So I know there is a lot of Star Wars lore that suddenly became super relevant to the Mandalorian’s story—lore that came from a show that some may consider irrelevant because it was in animation. I didn’t actually watch Clone Wars, so I spent some time on “Wookiepedia” after the episode trying to understand who exactly Bo-Katan was, but I am not here to talk about her. Instead, I want to focus on a small moment between her and Mando.These last few years have not been kind to the church. So much has come out regarding the hypocrisy within our ranks. Society is holding up a mirror, and many Christians are not coming out as beautiful as they think they should.
After Bo-Katan and her posse save Mando and the Child from some double-crossing aliens, Mando faces them and says, “I’ve been searching for more of our kind,” underscoring the loss of Mando’s covert in season 1. He then goes on to explain his mission with the Child, only to stop mid-sentence as Bo-Katan and the others take off their helmets. Mando was shocked. I was shocked. This is not the Way.
Mando challenges Bo-Katan (of all people! Thanks again, Wookiepedia!) with the right to wear beskar armor because of her blasphemous act, subsequently explaining that he is a Child of the Watch, which is perhaps the most poignant revelation in the whole series, particularly as it relates to similar reactions playing out nationally for the evangelical Christian church.
These last few years have not been kind to the church. So much has come out regarding the hypocrisy within our ranks. Society is holding up a mirror, and many Christians are not coming out as beautiful as they think they should. Between movements and events such as #churchtoo, BLM, the pandemic, and the election, we’ve seen a lot of Christians pointing at other believers, like Mando denying others’ right to identify with his culture and labels.
I can think of articles boiling down whether someone could or couldn’t be a Christian because they support LGBTQIIA+ rights, women’s rights, BIPoC rights, the Democrats, the Republicans, etc. Everything we can think to disagree over has become a line in the sand. Cross it, and your right to claim Christ as your Lord is not valid.Bo-Katan and Mando differ on what it looks like to be Mandalorian, but they still find common ground because each can help the other in accomplishing their goals. Christians have a much deeper unity because they are united in their faith in a loving God.
That’s not to say that these conversations over these issues aren’t worthwhile and necessary. Christians need to discuss these societal issues within the church, for they are called to be in the world but not of it. However, like Mando, they need to be willing to recognize that not everyone’s traditions are their own, and they may not follow them in the same ways. Following Jesus, like being a Mandalorian, can look different to many people.
Bo-Katan has her own litany of her heritage—that the armor she wears has been in her generation for three generations, that she was born on Mandalore and fought in the Purge, that she is of Clan Kryze and the last of her line. This reminds me of Paul’s reciting his heritage for the Philippian church in Philippians 3:2–7. Nothing else matters to Paul but following Christ and knowing the Gospel. Here is the great unity that Christians have amidst the storm that is the year 2020 and beyond. We have no righteousness that is our own, but only His righteousness that comes through faith in Him, knowing Him, and the power of His resurrection. In other words, not everyone follows the Way identically; certain parts of the church emphasize different aspects of following Christ.
Bo-Katan and Mando differ on what it looks like to be Mandalorian, but they still find common ground because each can help the other in accomplishing their goals. Christians have a much deeper unity because they are united in their faith in a loving God. They should look to that as they move forward, not downplaying differences, but not letting them divide each other as they work toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. I personally have a lot of things that would give me pause if I met someone claiming Christ but behaving a certain way; however, I recognize that ultimately salvation is God’s decision, not mine. I am called to love God and love others, and I should always lead in any relationship with love first.