Time magazine’s cover story last week was devoted to "The Phantom Menace," the new Star Wars movie which is soon to be released. The new movie is a prequel to the previous Star War movies. This movie goes back in time to introduce us to Darth Vader (one of the most evil characters to inhabit a movie screen) when he was a young child and his name was Anakin Skywalker.
The cover story included a conversation between George Lucas, the movie’s creator, and Bill Moyers. At one point there is this exchange:
Moyers: "I think it’s going to be very hard for the audience to accept that this innocent boy, Anakin Skywalker, can ever be capable of the things that we know happen later on. I think about Hitler and wonder what he looked like at nine years old.
Lucas: "There are a lot of people like that. And that’s what I wonder. What is it in the human brain that gives us the capacity to be as evil as human beings have been in the past, are right now."
Then later there was this exchange:
Moyers: Ultimately, isn’t Star Wars about transformation?
Lucas: It will be about how young Anakin Skywalker became evil and then was redeemed by his son... It’s not as apparent in the earlier movie, but when you see the next trilogy, then you see the issue is, How do we get Darth Vader back? How do we get him back to that little boy that he was in the first movie, that good person who loved and was generous and kind? Who had a good heart.
Moyers: In authentic religion, doesn't it take Kierkegaard’s leap of faith?
Lucas: Yes, yes. Definitely. You’ll notice Luke uses that quite a bit through the film—not to rely on pure logic, not rely on the computers, but to rely on faith. That is what that "Use the Force" is, a leap of faith. There are mysteries and powers larger than we are..."
It seems to me this conversation contains more applicable truth to the Littleton tragedy than any other of our feeble explanations. There are mysteries and powers larger than we are. Or as Paul put it: "For our struggle is not against human foes, but against cosmic powers, against the authorities and potentates of this dark age, against the superhuman forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
©1999 C. David Hess