schedules of those who volunteer for ministry, community, or to help a friend.

Time Enough at Last reminds us to dedicate our attention, focus, and time to those around us. For Christians, it could be considered a call to be generous with our money, time, or whatever we are tempted to greedily desire for selfish purposes. This may seem like a big sacrifice, but it is not. After all, Christ gave up His entire life for us.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Short stories are an incredible inspiration for quality films.

NOTE TO WRITERS: A certain way to grab the reader’s attention and make a point is to take a situation to the most extreme.

*Kim Bond is a Christian author and editor. Visit her at www.drawneartochrist.com.