If you have the time to go see the new Star Wars movie “Rogue One” I highly recommend having an in depth discussion about morality and objective truth before you sit down with your tub of popcorn (extra butter) and Twizzlers.
Or at least that’s apparently how I like to kick off my movie watching experiences.
Last Friday I was sitting across from my husband in the food court, splitting a basket of Garlic Blue Cheese Fries from Zombie Burger when I started off with.
“I bet Kendra is going to hate this movie.”
Kendra, being of course my friend from Catholic All Year, whom I love dearly, but rarely see eye to eye on about movies.
My husband, sensing my deep need for adult conversation allowed me to continue. I assumed Kendra was going to hate Rogue One, she likes movies where objective truth is clear and heroes are heroes and never bad guys, intentionally or otherwise. the recent spate of superhero movies bother her with their flip flopping sides and questionable choice. I on the other hand love a good antihero, or hero gone (pardon the phrase) rogue. Because, I explained while trying to get the best blue cheese chunks from the bottom of the basket, objective truth isn’t just for perfect characters. Objective truth isn’t only upheld in the plot lines of the lawfully good paladins (thank you Captain America, who my husband assures me is always right). Sometimes you need to see how it plays in the story lines of the guys who are a little more chaotic, or at best neutral. We need to see the story lines where the good guy goes astray (and is lead back in a moment of revelation) to show that objective truth is real; that good is good is good and bad is bad is bad. That you cannot do bad for good reasons and still maintain a grip on your humanity.
Luckily my husband is used to my long narratives on subjects we’re already in agreement about or it would have a been a long bucket of fries with lots of awkward silence.
So off we went to Rogue One. I’ll try not to reveal too many spoilers, but considered yourself warned.
For the last few months we’ve been waist deep in Star Wars at my house – introducing our son eagerly to the original trilogy and begrudgingly to the prequels. Happily to move on we’ve been working our way through all 6 seasons of the Clone Wars T.V. show which goes a long way to redeem the questionable prequel storyline. You get to see more of the cause and effect, you get to see the slow internal and external destruction of the Jedi and you get to see the multifaceted politics of a galaxy at war. It’s quite clever, and one day we’ll share a beer and I’ll give you my thesis about it being a political statement piece on the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts of the last 10+ years (trust me, it’s there).
Rogue One was just what I was hoping for. A more realistic, serious take on the SW universe and an able vehicle for discussion the cost of war and rebellion.
Needless to say I left the movie positively pumping my fists in appreciation, and immediately jumping on phone to see what Kendra thought about it. “Please tell me you liked it! How could you not, it’s was objective truth all over the place!” And for one shining moment she and I found ourselves in total agreement over a movie (see something good did happen in 2016).
It was there, objective truth. It was so clear and yet, if you weren’t looking for it you might not have realized it. It’s so easy to write off Star Wars as just wizards in space, nut throughout the storyline was example after example of clear moral truth. Example after example that doing bad for good intentions does not make good. We saw that only with confession, repentance and personal, willing sacrifice does good truly triumph. We saw great moments of faith, a faith outside of lightsabers and Force throwing might. We saw amazing sacrifice of ordinary, unassuming and otherwise unimportant people. In my eyes, we saw Truth as I see it in my faith and I hope others saw it too.