Friday, February 21, 2020

Agency: Palpatine or Skywalker?

"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life." (2 Nephi 10:23)

So I finally made time to go see Star Wars. It’s not easy to do when you have a newborn. I really enjoyed it, so I don’t really know what people’s complaints are about. But this isn’t about that. I’m not doing a review. We’ve already done two of those. I want to talk about the concept of agency.

Throughout the sequel trilogy, Rey was haunted by her heritage and why her parents left her and why they never came back. Among everything else that perspired during the trilogy, this finally came to a point in Rise of Skywalker.

I had seen some spoilers about her being related to Emperor Palpatine, but I didn’t think it would be revealed quite so early in the movie. I thought it was just going to be a plot point in the finale. But instead it was an important part for like half the movie.

Throughout the whole trilogy, Rey was tempted by the Dark Side on and off. I don’t think it was really until she learned about her heritage that she really felt that temptation strongly. What I take from her inner battle is about rising above who we are.

You might be born that way or this way. You may have grown up with abusive parents. You might have genetics that put you at risk for disease or depression. That’s all part of living in a fallen world. The natural man embraces all these flaws and makes excuses for them. But the gospel and the atonement give us the opportunity and the blessing to rise above the natural man. Do you want to follow the gospel? Or do you want to be who you’ve always been?

Are you a Palpatine? Or are you a Skywalker?

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord..." (Mosiah 3:19)

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