Today is the big day! Fans young and old are gearing up to witness the epic conclusion of the Star Wars Skywalker saga. Though the most recent films have left fans divided, there is no denying the excitement and buzz that surrounds this highly-anticipated film. For many of us, Star Wars has been a pretty constant part of our culture since we were very young. I still vividly remember trick-or-treating with my neighbor friends, each of us dressed up as a different character from the series, and playfully challenging each other to “lightsaber duels” and debating who would win in hypothetical encounters.
Many of our leaders as we grew older knew of our deep love of the Star Wars universe, and often would compare Gospel principles to events in the Star Wars films, often leaving us 12-year-olds completely dumbstruck that our favorite films could actually be spiritual too. Here are some major principles taught in both the Gospel and Star Wars to get you excited for the film’s release tonight:
There is an invisible but very real “force” that guides our daily lives
In the Star Wars universe, there’s a special “force” that shapes and guides the lives of every living thing. Certain individuals have the ability to shape and use this “force” but this power reserved to very special individuals. The Force, as it’s called, is invisible and can’t be seen, but it is present all around, creating opportunities and solutions when difficulties arise. This is very similar to our idea of our Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost. Though we cannot see them at this present time, we feel of Their influence in our daily lives, and through prayer can receive additional guidance and direction.
Anger and hatred lead to dark paths
One recurring theme of the Star Wars universe is how anger and hatred lead down destructive paths. Whether it’s Anakin Skywalker’s downfall and turning into Darth Vader, or Kylo Ren’s hatred of his father that leads to his fall to the Dark Side, the Star Wars universe makes it abundantly clear that anger and hatred lead down paths of destruction. The Book of Mormon teaches many principles similar to this, and that the “spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention” as Christ states in 3rd Nephi 11:29.
Redemption is always possible
Along with Star Wars’ counsel against allowing hatred and anger into our lives, there is a strong element of redemption that is found throughout the films. One of the most iconic scenes of the Star Wars franchise is Darth Vader’s redemption when he decides to save his son, Luke, by defeating his evil mentor and master Darth Sidious. Though Darth Vader’s moment of redemption is brief, the concept of returning to the light in an instant is something taught throughout the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the story of Alma the Younger, the visitation of a heavenly messenger quickly undid years of anger towards the Church and God and quickly brought him back to the light of Christ.
The small and simple are capable of incredible things
One last, among the many, principles that are shared in the Star Wars universe and the Gospel is that by small and simple things are great brought to pass. Many of the heroes of the Star Wars universe come from simple and unassuming backgrounds. The grand hero of Star Wars, Luke Skywalker, was raised on a small planet and seemed to have no element of the extraordinary. But his lineage is anything but ordinary, and as he learns of his potential and capability he achieves amazing things. Often in our lives, we can feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but as we remember that we are literal children of the Creator of the Universe, we realize how much we are truly capable of and the ability we have to influence the world for so much good.
So whether you are a fan of the movies, or simply enjoying the hype from the sidelines, there is no denying the cultural impact the Star Wars universe has had on so many lives, and the incredible life lessons it has taught so many of its devoted fans. May the Force be with you!