This will be probably the first of many posts covering the ways that Christian theology has influenced the Star Wars movies in some way or another. Sometimes, these may be intentional call-outs and sometimes they may be accidental. Either way, good stories are those that track with *the* story, so deep structures hidden in the Star Wars movies should track well with Christian sub-stories.
My friend Seraphim Hamilton provides us with this structure for the Day of Covering:
1. High Priest takes off robes of glory and beauty, puts on linen garments.
2. High Priest kills bull as purification offering, ascends with incense to the Most Holy, cleanses the Covering with blood (Mercy Seat).
3. The High Priest kills the goat marked for the Lord (symbolizing the people), ascends with the incense to the Most Holy, and cleanses the Covering with blood.
4. The blood of the bull and the goat together are then used to purify the Courtyard Altar.
5. The goat marked for destruction is sent away to destructon.
6. The High Priest is reinvested with robes of glory and beauty.
7. An ascension offering is made.
8. The fat of the purification offering is burned up to God.
The story of Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith focuses on the same general structure:
1. Anakin is granted a seat on the Jedi Council by Chancellor Palpatine, but is not granted the title of Jedi Master. He is exalted to the Council too quickly, so he is given the seat but none of the benefits that would have come if he had waited and matured. This is similar to Adam: Adam eats of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil early and is immediately called upon to make a decision as a king without the proper training to do so.
2. Anakin descends into Chancellor Palpatine’s office and kills Mace Windu as a sacrifice for himself. He is surrounded by the prayers of Padme following the immolation scene just before hand. He is “purified”, given the title of Darth Vader.
3. Anakin Skywalker is effectively dead, and Darth Vader ascends into the Jedi Temple surrounded by a Glory-Cloud Covering of the 501st Legion of Clone Troopers. He then purifies the Temple by covering it in the blood of Jedi. We know from Star Wars: Tarkin that the Temple was constructed over a Sith artifiact causing a darkness to grow within the Order. By killing the Jedi, Vader actually helps purify them.
4. The blood of Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker, and the Jedi Order “cleanses” Coruscant of war. The Empire begins in the Senate Building based on a “rebellion” put on by the Jedi against newly founded Emperor Palpatine.
5. The Jedi are only half of the war raging across the galaxy. The goat sent to destruction is the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Vader is sent to Mustafar to destroy the Banking Clan and Separatist Council, effectively ending the Clone War. The Droid Army is shut down and only the Clone Troopers exist in service of the Empire.
6. Vader is given the title he was denied by the Jedi: he is now a Sith Lord.
7. Darth Vader tries to offer up Obi-Wan Kenobi as an ascension offering to complete his Sith training. It fails, and Obi-Wan ends up butchering Vader, tearing him limb from limb. The Battle on Mustafar is chock full of sacrificial language. Vader being torn by a sword is reminiscent of the sacrifices that priests make by butchering an animal and tearing each body part apart.
8. The fire eats up the fat offering that is Vader’s legs, arms, and outer layer of skin is eaten by the fire. Vader is then invested in new robes of anti-beauty and anti-glory, the mechanical suit that we know from the Original Trilogy.
Israel is built on the blood of the sacrifices. The Empire is built on the death of the Jedi Order and the Confederacy, and the Death Star begins construction as the first assault in the conquest of the Empire