Hello there! I bet that title got your attention. Hear me out. Don’t worry, this isn’t outrageous or unfair, no matter what Anakin says… even if this was likely the weirdest article I have ever written. You’ll see in a second. At the risk of overusing the meme, this is where the fun begins.
My last Star Wars article focused on the nature of Christianity’s relationship with politics. This one is even spicier. Once again, we will be delving primarily into the prequel era, though I hope to create a Star Wars/Christian analogy in the original trilogy at some point! Today, we will be looking at Anakin’s fall to the dark side and the factors that led to it.
What was it that pushed Anakin to become the very thing he swore to destroy? I believe that the most popular answer would be because he believed it was the best way to save Padmé. While the threat of Padmé dying was certainly a tipping point that truly exacerbated the situation, there were other factors involved. For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on four of those factors. Search your feelings, and see if you can find any parallels to how one falls into sexual sin…
Factor #1. The Quick and Easy Nature of the Dark Side
If said it once Yoda has, said it a thousand times he has: “Quicker, easier is the dark side.”
This is one of the primary recurring themes in Star Wars, starting in the original trilogy. It is repeatedly said that the Dark Side is a “quick fix” solution to achieve great power. Or rather, “UN-LIMITED POWEEEERRRRR!!!” Whereas the light side is generally slower and requires more discipline. In Anakin’s situation, he hoped for a quick – albeit desperate – solution to Padmé’s potential death.
Sexual sin is often “quick and easy.” And I don’t only refer to porn being available a few clicks away. I mean that we often use it as a convenient “replacement” to achieve our goals. We try to take shortcuts. Porn, coupled with masturbation, can serve as an effortless way to achieve sexual pleasure, circumventing the need to find a spouse (for singles) or reconnect with your spouse (for married). Porn can also serve as an attempted escape from life, a place to distract from our problems and insecurities.
The supposed convenience of sexual sin goes beyond porn as well. For dating couples, fornication “cuts to the chase”, allowing impatience to win. For married couples, adultery is the false search for intimacy outside your spouse, rather than going through the effort to reconnect with your spouse and truly heal struggling relationships.
I’m stepping outside of Star Wars for a second, but… the bill. Comes. Due. ALWAYS.
Look at every Dark Side figure in the movies.
Darth Maul got brutally cut in half, and if you watch the Clone Wars and Rebels, you see that he lived a life of unsatisfied rage, vengeance, and misery. Sexual sin never satisfies.
Count Dooku was betrayed by his own master. All it took was a “DEW IT!” The promise and allure of sexual sin betrays us once we reap the consequences.
The attempt on Palpatine’s life left him scarred and deformed. Sexual sin can do the same to your soul… but there is healing to be found in Jesus Christ.
Darth Vader suffered the worst, with Padmé dying, losing his limbs, burning, being forced to wear a suit that basically tortured him constantly, and living a life of turmoil and war, never being at peace until Anakin Skywalker returned in the end. It is never too late to stop. It will be a hard battle, but it is worth it. There is good left in you. ☺
(I know, I did not mention Kylo Ren. Not a sequel fan. Talent without training is nothing.)
Factor #2. Gradual flirtations with the Dark Side
Anakin’s decision to turn to the Dark Side wasn’t an abrupt, “Oh I guess I’m evil now, let’s be a Sith” decision, despite how it may have been executed onscreen. It was far, far more gradual… a little Dark Side here, a little “too-much-emotion” here, etc. The most notable event depicted in the movies is Anakin’s slaughtering of the Sand People after his mother’s death (Ep. II). The more Anakin surrendered to the Dark Side in small bits, the more vulnerable and depraved he became overall. Before we knew it, he was slaughtering children in the name of saving his wife from death. See how twisted his thinking had become? (A side note: the Revenge of the Sith novelization by Matthew Stover does a great job in getting inside Anakin’s thought processes. I enjoy it more than the movie. Highly recommend!)
Remember the scene on the lava planet Mustafar when Anakin – Vader at this point – is standing on a balcony and crying? Why do you think he was crying? Was it him regretting the brutal murders he had just committed? Perhaps, but there’s actually an additional reason. It turns out Anakin was crying because the person he had become was so different from the noble Jedi he had pictured himself to be as a young boy. Imagine asking Phantom Menace Anakin or even Attack of the Clones Anakin to abruptly transform into Vader and slaughter younglings. He would be horrified at the prospect. The gradual smaller dosages of the dark side… bit by bit by bit… were much more effective. Do you see the sexual sin parallel yet?
I have read multiple testimonies of people who have viewed horrific content and even committed unmentionable atrocities. How did their spiral downward begin? Many of these more “severe” sins don’t come in out of nowhere. Most decent people don’t suddenly wake up one day and think, “I’m going to commit adultery,” or “I’m going to watch someone get raped online.” Rather, a string of “smaller” sins led to such extreme actions.
Satan is tricky, like Palpatine… he starts off slowly, luring you with softcore porn or a few flirtatious glances. Things that, in the moment, might not seem like THAT big of a deal. The truth is, these small things are often all it takes to hook you. It leads you down a path that you should not follow. Soon, you’re watching and/or doing things you could not have imagined doing before the addiction. It’s a downward spiral… but it’s not too late to stop. Stay strong, and refuse to surrender to the Dark Side!
Factor #3: Secrecy and Catalysts
Anakin kept his struggles with the Dark Side largely hidden, along with his relationship with Padmé. (Imagine if the Jedi had immediately discovered the couple’s marriage… things might have gone differently!) Anakin was too scared to reveal these secrets. He therefore had little to no accountability. See where I’m going with this?
Accountability is essential for overcoming sexual sin. Just read Ephesians. It’s not easy to tell someone, much like it would not have been easy for Anakin to confess his struggles. But if you wish to conquer sexual sin, sometimes seemingly drastic steps must be made. If your sin flourishes in the dark, bring it out into the light!
It should be said that while Anakin and Padmé’s marriage was against the Jedi Code, it was not inherently wrong (unless you count their arguably toxic relationship…). But it was a key catalyst in Anakin’s fall. Similarly, there may be similar things in our lives – habits, patterns, mindsets, or whatever – that lead to our falls. It is wise to soul search and pray about things in your life that may need to change. (PLEASE note that I am not saying Anakin should have divorced Padmé or that you should divorce your spouse! I’ll admit, this was one of the weaker points of this analogy. But you must admit that Anakin and Padmé’s relationship was not founded on the most stable ground… “I don’t like sand.” I told you this was a weird article.)
Once again I encourage you, if you are struggling, please tell someone. Have people praying for you. You are not alone in this fight, and more people struggle with this stuff than you think. We’re better together. God designed all of us believers to make up the body of Christ, after all! This requires that we believers have a healthy view of sex, as we’ll see in the next example.
Factor #4: The Jedi’s Unhelpful Environment
You may be thinking, what? The Jedi were the good guys, right? Then why did Obi-Wan say “I have failed you Anakin, I have failed you” during their fight? Honestly, I think he was pushing it there. Obi-Wan did not completely fail Anakin… Anakin was responsible for his own actions, and he would have been punished as such if the opportunity arose. But the Jedi were not perfect in the way they treated Anakin. They had problems, and these problems certainly contributed to Anakin’s fall.
Arguably, one of the primary problems is that the Jedi feared the dark side, and this manifested itself in the way they taught it. Over and over it was said how dangerous the dark side was, how quick and easy it was, and how to avoid it. But Anakin was more curious. He did not have anyone to further inquire about the dark side (as least onscreen); he knew he would immediately be shut down. The Jedi he would have asked likely would have immediately been afraid that Anakin was on the verge of being a full-on Sith. Perhaps they would have even reported Anakin for asking such questions!
It is true that the Jedi had access to a restricted section of their library that only Masters were allowed into. This Masters-only section contained content on Sith lore and all kind of information regarding the dark side. Anakin wished to study this badly… in fact, that is why he grew so enraged when he was not granted the rank of Master! With no outlet to his curiosity – in fact, his very real urgency – Anakin searched for another avenue of research… and found Palpatine.
Not only that, but the Jedi clearly were not well-versed in Sith content, because they were hopelessly blind to Palpatine’s rise to power. They did not know what to look for! Palpatine was completely right when he said that their arrogance blinded them.
The Jedi, unfortunately, represent some Christians in the Church. I believe that some Christians are too shy to talk frankly about sexual matters, which leaves many people – especially youth – vulnerable. Left to their own curiosity, they decide to educate themselves on sex… and find porn. This topic is deserving of its own article. I have read many testimonies of people who have wished they had received their sex ed either earlier or over a wider span of time. I’m not saying that parents need to tell their kids all their favorite techniques. Nor should ten-year-olds learn about all the horrors of human trafficking. There definitely needs to be a line drawn. But as much as we’d like to preserve the innocence of our youth, we need to keep in mind that the average age of exposure to porn is becoming younger and younger. In the end, where would we rather have the children receive sex ed? From porn? Or from loving parents, complete with a healthy, Biblical perspective?
For those actively struggling with sexual sin, it’s already difficult to tell someone about it, and an environment where the very topic is largely suppressed is not helpful. It only encourages its secrecy, which we already established is not helpful.
Fortunately, my church has been pretty good about stressing the fact that sex is, at its root, very good! It’s a blessing, meant to provide pleasure, literally addict you to your spouse, and… (you’re going to love this…)
To create… life.
Unfortunately, we humans have distorted God’s good gift by trying to widen the palate beyond the boundries of marriage, where it simply does not work. But we cannot overlook that sex can be a bountiful and luxurious enjoyment for married couples! That is where sex can reach is full, godly potential! Kind of like how Mace Windu used the Dark Side at a careful capacity for a good cause. (Was that the weirdest comparison I have ever made? Probably.) My end point for this factor is that the church does not need to be afraid of sex… we should treat it with the respect and reverence it deserves! Additionally, the church needs to be an active participant in fighting against the sin, human trafficking, and other sexual horrors that exist in our world. Do what must be done!
And there you have it. I have managed to make a connection between Star Wars and sex. I hope this article didn’t weird you out too much. While the above analogies are far from perfect, my goal was to help you consider these topics in a new and entertaining way. I pray that you were encouraged by today’s reading. I know many of you have made New Year’s resolutions to defeat sexual addiction this year, so let’s be strong everyone! May the LORD be with you! Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.
I will leave you with one tip to fight against sexual addiction, or any addicting sin in your life. It’s not enough to simply remove the sin. God made us like glasses – we need to be filled and satisfied! So fill yourself with the Lord, and don’t replace one idol with another idol! ☺
Let the peace of Christ, to which you were called in one body, rule in your hearts; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Ethan strives to be a good soldier and ambassador of Jesus Christ first and foremost, and a geeky musician as a close second! Currently, he is studying music as a major in a community college in the central California area. When he is not composing, tutoring, worshipping, or mindlessly improvising on the piano, he enjoys meaty discussions about the things of God and His Word. In his spare time, you can also find him cycling, fishing, messing with fountain pens, or laughing at Star Wars memes. If you would like to reach out with questions, or just want someone to talk to and virtually hang out with, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.