Star Wars Life Lessons Part 3: All it Takes is a Little Faith

by Mike Monroe on October 6, 2017

in FILM

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This is the third in a series of articles in which I’m going to be discussing some of my favorite scenes from a series of films that has had a major influence on my life: The Original Star Wars Trilogy.

Star Wars Life Lessons Part 3: All it Takes is a Little Faith

Kids think they can do anything. But it doesn’t take long for real life to set in, along with practical reasoning and logic which bring with them self-doubt. Sometimes we need something a little extra to push us when it seems that it isn’t possible to achieve something. It’s easy to give up and think something is impossible, especially when reason tells us there’s no logical way something can happen. But sometimes the world defies logic. That’s where faith comes in. And in the Star Wars universe, that’s where Yoda comes in.

yoda

Lots of science fiction shows, books, and movies throw spirituality out the window in favor of logic and reason, science and technology. Star Wars always kept spirituality and faith front and center, though. As Darth Vader points out with his famous words to Admiral Motti in the Death Star conference room, faith can be far more powerful than even the most powerful weapon technology is capable of constructing. Then Vader proceeds to force choke Motti until Tarkin scolds him for it. Anyway, the fact that Star Wars keeps spirituality front and center is perhaps why I’ve always preferred it to pure science fiction, along with hundreds of millions of other fans. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a place for technology in fiction and film. I do love Star Trek. I’ve just always loved Star Wars a little more.

I first saw Empire Strikes Back when I was three years old, so it had a very early effect on me. It’s my favorite of the trilogy for nostalgic reasons, but also because I believe it’s the best constructed and most emotional of the Star Wars films. It’s also the one Star Wars film that probably best describes what the Force really is and what faith in the Force really means. There’s no scene in any Star Wars movie that puts faith front and center more than the scene in Empire Strikes Back where Yoda is teaching Luke about the nature of the Force in regard to Luke’s X-Wing fighter sinking into the swamp. Put yourself in Luke’s shoes. He’s on a strange planet that’s basically a big ball of swampiness in the middle of nowhere with no other humans, and he watches in horror as his only means of transportation off said planet sinks into a swamp. As far as Luke is concerned, he’s permanently stuck in this awful place and there’s no logical or reasonable way out of his situation. Yoda, through words and actions, shows Luke the true power of belief and faith when he uses the Force to rescue Luke’s ship from its watery grave, and this is the scene I feel that makes Luke a true believer. It shows that Yoda doesn’t rely on what he experiences with his senses and his own reasoning ability. He relies on the power of something far greater than he is, and that’s the Force in the world of Star Wars. For me as a Christian it’s faith in God I rely on, but I believe that Star Wars is meant to be universal, so we can each come to our own understandings of what this means for us.

x-wing

I know that throughout my life, when I’ve been faced with situations where I didn’t think there was any way out, faith was the only answer. Faith has gotten me through all of my life’s toughest trials, whether it was drug or alcohol addiction, health issues, depression, or financial troubles. Sure, I took medicine, saw shrinks, got better jobs, and did whatever it is that reason dictated at the time, but I believe it was faith that ultimately won the day for me. And I’d like to say I learned this lesson from a priest or a Sunday school teacher, but the truth is, I probably first learned it from that little green guy with the big ears.

So to illustrate what I’ve talked about here, here’s what I think is one of the finest examples of faith overcoming odds displayed by Yoda teaching Luke in the Empire Strikes Back:

 

And for your listening pleasure, here’s Eric Clapton with Steve Winwood:

Previous articles:
Star Wars Life Lessons Part 1: Anyone Can be a Hero
Star Wars Life Lessons Part 2: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

Mike Monroe

Michael Monroe was born in Baltimore, MD and has lived there most of his life. He’s a poet and fiction writer whose preferred genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy, and he’s always had a thing for Allen Ginsberg and the Beats. His poetry has been published in Gargoyle Magazine, nthposition, the Lyric, Scribble, the Loch Raven Review, Foliate Oak, Primalzine, and various other publications.

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