Trump or Vader?

In my course on religion and science fiction, I actually asked students recently who was worse, Donald Trump or Darth Vader. I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that a poll back in 2014 had millennials preferring Vader to Trump. The reason for asking this question was to highlight the discrepancy between what we sometimes claim [Read More…]

LOST Rewatch: The Last Recruit

This episode starts with the first meeting of Jack with the smoke monster in Locke’s form. Jack asks him who else he has looked like. He asks him if he was the one he saw when he saw his father on his third day on the island. Smokey says that he was looking out for [Read More…]

LOST Rewatch: Dr. Linus

The episode begins with Ben Linus running through the jungle. He catches up with Ilana and the others who had escaped the temple, and they head to the beach. Ilana gives Miles the ashes of Jacob’s body and asks how he died. Miles says that Linus killed him. Ilana tells Ben that Jacob was the [Read More…]

LOST Rewatch: What Kate Does

The episode begins with the fact that Sayid died and now is alive. Sawyer sarcastically comments on the fact that Sayid gets another chance, being an Iraqi torturer who shoots children. Left unspoken is the fact that Juliette did not live. The Japanese-speaking man Dogen tortures Sayid as a test, “to be sure,” but he [Read More…]

Redemption in Star Wars and Christianity

The above cartoon from Pictorial Theology raises interesting questions (even if I disagree with what it says, especially with regard to Ewoks). On the one hand, the message of cheap grace that is popular in much contemporary Christianity is profoundly unbiblical. Paul, supposedly the greatest proponent of this message, asked the Corinthians Christians, “You know that wicked [Read More…]

Saint Vader

This icon came to my attention via Unvirtuous Abbey on Facebook. Star Wars episodes I-VI are profoundly about redemption, about a man who turns to evil in order to try to hold on to someone he loves, ends up harming that person in the process, and eventually is helped to find his way back from [Read More…]

The Gospel according to Luke (Skywalker)

Someone turned part of the post I quoted recently into an image: Is Star Wars about the emperor being given the shaft? No. It is about a young man with great potential wanting to do whatever it takes to hold on to someone he holds dear, and becomes a force so destructive that he hurts [Read More…]

Super 8

Last night I watched the movie Super 8. The commercials for it had never grabbed my interest, and I see now that they were trying to be intriguing without being revealing. It turned out to be excellent, and like everything J. J. Abrams does, about the characters in the story above all else. It is [Read More…]

The Dark Knight Rises

I recently watched the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises. It offers an interesting exploration of notions of good and evil and the possibility of redemption. If you have not seen it, be aware that some minor spoilers lie ahead. Batman fits into the category of the broken hero, the individual who fights evil, but who [Read More…]

Darth Vader on the Washington National Cathedral

IO9 reported (and apparently not as an April Fools joke) that Darth Vader’s helmet is one of several unexpected images sculpted on the Washington National Cathedral. To me it makes perfect sense that Darth Vader should be depicted on a cathedral – the story of Anakin Skywalker is about redemption more than anything else!   [Read more…]