In 1977, Obi-Wan Kenobi praised Luke Skywalker's first step of faith in something called "the Force," an invisible power that "binds the galaxy together." He said, "You've taken your first step into a larger world."

For many of us, watching that groundbreaking epic was our first step into a larger world indeed. The special effects, the mythological references, the spiritual ideas, the cliffhanger adventure, the allusions to Akira Kurosawa—it was a fascinating hybrid. You may have grown up with Star Wars toys, books, cereals, posters, and videotapes. (My own favorite pieces of Star Wars memorabilia … a battered old lunchbox and a die-cast model of Darth Vader's TIE fighter that I assembled, glued, and painted myself at age 7.)

Could it be that George Lucas is somewhat responsible for the current surge in Christian media film coverage? A decade ago, there weren't many Christian press film critics writing regularly. Now they're everywhere. A colleague of mine speculated that, since many of this new crowd of Christian critics are in a similar age range, it's possible that Star Wars had something to do with our choice of subject. After all, the trilogy arrived while many of us were young and impressionable. The saga's tendency to provoke conversations about spirituality and the nature of "the Force" inspired many of us to begin engaging with film in a whole new way.

Thus, many of us—including Christian press film critics—greet Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith with a mix of enthusiasm and sadness. The circle is now complete, and there's joy in seeing so many varying pieces fit together, completing the trilogy and answering most (but not all) of our nagging questions. There's joy in seeing ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.