2015-12-23 / Editorial

Theme of good and evil resonates in “Star Wars” and life

As the record-shattering success of the new Star Wars sequel proves, the struggle between good and evil is both a timeless theme and one very relevant in these troubled times.

It is not a stretch (although we admit a bit simplistic) to see the battle between ISIS and the rest of the world play out in the galactic war between Siths and Jedi. In “The Force Awakens,” we learn that the death of Darth Vader and redemption of Anakin Skywalker in “Return of the Jedi” did not bring balance to the universe. Thirty years into the future, the evil empire (Siths) has risen again and the good side (Jedis) must step up to the battle.

In the Siths we might see ISIS. The declaration of a caliphate across Iraq and Syria by ISIS last year demanded the universal allegiance of the entire ummah (global Muslim community) to the caliphate’s austere vision of Islam. The Islamic State is not only a terrorist group. It is a political and military organization that seeks to impose that worldview by force on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This designation is used as religious justification for killing the Islamic State’s opponents.

Like the protectors of good in Star Wars, the rest of the world must rise up to counter this evil but at the same time preserve the values we cherish. By summoning the “Force” Jedis gain access to their power through moral responsibility. The force of good cannot win its battle by lowering itself to the fear-mongering used by the evil Empire to control people just as America must steer clear of labeling all Muslims as terrorists and closing off our borders to all refugees.

The important and enduring themes in “Star Wars” appeal to our sense of goodness and transcendence. Let us not forget to employ these themes in “real life.” May the Force be with you. .

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