Today is International Star Wars Day (May the 4th as in “May the Fo(u)rce(th) Be With You.) When Star Wars IV first came out in the 70s, I was COMPLETELY captured by this film. I wanted it to be real. As a young person of faith, I drew parallels to the Force – which Ben Kenobi describes as “- an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together” – as the Spirit of God.
Also, I thought Mark Hamill was a total hunk.
When the prequel movies came out, my son was in grade 1 and he too became captured with the story. In fact, it was the Star Wars series that sparked his love for film and his desire to be a writer/director.
This morning the two of us traveled into Vancouver to St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church which was having a Star Wars service. The church itself is amazing – construction of this gorgeous gothic building was completed in 1933 and it is still a thriving congregation today. I think part of that is because of their creativity. They’ve held Jazz Vespers services there for years and this morning’s service is a great example of taking popular culture and blending it into a service.
The service was just the right mix of awesome and cheesy. The organist played all the major themes from John William’s score on their incredible pipe organ. An original anthem that took Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no try” speech and set it to music, sung by a small chamber choir was exactly that blend of awesome/cheesy. The sermon was titled “May the Force be with You” and rather than trying to force the movies into the Christian context, the pastor spoke of larger themes, comparing the “force” to the Spirit of God which is always with us.
Of course there was lots of traditional stuff too: scripture reading, communion, hymns and prayers. It was a neat experience.
Are you a Star Wars fan? Why or why not?