There’s a reason why the Star Wars holiday special will only be found in snippets on YouTube. It stunk. Like to high heaven. Star Wars should have nothing to do with Bea Arthur. No offense to the Golden Girl (may she rest in peace) but it just didn’t jive with, well, anything. It’s the same as having some weird talking amphibious humanoid creature in Star War.. oh, wait…that’s Jar Jar Binks…never mind.
One of the things about Episodes 4-6, is that it is spiritual. Religious, no. Spiritual, yes. The Force is something spiritual. Old Ben Kenobi is a spiritual mentor. Luke goes on a spiritual journey culminating in his understanding of who he is in light of the Force at the end of Return of the Jedi.
But in The Phantom Menace, that’s all take away. The spirituality of it all is replaced by the religion of science (oooohhh snap, yeah, I went there). The Force is no longer spiritual but scientifically explained away by midichlorians, a symbiotic life form that inhabits all creatures in the Galaxy. (Which makes sense because in Vector Prime, no one can sense the Force in the invaders but that’s neither here nor there right now.) There is science now. When young Anakin is being tested, it is scientifically done. Yes, in him much fear senses Yoda. Yet still, the wisdom of Yoda becomes psychology rather than the wisdom of the years (or ears as some might say). And so fanboys all around cry foul. They’ve taken the Force out of Star Wars.
So, Xmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…wait, what’s that? Did I just take the Christ out of Christmas? No. In fact, the “X” in X-Mas isn’t a “secular” abbreviation or a new Marvel comics publicity stunt for a new mutant focused Christmas special. The “X” in X-mas isn’t secular, it isn’t geek, it’s Greek. In fact, X-mas is of a Christian origin. the “X” is actually the Greek letter Chi (pronounced ky like in kite). It makes the “ch” sound as in “Christmas” or “Christ.” In other words, Christmas hasn’t been hijacked by “secular society” and being taken over by “atheistic maniacal people bent on destroying Christ.” In fact, it never belonged to us int he first place. Just like Star Wars never truly belonged to the fanboys in the first place (scary, I know).
Know what I say? Keep the “mas” in Christmas.
Whaaaaaatttt?? Ever notice that Christmas falls so close to the winter solstice? Yeah. I know. (Prepare to have your mind blown or to be really cheesed at me.) The early church didn’t so much celebrate Christ’s birth as they did his coming. In fact, their year was based upon, not his coming but his ministry, his death and second coming. In January, the early church (and Eastern Orthodox and Catholic and others today) celebrated his baptism. In February, they celebrated the Transfiguration. Then they began looking towards his death and resurrection during a time called Lent (that within itself is a whole nother blog post).
Christmas though, Christmas was called Advent. They weren’t looking forward to his birth, no, they were looking forward to his Return! Christmas isn’t just about Jesus being born, it is about his coming again. And so, they would celebrate it right after the darkest day of the year. Why? Because Christ is coming back. It was a “mas” or a celebration of Jesus Christ. A celebration that they knew with assurance that he IS coming back again. The early church took a day and made it into a holiday (or what it originally was called a Holy Day).
In other words, Christmas doesn’t belong to Christians, it belongs to Christ. And we are to celebrate him.
To tell the truth, as much as I get upset about blinking Ewoks, re-added special effects and too many Nooooooos, it belongs to Lucas, not to us. And to tell the truth, Episodes 1-3 aren’t about looking forward to Luke. They are about looking forward to the redemption of Anakin Sykwalker. It is looking forward to Episodes 4-6 where we see his life go from the darkside back into the Goodness of the Force.
Christmas isn’t about the gifts. It’s not about X’s, it’s about celebrating Jesus’ return. And so, keep the X in Xmas, keep the Mas in Christmas and (I can’t believe I’m about to say this) keep the midichlorians in Star Wars.