Lost and Found

Ahsoka Tano was introduced to the Star Wars universe as the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker (later to become Darth Vader) in the 2008 Clone Wars animated film. While fans were initially skeptical of the young, bratty teenager whom Anakin nicknamed “Snips,” they eventually grew to love the maturing Jedi-in-training who proved herself to be loyal, strong, and courageous. Twelve years later, Ahsoka made her live-action debut in the second season of The Mandalorian. Now, Ahsoka has her own self-titled series, in which she reunites with her friends from the Star Wars Rebels animated series to prevent the return of a long-lost threat to the galaxy.

The Rebels series ends with young Ezra Bridger, a Jedi Padawan, heroically blasting himself and the villainous Grand Admiral Thrawn into hyperspace to save the galaxy. Ahsoka begins about ten years later, with the titular hero attempting to find a map to Ezra’s location so she can bring him back home. However, the map is also sought by those who seek to return Thrawn to the galaxy in order to rebuild the defeated Empire. Ahsoka struggles with the loss of her resolve due to self-imposed guilt from her master Anakin turning to the dark side. Years later, Sabine Wren still mourns the loss of her friend Ezra. In the time since his self-sacrifice, Sabine has lost her planet and family. Sabine and Ahsoka’s relationship has been ruined, as Ahsoka feared Sabine’s pain would lead her down a dark path. Thus, a major theme of the show is seeking that which is lost: a missing person, a purpose in life, or a broken relationship.

Isn’t the same true of so many of us? We seek direction in life, a meaningful career, healthy relationships, or vibrant community. We may long to restore something lost from the past, such as a relationship or the “good ol’ days.” Most important, however, we all begin as one who is spiritually lost. We may find things that satisfy us temporarily, but we all desire something more that will deliver ultimate meaning and satisfaction.

Themes of being lost or searching for something precious are common within Christianity. Luke 15 features three parables about something or someone being lost: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son (more popularly known as the “prodigal son”). The first two are brief parables about a person searching for something lost and rejoicing when they find it. Jesus says that in the same manner, all of heaven rejoices when a sinner repents. The parable of the lost son is about a son who requests his inheritance from his father, leaves home, and squanders his money. When he realizes his terrible mistake, he returns home and is welcomed by his father with open arms. The father throws the younger son a party in celebration. However, the father’s older son is resentful and won’t attend the party. He has always been a “good son,” yet he has never been given a party like his younger brother. His father responds, “we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (v. 32).

While this parable focuses on the lost younger brother, we learn at the end that the older brother is lost as well. The younger brother makes a poor decision and squanders his inheritance. However, he realizes his mistake and returns home. The older brother is the “obedient” one who did not make the foolish mistakes of his younger brother, yet he is spiritually lost. He does not rejoice at the return of his brother but is resentful. Perhaps the older brother feels entitled and thinks he deserves to be celebrated because he has always done the right thing. What seems to be a hard-hearted and moralistic attitude may be indicative of a lost individual.

From this, we learn that “lost-ness” doesn’t always come from ignoring directions or from making poor decisions. We can outwardly do and say all the right things, and yet be lost on the inside because our hearts are hard. We can be selfish and prideful, we can be bitter and resentful. The irony of the parable is that while both brothers are home in the end, the lost, foolish younger brother has been found, while the “obedient” older brother who never left home is still lost.

…and Found
By the end of Ahsoka, each character seems to have found something they were looking for. Thrawn and Ezra both find their way back to their home galaxy. We never learn what mysterious power former Jedi Baylan Skoll has been searching for, but it seems that he has found it. While Ahsoka and Sabine are stranded on planet Peridia in a distant galaxy, they each have found peace within themselves and a renewed relationship with each other. The final episode closes with Ahsoka being watched over by the force ghost of her master—Anakin—the prodigal son of the Star Wars universe who becomes lost to the dark side but returns to the light.

What about us? We are all in search of something to satisfy our deepest spiritual needs. Thankfully, Jesus promises us, “seek and you will find” (Luke 11:10). Like the father from the parable of the lost son, our Heavenly Father is waiting with open arms for us to turn toward him. God promises that “he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). To earnestly seek God requires humility and wholehearted commitment.

However, we are not left to find God on our own. Jesus said that he “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He is actively seeking and drawing us toward himself, toward being rescued from our sin, that we may then repent and be reunited with our Father. Central to the vision of the way of Jesus is that we are reconciled and redeemed, so that we, who were once lost, are now “found in him, not having a righteousness of [our] own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (Philippians 3:9).

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Timothy Fox

Timothy Fox has a passion to equip the church to engage the culture. He is a part-time math teacher, full-time husband and father. He has an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University as well as an M.A. in Adolescent Education of Mathematics and a B.S. in Computer Science, both from Stony Brook University. Tim lives on Long Island, NY with his wife and children. He also blogs at freethinkingministries.com.