A long time ago in a movie theater far far away…
The conclusion of the original Star Wars trilogy was released, Return of the Jedi on May 25th, 1983. This has been a favorite movie of mine. It was the first movie that I was introduced to by my mom and propelled me to be a fan of one of the biggest franchises in pop culture.
The original trilogy was the best. No offense to those who love the recent one put out by Woke Disney. The camera angles, acting, and even the emotions were spine-chilling. Trilogies don’t tend to end well, yet this third installment of what would become the original Star Wars was still an epic end to a thrilling saga.
Fun fact: the movie was originally going to be called Revenge of the Jedi, yet George Lucas knew that Jedi are not in the business of revenge. Hence, it was changed to what we know as the movie today.
Currently, the movie was re-released into theaters to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its theatrical release. After 40 years, it is time to take a hard look at some of the faith lessons it presents to us.
The most prolific scene in this movie is the poignant lightsaber scene between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Throughout the movie, Darth Vader and his master Emperor Palpatine had ambitions to turn Luke into the dark side while crushing the rebellion. For Luke, he knows that his training to become a Jedi Knight lies on facing his father, Darth Vader once again.
In the throne room, Palpatine would tempt Luke to give in to his anger and complete his journey toward the dark side by striking him down. As he obtains his lightsaber, Vader intervenes, and the two duel against each other. Luke knocks down Vader. In the background, the emperor tries to seduce him into letting the hatred he has for his father flow through him.
As the fighting intensifies, Luke tries to bring his father back to the dark side, yet Vader resists.
In the final phase of the duel, Luke overpowers Vader. Ironically, Luke cuts off his hand just as (Spoiler Alert) Vader did in the prequel of the movie. When the emperor sees his victory, he encourages Luke to be by his side in place of his father. Luke defies the emperor.
This is allegorical to when Jesus was in the desert for 40 Days. We are going to have Satan tempt us to do things. At the same time, we are reminded to be ready to combat him.
Mercy Trounces Revenge
Luke could have killed him. He chose to spare his life. It shows that revenge is the opposite of mercy. The fact that he let his father die with dignity shows that he cared about his father. He wanted him to turn away from the dark side. We too want others to do the same when we do things that we don’t normally do like helping them.
In the final part of the throne room, Emperor Palpatine tries to kill Luke when he refuses to take Vader’s place. At that moment, Darth Vader watched the emperor use lightning on him. Luke is defenseless. In the emperor’s final attempt to kill Luke, Vader had a choice to make. In the end, he laid down his life for his son who moments before defeated him by picking up the emperor and throwing him down a hole to his death. Vader would succumb to the injury he sustained from the lightning after seeing his son with his own eyes.
The final installment of the original trilogy is a timeless classic. It is worth watching.
To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, May the lord be with you.