Solo: A Star Wars Story

[If you have not already enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story, please first watch the movie and then read this blog because it may reveal important details about plot development.]

Solo: A Star Wars Story explores Han Solo’s backstory. In it, Han Solo turned his back on a criminal gang in an effort to escape using bribery. He left the Imperial Navy to continue a life of crime on a larger scale. Then his partner betrayed him for coaxium, and Qi’ra deceived both Han and Crimson Dawn.

A major theme of this film is treachery and betrayal. Wicked characters like Crimson Dawn are expected to perform villainous acts. However, characters with a sense of justice like Han Solo also pursue their admirable ends with illegal means. This behavior blurs the lines of good versus evil. In Han’s world, wickedness is everywhere and in everyone.

Our world is no different. Christians should not have any expectation of truly noble behavior from the government, the church, or even from the people closest to us. Purposely or accidentally, they can betray us. It would be easy to lose our way after such a betrayal. How are we to live then?  Proverbs 4:23 warns us to guard our hearts. In Matthew 10:17, Jesus tells us to be on guard. Yet, we have One we can trust with our hearts. That is God Almighty. He alone is good. (See Mark 10:18.)

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD:  This film delivers with unique creatures, futuristic landscapes, and intense situations. Thank you!

NOTE TO WRITERS: Time to think about your own backstory! Write a story about your childhood. Want it considered for publication? See 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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Martian Child

Martian Child is a movie currently available on Netflix. It is about a man who considers adopting a child after his wife passed away. The child behaves strangely and believes he is from Mars. The movie was initially a book by David Gerrold.

For years, movies have inspired audiences to implement what they had seen on the screen. Everything from fashion trends to smoking was influenced by Hollywood. In Martian Child, audiences might be inspired to actually do something meaningful based on a film—adopt a child!

A particularly applaudable aspect of this film is that it does not glorify adoption. Rather, it gives an honest portrayal of what it means to adopt a child. It could mean welcoming a child with trauma into your home. He or she may have trouble in school or other issues that require special attention.

As Christians, we should all ask if we are called to foster or adopt children. After all, we are called to “defend the weak and fatherless” (Psalm 82:3). If prayer leads us in that direction, we should answer that call. Maybe you have not been called to parent an adopted child. What about adopting a pet? Proverbs 12:10 tells us that righteous people care for their animals.

Join me in prayer: Lord, show us the ways we can answer the call to defend the weak and fatherless. Help us to be good stewards of Your amazing creation. Thank You for designing the perfect path for us and filling us with the Holy Spirit to discern it. In Christ’s Name, Amen.    

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Thank you for inspiring audiences to consider how to use our lives to do something meaningful.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story about the adoption of a child or pet. Include the ups and downs.

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

I Can Only Imagine (Movie)

I Can Only Imagine is a movie based on the true life of a famous singer/songwriter named Bart Millard. Bart was a victim of abuse and abandonment, but he found comfort in faith, music, and young love. The movie recounts his struggle to face his past and become a famous musician.

Currently, I Can Only Imagine earned 7.6 on IMDB and 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Considering Star Wars: A New Hope only has 8.6 on IMDB, I can confidently say this is an incredibly popular movie. The ability to appeal to a wide audience is a primary reason for success in media. One way this movie reaches a variety of people is by delivering multiple themes. If you ask viewers what message they got out of the movie, one might say to have faith in God. Another might say to chase your dreams, and other people may say to find forgiveness. Still others may say it is about romantic or non-romantic love.

Although the writers, producers, and actors (Dennis Quaid was phenomenal!) should be thanked for their tremendous work in reflecting real life, the true credit belongs to God. God authored Bart Millard’s life and did all of these amazing things through him. He intertwined multiple themes into his life so He could speak individually to our circumstance. What is God saying to you? Go see the movie and let me know which message resonated with you.

Since I am a Mercy Me fan, I had heard Bart talk about his life from the stage before the movie was made. Honestly, I felt reluctant to buy a movie ticket because I did not want to see a child beaten (even if it wasn’t real). Plus, I do not like sad movies. I was relieved to see that no violence to children is portrayed on the screen, and the movie was one of triumph—not despair. With God as the author of our lives, none of us live a life of despair either. We just need to let go of our lives and trust Him to write a marvelous story of triumph with our own lives. Thanks for reading and God bless!

 

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: There is a large audience who loves God and wants to hear Jesus’s name on the screen.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story with multiple themes.

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

Carrie Pilby

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

Carrie Pilby is a Netflix movie about an intelligent young woman whose cynical outlook and nonconformist attitude prevents her from engaging in society. She is particularly baffled with the world’s acceptance of immoral behavior and sex obsession. As she pursues a list of challenges, she is able to overcome some hopelessness and embark on a new romantic relationship.

In a way, I see the character of Carrie Pilby in many people. While they may not be geniuses, they seem knowledgeable and intellectual. Their relationships with their fathers are less than perfect, and they have at least one past failed romance. Also like Carrie, they have become isolated, socially awkward, and somewhat hopeless. Instead of being the exception to a world of lively extroverts, I feel this character embodies much of our present day society.

Why has our world manufactured wounded and hopeless people? Carrie Pilby gives us a clue by pointing out her disgust with sex obsession. Just like in the movie, many people have been lured into romantic relationships that turn sexual. Sex seems to be the normal progression of romantic relationships in our society, but this is not God’s plan for sex. According to His Word, sex is a private act between a man and wife. When we enter into a sexual relationship without a covenant promise for the future, we suffer deep emotional wounds. In combination with flawed relationships with our fathers, we can become really broken and set up a wall of isolation that feeds our social awkwardness.

At the end of Carrie Pilby, a new love interest brings her hope for the future. As Christians, our hope is not in a relationship with another human being. Our restoration hangs on our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we trust in His salvation, He is the One who will bring about the ultimate happy ending in a new world without tears or pain. That promise is guaranteed for those who believe Jesus is God’s Son who paid for our sins with His death but achieved victory in His resurrection. Now He lives forever and offers us eternal life as well. If you have not accepted His invitation to a true happy ending, will you accept it now?

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Thank you for giving us an intellectual and moral protagonist.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story about a character who is socially awkward.

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

Stranger Things

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

In Stranger Things, a young boy named Will goes missing and a mysterious girl known as Eleven appears. Will is ultimately rescued from a seeming alternate dimension. The alternate dimension is similar to ours, but it has some creepy elements such as its penetrating darkness, vicious creatures, and wretched coldness.

As Christians, we are not blind to the reality that a similar “dark dimension” runs parallel to the world we perceive with our five senses. Although we cannot see demons, we know they exist and cause us to stumble with deception. Furthermore, they inflict disease and mental illness. Like Will, some of us are being held hostage in spiritual slumber or are being influence to make destructive decisions. With the help of loved ones, those in bondage can break free.

In the movie, Eleven appears to give the group the edge they need to overcome the dark dimension. In real life, we have Jesus. He is much more than a little girl who is merely trying to help and learning her powers. Jesus Christ presents yet a whole other parallel dimension of light and a kingdom of heavenly angels with it. With Jesus, we are more than conquerors.

Wake up from your spiritual slumber and pray for those who have fallen asleep in their walk. Let us spur one another to do good, knowing that this dark dimension surrounds us at this very moment. Yet, we will not despair because the Holy Spirit has given us the power to overcome.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Thank you for this fun series that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story about parallel dimensions.

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

 

 

 

Doctor Strange (2016 Movie)

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

In Doctor Strange, viewers witness a transformation. A brilliant surgeon loses the skill of his hands in an accident. In his desperate quest for healing, he lets go of his arrogant “facts only” attitude and embraces an alternate view of reality—one in which limitations are displaced.

One of the best scenes in the movie is when the Ancient One is rejecting Doctor Strange’s disbelief. After several displays of power, he asks why. She answers him, “To show you just how much you don’t know.” He must let go of his limited understanding and accept the implausible to gain true wisdom.

At some point, Christians must also accept the implausible. Whether it is embracing an invisible God, acknowledging supernatural elements, or believing incredible Bible stories, we need to let go of what we think we know of this universe. God is happy to oblige a humble prayer such as: God, show me how much I don’t know so I can increase my faith, gain understanding, and receive healing.

God has so much He wants to share with you this year and in your walk with Him. Let go of your plans so He can present some real solutions. Stop self-medicating your issues so He can apply healing ointment to your wounds. He has a great plan for your future. Trust Him to bring it to pass.

 

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Thank you for keeping this superhero movie PG-13.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story about a character who undergoes a great transformation.

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

Doctor Who: The Woman Who Lived

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

In The Woman Who Lived (episode 6 of season 9 of Doctor Who), the Doctor reconnects with an immortal woman. Ashildr has become bored, self-focused, and cold-hearted. After her failed alliance with an alien turns destructive, she rediscovers compassion and purpose.

We all live in the same world, but we do not all experience the same reality. For some people, life seems really long. The inability to enjoy life could stem from depression, anxiety, and/or a disturbing past. In their boredom, they may have turned to drugs. Their focus on themselves may have blinded themselves to the needs of others. A bad experience may have left their hearts cold. At some point, like Ashildr, they may have adopted the attitude: “It is me against the world.”

In this episode, the Doctor had the privilege of reading Ashildr’s journals to gain some understanding. In real life, we can trust God knows our hearts (see 1 Kings 8:39). He understands (maybe better than we do) the reason we make choices. If we surrender to the Spirit, we can open our arms to show love to people who may be experiencing depression or anxiety. Hold onto hope when your life seems long so you can avoid callousness and instead master life. Then you will be able to offer love, hope, and understanding to others when they are suffering. Life’s difficulties will either transform you into a weed that steals nutrients from others or a large oak that offers shade to those around you.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Great acting helps an audience lose themselves in an episode. One of the best aspects of this episode was the amazing acting performance by Maisie Williams.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story with some aspect that is an allegory for anxiety and depression.

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

Doctor Who: Human Nature

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

Human Nature (episode 8 of season 3 of Doctor Who) is an episode where the Doctor has turned himself from a Time Lord into a human. He accomplished this extremely painful transformation to protect himself from an enemy. Although he is unaware of his identity as a Time Lord, his traveling companion knows the truth.

One reason audiences find the Doctor so irresistible is his messianic qualities—which include intelligence, power, and immortality. Knowing their Messiah, Christians may see some connections between the Doctor and Jesus Christ. In this episode, it seems especially true. According to Colossians 1:16-17, Jesus existed in heaven at the creation of the world. Like the Doctor, he also became a human. In contrast, Jesus did not exchange his divine nature but had two natures instead of one. The Doctor was unaware of his identity as a Time Lord when he was human, but Jesus knew He was divine by the time He was twelve. Although the Doctor became human to protect himself, Jesus was born as a human for the sake of mankind.

Both this fictional character and the true person of Jesus gave up some amazing things to become human. In the end, it was worth it because they accomplished their missions. We have a real enemy that wants to seek and destroy us, but we need not be afraid because Jesus came to Earth to save us from eternal death. If we trust in Him, our souls will enjoy eternal life without pain or sorrow.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Success in a film is when creepiness is accomplished without silliness.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Try this writing prompt. Write a story with a messianic figure. What qualities will this person have?

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

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time

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

“Twice Upon a Time” is the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special. In it, the Doctor meets with glass entities that consist of memories from a specific person. The glass entities have recruited Bill Potts and a World War I soldier. The Doctor refuses to accept Bill Potts in spite of her insistence that people consist merely of memories.

I am going to have to agree with the Doctor. From a Christian perspective, mankind is made up of a physical body, a spirit, and a soul according to 1 Thessalonians 5:23. That means the glass body of Bill Potts inhabited by her memories is missing at least two key components. Bill tries to make her point that memories are important by evoking an image of Clara. However, it is actually the emotional reaction stemming from our souls that carries power—not the information stored in our brains defined as a memory.

The tiny baby born to Mary that we celebrate on Christmas day inspired a real truce in 1914. That is because those soldiers knew Jesus was born to save our souls —not our memories.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: Steven Moffat writes clever and lovable characters for a clever audience that longs to love. This is the recipe for success.

NOTE TO WRITERS: Infuse fictional characters with some historical event.

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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the ninth Star Wars movie to be released. In it, Rey asks Luke to train her in the Force. Yet, Luke resists because he has lost confidence in himself. He doubts that the Force will have a positive impact on the situation. Finally, he relents and agrees to teach her. With his help, the Resistance makes a getaway from a desperate situation.

By examining Luke’s behavior in The Last Jedi, viewers can appreciate the importance of hope. We come to realize the lack of hope stemmed from a past mistake. Instead of letting it go and trying to improve, he held onto it and let it fester. This lack of confidence prevented him from going on to do anything in the future. He not only lost hope in himself, but he also doubted the impact the Force would make on the situation. Without Rey’s encouragement, he would have squandered his remaining years in isolation.

People everywhere have lost hope. They have held onto past mistakes, isolated themselves, and doubted not only in themselves—but also in the Almighty God. As Christians, we have good reason to hope for our future and to let go of past wounds. We serve a powerful God who has promised He will restore us and heal our wounds (Jeremiah 30:17) . According to Jeremiah 31:17, the Lord has promised us there is hope for our future. Let go of doubt and be a light to a hurting world.

NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD:  New creatures is a great way to win our hearts. Nice job!

NOTE TO WRITERS: Write a story about a reluctant hero and an encouraging friend.

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