Asking for Ahsoka Answers

Asking for Ahsoka Answers

OK, before I get on a roll with this article, I’m gonna put a major disclaimer out there, for those who haven’t watched S.W. Rebels: Season 2 :

MAJOR SPOILER ZONE. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. (Hey, you’ve been warned! LOL)

Alrighty then, onto business…After watching Season 1, I wrote up my little review on it, thinking that all the future adventures were going to revolve around Lothal, but I was wrong. Very wrong. Sure, Lothal plays a key role in the series, but it gets a bit better in Season 2 (but sadly, no, that does not compensate for somewhat lousier animation and a still kinda watered down plotline): we have more Inquisitors, a kidnapping, and yes, even an assassination. The Lothal rebels learn there’s more than just them fighting the Empire, and join in on the bigger fight, even visiting other planets, like most main characters in S.W. do. And then, there’re my personal favorite parts: Darth Vader and Ahsoka Tano. The older, now early thirties, Ahsoka Tano (she was 16 at the end of The Clone Wars.).

As anyone who has watched The Clone Wars knows, Anakin Skywalker did, in fact, have a Padawan apprentice, Ahsoka, a young Togruta. She and her master had been through everything, thick and thin, before she eventually left due to her being accused of a terrible crime she did not commit. Although the true culprit, her former friend Barriss Offee, was found guilty and sentenced, the lack of trust and moral corruption in the Order convinced Tano to leave, for good. (This, in turn, caused her to avoid Order 66, saving her life.) Yet, in spite of this, as Rebels has shown repeatedly, she does in a way still consider herself a Jedi. She now wields twin white lightsabers, rather than her old emerald ones, and, when it’s revealed that the Inquisitors are after something important, she pulls Kanaan aside to talk with him about it, saying, “It’s a Jedi matter,” indicating she still quite possibly thinks of herself in that light.

It is rather cruelly ironic that while both Anakin and Tano fell away from the Jedi Order on their own terms, Tano continues to fight for the Light Side of the Force, siding with the Rebels as a vital leader in the rebellion, and convincing her old friend and former clone trooper, Captain Rex, to join them; Skywalker, on the other hand, becomes wayward and is warped by the Dark Side of the Force, transforming into Darth Vader. Which brings me to another imperative point: Tano discovering Vader’s true identity, and he, hers. At first, she was simply told by Kanaan and Ezra that Vader was an incredibly powerful Sith lord, and to have had a feeling of “coldness” around his persona, but they knew not of whom he was. Later, using the Force together with Kanaan, Tano managed to unmask Vader’s real identity, screaming out, “No!” in shock and horror, before passing out on the floor. She later gently denies knowing who he really is to the crew of The Ghost,  much to their consternation.

On Vader’s end, when he feels Tano and Kanaan searching through the Force to unmask him, he likewise senses Tano’s presence, and shockingly, instead of telling his fighter pilots to shoot for the kill, only orders them to cut them off then capture them, to take her alive. It is quite possible he still feels some sort of connection with her, despite them being on opposing sides, since they both left the Jedi Order and were still good friends. He informs Darth Hideous of these new developments, and the latter encourages Vader’s hunting her out, believing it will draw out more Jedi that they can squash.

These newfound (and bound to happen sometime) developments intrigue me and give me renewed hope that, despite some doubt, Rebels COULD turn into something BIG. Yet, the newer eps give me plenty of expected anticipation, and some questions, that desperately need answering:

What WAS Ahsoka doing in the time gap between the Clone Wars and Rebels? Seriously, what was she up to? Did she know about Order 66, and try to rescue any unfortunate Jedi? Did she continue her Jedi training elsewhere, under a new master? How did she learn about the Rebellion, and eventually join them? And HOW did she get those WHITE lightsabers???

Is Ahsoka in contact with Bail Organa still? Or Yoda? What about Obi-Wan? The obvious question for any Obi-Wan Kenobi fan, such as myself. (XD)

Does Darth Vader wish to destroy Ahsoka… or turn her? In A New Hope,  Vader learns of Luke’s ID, as his own son, his own flesh and blood, and becomes obsessed with finding him and trying to convert him to the Dark Side. In Ahsoka’s case, we see many striking parallels. Both times, Vader purposely sought out Luke and Ahsoka, people supposedly close to his blackened heart. Both times, he wanted to hinder them in their objectives, then capture them, alive. And both times, he contacted his master, Darth Hideous, on the matter (though the latter had differing reactions to both cases; he encouraged Ahsoka’s capture as it could lead to more possible Jedi, and, in Luke’s case, he saw a powerful, potential ally.). Really, it is so scary how much alike these two incidents are. Yet we don’t know if someone like Ahsoka will be turned (at least, think she won’t), but there’s also the possibility she won’t turn, but at the cost of her life– perhaps why we don’t see her in the original S.W. movies?  We may never know til Season 3 comes out (I’m banking on the Rebels director(s) loving to keep us older fans chomping at the bit in anticipation).

Will Ahsoka and Vader ever meet again? Honestly, I don’t know why I’m bothering to ask this, because I kind of feel like it’ll be an inevitable and resounding, “yes”. Due to insanely popular fan demand.

Ahsoka has been a key player in S.W.  since The Clone Wars, and I don’t doubt that she’ll make at least a few more appearances in Season 3 of Rebels. I just hope and pray with all my might that these questions, and so many other important ones, won’t be replied to with lukewarm answers, leaving us hankering for better quality ones. I myself would be satisfied if they just swung into full S.W. mode and left all the sugarcoated, kid-friendly animations to shows like The Winx Club and Cubix. I just need to see the characters on adventurous, planet-hopping missions, connecting with one another in meaningful ways, and challenging villains. Throw in some more complexities, and THAT’S what I’d call true-blue S.W. My fellow fans, we mustn’t throw in the towel on Rebels, not yet…. remember, if Disney hasn’t warped it to the degree that it’s suddenly become a musical, there’s still “a new hope”. 😉

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Held Captive

Held Captive

As a young girl, other cultures and ethnicities have always fascinated me. If I didn’t have my head buried in some book both combining fantasy and adventure genres (think The Witches by Roald Dahl, or The Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abbott), my brain would wander off looking for books about different cultures– especially black (yes, I’m going to be politically incorrect– besides, I’ve been told most are somewhat annoyed by being constantly called, “African Americans,” so as long as nobody’s insulted–and if you are, apologies, it was unintentional– I think we’re good) and Native American cultures (the latter I call “Native Americans” to differentiate between them and actual Indians.). One of my all-time favorite books about the latters’ way of life is Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, which provides an inside scoop on their way of living. I was pleasantly surprised that the author portrayed the Native Americans from both points of view: the colonists’ and the Brit’s, but also how they were viewed, more importantly, as PEOPLE. I grew to love most Native American characters in the story, and it genuinely saddened my heart that, while many of the Iroquois had very similar beliefs to us as Christians, they were yet so very far from the saving knowledge of Christ (which, if given to them, I think they very likely would have believed.).

But that isn’t just what this article is all about. You see, a semi-new Christian movie, spinning from a true tale, and about Native American’s colonist captives, rang many chords inside my heart– some all-too-painfully familiar.

In Alone Yet Not Alone, a pair of German colonist immigrant girls are taken captive. Throughout their captivity, they witness mostly brutality from their Native American captors, including the burning and ransacking of their home, as well as the murder of their loved ones. However, ironically, one of the group leaders shows himself to be somewhat compassionate, admiring main character Barbara’s courage to fight to stay with her sister, and renaming her “Susquehanna” in the process; later they are told not to fear their captors by the Native American chief, father of their group’s two leaders, Galasko (the kinder Native American, and the chief’s first heir to becoming a chief), and Hannawoa (the other, angrier and more vicious Native American, who would like nothing more than to take over and be chief himself). Later, they are introduced, as Mary Jemison was, into their captivity as family members, Galasko favoring Barbara-now-Susquehanna, while poor Marie suffers in living with her new “adoptive mother,” almost starving at one point due to lack of good food. “Susquehanna” promises to secretly bring her friend food when she can, giving her a secret signal to know when it’s safe to do so.

“Susquehanna” remains pampered, under the care of Galasko, and the two continue to grow closer despite the fact that he killed then scalped her father, and Marie’s disapproval. The two, unlike Mary Jemison and her captors, are soon seen discussing in depth about their belief differences. Galasko admits that while he knows of the “white man’s God,” calling Him “powerful”, and “good” because He created “Susquehanna”, he explains that, since she is a part of their tribe (and is therefore made Native American by adoption) and betroths himself to her (by placing a belt around her waist and a necklace around her neck), she must worship their gods now. (Galasko remains rather possessive and protective of her throughout the film; he later calls her, “mine” repeatedly) And, for a long while, it seems like she is seriously going to consider marrying him, although she admits to Marie that only God will reign in her heart. It isn’t until Galasko gives her her mother’s old brooch, without knowing it was her mother’s (it was her father’s wedding present to her mother), that she abruptly changes her mind and agrees to escape with Marie and a couple of their boy captive friends. The movie’s ending is pretty much entirely different from that of Mary Jemison’s: Long story short, they evade recapture, are rescued by British militia, are reunited with some long-lost family members, and “Susquehanna” becomes married to a well-off Christian man named Fritz, whom we know little to nothing about.

While the film had the stereotypical happy ending, I was genuinely shocked to find myself partially rooting for “Team Galasko,” if you will. Some may find this somewhat shocking, given my “old-fashioned” Christian ideals about Godly courtship, but I think it was because of a deeper, more subtle, reason. You see (for privacy reasons I will leave all names and extra detail out), I’ve a confession to make: I could relate to “Susquehanna”. A great deal, in fact. Last year, I was held captive by the very thing, the most surprising thing, that was vulnerable to sin– my heart. I fell head over heels in youthful puppy love with someone whom is not at all a bad person, but whom I knew, deep down, was not the right man for me. Was not the man God intended for me. His beliefs and mine differed; had he Christ in his heart, I would have said, “yes” to dating him in literally a heartbeat. He became the first person I was truly enamored with enough to consider dating, and my puppy love blinded me almost entirely. I naively and foolishly pursued this with emotional passion, and he returned the feelings with greatest fervor.

But at what cost? My heart? My… faith? I idiotically ignored all the red flags from God, to just stay  good friends and nothing more, trusting my feelings rather than Him Who gave me those very emotions I bore, and as a result I became cornered. I found my faith facing down with wanting to be with that young man. It was this, and only this, that pulled the brakes on my speeding emotions, slamming them to a screeching and incredibly excruciating halt. And it devastated us both in the end, shattered both our hearts into a million tiny pieces, then ground them into grains of sand so small you’d need a microscope to see them. My heart, or the very few pieces of it that remained intact, was oh so numb– and the rest needed to be pulled and stitched together like that of Frankenstein’s creature. I couldn’t seem to pull it together, to love another man on God’s green Earth like that, that deeply, again.

This, this is the reason I relate to “Susquehanna” so much. Because like her, I was taken captive. Like her, I was set free. And now, my eyes have even been opened. But, unlike her, I have yet to find my true “Boaz,” and maybe this is why Fritz seems so unfamiliar, so distant, so… unrelatable… to me. Fritz’s character seems this way, I presume, because I have never found a young Christian man around my own age, with the same or similar ideals, to love– truly love. I have always been alone, in that aspect.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen in the future… after all, God works in His own timing, often in very mysterious ways. Like the title of the movie implies, I am alone, yet not alone. I may be single, but God will always be there for me. If He really wants me to marry someday, then I probably will. But if I don’t, you know what? That’s OK.

A lot of you out there might be wondering why in the world I’m even confiding my heartbreak spiritual drama to you, in comparison to a movie concerning Native American captives. Here’s why:

There are many others out there in very similar situations like mine, and I wish, with all my heart and soul, to encourage them. To remind them to be strong in their faith. To not sacrifice Jesus for a guy. I want to tell all of you who are going through that (and possibly more) that, since Jesus sacrificed Himself on Calvary for you, you ought to do likewise for Him. And if that means sacrificing a non-Christian guy so you can remain true to Him, well, let me assure you it’s worth it. It may be extremely painful, as it was for my guy friend and I, but it will save you a greater deal of hurt and struggles down the road. Just focus on Him, and take your focus off of “the guy”. If you’re thinking, “I can’t, that’s asking too much,” or “Everything reminds me of him!”, then try letting go slowly but steadily. I promise, it will heal. Sometimes, scars will remain, but it will heal. Do things to try to keep your mind off him– nap, pop bubble wrap, listen to Christian music, play with your pets. Just get busy, get active. Reconnect with God, tell Him what’s been eating you. That will help. If nothing else, you’ll have my support, and yes, my prayers too. And if you remain faithful to Him, He will always, always, have your back. No matter what. 

Again, I welcome any constructive or engaging comments… feel free to leave me feedback anytime you feel called to speak out on something in this article, or any other article. Until next time, Godspeed! 🙂

“It’s Complicated”

“It’s Complicated”

It all started out online,

at first, everything seemed just fine.

A bond developed, just he and I,

but there was more to it than met the eye.

He confessed to being unsaved,

but ’twas too late, the road to my heart was already paved.

 

I told him that it wouldn’t work out,

so he in anguish took my suggested route;

He found another special someone in his land,

another, prettier girl to take by the hand.

Hurt lingered in my heart

But instead I tried a new start.

Befriending his girlfriend was a help,

though I still needed privacy for a hurt yelp;

Heartache and depression closed in on me

and I realized I needed more than to just grieve.

 

I leaned on God to heal,

He taught me my heart wasn’t just anyone’s to steal;

To wait, to be patient, to cherish

every moment of our friendship before I physically perish.

So, upon taking His sage advice

I decided it would be best and nice

to keep our friendship platonic,

like a balming, soothing tonic.

 

There are still obstacles in love, true,

but in my heart, I know that Jesus will always pull through.

 

Lights of Christmas

Lights of Christmas

Christmas lights. Whether they’re on a tree or off it, there’s always something particularly special about them, isn’t there? Something almost… magical, dare I use that word. (LOL)

Earlier today, as the sun beamed in through the window in our basement den and onto the tree, the lights didn’t seem to be doing their job as effectively; the “magic” was gone. So, naturally, I closed the curtains, and they regained their full glory. That reminded me of something. That reminded me as us, as Christians. God calls us to be a light in a dark, scary world. It may seem hopeless, or even terrifying. But light isn’t as effective if placed in an already well-lit room. And remember something: A single candle can light up a whole room. An entire town, an entire city, even, can be seen from MILES away at night because its light, from all those buildings, is brilliantly glowing, unabashedly for all to see. Now think about it for a second. What if we Christians were like that? What if we showed Christ through our actions, through a kind, encouraging word to a friend?

This Christmas, and all year round, I’ve a challenge for all of you out there: light your world around you. Shine Christ’s Light, God’s Holy Spirit, as much as you possibly can. When you meet up with, and work together with, your Light will only grow brighter, and stronger– and more people will be liable to see it. Yes, we are still human, and as such no fallible human should expect any other fallible to be perfect. We are all in need, desperate need, of God’s Grace, His love, and His Light.

So be the Light, for God, His Glory, and others, in this dark and desolate world. Because everyone needs it now more than ever.

May God’s peace and loving kindness be with you this wonderful season. Have a blessed and merry Christmas!! 🙂

S.W. Rebels, Season 1: A Novice Watcher’s Review

S.W. Rebels, Season 1: A Novice Watcher’s Review

Us Star Wars geeks positively adore pretty much almost anything Star Wars. The storylines. The cool and very unique characters. The starships. The hopping from planet to planet to planet….

And let’s not forget sequels.

Almost right after Star Wars: The Clone Wars (one of my personal, all-time favorite TV series, besides Bones and Avatar: The Last Airbender), DisneyXD started airing a brand-new series, Star Wars Rebels. Rebels is set, according to Wookieepedia, 14 years after The Clone Wars and Revenge of The Sith and 5 before A New Hope (enter Luke Skywalker.).But, unlike most S.W. franchise, instead of lots of cool and adventurous planet hopping, the main characters stay mostly either in space, or on their home planet, Lothal. A good deal of the story is kinda watered down; this, I’m assuming, is to try to appeal to the fresher, younger, pre-adolescent audiences who were born decades and decades before the original S.W. However, as a result, they lack a certain, special, unnamed quality (you can disagree with me if you like, this is just my perspective) that most of the rest of the series seems to have. Oh, it’s got a decent cast of characters, and enough action alright, but it’s…. missing something. Something all the films (not counting Episode 7 yet, as I am not going to see it until Monday, with several close friends, and then I will be making an opinion on that) and The Clone Wars had, but this…. lacks.

Maybe, it’s the lack of a decent storyline. One of the best that Rebels came up with was to rescue their friend in captivity (which, while somewhat meaningful, was kinda lame as a climax, since multiple people have been kidnapped in The Clone Wars, so it’s really nothing new under the sun), and the mysterious “Fulcrum” (I won’t give away “Fulcrum’s” real ID, for those who haven’t watched Season 1, but I will hint that it’s a much beloved character in The Clone Wars 😉 ). There is sometimes a bit of tension between The Ghost’s crew members, but that doesn’t really account for the lack of good plots. In The Clone Wars, we had assassinations. Political conspiracies. Bounty hunters. People were being kidnapped/held hostage a good deal, not just as a climax. The moral struggles and risks were higher, the stakes just seemed higher. The young romance between Padme and Anakin, though destined to eventually fail, was beautiful in its time (and yes, I also squealed like a little girl in adoration when I learned of Obi-Wan and Satine’s “relationship”, LOL).

Rebels seems to stop short of many of these. There are no assassinations, no bounty hunters to speak of. The biggest “political conspiracy” we have is that the Republic-turned-Empire are the bad guys, which is pretty much obvious. (Oh, and the “Rebel” senator faking it? Kinda good, but still….) It does a bit better in the moral struggles department, but not by a whole lot. As for romance, well… I don’t really think an unreciprocated crush from Ezra for Sabine, and the watered down flirting between Kanaan and Hera, count for much. In fact, I’m betting the producer(s) was/were trying to make it not so “gushy” for the younger folks, which is a pity, because I really see potential in the latter’s relationship together.

OK, now that I’ve voiced out all my complaints for Season 1, time for some positive highlights of Rebels. 

Kanaan’s Jedi Past, and his training Ezra despite his own insecurities. I absolutely love this theme in the series, in all S.W. series– Master and Padawan truly connecting, it’s always given me chills. The good kind. And it also makes me wonder about Kanaan’s Jedi past. Where was he living when he was selected for the Order? How many characters of The Clone Wars did he actually get to meet, besides Luminara and Yoda? Was he still a Padawan when he tragically deserted his poor Master? Guess we (or I, anyway) will find out later in the series.

Hera. I’ll be completely honest, I think she’s probably one of my favorite characters on the show. I’ve always loved Twi’leks as a S.W. “species”, and was thrilled when she showed to be an admirable main character. She often shows maturity far outweighing those of her crew, and acts as the voice of reason/peacemaker during disputes. She is streetwise, clever, and compassionate. (Now, if they would only put her in an actual relationship, instead of a “flirtationship”,with Kanaan, my life would be complete.) In short, she is awesome, beautiful, strong, and I adore and admire her (as a character).

The Inquisitors. This, I’ll admit, is a completely new twist on hunting out to destroy, or, in these guys’ case, destroy/convert the remaining surviving Jedi of Order 66. The original movies never mentioned the Empire having assassins specifically for this purpose, so it intrigued me, a bit. Don’t get me wrong, as far as rooting for sides go, I’m definitely on the Light Side of “The Force”, but still, the Inquisitors make me wonder. Were they originally Jedi, or did Darth Hideous train them himself? Is the original Inquisitor actually the son? (I refuse to capitalize that guy’s name, for belief reasons) The questions continue!

Calrissian, C-3PO, Artoo, and “Fulcrum’s” appearances. Nothing, no matter the fandom, is gonna get the fans more hyped up than to see at least cameos of their old favorite characters from either sequels or prequels come into the current series. Nothing. (I can guarantee I get pumped when I see this sort of thing happening in Pokemon Adventures manga, too) Like I said, I won’t make major spoilers, but I will say that a certain famous major S.W. villain makes a dramatic entry at the end of Season 1, making the final ep worth the watching (along with “Fulcrum” 😉 ). I greatly, GREATLY look forward to the day that that villain and “Fulcrum” will meet and battle, I’ll say that much.

In parting, I’ll conclude in saying that S.W. Rebels is alright if you’re like me, and just looking to see what happens to everyone after Order 66 and the Empire is put into full motion, but if you’re expecting S.W. in its greatest glory, like the rest, then you may end up a bit disappointed. But, if you can withstand a somewhat sugarcoated plot line and newer characters, I think it may be worthy for you to check out.

Now, my fellow fans, if you’ll excuse me, I have my purple lightsaber to tend to, in anticipation for Monday. But please, don’t hesitate to post your own comments, ideas, and theories related to the article (just no major spoilers, por favor) below. I’d love to read them.

May God’s Holy Spirit be with you. Godspeed, until we meet again.

 

Love Ran Red

Love Ran Red

For those who don’t know me, highly interesting trivia fact about me: I can relate almost anything to Pokemon. Anything. And lately, I’ve been thinking. About the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” as well as our our actions can show the world we are Jesus followers, aka Jesus “Freaks”. And you know something? That old saying is absolutely right. (Funny topic for a blog filled with words, huh?)

You see, there’s a particular character in the Pokemon franchise named Red. (Yes, you red right!) He is unique in the fact that he is the only former playable character in the games who actually appears again and you can actually fight him, as the Kanto Champion! He is well known throughout both the Kanto and Johto regions in the games for single-handedly beating all eight Kanto gyms, the Elite Four, dangerous Team Rocket (a Mafia-like crime syndicate whose goal is basically world domination by both money and using, abusing, and brutal experimentation on Pokemon. But they’re a different story; I’ll return to them some other time.), and the newly elected Kanto Champ, his rival, Blue. All without saying a single word (unless you count when you’re playing as him, and have to answer questions to what his name is, and “yes-no” questions). But, how does this speak for Red’s personality– what he’s like?

There are many ways we can do this. One is to let his actions speak all by themselves– we know simply by his accomplishments and by battling him in game that he is an incredibly powerful Trainer. We also know much about him by what his actions say to other people; his mother, in Gold, Silver, Crystal, and their remakes (HeartGold and SoulSilver), laments that Red hasn’t contacted her for quite some time, and she worries about where he is or what he’s up to, but also admits she’s proud of having him for a son. By these words, it is implied that Red seems to be quite independent, raising Pokemon by himself, training constantly under wintery weather atop Mt. Silver (despite being inadequately dressed), and visiting her hardly at all. He is displayed with an even more independent streak, when he crosses from the Kanto-Johto regions all the way to Unova, all by himself.

Another instance of Red showing personality in this way is by Giovanni, Team Rocket’s boss (and something else too, only I won’t give away spoilers for those who haven’t yet played the amazing games of Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, or LeafGreen), who comments on Red’s persona in one of Team Rocket’s secret lairs: “I see that you raise Pokemon with utmost care. A child like you would never understand what I hope to achieve.” This heavily indicates that, in sharp contrast to Giovanni’s own personality, which is described by many within the games to be horribly callous and cruel, that Red himself is genuinely compassionate and loves Pokemon. This backs him wanting to put a stop to Team Rocket’s terrible schemes, not simply wanting glory or fame for himself, but to help others. This is why he defeated them, saved the Silph Co. from their takeover, then, after winning the Pokemon League, going off by himself to Mt. Silver to train in solitude– and quite possibly to escape unwanted press attention.

That says a lot about his character, for someone who doesn’t even speak, doesn’t it?

Now, take a good, hard look at yourself. As a person, or even as a Christian (if you’re like me in that aspect, anyway), how many times have you spoken without really thinking? And I don’t mean just impulsively blurting stuff that can be unintentionally hurtful; I mean just speaking in general without giving a lot of thought into it. (Same goes for texting people.) While our words can give a lot of insight of who we are, and what we’re like, we need to be slow to speak, as God’s Word says, and, when we do, be sure to back our words up with actions. Sometimes, as Red has proven, we don’t even need to say anything. Sometimes, it’s only a matter of things like a caring hug, helping someone move, or volunteering your time at Goodwill that will make a truly lasting impact on people. Look again at Red. People certainly don’t remember him for anything he’s spoken–they remember him for saving the region, people, Pokemon, and being a very powerful Trainer.

Now, to fellow believers out there, I want you to take that and place it up with Jesus. Yes, we should take serious note of what He said, and apply it to our lives… but note, He backed up His Words with ACTION. More stories, I’d bet (if I was that type) probably revolve around Him ministering to and healing people– physically and spiritually. In fact, it was the final, most important action of all– Him proving God’s great Love for ALL humankind up by dying upon the cross– that changed the world forever. He is literally God’s WORD that has become FLESH, as Ted Dekker has pointed out to us in his inter-connecting “The Circle” series, proving that God doesn’t just TELL us He loves us– He SHOWS it through Jesus.

Again, allow me to challenge you, all of you out there– Do YOUR actions speak louder than YOUR words?

 

Artwork credit: http://loika.deviantart.com/art/mountain-top-150586630

Made For This

Made For This

Ever seen the movie Astro Boy? Yes, the movie that, like Mr.Peabody and Sherman, is based off of an older kids’ cartoon. In the movie, for readers who haven’t yet watched it, young Astro is created by a scientist father, who longs for his late son to be with him again, placing the boy’s memories into Astro’s programming, causing the robo-boy to believe he’s actually the late son. However, it becomes clear that, despite possessing the memories, Astro’s persona proved numerous times to be at least somewhat different from Toby’s (i.e., has more of a creative side). This heavily depresses the scientist father, who is constantly reminded of his loss by this, and soon disowns Astro. Astro, confused, hurt, and distraught about this and about his identity, flies off, and is hunted by a villainous, militaristic presidential candidate, the latter whom unintentionally knocks Astro from the Metro (the levitating, cloud-surrounded city), onto the Surface (of earth). Astro, through the story, progresses in his search for love, acceptance, and meaning behind his making. He eventually befriends a group of ragtag kids on the Surface, far below Metro, and gains companionship and affection from them. Things get messy, however, when his secret ID of being a robo is exposed, threatening not only his friendship with them, but his own life (the bad guys finally found him). The rest of the story is pretty much a Disney-isque summary: kid fights bad guy, good triumphs evil, kid makes up with new friends, and also with his scientist “father”, while the ever-diabolical presidential candidate gets his in the end. But (and maybe this is just me, because I just took a Intro to Literary Study and Research class this semester… it’s taught me to look at/analyze both texts and films in great depth since then) it still has many vital themes, ideas, and parallels that I’d like to share with you, that relate to US, as God’s Image Bearers.

First, I’d like to start off this in-depth analysis by comparing  Astro Boy to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in particular, the 1994 film adaptation. The Creature (who, unlike Astro, is never even given a name) has very distant memories, and, like the robotic boy, was created with a special “spark”, and was rejected by his maker, Victor Frankenstein, like the scientist father eventually initially rejected Astro; however, Astro had innate good inside him (the blue orb), while the Creature kept sinning, and increasing the remorse, the the unhappiness, upon both himself and his maker. Astro also succeeded in making good friends, and keeping them, while the well-intentioned, sensitive Creature only managed to scare away people with his hideous appearance. Both, however, suffered in the fact that they felt different from other people, at lost in what their purpose in life was. Their endings are both entirely different: the Creature is still despised by his maker, though he mourns his maker’s passing, and goes off to kill himself shortly after; Astro finds love, acceptance, and purpose at his story’s end. Two different characters, yet many similarities– one of which both try to find: love, acceptance, and understanding of why they are here on earth.

Astro’s story reminds me more of why WE, humankind, are put here on earth, while Frankenstein leaves more of an empty hole– the best we can conclude about Shelley’s greatest work is that man is a mix of good and evil, depending on good or bad choices, while the rest is rather a bit murky. Astro shows us, however, on several different levels, the history and purpose of the whole human race.

He is created, then shortly after pursued by characters of questionable moral fiber, thus causing him to PHYSICALLY fall from the Great Haven In The Sky. There, he struggles sometimes more with fitting in– does he belong to the robots, or to people? While he is innately good and thus “cannot” be evil, we still yet have a somewhat similar struggle of where we would fit in– we can choose between God, and ourselves. Unlike the scientist father in the movie, God never abandoned His Creation– there were times where our actions deeply grieved Him, true, but He never truly gave up on us. He loves us an incredible amount– all He wants in return is to live for Him, love Him, and love others. To live for God would be to die to ourselves, our selfish natures, and become True Image Bearers. To live for self, and only for self, would mean outright rejection of God, and yes, eternal (and very morbidly depressing) separation from God. Sometimes, this means doing things that you very well know are right, but, like Astro’s refusal to fight his friend, you too may get booed at. Laughed at. People may look down on you. And it stings, because we were specifically designed with a relationship-companionship type deal in mind. But you know what? That’s OK. God knows us. He built us to desire Him, desire His love and His companionship. Similarly, Astro was kind of built the same way. He got lonely, he longed for love and companionship– even a drop of affection. He eventually realized his purpose– to love and to be loved, and to help care for and protect people. Again, this reflects how we too were created with a very similar purpose– to love, be loved, reflect God, and, as stated early in Genesis, to be good stewards of God’s Creation… to value, care for, and protect it (within reasonable means, of course. Some people make the mistake of valuing Creation above their Creator…). This is our general purpose in Creation, and God wants to help us in fulfilling our purpose, to the maximum potential possible– but only if we rely on Him.

In short, we might never fit in, or be loved completely here on Earth… but God always loves you. He has a purpose for your life, always has your back when you’re for Him, and will never, ever abandon you– even when all seems lost.