Support the Café

Search our Site

Faith Reels: The Force Awakens…and also with you

Faith Reels: The Force Awakens…and also with you

by Bonnie Anderson and Dan Webster


If you have not yet seen this film, we will not go into specific details about the storyline. However, if you want to be completely surprised by the content of the film, please read this after you have seen the film. There is a place at the end of this commentary for readers to add their own comments. Please do.

The theatre was packed at the matinee. There were septuagenarians, little kids with grown ups obviously ignoring the PG-13 rating. In addition to the ages of the movie-goers, the audience was diverse in many ways.


There was an excited “buzz” in the theater during the previews. Then, as the familiar Star Wars main theme song composed by John Williams sprang to life, an expectant silence fell over the audience and the iconic opening crawl displayed the words that describe the story and asks the “elephant in the room” question: “Where is Luke Skywalker”? Check out the opening crawl on YouTube:


The film does not fall short on heroism, action, and death-defying space ship maneuvering. In fact, the film brings Star Wars into this decade with an explosion of not-your-boring-typical-leading men and women. At the same time, the film pushes our nostalgia button with glimpses of R2-D2, C-3PO, former Princess Leia and others you will fondly remember. George Lucas has relinquished his role as writer-director of all previous Star Wars films and J.J. Abrams brings new talents to the writing and directing of this film.


It is being said that this film is the biggest box office attraction ever. Seems as though The Force really is all around us as new character Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) says. But wait, with a reported + $1billion in box office receipts world-wide perhaps there will be a new awakening. We think that “The Force” is God. After all, God is everywhere.


It’s been a joke for a long time: You know you’re an Episcopalian if someone says, “The Force be with you” and you automatically respond, “And also with you.” Now, if we can just channel that force–that life force of God the creator of the Universe–to build up the beloved community of God rather than flying through space shooting down enemies, we will be living into the promises we make in our baptismal covenant.


Bonnie Anderson is a very active lay leader in her parish, diocese and in the wider Episcopal Church. She is an experienced community organizer and lives in suburban Detroit. Dan Webster is an Episcopal priest in Baltimore, Maryland and a former broadcast news executive. But don’t expect only east coast urban perspectives here. As it turns out, they both grew up in Southern California.  They blog about films and faith at Faith Reels


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rod Gillis

The link below has a story about an allegedly controversial comment George Lucas made about selling his company to Disney. However, it contains an embedded link to the Charlie Rose interview with Lucas that is worth watching for sure.

Lucas talks about some of his thinking around the mythological themes in the original movies, which he refers to as “for kids”. He also makes passing reference to the Disney wanting to move in a different direction and make a movie for fans. The comment that the news story trumpets comes in the last nine minutes of the interview. The news story contorts an off hand comment into something it isn’t. The good news is that it draws attention to a very interesting interview if watched in its entirety.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café