When the prequel trilogy released it actually hurt the original trilogy for me. It took Darth Vader from the greatest villain of all time and reduced him to a whiny brat.
But Rogue One?
It compliments Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope so well that I believe it would be a shame not to watch the two movies back-to-back.
Those who are fans of the original films know that the fate of the team who stole the Death Star plans was not very favorable.
Personally, I find stories about people and teams who go against insurmountable odds with little chance of victory incredibly inspiring.
Rogue One also explores a crucial time in the life of the Rebellion. The Empire has nearly established total control. They see themselves as one Death Star away from having every planet in obedience through fear.
This is where the Rebellion’s tension lies: fight against the evil Empire and their nearly completed super weapon or run away and live in fear.
The Rebellion is outmatched. They’re smaller, less organized, have fewer resources and aren’t nearly as advanced as the Empire’s.
Yet they have hope.
And as Jyn Erso says “Rebellions are built on hope.”
Throughout history there have been important rebellions all built on hope.
A man named Martin Luther led a rebellion against the Catholic Church because it was selling indulgences to people – essentially allowing anyone to do anything…so long as they could pay for it.
There’s also a story about a group of people who had been captives and slaves and lived in fear for centuries praying and waiting for a promised savior who would rescue them from the empire.
Eventually, that person would be born and lead a rebellion and set up a new kingdom though it wasn’t the kind of kingdom the people expected.
People thought the Messiah would come in military might and overthrow the empire. Instead, he came and taught hope, forgiveness, and redemption.
Jesus also came against the religious empire and showed the people that there was a different way, a better way, THE way and what they were being shown wasn’t it.
He displayed that military might wasn’t the answer but a new lifestyle was and still is the way to right the wrongs of the world.
Jesus’ rebellion was built on hope.
Christmas season we remember Jesus’ birth and the liberation he’d bring to the world not through violence but through hope.
I’ve thought a lot about 2016 and it has been a dark year.
There have been times I have felt like there is not a lot of hope left.
Perhaps what we need is to stop fearing the darkness and rebel against it.
There are church practices and patterns that need to fall like in Luther’s day and America is also certainly in need of a little healthy rebellion too.
Will we stand together and fight as a united Rebellion or will we cave to the Empires of our day?