Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rogue One (2016) Spreading a Message of Hope


Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.” (New Living Translation)

The mission to save the galaxy begins with a message and ends with a message. A message that saves several planets with countless lives from either complete annihilation or a lifetime of fear and submission.  

Rogue One, Disney's recent addition to the Star Wars saga, serves as a prequel to Episode IV, A New Hope. In fact, it ends moments before A New Hope picks up. It explores the story of the martyred spies who deliver the stolen Death Star plans to Princess Leia Organa.

It is the first in the franchise not to have a light saber duel or a Jedi hero.

It depicts a story deep within the rebellion that is filled with regular people: humble, strong, hard-working, and angry from a lifetime of intimidation by a corrupt and powerful organization. The rebellion is built on an entire army of these folks, and it thrived for years before the Jedi, Luke Skywalker, comes onto the scene.

More importantly, it provides a satisfactory explanation to a major plot hole within the original trilogy.

How could such a fatal flaw in the Death Star plan go unnoticed and unaltered?

Was it arrogant or intentional?

The answer to this question lies with a young rebel named Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star's lead engineer and undercover rebel. Jyn grows up without her parents after she witnesses how the empire is responsible for the murder of her mother and the disappearance of her father.

She survives under the comfort of assuming he too is dead. Until she receives a message not only confirming his survival but also detailing his plan to destroy the weapon he helps create.

It is that message that sets into motion the theft of the Death Star plans, hence the beginning of A New Hope. It answers the question, how did Leia come into possession of the plans? What happens to the rebel spies who risk their lives on the battle front to steal the plan for Leia? How did they manage to steal the plans?

Once again, they send a message. A message that saves lives. A message that brings hope. A message with instructions to defeat a deadly threat. The Death Star, which brings fear and panic throughout the good people of the empire. The fate of the galaxy depends on how far the message of hope spreads.

Much like this message of hope, the gospel of Jesus Christ must also spread throughout the world:

Mark 16:15-16 “And then he told them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.'” (New Living Translation)

Much like the variety of rebel, all Christian are called to spread the message:

Galatians 3:28 says, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile,[a] slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (New Living Translation)

Even at the risk of martyrdom:

Isaiah 41:10 "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." (New Living Translation)

What more can we do to spread our message of hope?