I grew up on western movies.
Western movie plots were almost always variations on the same theme: a great injustice has occurred; the people are afraid, their homes are threatened; a mysterious stranger rides in to set things right.
Westerns fell out of favor in the latter part of the 20th century, but not their basic theme. We still love the story of the mysterious stranger who, against all odds, comes to set things right.
That’s basically what Star Wars: The Force Awakens is about.
An evil force called the First Order threatens the peace of a faraway galaxy. The search is on for Luke Skywalker, a long-lost Jedi master who, it is hoped, can raise up a new generation of Jedi who will bring peace again to the galaxy.
The Force Awakens has earned over two billion dollars to date, making it the third-highest grossing film of all time. Of course there are lots of reasons, such as great marketing and special effects, but I think the real reason behind the movie’s success is that it connects with us on a very basic level. We all have the sense that we’re away from our true home. At some level, we’re all afraid. We all long for someone to come to our rescue and set things right.
But what if all the heroes of fiction and fantasy, myth and legend, have their source in something real and true? What if there once really was a mysterious stranger who came from far off to set things right? What if that mysterious stranger was Jesus Christ?