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Thursday, February 25, 2016

This Star Wars Fan Theory Is EXACTLY How Apologetics Works

Ponda Baba starts a fight with Luke Skywalker at Mos Eisley cantina. Image source.

Here is a Star Wars video which answers the question, “In ‘A New Hope’ when Obi-Wan cut off Ponda Baba’s arm, why was there blood?” No other lightsaber wounds bleed, because everyone knows the lightsaber cauterizes the wound.



Jongasm, the man in the video, first says, “A lot of people I know credit the bleeding to it happening in the first movie that was released and George Lucas and the writers not yet having established the science and physics behind lightsabers, but there might actually be a canonical explanation.” He then explains that Ponda Baba is part of an alien race which has some spider-like characteristics, so it may be the case that he has a completely different type of circulatory system from humans. Rather than narrow blood vessels transporting blood to all the parts of his body, he could have an open circulatory system, with large cavities of blood, like insects and spiders have. When humans are cut with a lightsaber, the blood vessels are completely cauterized because they are narrow. For Ponda Baba, not so much, and the blood in this huge blood cavity comes out.
Ponda Baba's bloody arm, after it's cut off by Obi-Wan. Image source.

And here’s my opinion: yeah, okay, this is a fun theory, but for real, George Lucas just hadn’t decided that lightsabers cauterize wounds yet. I really like the video, I love Star Wars and fan theories and over-analyzing things, but no, I don’t actually believe that explanation. Seems a bit far-fetched.

And I’m blogging about it because this is exactly how Christian apologetics works.

So you find something in the bible that doesn’t make sense. Maybe one particular detail in one bible story contradicts something from a different bible story. Oh no! It’s a huge problem! Real True Christians believe the bible is a collection of absolutely 100% true (and non-contradictory) statements, and anything that suggests this isn’t the case must be shot down.

Apologetics to the rescue!!!

So you search and analyze and research everything, and you decide this word didn’t exactly mean the exact thing that it would seem to mean, it meant a slightly different thing and therefore there is no contradiction. And you come up with some twisted and bizarre explanation which an unbiased observer would find so unlikely it’s laughable, but it is technically possible. Success!

That’s what “believing the bible” means.

You must never entertain the thought of considering the idea that, hey, maybe the bible was wrong here. You must find an in-universe explanation for everything.

R2-D2 and Obi-Wan work together throughout the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Then in Episode IV, R2-D2 is sent to find Obi-Wan, and when he does, Obi-Wan says, “I don’t seem to remember ever owning a droid” and seems to not recognize R2. This is CLEARLY because members of the Jedi order don’t own private property. All the droids belong to all the Jedi. So even though R2 and Obi-Wan were pretty much always together, technically Obi-Wan did not “own” him. So we should understand Obi-Wan’s statement “I don’t seem to remember ever owning a droid” to mean “as a Jedi, I do not technically own things” rather than “I’ve never seen this droid before.”

Yeah, okay. I find that just as likely as the existence of two different Goliaths, killed by different Israelite heroes.

Apologetics be like: In Genesis 1:26, God says “let us make man in our image”- so, who is “us”? Well some people would say that the writers of the bible hadn’t yet decided whether they believed in one god, or the universe was created by a group of gods. But! Not to worry, there could be an in-universe explanation! Later in the series, it is revealed that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were also present with God the Father at this time. Many fans actually refer to God as a “trinity”, though this word appears nowhere in the canon. So the “us” in Genesis 1:26 is God the Father, Son, and Spirit.

It’s fun. To assume that everything in the canon must be true, and follow that belief through whatever twisted logic it takes to make it work. It’s fun to read different fan interpretations and search through the source material for evidence that supports one theory or another. It’s fun to get caught up in little details- but don’t forget, none of this is real.

Or, actually, that’s not true. It is real. There’s a lot of truth in those stories. But you don’t find that truth by coming up with not-technically-impossible explanations for inconsistencies in the little details.

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See also this post about how the bible is like the Star Wars universe.

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