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Biblical Parallels in Star Wars:1


One of the most popular film series of all time, Star Wars, became a phenomenon that swept the nation and changed movies forever. The film shares many parallels to some familiar biblical stories. This post will focus on Luke Skywalker and the destruction of the Death Star and how it draws from some familiar stories in the Bible, in particular, the life of David.


In two true underdog stories, the protagonist is an unlikely hero facing the enemies who appear to have an insurmountable advantage. Also, there’s a lot at stake.


What’s at stake?


The Empire oppressed the galaxy and was looking to wipe out the last of the Rebellion on its’ base located on Yavin IV. The Empire had built the ultimate weapon: the Death Star that had the power to destroy an entire planet.


In the Bible, the Philistines were constantly at odds with the Israelites causing conflict upon conflict over hundreds of years. During one particular battle, the Philistines unveiled their top warrior, Goliath, who stood ten feet tall. Goliath taunted the Israelites day and night for 40 days in a row without a challenger until finally David steps up to the challenge.


The two underdog heroes, David and Luke, share many similarities. They both came from very humble beginnings: David being a shepherd and Luke being a moisture farmer on the desolate, sand planet of Tatooine. Neither of them stand out physically as being the usual hero; David was selected when Samuel came to choose the next king to be anointed.


I Samuel 16:7 says, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


This verse tells us that David was short, had a big heart, and wasn't what the world would deem a hero. Luke, also has his height scoffed at, the first words his twin sister Leia says to him is as “Aren’t you a little short?” His youth is constantly being brought up as well, despite his pedigree as a Jedi knight.


Luke Skywalker leads a small band of Rebel fighters in their X-wing ships to fly along the perimeter to try and hit one, small exposed reactor that would trigger a reaction and destroy the whole station. Similarly, the Israelites are up against the mighty, oppressive Philistines who are led by the giant Goliath.


Despite Goliath’s massive size and indicating stature, David kills Goliath with just one stone flung with a slingshot. In a very similar way, the Rebels had virtually no chance of destroying this massive structure, but a boy named Luke Skywalker, who grew up on a farm, hits the reactor that triggers the collapse.


Not saying these two stories are completely identical; they both have their differences that causes the analogy to break down. However, I think sometimes a great way to understand reality is through fiction and the messages portrayed in the movies can help the audience relate. The Bible is by far the most important piece of writing in human history, and the historical events have inspired much of today’s books, movies and shows. This is evident in this example and others in how communication and messaging are foundational to the human experience.


fsc@anderson.edu | Anderson University (IN)

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