Robots: Worldview Or No?

December 1, 2005 at 8:47 pm | Posted in Christianity, Movies, Random | Leave a comment

“You can shine no matter what you’re made of!”

That sounds like a wonderful line, and one that would encourage younger viewers to have faith in themselves and not worry about what others think. Prima facie, that’s what it is. However, when you combine it with other key quotes from the movie, you get the true philosophy behind the movie. “What is that,” you might ask? Well, sit tight, and I’ll tell you.

The story begins with a very proud robot bursting out of his restaurant with glee, exclaiming, “Wahoo! I’m gonna’ be a dad!!” Wonderful way to start a movie! We then watch as the new baby, Rodney Copperbottom, grows through a couple sets of “hand-me-down-parts” and into a young adult. The first set is from his cousin, Jeff, and are slightly too big, and little Rodney is constantly tugging on them to keep them from falling off. The next set of hand-me-downs is from his cousin, Veronica. As the name implies, they are from a girl cousin, and are pink, and shaped like a girl torso. After watching a show on inventing, he aspires to grow up and become an inventor. At his graduation, instead of throwing his hat, he throws the torso up.

The next scene we see is Rodney walking into the fancy restaurant where his dad works as a dishwasher. He begs his dad to let him try out this new invention that he’s created. His dad finally consents, and the new gadget works brilliantly. That is, until Mr. Gunk, Mr. Copperbottom’s boss walks in and has a fit. Rodney’s “Wonderbot” gets nervous and starts going crazy, zig-zagging all through the air, knocking plates and dishes all over the place. Mr. Copperbottom has to pay for the dishes, and as he doesn’t make much, Rodney decides he is going to make his way in the world, and try to help his dad pay back Mr. Gunk. He wants to be something, and he can’t be something here in measly Rivettown. He was going to Robot City. Once in the big city, Rodney meets up with a couple of unlikely, and seemingly hopeless, companions as they proceed to stop major corporate corruption and save the known world from being “outmoded”.

The first dubious character that we meet is Fender, a somewhat crazy, definitely eccentric spirit who immediately became my favorite. Perhaps it’s the accents and the atmosphere that Robin Williams lends him, perhaps it’s the funny, although accurate lines, or perhaps it’s both combined. Regardless, he quickly became my favorite character. When we first meet him, he begins taking pictures of Rodney rapidly, much like paparazzi, exclaiming things like, “Work with me! Work with me!” And, “Come on! Inside of you is a fashion model just waiting to throw up!”

We meet up with the rest of Fender’s family in a back alley. And Rodney is taken “home”, to an inn, that is provided by Aunt Fanny, a lovable character, that takes in bots that are “broke” in all three meanings of the word.

Rodney and the gang spend their time fixing the broken bots with anything they can find. And they do fix many bots. However, in a city the size of Robot City, it was drops in the bucket, to borrow the old colloquialism. They had to get to Big Weld, the CEO, the best robot in the world. He would come back and fix the problems.

One of the key quotes I was referring to in my paragraph is, “Follow your dreams…” Another that I think is essential is, “You’ve got greatness in you…” Those are a few of many references and quotes along the same lines. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but to say that you have all it takes to follow your dreams and achieve them, and that you have greatness in you, is Biblically unsound. The Bible no where tells us that we have greatness in us. What the Bible tells us is that we are sinners, condemned to hell, and that there is not one good, no not one. So if no one is even good, then no one can be great. As a disclaimer, I’m not trying to be pessimistic, and God doesn’t leave us there, to be condemned, and I understand that this was not done by a Christian company, or producer, and so I’m not expecting them to have the message of salvation portrayed. I’m not condemning them, or saying that the movie is heathen and you shouldn’t watch it. Nevertheless, every person has a worldview; every person believes something about God. Either they believe He exists or He doesn’t. If they believe He exists, some don’t believe He cares about us. The list of beliefs is endless. But they believe something, and that will come out in their works. In what they write, what they say, how they act, etc. What I am attempting to do with this review is look into what the author’(s) and/or producer’s worldview was when the movie was created. The worldview that’s present in this movie is one in which you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, that you don’t need any help from a higher power. That anything is possible, as long as you work hard. The Bible teaches differently however. It teaches that all things are possible, through Christ. According to the Bible, man can do nothing apart from God, as He is the very giver of life.

I’m not sure how this all really applies to robots, but then again, robots aren’t that sophisticated. Yet.

Overall the movie had wonderful animation, a somewhat memorable storyline, and many wonderful, brilliant, outstanding, and hilarious lines along the way. On a scale of 1 to 10, Robots gets a 9.

Star Wars Theology

August 28, 2005 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

“Go, and may the Force be with you.”

That line throughout the years has become one of the milestones of a time era. Not only does it mark a time period, it also stands as a beacon to the spiritual climate that the USA finds itself in. What am I talking about? Heh…Star Wars.

The way this post will be organized is this: first of all, I will make some claims; next, I will back them up(underneath each claim); and then thirdly, I will bring it all back to a Christian perspective.

Now, to get to those claims.

1.) Star Wars is a religious movie.

The theology has been called New Age, Eastern Mythology, Eastern Mysticism, among others. Call it what you will, but there are definite fundamental beliefs. I’ll get to those in a minute.

First let’s back up this outrageous claim. In an interview in TIME magazine George Lucas said, “With Star Wars I consciously set about to re-create myths and the classic mythological motifs.” And also, “I put the Force into the movie in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people—more a belief in God than a belief in any particular religious system.” Sound good? Let’s find out.

2.) Fundamental Beliefs in Star Wars.

Belief A.) God is not a personal God. God is merely some mysterious cosmic “Force”. To back this up, one only needs to watch the movies. Or the old ones, where Obi Won Kenobi introduces us to the Force. Everything in the universe, combined, is god. Look at it this way, God is the ocean, we’re all drops of water in that ocean. All of us together are God. The Jedi are those who have mastered the use of the Force, it flows through them. The Bible does not teach that there is a cosmic energy that flows through objects and individuals. Throughout their training, Jedi are taught to let go of the conscious mind and reach out with their feelings. (sounds a little bit like channeling to me…) Christians are taught to love God “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). (As a side note: Some Christians have mistakenly equated the Force with the Holy Spirit, however there are a couple major differences. First, the Force is an impersonal being, whereas the Holy Spirit is not, he is a personal being, part of the Trinity, with a personality, intelligence and a will. Second, the Force is contained in the universe, or is made up of all living things in the universe. The Holy Spirit is not contained in the universe, but rather, played an active part in creating the universe out of nothing, and exists apart from all living things. And third, the Force can be manipulated by the Jedi to do their will. The Holy Spirit however does only the Father’s will, he cannot, and will not be manipulated.)

Belief B.) Emotions are more important than reason. To win life’s battles one must not think, one must only feel. And good will not win in the end, because good and evil are locked into an eternal battle of balance, or a perpetual war. However much good there is, there must be an equal amount of evil, to balance the good out. That’s not what my Bible tells me. Jesus said, “It is finished!” It’s over. Then He rose from the dead, conquering the grave and evil once and for all. My Bible says God is all powerful, that he created everything, even Satan, and can, and has, defeated him. The battles rage, but the war is over.

So now I’m left with a question: Should we as Christians spend our time, thinking on, being caught up in the Star Wars craze? Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t watch it, although you might think about what you’re supporting, but mainly, should we spend too much time thinking about something that is completely opposed to Christianity?

Until Christ returns, all glory and honor are His, now and into everlasting,

Marshall

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