Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Everything Old Is New Again

I continue to think about the latest Star Wars movie and what it's saying about our current lives.  I found this post to have an interesting view of the political aspect of the whole series:  "In the original trilogy in the 1970s and early 80s, it was The Man– an evil establishment that needed to be purified by a younger generation. In the prequels of the 90s, it was evil corporations secretly colluding with a corrupt government to create endless war."

In the current movie, we get a main character, an "unstable young white man has this horrific ideology, access to far too many weapons, and the desperate desire to demolish anything that he perceives as a threat– or is told to perceive as a threat."

The author sees the new generation of Star Wars movies as anxious to announce that the old is out and the new generation is ascendant.  She doesn't address the question of the spiritual aspect of it all.  Is the movie saying anything about the ways that generations move through church?  What does it mean that this next generation, which may or may not have vastly different ideas about the society that should emerge from the ashes, has been taught by the best of the Jedi masters of the past generation?

I find the female main character much more interesting than the conflicted young man.  Rey, perhaps because of her orphaned status, has more respect for the past generation--in fact, she saves the books (I confess that I missed this detail, but I read about it in reviews).

It's an interesting meditation, too, on how we pass on knowledge--do we need to write down the important ideas of our generations or will those ideas be preserved if they're important enough?  As an English major and an admirer of the monastic tradition, I vote for preserving our ideas on paper and a back-up medium.

My brain keeps coming back to one of the main temptation scenes, where Rey is invited to join a different resistance--or is it a resistance?  Could she and Kylo Ren build something new or are they both too corrupted by the old to do it effectively?

It's a question that every generation must answer:  what is worth keeping and what must be discarded?  And what happens if we accidentally discard the essential?

But perhaps I'm making the mistake that many theologians warn us against:  maybe it's all essential.

Or maybe God can use whatever direction we decide to go.  Some of us despair at the way that some parts of Christendom condemn same-sex marriage, while others see the embracing of same-sex marriage as essential.  In the end, these arguments and conversations will lead us all to a different world than we'd have otherwise inhabited, and history tells us that it won't be exactly like what either side would have predicted or preferred.

And then another generation will come along to point out what we've been overlooking and perhaps to smash what we've spent so long creating.

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