In honor of Star Wars day, I wanted to spotlight the moment of betrayal from Obi Wan and the parallel to my own faith crisis. Today is May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day – due to the “May the Force”, be with you pun. One thing we can learn from the prequel trilogy is the pain and danger in putting all your faith into something fallible. Those who experience a faith transition or crisis pass through a stage of grief and mourn the loss. There is a real feeling of betrayal! Star Wars shows a faith crisis betrayal with Obi Wan’s “chosen one” tragedy.
There is a parallel to Obi Wan Kenobi and his belief in Anakin as the chosen one. He believed him to be “The Jedi” prophesied to bring balance to the force. Against his better judgement he made a promise to his mentor Qui Gon Jinn that he would train Anakin. He believed in him and his abilities, even when there were signs that Anakin wasn’t what Obi Wan thought. Obi Wan continued to trust in Anakin. The movie does a great job of examining the pain and making the viewer really feel the depth of betrayal in their fight scene in Episode III. As Obi Wan stikes Anakin down – the moment even after warning him that he had the higher ground – Anakin stubbornly claims power and authority. This moment when Obi Wan explains his belief as it crumbles. He suffers his faith crisis. He is forced to battle with his chosen one, and he cuts him to pieces. He takes no joy in defeating Anakin. He is grief-stricken.
You were the chosen one!
It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them.
Bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness!
Anakin: I hate you!
You were my brother, Anakin.
I loved you.Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
The betrayal felt as part of a faith transition is real, the betrayal is real. Finding out that the one true church is not what is says it is, does not have all the answers it said it did and in fact is a power seeking organization just like the rest. I’d set up in my mind that human organizations were corrupt by nature, but that the church was a beacon of light and hope. It was doing things right, something that could and should be trusted – to the end! Finding out that it’s just another example of a group of people seizing power over others is heartbreaking. To have believed and followed all these years and then, when the true colors are revealed, realize that the trust was misplaced, we mourn. We acknowledge that our beliefs, while noble and hopeful, were wrongfully placed in the church. It is not what it said it was. Rephrased from a mormon faith crisis angle, the conversation may go something like this:
You were the chosen, true church!
You had real authority, not corporate structure mingled with scripture
Be honest in all your dealings, not create false narratives
Church: You’re excommunicated!
You were my tribe!
I loved you.
I loved you, church.
We did. We truly did. We loved the church. We loved the doctrine. We loved the stories. We loved the leaders. We were all in! We gave our time and talents and energy (and money)! Then we find that the church is a wolf in sheep clothing.
Sit with that heart-break for a moment. That is tragic betrayal.
Heart-breaking still that it is not what it claims to be. I wish it had been. This moment of Star Wars has become the defining point of the whole trilogy of trilogies. A warning about the absolute belief in and possible betrayal of a chosen one.
What is your story? Were you all in? Did you believe the church was the true one that would bring balance? Create an account and tell your own story!
Disclaimer: Sure, you could argue that as far as the storyline goes that actually Anakin as Darth Vader does restore balance and could still be considered the chosen one. Through the continued belief of his son (spoiler alert) Luke, he does destroy the sith. So the prophecy stands, and it’s Obi Wan’s own short sightedness that destroys his faith. There was no prophecy that claimed there would be no betrayal, etc etc. But the point is that the pain and calamity caused by this betrayal is real and tragic.
Maybe one day in future generations the continued belief in the church will in fact save the church or the world. If that’s the case hopefully the Obi Wan-esque believers are not vilified and there is no erasing the Darth Vader stage from the story because he’s not faith promoting. The betrayed believers deserve the honor of a hero with immense integrity. There’s no denying the pain felt by betrayals of this magnitude.