Star Wars: Force awakens in Berlin church for Sunday Mass

For the vicar Luke Skywalker’s resistance dovetails with the letter of St Paul to the Romans

The 10am service will be a Star Wars special, with music and re-enacted scenes from Return of the Jedi

The 10am service will be a Star Wars special, with music and re-enacted scenes from Return of the Jedi

 

The last time Berlin’s Zionskirche (Church of Zion) made headlines it was in 1987 after a vicious brawl between punks and neo-Nazis – two opposing forces East Berlin authorities insisted did not exist.

On Sunday, two other sworn enemies that some claim do not exist will face off in the Berlin church. Word is the Force has awakened and the Star Wars rebels are once again at war with the imperial forces once lead by the late, lamented Darth Vader.

Two trainee pastors in the Zionskirche plan to piggyback on the launch of the latest Star Wars instalment, by showcasing the series on Sunday as more than just a Hollywood merchandising opportunity with a film add-on.

Their 10am service will be a Star Wars special, with music and re-enacted scenes from Return of the Jedi, the sixth episode in the sci-fi series.

“In the decisive scene in the sixth episode, Luke Skywalker is to be brought over to the dark side of the emperor,” said Vicar Lucas Ludewig. “But Luke resists with the words: ‘I will never belong to the dark side.’”

For Vicar Ludewig, Luke’s stoic resistance dovetails nicely with the letter of St Paul to the Romans: “Do not be overcome by Evil but overcome Evil with Good.”

It didn’t take much for Vicar Ludewig to convince his co-vicar Ulrike Garve.

“The more we talked about it the more parallels we found to Christian traditions in the films,” she said. “We want to underline these analogies to mass attendees.”

The two trainee vicars convinced their superiors and announced their endeavour on Twitter: “We are holding a Star Wars worship service on the 4th Sunday of Advent in Berlin Mitte. #loveenemiesyoumust #starwars”.

That gives the lawyers for Disney, new owners of the Star Wars franchise, a leisurely five days to issue an injunction and stop the unofficial service.

As we all know, the only official way to worship Star Wars, apart from digging deep for tickets and merchandise, is to join the Church of Jediism. Not to be confused with Judaism, the Jedi religion claims to have 250,000 followers worldwide.

Another unofficial Berlin tribute marking the return of Star Wars involved an enterprising graffiti artist decorating, uninvited, a local train with a sprawling vista of Luke, Darth Vader, an X-Wing aircraft and the Death Star. The S-Bahn empire struck back, however, and yanked the carriage for cleaning, but not before the image was preserved for eternity on social media.