So a few weeks prior to watching this film, I successfully “vented” my frustrations of having to watch Episode VII all on my own last Christmas because I waited for different groups of friends to “… watch Star Wars together!!” but ended up being the one Left Behind each time (I love them still! Just logistic issues each time….) …. So when it finally came for me to watch Rogue One, it wasn’t hard to call up a gathering last minute :p!! (I even booked one ticket for a friend who was still sleeping that morning, without letting him know until later!)
Spit out the Sticks:
One might be concerned about whether “repetitive chanting” can be considered “prayer”(Luke 11:8) – but that’s just a small technicality I’ll leave to the theologians among us 🙂
So we are introduced to a female protagonist, Jyn Erso, in her early years with her mother and father. As the story unfolds and the film tries to build a foundation to the characters and setting (without the iconic scrolling text that begun every other Star Wars films (did u notice that one!?)) I must say it was a little confusing and slow round the first half of the film. Kind of picked up after the failed assassination attempt on Galen Erso (Jyn’s dad). And around here are some of my deeper thoughts:
1. A thought about leadership
There is a scene near the end when a faction of the rebellion decides to “go all in” with Jyn’s (rebel-within-the-rebel) force and there is a fantastic display of starship dog fights and air-to-ground assists. There is a part where the Red Team leader of a group of X-wing pilots calls his unit in: “ALL FIGHTERS ON ME!” followed by “STAY TIGHT!” (words to those affects).
Great leaders know their stuff and know it well. It would be useless for the Red Team leader to have called his team to follow if he had inadequacies that led all of them to an instantaneous and non-profitable death. All their time training would have been for that moment where “follow the leader” becomes a life and death situation for themselves and those around them.
I make this point as I feel there is a growing sway on social media that the best of leaders are those that focus on the followers. Focus on working in the trenches with them, understanding them and empathising with them. I totally agree that there is a balance every leader must strike with this and for me growing up (as the newly labeled “Millennial”) I find myself focusing on “pleasing the crowd” and loosing my “leading edge” or “tip of the spear” quality that I feel great leaders should have. So my thought here is, are we whining too much to our leadership that they end up having to put out all our fires instead of allowing them to just lead and develop their God-given strengths He has blessed them with for our benefit anyways? (Matt. 25:15, Eps. 4:11-12)
2. A life unto God means something
Perhaps one of the most “memed” part of the film was Donny Yen’s “The force is with me, I am…” (you know the rest!). One thing I appreciated was when, in the final moments of his life, Yen successfully crosses a “no man’s land” of lasers and bombs to a control panel without getting hit once! He does die in the end and his faithful friend, a doubter, suddenly becomes a “believer” at Yen’s death, chanting the exact same words. Here, its interesting to note that there is a stark difference in results to a man who has practiced the “art of prayer” all his life and a man who has chosen that path only at the very end (I honestly was expecting him to make it further than he did… but he died quite suddenly :p). It is a clear parallel (for me anyways) between Christians who give their life unto God and learn and study His principles and precepts, truely becoming disciples of the Master and hence reaping the rewards of His promises in their lives, and those who fight on their own and only come to Jesus at the very end, but may somehow wonder why their results are different. Something to think about 🙂
3. The Establishment
I’ll be honest and say that politics has filled my mind since the last 2016 US elections. I shall only leave the title of my point in this blog and let you make the connections as you see desirable 🙂
… and maybe leave this point with some questions like:
- Are all forms of Hierarchy bad?
- If not, which are good?
- Are we are in a habit of continuous rebellion (tall poppy syndrome)?
- How do movies play on this idea?
- Do we naturally, casually criticise the church subconsciously because we see it as another form of hierarchy? (lots of “-y” in that question)
Hope you liked this blog. Do let me know what you liked/didn’t like about it in the comments below. If you’d like to go even deeper I’d encourage you to check out my pastor’s Youtube clip about the CGI use in the film (something I haven’t touched on).