Mark is from Utah and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
What are the Religious Themes?
Good & Evil in various forms, the priesthood=the Force, ancestors, overcoming the natural man through the battle within us, redemption, and more.
Good vs. Evil and Other Themes
In our culture, it has long been said that the force is like the priesthood. The force, in the Star Wars movies, is a powerful, supernatural power. This is an easy comparison as the Priesthood can help men to do extraordinary things for good. There are examples of healing in the movie, just as the priesthood heals. There is talk of following feelings, which is how the Spirit often works with us, depending on the person. It is said that some things are stronger than blood-The Spirit can be stronger than blood. Those with the force strive to follow it, just like following the Spirit.
One of the main things that stood out to me was in Exogul, where the emperor was at, his lair was a great & spacious building because it had no foundation. Inside the lair, the crowd of his followers made me think of the world or the crowd In Lehi’s dream. The emperor was trying to perform a dark ritual to have Rey kill him so that she could sit on the throne. The dark ritual was like a mockery of what was good.
This is a story of redemption-Since the force awakens, I had jokingly said that Kylo Ren (Ben Solo) was just less active as he was trained to be a good Jedi, but he had fallen away. When he was having struggles, it was as if the Spirit was speaking to him as his father, Han Solo. Ben was reminded of who he was, that he had the potential to be good and to follow the Force. In turning away from the dark side, he starts on the path to redemption. With Ben and Rey, I think of Yin and Yang, male and female. These things complement each other. Just as in the movie, women often influence men to be good, just as she influences him to be good.
As you know, ancestors are very important to Latter-day Saints. In this movie, there is a lot of talk of ancestors, such as when it is said that “1,000 generations live in you. But it’s your fight. You have everything you need.” The heroes receive a lot of help from ancestors. The voices of prior Jedi tell Rey to rise after an attack from the emperor. There is talk of what mothers and fathers fought for, which is like Pioneer ancestors and even Christian ancestors. Those that are good are of a seemingly small group, just as part of life. Don’t be afraid of who you are-That should be the case in life, where we should not have to let the world stifle what we believe.
Here are some other, brief examples of other themes that are covered in the movie:
-There are visions. There are examples of things like prayer or meditation.
- There were plans for battle or to achieve goals. This is like the Plan of Salvation. There were treacherous journeys, which is like life. Life can be treacherous. “Who’s ever ready?” Lando says. When we came to this world, we weren’t completely ready. If we go on a mission, get married, or have children, we aren’t completely ready. We can’t do it alone. There are other quests and missions throughout the movie. When Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca go on a special quest to get the word out-This was like a mission, going two by two.
-While the Wayfinder stemmed from evil, there was guidance showing the heroes the way, which was like a Liahona. Or it could be considered a Crystal Ball, which are considered not to be of God.
-There are vows in this movie such as where C3PO vows not to disclose what the evil inscription said on the Sith dagger. To me, C3PO having his memory erased was like baptism to remove sin.
-The heroes needed hope and faith. Rey was the last hope.
-Kylo Ren offered a handshake to Rey to have her join the dark side. Any member of the church knows that handshakes are commonplace at church while we fellowship with others.
-There were examples where the heroes would put down their weapons, which is like the example in the Book of Mormon where the Anti-Nephi-Lehies buried their swords.
-Feeling-As the heroes are entering the drop zone, Fin has a feeling about where to go. This is like the spirit.
-Influences-Kylo is confronted by his followers, which I would call bad influences.
-Fall of Evil/the World-After the emperor is defeated, the lair collapses on the evil crowd of the emperor.
-There is resurrection when Rey comes back to life.
-Reunion-The ending was a reunion of the heroes. To me, heaven would be a reunion. I think of this when I go to funerals. I am happy because I get to see so many family members.
-Rey takes on a new name. This is like taking upon us the name of Christ.
© 2020 Mark Richardson