You may or may not be aware, but Star Wars the Clone Wars has recently been added to Netflix. The boys and I have begun to watch this over the weekend. We have seen a few episodes here and there, but not many as they were on Cartoon Network and we didn’t have cable for most of when the series was running. So, we have has an influx of Jedis in our house over the weekend. It has been fun to watch the boys run around with light sabers, using the force to battle evil.
One of the themes that draws me to the Star Wars story is the theme of redemption. As we watch the clone wars, we see Anakin Skywalker as a young Jedi before he is corrupted by the dark side of the force. I believe, Anakin’s story could be my story. I struggle with anger, anxiety, fear, resentment – all paths to the dark side.
Yoda has said the path to the dark side is an easy one. I find this to be true in my own life. It is easy to exercise anger over restraint, anxiety over peace, fear over confidence and resentment over contentment. It is difficult to slow down and think through a response to any given stimuli rather than react off the cuff. As a parent it is much less effective to consistently react to our children instead of proactively parent them.
Why is it so easy for us to fall? Why is so hard to not give in to the temptation to follow a path of self-destruction? I don’t know I have the answers to these questions for everyone, but I know in my own experience it feels more powerful. It feels like I remain in control. It feels less humiliating. It feels less embarrassing. It feels more powerful.
The dark side of the force (and our own behavior) feeds our selfish desires. It selfishly feeds our wants at the expense of others. It selfishly puts us before those around us.
Anakin’s path to the dark side was slow, as he began to give in to himself. As he began to care for himself more than others. As he began to place too much confidence in himself and his abilities. As he began to have less concern for others.
Anakin didn’t know it at the time, but he was on a path that would need redemption. And like the path many of us have taken to redemption, it wasn’t an easy one. I want to write a few more posts on this idea this week to see how one Sith being redeemed is very much like one Eli being redeemed.
The Star Wars story is one that has captivated since I was a young boy. I can remember going to see Return of the Jedi in the movie theater with my mother. I have always enjoyed this story. I will do my best to give it the respect it deserves as I write about one of fictional histories most influential characters.