THE TAKE AWAY
By Kersley Fitzgerald
Wonder Woman the TV show ran from the time I was five until I was nine. I was a little too young to keep up with the plots, but I ate up the show in repeats. When I watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year, I was beyond unimpressed — until Gal Gadot showed up. I'm not sure why they're making The Justice League when they could just make a Wonder Woman sequel.
Last night I donned my caped boot knee high socks and dragged Dev and JT to the movie. Oddly enough, the only showing that was half-way convenient was IMAX 3-D.
There isn't much bad to say about the movie. Diana was innocent without being overtly na´ve. Connie Nielsen was excellent as her mother, and Robin Wright, as the military leader of the Amazons, perfectly embodied the "I've lived to see my childhood princesses become generals" meme.
What caught me by surprise were the theological allusions. There are several situations in which Diana shows a character strikingly similar to Jesus'.
Diana and Steve Trevor have a clear and extremely critical mission. If they succeed, thousands or, perhaps, millions will avoid a horrible death. But still, Diana is easily distracted by the immediate needs of others around her. On their way to find and destroy a great weapon, she hears of a small village that was overtaken by the Germans. "I will fight, for those who can not fight for themselves," she says. And she climbs the trench wall and forces her way across no-man's land. How many times did Jesus turn aside to help those in front of Him? He did try to get away, to pray or travel in peace, but His great mission that would save millions had margin to save individuals in front of Him.
When Diana told her mother she wanted to leave their island with Steve, to fight evil and save the people, the queen said, "I used to want to save the world, this beautiful place. But the closer you get, the more you see the great darkness within." Diana was given life by Zeus for the specific purpose of saving humans from Ares. The god of war acts as a force that pushes men to do evil and harm each other. Diana comes to understand that this force is merely a catalyst. It does not create the darkness in people's hearts, it only encourages it and perhaps accelerates it a bit.
We often get the question, "If God knew Satan would tempt Adam and Eve, why did He let him in the garden?" The underlying assumption is that Adam and Eve would not have sinned if Satan hadn't tempted them. My personal opinion is this is total bunk. I have full confidence that Adam and Eve would have eventually taken that fruit without Satan's help. Like Ares in the movie, Satan was a catalyst. He may have sped up the process, but he did not force anyone to do anything. After Diana kills Ares, the Armistice is signed, but not long after, World War II comes on the scene. In the Millennial Kingdom, when Satan is bound for 1000 years, people will still reject Jesus. We are perfectly capable of rebelling against God and hurting each other without supernatural interference.
Diana gradually learns this and realizes her mother is right — the people don't deserve her. But she learns from Steve that you don't save others because they deserve it — you save them because of who you are. In the end, she does save them, not because they're worthy or innocent, but because of what she believes — "Only love will truly save the world."
The parallel is obvious. Romans 5:8 says, "...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:10 goes a step further and points out that we were God's enemies in the very moment Jesus died to save us. Not because we deserved it, but because He is love.
The movie has violence, of course, and a sexual encounter is inferred. One of the writers of the Wonder Woman comics recently posited that the Amazons were bisexual; the only reference in the movie is when Diana tells Steve they have determined men are necessary for procreation but not for "pleasures of the flesh." I can't remember any mentions of Jesus or the God of the Bible, but the Greek gods were treated as fact, which is the Wonder Woman mythology.
I don't know how much the writers took from the Bible, and the parallel is by no means exact (for one, she doesn't die). But God reaches and teaches us through story, and it's not unusual to find glimpses of Christ-like character in unexpected places — a hobbit, a lion, an Amazon princess. And it's interesting that they tried to write an innocent, caring, protective, and self-sacrificing character and wound up with so many similarities to Jesus.
Tags: Christian-Life | Jesus-Christ | Reviews-Critiques
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