certain christian point of view. (Part 4 of 9).
This is probably the “most christian” of all the Star Wars. But more about that later.
In Episode 1. The Phantom Menace, we immediately see another breed of Jedi than in the original trilogy. The Jedi we meet are trained from early childhood and often possess super speed, great lightsaber experience and their order has their seat in the center of the galaxy and are in close cooperation with the politics of the Senate.
The Force is often said to be guiding them and one of the main heroes, Qui-Gon Jinn, heavily relies on this. “The Force will guide us.” almost seems to be his mantra.
How the Jedi council is at the center of politics and intermingled with commerce laws, wars and much more is not for from how the Catholic Church was not that many centuries ago. Church and State has had its fair of both good and unholy alliances together. The country “the Papal State” ruled over more than half of the modern Italy between year 756 and 1870 before becoming the today more famous Vatican City in the year of our Lord 1929.
With great power comes great corruption and this is true for both the Church and Jedi order. In the galaxy far, far away the Jedi have become too comfortable and fails to see what happens right in front of their eyes. The cannot see the phantom menace that is their ancient enemy The Sith slowly taking control of the Senate and by extension most planets in the galaxy. The Church also allowed itself become too snug and contempt. It became corrupted and did not see things crumbling. Qui-Gon is not that far from Martin Luther who protested against some of the Churches practices. Although Luther might have taken his protest to far and causing a great rift within the Church he did have some points. Qui-Gon does agree with all things that the Jedi Council and protests in his own way by wanting to train the young Anakin Skywalker against the wishes of other Jedi Masters. His rebellion was far better than Luther’s. Speaking up against what one perceives as wrong within the Church is not necessarily wrong but to separate oneself from the Church in protest most certainly is. Qui-Gon stayed within the Jedi Order but did not stay quiet when he saw injustice and teachings that was unjust. Ultimately he paid with his life battling the evil Darth Maul thus becoming a martyr of sorts.
But let’s return to the young Anakin Skywalker. When we first meet him we learn that he and his mother Shmi are slaves. Slavery and christianity has not always had a nice history. Although the bible tells slave owners to treat their human “property” with a certain amount of respect and clearly forbids killing and hurting slaves as they are humans an the likeness of God. But slavery is never banned in the bible. Good thing about catholicism is that there is a tradition that clarifies things. In late 1742 Pope Benedict XIV a papal bull called ”Immensa Pastorum Principis” that was against the enslavement of the indigenous peoples. And in 1839 Pope Gregory XVI stated in the bull “In supremo apostolatus” that slavery is contrary to human dignity.
Qui-Gonn soon learns that the young boy has lightning fast reflexes almost is if he could foresee things and he concludes that he is strong in the Force. By testing his blood they can count Midichlorians, a microscopic lifeforms that indicates how strong someone is in the Force.
I remember when The Phantom Menace came out and there was an outcry against this. It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in anger. They claimed that this took away the mystery of the Force. Now it was science. I never felt that. Already in A New Hope we learn that Luke was strong in the Force just as his father. This clearly indicates that the Force has a biological factor that can pass from one generation to another.
Young Anakin is freed from slavery and taken to be trained as a Jedi but his mother must stay behind. This is a mayor factor to his downfall in later movies. Anakins fear for losing his loved ones is the single most largest factor to him becoming the evil Vader. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
More about that fear in the next part.
Until next time. May the Force be with you.
/ Samuel Varg