Last time we discussed 5 great conversations to have with your kids after watching Star Wars, Episode IX. Today we finish our list “10 Ways to Parent Your Kids Through The Rise of Skywalker.”
Click here to read Part 1.
6. Another über-biblical theme in The Rest of Skywalker is that our own bad choices will be our undoing.
I’ll try not to spoil anything for you, but throughout the course of the movie, many of our beloved heroes die.
Of course, the bad guys die too.
What’s interesting is that people die in one of three ways in this movie:
All three of these wear a spiritual mantle, but the third is the one on which I want to focus. In Numbers 32:23 we learn “be sure your sin will find you out.” This is an important verse for any Parenting Bible because it dispels the delusion that the consequences of our sin are someone else’s fault.
When the movie is over, ask your child how the ultimate bad guy finally died. Was it something a good guy did to him, or was it something he did to himself?
7. Given Disney’s recent emphasis on family, there are a ton of family-oriented lessons in Episode IX. One important theme is that it doesn’t matter who your parents are. You have to choose for yourself what you’re going to do with your life.
In Frozen II, Anna and Elsa learned that their grandfather was a bad dude, but they didn’t have to follow in his icy footsteps (oops, an accidental secondary spoiler!).
Too often we believe that we are destined to become alcoholics or abusers or overweight simply because our parents were . . . since you can’t escape genetics. The problem is that such philosophies ignore that sin is not solely a genetic reality and that by the power of God you don’t have to be evil just because other people are.
It doesn’t matter if you’re related to them by blood or if you’re surrounded by them with no feasible way to escape. You don’t have to be bad just because “everyone else is.”
Later in the film, Finn meets some individuals who — like he — deserted the Stormtrooper ranks. I like that the writers take a moment to set apart a seemingly insignificant group of individuals who refused to do wrong just because everyone else around them was doing it.
May more Christians take such a stand.
8. The Rise of Skywalker has a dynamic focus on the utter importance of parental influence.
For the good or the bad, children and parents will watch the Skywalker saga rise and fall on family influences.
In The Last Jedi we witness Ben Solo being run off by his uncle’s poor choices, and in The Rise of Skywalker two pivotal moments are accomplished by the sacrificial influence of the character’s parents.
This is a lesson for moms and dads.
No matter how bleak your situation may look, God is more powerful than the Force, He is more faithful than your children’s disobedience, and if Darth Vader can be turned from the Dark Side, your children can come to God!
Trust the Lord, but make sure you do your part. Lovingly confront your children, even if it means you may get a lightsaber in the stomach. Don’t stop praying for them. Don’t stop sacrificing for them.
9. Another deeply biblical theme in Episode IX is that the most noble thing you can do is give your life for another.
Beyond all the Resistance fighters who went to war knowing they may likely die, I can think of four key characters who decidedly chose death (or at least the loss of one’s one life force) in order to save another’s life.
Early in the movie, Rey illustrates this willingness by healing a gigantic and dangerous sand snake by giving it some of her own life force.
This theme is first displayed with a sacrifice made on the behalf of a vile monster and comes to fruition by the complete sacrifice of one’s life for a former enemy. How more significant could a Gospel illustration be?
Jesus Christ came to this world, healed the physical and spiritual maladies of His basest creation, and then gave the ultimate sacrifice to purchase the eternal life of all who believe in Him!
Don’t miss the opportunity to have this conversation with your kids.
10. And lastly, even in a movie with relatively little objectionable content and quite a few biblical themes, the world wants to influence our families in destructive ways.
The Force is not God.
Everyone in the movie is doing what’s right in his own eyes . . . and — according to Disney — that’s okay as long as you’re following your heart in a culturally-acceptable way.
In the final celebratory scene, your family is going to be subjected to a girl-on-girl kiss. It will come swiftly without any fanfare and won’t include any pivotal characters, but it will still be there. And it will be there because the world wants to normalize sin.
They cannot be trusted to create a work of art that solely pleases and glorifies God. Their best effort will present a mere shadow of biblical reality with an overall framework of self-worship.
This is why we parents have to redeem such opportunities by deliberately drawing our children’s minds to the Truth inherent in any logical form of entertainment. And this is also why we have to warn our kids that it doesn’t matter how “innocent” or “pure” or “noble” or “kid friendly” the work of art may be . . . there are going to be sinful philosophies that must be understood and refuted.
May the experience of The Rise of Skywalker be yet one more brick you help cement in your children’s spiritual maturity and not something that draws them to the dark side.
AMBrewster is the Executive Director of Truth.Love.Parent. and the host of its weekly podcast.
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