Clone Wars and Theology: A Foolish Muppet’s Wisdom

When the oldest and wisest of all living Jedi sets out on a quest of his own, the end result is a grand adventure wherein influences worthy of both J.R.R. Tolkein and the Apostle Paul are on display in Star Wars: The Clone Wars in a powerful way.

When we last left the diminutive green goblin, the foolish muppet was leaving the swamp to which he would one day return and bound for an unknown location.  Led by the Force, Yoda travels to a planet that is said to be a center of all life in the Star Wars  galaxy.  It is here that he meets a family of priestesses who are to continue the training that Qui-Gon Jinn had begun on Dagobah.  It is here that Serenity – the leader of the priestesses – explains the nature and relationship between midi-clorions, the living force, and the cosmic force.  In order for Yoda to preserve his identity after death, he’s to face his deepest fears, his hubris.

Alone on a dark floating island, Yoda encounters a personified version of the darker side of his nature.  In the spirit of video game culture – and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – I call him “Nega Yoda”.  It is here that once again, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings collide, as Nega Yoda is clearly inspired by Gollum and the ensuing tussle between the Yodas much like the conflict between Smeagol and Gollum.  I’d never thought I would see Yoda get the stuffing beat out of him, but it happens and it’s awesome.

In watching this conflict play out, I couldn’t help think of Paul’s words on the conflict between the sin nature and the redeemed nature in the Romans 7:15-23.  Yoda’s victory over Nega Yoda doesn’t come through denial that it exists, but in accepting that this is part of him but through discipline and training not allowing that darker nature to have control (much akin to Paul’s words in Romans 6:12 – “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires”).  In the end, Yoda is told that he has won victory over his hubris, the pride that he arrived with thinking there was nothing left for him to learn.  It wasn’t lost on me that the darker part of him stemmed from pride, as this spiritual thought is also threaded all though the Scriptures (and examined heavily in Andrew Murray’s book Humility).

Nevertheless, more trial awaits as Yoda enters the Valley of Extinction and the priestesses attempt to deceive into thinking his reality is something other than it really is.  The priestesses put before him a peaceful and easy life;  without conflict, war, or severed relationships, but the Jedi Master sees through it.  As I watched these scenes play out I couldn’t help but think of the danger of an entitlement mentality, that an easy life – full of prosperity and things – is owed, is deserved.  Yet, in scripture the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy couldn’t be further from this when he describes a believer’s life a s as “the good fight of faith”; a conflict, a contest, in which ease is not expected.  Yoda does not fall for the deception put before him of an easy life and in seeing through it gains wisdom and passes this trial; a burden-free life his destiny is not; knows this he does.

Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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