UAHS club combines Star Wars and the Bible.
BY ELLIE CRESPO, ’22. GRAPHICS BY DAPHNE BONILLA, ’22.
Positioned around a table, students attentively watch a scene from “Star Wars: A New Hope” as it is projected onto the Apple TV. The line, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope,” fills their ears. The movie clip is followed by a series of questions and subsequent discussions about its relation to the epic hero’s journey cycle, the students’ personal lives, other Star Wars storylines and the Bible.
In September 2021, sophomore Tali Caruso formed the club Faithful Forces which combines her interest in Star Wars and her religion. In Faithful Forces, students discuss the similarities between Star Wars and biblical stories. Caruso was inspired to create the extracurricular after enrolling in her freshman language arts course Honors Star Wars.
“I just began to realize how much I really love Star Wars,” Caruso said. “I found a lot of ways that it correlated with the Bible and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, this would be such a cool way to be able to share my faith with other people in the school.’”
Caruso integrates many topics, such as the epic hero’s journey cycle, taught in the language arts course, into Faithful Forces. The hero’s journey cycle includes steps like “call to adventure” and “refusal of call,” similar to how Obi-Wan Kenobi asks Luke Skywalker to join him on a mission to defeat the First Order but Luke is initially reluctant to make that commitment.
During club meetings, Caruso asks members to relate the scene or topic being discussed back to the Bible, whether it be a specific verse or a story. Caruso has found many common themes in Star Wars and the Bible. For example, both Jesus’ mother, Mary, and Anakin Skywalker’s mother conceived their babies as virgins. In the Bible, Mary conceived Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, and in Star Wars, Anakin’s mother conceived him through the cosmetic force. Caruso has also drawn a comparison between the First Order and the Empire, found in Star Wars, and Satan.
Initially, Caruso’s friends, like freshman Laila Knight, were reluctant to join.
“I was like, ‘Tali, no one’s going to come,’” Knight said. “[With] our other friend, Liv… In the beginning, the first couple meetings, it was just the three of us.”
After advertising their club at Young Life meetings, Faithful Forces saw an increase in participation. However, the club is not solely for Christians.
“Anybody is more than welcome to come, whether you love Star Wars, whether you’re interested in learning more about the Bible, whether you literally just want to hang out and watch Star Wars or eat food and have good discussions with your peers,” Caruso said.
Sophomore Liv Smith encourages all students to join Faithful Forces.
“I would totally say give it a try, I mean at least once. It’s super fun, especially if [you’re] open to hearing about other people’s opinions,” Smith said.
Knight expressed her appreciation for the club’s atmosphere.
“It’s a good time to have a positive environment with your friends and talk about Jesus during the school day,” she said. “I look forward to it. Yeah, it’s early in the morning, but I’m hyped for it. The night before I’m like ‘Ooh, I have Faithful Forces tomorrow.’”
In the future, Caruso is hopeful to have more students be positively impacted by Faithful Forces.
“[I] hope that we’ll probably get a couple more people,” she said. “I am hoping that people get as much out of it as I do. [I] think it’s just a great place where people can just come together and bond over their common interests, whether that’s Star Wars, the Bible, whatever they enjoy doing.”
Faithful Forces meets on Wednesday mornings and Thursdays after school on an alternating schedule.
For more information about the club, students can email Tali Caruso at email@example.com.