Star Wars

‘Star Wars’: Return of the Transcendent

Moviegoers wait before the first showing of the movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the entrance of a movie theater in Tokyo, on Dec. 18, 2015. Photo by Issei Kato, courtesy of Reuters
 

“Daddy, he’s real.”

She had seen computer-generated Yoda from the prequels, but upon seeing the actual puppet in Empire Strikes Back, Simon Pegg’s daughter couldn’t contain her wonder. When Pegg (who has a cameo in the new film) related this story to J.J. Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens used it to convince Disney of his plan to build a huge number of real sets, puppets and costumes.

Indeed, Abrams now introduces Pegg as “the guy whose daughter saved Star Wars.

And saved it is. In addition to record-breaking ticket sales, the film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Abrams has put us back in the reality of Star Wars, a familiar world in which people actually live.

Weekly Wrap 12.18.15: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

As the lead editor behind the dubious byline “the Web Editors,” it is within my job description to read all the Internet. And this is how the Weekly Wrap was born. This week, I decided to show all my biased cards and give you, fair reader, a glimpse behind how I decide what’s worth your spare few minutes on Fridays. As a religion writer and journalist, I give special attention to mainstream outlets that actually get faith right; I get sucked in by clickbait on the regular; I have a few favorite go-to publications (can you spot ‘em?); I link to a piece or two from our own publication that I think are excellent and perhaps underappreciated; I usually find at least one thing from my home state of Texas; and I cry ugly tears at most things having to do with babies. There are all my secrets. And here is the Weekly Wrap. —Sandi

Nine Ways Jesus Is Like the Doctor

Image via Rooners Toy Photography/Flickr

No matter how charismatic, merciful (usually), or full of truly ancient wisdom the Doctor may be, he ultimately knows himself as less than God. It’s not likely that the Doctor believes in God, and he has particularly bad associations with Christmas, and he recognizes that he isn’t the Lord — he’s just a Time Lord. He forces Amy to face the fact that he cannot save her — that he is just a madman with a box, nothing more.

 

This Jimmy Fallon A-Capella 'Star Wars' Medley Is the Perfect 'Force Awakens' Pregame

Here at Sojourners, we're more than a little bit excited about Star Wars week. I mean, have you seen the cover of our January issue? 

And today, we're launching a new online series "Keeping the Force: How Sci-Fi and Fantasy Show Us the Divine." So, yeah. When we saw this amazing Star Wars medley featuring Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, AND the cast of The Force Awakens, including the indomitable Carrie Fisher, we just had to share. Enjoy!

‘Maybe There’s Hope:’ Looking for God in 'The X-Files' Reboot

Via The X-Files on Facebook

 

Series writers (which included Vince Gilligan of later Breaking Bad acclaim) were never exactly subtle with their nods to faith. While Mulder was an atheist, his constant journey to a truth larger than himself, and indeed, this world, mirror many a sojourner, albeit perhaps without the little green androgynous beings. And Scully’s faith as a child in the unquestionable Catholic Church, and then as a doctor in science above all, and then as a lover and a mother in a more tangible God, allowed for a deeper-than-average glimpse at the push-pull relationship between blind belief and pure, clinical reason.

Harry Potter and the Advent Devotional

Image via /Shutterstock.com

But perhaps the reason why the darkness cannot understand or overcome the Light is because it will not and cannot imagine reducing itself or condescend to be like its enemy in order to overcome it. Scripture describes an adversary who wanted to be like God, but doesn’t seem to understand that God’s very nature is “gentle and humble and heart.” The nature of darkness is not a generous one. It doesn’t offer light or heat or allow other things to grow. It isolates.

(Almost) Everything I Know About Hell I Learned From 'Buffy'

Image via amy/Flickr

For 700 years, Dante's epic poem — mainly the "Inferno" — has been the source of inspiration for preachers, pastors, and not a few theologians, who promoted hell as a physical place with its own address, zip code, and smoking embers. Add to their oratorical brimstone the fiery images from artists — Gustave Doré, Hieronymous Bosch, or Buffy producer Joss Whedon — and you've got a potent pedagogy.

'Firefly' and the Dignity of Humanity

Image via Leonie/Flickr

Joss Whedon may not profess spiritual belief, but throughout his career, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., his work has fascinated believers. This may be, in part, because Whedon is a humanist, and his belief in respecting the dignity of all people is a common theme in his work. Whedon’s shows consistently emphasize compassion for people of all backgrounds and worldviews, even (especially) when his characters’ beliefs don’t match up.

Han Shot First: Finding Christ in the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

Image via Tom Simpson/Flickr

Han shooting first isn’t just a better story — it’s also a truer one. The Bible is full of stories of people being given honors and responsibilities they don’t think they deserve (and to our eyes, definitely don’t). It’s in God’s character to want more for people than they want for themselves. This shows up again and again in the ways God interacts with our world. And we are made in God’s image — when we see this kind of story told well, we respond to it. The original version of Star Wars tells this kind of story about Han Solo.

 

Pages

Subscribe