A New Covenant (Star Wars:The Last Jedi)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I remember when the title and trailer were first released. I was sad about the Jedi ending, they were my favorite part of the whole Star Wars saga. I was nervous about how they were going to portray Luke and I was eager to find out who Rey’s parents were. With so much anticipation and fan speculation, it’s no wonder this movie became so polarizing because of the route the narrative took. I felt like the only one (in my immediate circle of friends) who loved it from the start. Some of the things that made people dislike the movie is what made me like it! I absolutely loved the fact that Rey’s parents were nobodies and I completely understand why Luke and the Jedi had to end and I think it was a wise move. These are the two main plot points I’ll be discussing in this post. Due to the death of the Jedi Order and Rey rising from no special lineage, the Force can move forward. I’ll be using this narrative device as a means to talk about the New Covenant that was fulfilled through Jesus Christ and spread throughout the world by his disciples. Before we talk about the new, let’s discuss what went wrong with the old.

Faulty Foundation

The original intent of the Jedi Order was to use the light side of the Force to serve as guardians of peace and justice. They were to be the peacekeepers in the galaxy. Force sensitive children were trained in the ways of the Force through the Jedi Code by Jedi Masters. However, the hierarchy and strict adherence to the Jedi Code clouded the vision of their initial goal as peacekeepers. By allowing themselves to be involved with the politics of the Republic and subsequently partaking in the Clone Wars, they lost sight of what peace was. Their failure to keep peace gave way to the rise of the Empire.

The history of the Jedi is not unlike the history of Israel. God set aside the people of Israel to be a representation of Himself. Israel was to be a holy and just nation displaying the love of God for the world to see. They were to be the “light” for a world caught in darkness. For God planned to reconcile Himself to the world through Israel. This would come about through the Old Covenant, which was made with Moses on Mt. Sinai and the creation of the Ten Commandments. Subsequent laws outlining key practices, such as sacrificial atonement, became known as the Mosaic Law. These commandments and laws were how Israel would represent God as a loving and just God and also to keep them from going astray. However, the laws themselves turned into idols for Israel. They gave into the ways of the world and lost sight of the purpose behind the Law, which was a relationship with God so they could be His reflection to the world. Instead, the strict adherence to the laws created a barrier for people to truly come to know God. So when God came down to earth in human form, Jesus Christ, Israel (specifically the Pharisees) did not recognize him and had him crucified.  Both the Jedi Order and Israel got caught up in their own laws and became blind to the true purpose of said laws. Thus leading to a major failure on their part.

So what is the purpose of the Light or even the Law? “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40) The Law was to establish a firm relationship with God so that we had the ability to truly love others. 

The Jedi Code (which Rey hears being whispered from the Jedi texts in the tree on Ahch-to) follows as such:
There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.

The code was to be a pledge of protection to the citizens and inhabitants of the Republic. The Jedi were to selflessly protect and care for others and the greater good.

Failure of the old ways

Let’s talk about how the old Jedi code was what truly lead to Luke’s greatest failure, his temptation to kill his nephew, Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren), in order to end a future of suffering and pain. Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker, struggled with a similar temptation. In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin has a vision of his wife, Padme, dying in childbirth. He speaks of this vision of future suffering and pain with Jedi Master Yoda.
Yoda: "These visions you have ..."
Anakin: "They are of pain, suffering ... death."
Yoda: "Careful you must be when sensing the future, Anakin! The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side."
Anakin: "I won't let my visions come true, Master Yoda."
Yoda: "Rejoice for those around us who transform into the Force. Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not. Attachment leads to jealousy, the shadow of greed, that is."
Anakin: "What must I do, Master Yoda?"
Yoda: "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."

In Empire Strikes Back, we see Luke being trained by Jedi Master Yoda. We can assume Yoda passed on similar advice to Luke during his training. The advice of no emotional attachment was part of the Jedi way based on the code. They didn’t see personal attachment to others as a good thing because it lead to clouded judgement of the bigger picture. When Luke was tempted for a brief moment to kill Ben at the expense of saving hundreds, if not a thousand others, he was acting on what the Jedi code upheld and what Yoda taught him. A Jedi from the old order would have killed Ben without regard to their familial attachment in order to keep peace and save others. I don’t see Luke’s temptation as full weakness of character but a failure of the old Jedi ways and so that is why the old Jedi Order had to end with Luke.

God knew Israel would not be able to keep the Law and keeping it wasn’t the point, it was preparation for the ultimate (or New) covenant. The sacrificial atonement that took place through the Law and Old Covenant was to be an example. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” Sacrificial atonement was to be an example of how serious God is about sin. The thing is that no one can be sinless, no matter how hard we try. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That’s why during the time of the Old Covenant, a New Covenant was prophesied. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 31:31) This New Covenant would be made through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to fulfill the law as he says in Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” He would fulfill them through his death. He alludes to his death as the sacrifice which will establish the New Covenant during the last supper with his disciples when he says, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:20)

In many ways, Luke acts as a Christ figure in all of this as well. However, I’m not going to get into a lot of detail on that because there is another post coming that will explain this more. What I will say is that what’s important about the Luke-Christ analogy is that through Luke’s death, the way for the new rebellion/lightside/covenant was made.

Paving A New Way

Access to God wasn’t supposed to be exclusively for Israel. Just the same as when Luke tells Rey that the Light does not belong to the Jedi and to say so is vanity. The Pharisees of Israel had begun to pride themselves on their righteousness and seemingly closeness to God. Jesus calls them out on this when he says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:23) The Pharisees failed to prioritize justice and mercy, same way the Jedi failed to prioritize peace. The main reason the Jedi Order needs to end is so that the Light can rise from a new source that will work better (or be more true to its purpose).

Just as Jesus displayed how we are to love our neighbors as ourselves through servant and sacrificial love, Rey displays a selfless passion to protect her friends in the Resistance (whom she barely knows). Furthermore, Rey displays a selflessness when she goes to Kylo Ren and faces Snoke in order to hopefully turn Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) away from the darkside. Rey chooses to see the potential for “good” in the “bad” and faces her fear to win over (or overcome) her enemy. Jesus also chose to see us not for our sins but for the good we were made for, therefore was willing to take upon himself our sins so that we may be reconciled to God. Jesus’ death tore the barrier between all people and God, thus opening a new way for the love of God to shine.

What I love so much about Rey’s parents being nobodies is that it signifies an end to the idea that one’s Force ability is somehow heiretary. It is no longer about who your parents are or even needing access to a Jedi temple to train and become strong in the Force. Rey had neither and is extremely strong in the Force. This shows that the future Force users can be just about anyone. Same with what happened with Jesus’ apostles at the pentecost. They were imbued with the Holy Spirit. They were then able to go and baptize anyone willing to believe and grant the gift of the Holy Spirit. Access to God no longer depended on one’s jewish heritage, it was granted through faith. Now anyone and everyone had the ability to know God and receive His blessings and powers.

Tools for a New Generation

With the power of the Holy Spirit on the scene, a spiritual army can arise. You have the twelve Apostles multiplying disciples and spreading the gospel; thus filling thousands with the Holy Spirit. They healed and cast out demons with the power of the Holy Spirit. You could say that the war against evil was reborn similar to how Rey initiates the spark that will relit the fire of the Rebellion to burn the First Order down. With the power and knowledge of the Force, Rey has the ability to spread the access to it for all willing to join the fight. We see this illustrated with the orphan children on Canto Bight. Upon hearing the story of Luke facing down the First Order, a little orphan boy is imbued with hope, igniting the Force within him. As he walks outside, he uses the Force to grab a broom and stands looking up at the stars with broom, or pretend lightsaber, in hand. This scene is full of so much hope and is perhaps my favorite ending to any Star Wars film! It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the final installment of the new trilogy and what narrative doors are opened beyond that.

I’m also excited to see what kind of Force weapon or lightsaber Rey crafts for herself. It’s hard for me not to draw out similarities to the New Testament and Rey’s future new lightsaber. At the end of the film we see Rey holding the two halves of her (or Luke’s) broken lightsaber. Based off what she has, she will have to rebuild a new one. The word of the Lord (the Bible) has been described as a sword…”the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) Much of the New Testament is based off of the knowledge of the Old Testament. Throughout the gospels, Jesus refers to scripture from the OT and in most of the NT there is also references to the OT. In many ways though, the NT holds the same truth as the OT, just presented differently for the new generation. What kind of Jedi Rey makes of herself will set the stage for the new generation to come. I’m hopeful and look forward to where the story will go.

I typically end with some nice conclusion which usually involves a life application message of encouragement. However, I don’t really have one. Just a comparison of the two shifts in Judeo-Christianity and the Jedi or lightside users. I will say the message of one having access to power (either the Holy Spirit or the Force) simply through faith is a much needed message for all. The message that you don’t have to be born of any special lineage or even race to matter or be important is one I think many types of oppressed people can benefit from. That is one thing I love about the new Star Wars trilogy. It gives a message of hope and unity to a real generation of people in need of it. This longing for hope, equality, and unity is very much a part of the current discourse among the rising generation. My prayer is that we find the true answer and fulfillment of these longings, which can be found in none other than Jesus, the Heavenly Father, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you all!!!


  1. You mentioned that Luke was tempted to kill Ben Solo and how a Jedi of the old order would have killed him in spite of the family connection. Would an example of this be how Obi-Wan tried to kill Anakin in Revenge of the Sith? Could you comment on this?

    1. Thanks for your comment and questions. I apologize for my delayed response, I was in the UK on vacation the past two weeks.
      I'd say your comparison/observation about Obi-Wan and Anakin is correct and an example of what I was talking about with Luke and Ben Solo.


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