While the Star Wars saga more often reveals an eastern worldview closer to Buddhism than to Christianity, no episode illustrates the truth of James 1: 14 -15 and the deceitfulness of sin better than this one.
St. James says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
The metamorphosis of Anakin Skywalker from Jedi to Sith is portrayed as his journey from power used selflessly as a Jedi, to a soul corrupted by the fulfillment of every personal lust… anger, revenge, and hate.
Yet sin never presents itself so boldly at first. And never are the true consequences mentioned. The deceitfulness of sin is that it presents itself as the pursuit of a good thing in a heterodox way.
Skywalker is allured to swear his allegiance to evil through an ostensibly good motive… to save the life of his wife and child. Evil personified in the Sith Lord and Chancellor promises the ability to spare the life of Skywalker’s wife if he will submit to a newmaster.
Later, Skywalker as Sith Lord convinces himself that his wholesale slaughter of non-combatant men, women, and children is justified because their death ushers in an empire of “peace” and“justice”. In his blindness he sees no incongruity with the desire to save his own child’s life even if it means he must slaughter other equally defenseless children in cold blood while using his Jedi credentials to allay their fears till the moment of their execution.
Sin as the Chancellor who entices Skywalker presents itself to all the world as a wise, compassionate, and caring if seemingly effeminate, gracefully aging and apparently powerless man. The inward ugliness and deceitfulness of this master is never fully revealed until Skywalker has committed himself to the path of darkness. Then the deception of harmlessness is gone – never to return. Instead a disfigured, demonic visage appears and calls the new disciple to destroy whomever and whatever stands in the way of their power, namely the Jedi and those loyal to the republic.
In the end, sin never delivers. In fact, Skywalker’s wife is not spared though his chlidren are. It is Skywalker and his apostasy who break the heart of his wife Padme so she has no will to live and the power of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious does nothing to keep her alive.
That’s no suprise because sin countenances no rivals. A Vader without the love of his life is a Vader who will not be distracted by love, and whose anger can be harnessed to bring about even greater degrees of death and destruction. Darth Vader is the apostate soul who is lured and enticed by his own desire and then reaps death in alleged the pursuit of life.
God set your Church forth as a light and a standard… send forth Your Truth to deliver those enticed by sin that they might see the light in Jesus Christ and not taste death. The good things we seek come in Jesus Christ or not at all. That is our message… and the message of Darth Vader’s descent into darkness!
Pastor Chuck Huckaby is a Bishop in Synod of St. Timothy. A “tentmaking” pastor who works to support his preaching habit, he nevertheless finds time to assist other tentmakers who are serious about ministry and who wish to serve Christ in accordance with the Holy Scriptures in the evangelical faith of the ancient, undivided Church.