Drawing parallels between the galaxy far, far away and the Bible? Really? Yes, really. That’s what The Real Force: A 40-Day Devotional by Paul Kent sets out to do — and it succeeds.
Being a Christian, specifically Roman Catholic, I’ve made use of devotionals for most of my life. Taking in nourishment to feed your faith on a daily basis is endlessly rewarding, especially if you’re going through a dark time or you feel the need to re-awaken your fervor. Adding my life-long love of Star Wars, and expanding on the themes I already recognized in the Saga, made reading this book a positive experience.
I approached The Real Force as I would any other devotional, meaning I read it as intended — one passage a day for 40 days. You could read it straight through, but true benefit is found in the discipline of coming back to the book each day, setting a side a few moments for reflection. The passages are brief, three pages on average, so it is not a time-consuming activity.
Each passage begins with a title and a quote from Star Wars (all six films are represented), along with a discussion of relevant scenes. Then, comparisons are drawn between the situations presented in the films to similar themes found in the Bible (both Old and New Testaments). The passage then ends with a verse from scripture.
Think these comparisons would be hard to come by? Think again! Some are obvious, such as ‘the real force’ referring to Jesus. Some perhaps less so — the discussion of C-3PO and his role as a faithful servant, or comparing life to a podrace are a few examples. We are also reminded to be patient with everyone, even (or especially) the Jar Jars in our lives.
Biblical citations (from the New International Version and the King James Version) are listed within the text, but I also used this devotional in conjunction with my own copy of the Jerusalem Bible (1966 edition). I found it helpful to not only read the scripture passages listed in the book itself, but to explore them further on my own — keeping in mind the scenarios from Star Wars.
The author, Paul Kent, is a Star Wars fan without question. He even conducted a survey to determine the favorites of Star Wars (characters, droids, creatures, planets, etc.) in preparation for this book, and the results are woven into the text.
For someone who might not be as familiar with the Bible, but has a love for all things Star Wars, this book would an asset. It’s a fun and satisfying entry point into reading scripture, and I think it would be particularly helpful to young adults. Learning how to find God in the everyday aspects of your life — in the films you watch, or the books you read — can only prove beneficial.
I have always found comfort in Star Wars, and I find consolation and peace in my belief in God. Combining the two? It works! With both The Force Awakens and Christmas on the horizon, you really can’t go wrong with finding new ways to explore your favorite film series and your faith. The Real Force: A 40-Day Devotional by Paul Kent is a fine place to start.
Thank you to Worthy Publishing for providing a copy of this book review purposes.Powered by Sidelines