Clone Wars and Theology: A Muppet’s Journey

What happens when George Lucas and the team behind Star Wars: The Clone Wars decide to answer deep questions left unanswered by the prequel era of Star Wars?  The galaxy’s “Foolish Muppet” embarks on his greatest, most personal, most theological, adventure yet. *WARNING* If you haven’t seen these episodes but plan to, stay as far from this as Tatooine is from the bright center of the universe. *WARNING*

The final four episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars have become known as the “Yoda Arc” since most of the story told in these episodes revolves around a personal “hero’s journey” that he embarks on.  The story opens with Master Plo Koon uncovering the crashed ship of a lost Jedi named Sifo-Dyas, the Jedi who worked with the cloners on Kamino to create the Grand Army of the Republic in Attack of the Clones.  Thus begins the quest to learn what happened to him all those years ago.  In the midst of this adventure a key piece of the mystery of the Sith identity is revealed to the Jedi.

As that mystery unravels and compromising decisions are made, Yoda hears a voice from beyond, the voice of dead Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn.  Befuddled, he crosses paths with Anakin Skywalker and questions him about connecting with Qui-Gon on Mortis. Receiving little in the way of answers from Skywalker, Yoda reveals this mystery to the his fellow council members and – in one of the most moving scenes of the entire series – they surround the diminutive Jedi and meditate through the night but no others hear the voice that Yoda claims to be hearing.

A lack of answers lead to drastic measures and an eventual escape from the Jedi Temple, commandeering a star-fighter to travel to a place strong in the Force, a backwater swamp of a planet familiar to all Star Wars fans.  It is here that Yoda has further talks with the voice of Qui-Gon and his first encounter in The Cave.  This encounter leads to talk of hope in a time of uncertainty and hopelessness.  As Qui-Gon says “There is always Hope, but if often comes in forms not looked for”

This episodes are the first half of what I consider to be some of the best – probably the best – episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars ever done.  Yes, it’s the last story, yes it stars my favorite character and Jedi, but there is a reals sense that the whole show has been leading to here, this final story, where questions are answered that have had ans wondering for a long, long time.  Not only that, but we’ve never seen Yoda really go on his own journey, as we see Luke and Anakin do in the films, and this story allows us that., as well as seeing the extent to which the Dark Side has really clouded everything and allows the Jedi to be blindsided in the end (albeit Yoda less so).

The scene where the Jedi Council surrounds Yoda to mediate with him through the night is quite profound.  Not only does it show that the Jedi are not the final arbiters of all knowledge – in spite of Madam Jocasta’s claims to the contrary – but the council’s humility and understanding of the need for community.  It recalls for me many times surrounded by friends as one of us enters into the unknown or seeks answer to questions or pain through humble prayer to the Master of the Universe – the First and Last – the Force behind it all.  Every time I watch that scene – half a dozen by now – the emotions well up.

I’m also struck by Yoda’s humilitys o far in the story, being willing to put himself at the feet of someone He once taught; he seems to be one of the few Jedi characters who posses a teachable spirit in addition to trusting a voice that he cannot see and no one else seems to able able to hear the voice that leads him to Dagobah.

Any Star Wars fan knows that Dagobah is no picnic, yet it, like Mortis, is one of the places int he galaxy strongest in the Force and conjures up the idea of “this places” held by Celtic Christians.  Nevertheless it is in this backwater wilderness that the master becomes the student and his learning begins. (as it does with many heroes, Biblical or otherwise). It is also here, having faced great despair and darkness in the cave, that he and Qui-Gon talk of hope for the galaxy in the midst of Yoda’s discouragement; a hope not yet realized that will manifest in a way no one expects.  The conversation had a very Old Testament prophets quality to it.

Thankfully this is only half of the final story; stay tuned…

 

 

 

Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized
Aaron

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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