Ethos Education

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – is it my Responsibility to Stand up for What is Right?

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Assembly Objective:

  • What should we do if we see bad things happening around us? Is it worth doing the right thing if all our friends disagree with us? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching on the importance of fighting for and doing what is right even when doing so is scary and difficult.

Film:

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm Ltd., 2015, certificate 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of individual liberty teaches us that every person has the ability and right to speak out about what they believe is right and good. The value of democracy is based on the idea that everyone is allowed a say because this is the best way to make sure the world we live in is fair and just. This assembly encourages students to reflect on the importance of making our voices heard if we see injustices being carried out around us.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Why is Doing the Right Thing Sometimes Difficult? (something to do and something to think about)

Download the Why is Doing the Right Thing Sometimes Difficult? PowerPoint with this activity.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Give the students thirty seconds to discuss with their neighbours a time when they felt they ‘did the right thing’ even though it was hard. Ask them to think about why it was hard, but why they felt they should act in spite of the difficulty. After the time is up, ask a few students to volunteer their answers to the questions.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Explain to the students that on the slides are two quotes from survivors of the Holocaust. For them, it is never enough to simply see evil being done and do nothing. For good to win out in the end, ordinary people must fight for what is right.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Explain to the students that this quote is much more recent, but has the same message.
    • Give the students another thirty seconds to discuss with their partner whether they agree with this and to think of a reason why/why not.
    • After the time is up, ask one or two students from both sides of the argument to share their views.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Explain that the three pictures are pictures of people who did stand up for what is right. Ask the students if they know who any of the people are?
    • See below for a brief summary of the work of each person if you are stuck:
    • William Wilberforce: A British politician and human and animal rights activist alive in the 18th/19th century. He dedicated his life to the abolition of slavery. The bill banning the buying and selling of slaves on British ships was passed while William was on his deathbed.
    • Oskar Schindler: A wealthy Austrian businessman who witnessed the horrors of the holocaust first hand. He saved over 2,000 Jews by hiring them to work for his manufacturing company, and spending his fortune bribing Nazi officials to turn a blind eye.
    • Martin Luther King: American man famous for fighting against segregation peacefully, and for civil-rights for African-Americans.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Ask the students to reflect on what might have been different if these people had not chosen to stand up for what they believed was right?
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Isaiah 58:10 (NLT). Explain that the Bible encourages us that if we do the right thing, even when others do not, we are like light shining into the darkness. We can make a positive difference.

FILM CLIP ONE

  • There are two clips to be played from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm Ltd., 2015, certificate 12A) during the talk.
  • Clip one:
    • Start time: 00:05:40
    • End time: 00:08:50
    • Clip length: 3 minutes and 10 seconds
  • This clip begins with a battle taking place in a desert village. We see our Storm Trooper, Finn, help an injured friend. You can pick him out from the three stripes of blood across his helmet.
  • Finn seems visibly distraught as the fight continues. He is ordered to murder a group of villagers, but cannot bring himself to do so. He looks on helplessly as they are killed.

FILM CLIP TWO

  • Clip two:
    • Start time: 00:59:50
    • End time: 1:03:50
    • Clip length: 4 minutes
  • This clip begins with Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) talking in a bar with Maz (Lupita Nyong’o), an old friend. She warns them that they cannot run from the fight anymore: they must face the First Order. Finn is visibly upset by this and storms away. He explains to Rey that he has done his bit: he has left the Order. Now the best solution is to run.

TALK

Download the Is it My Job to Stand Up for What is Right? PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Doing the right thing is quite often easy, usually because it is the normal thing to do. For example, paying for your shopping, or not stealing your neighbour’s post.
    • [click] But sometimes doing the right thing can be really hard, especially when it means disagreeing with or acting differently to those around us.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Disagreeing with the majority is scary. You can never be sure how people might react. Best case scenario, they might come round to your way of thinking, but worst case you may end up feeling hurt, or being treated badly.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • In Star Wars: The Force Awakens we are introduced to Finn, a Storm Trooper, or soldier for the ‘First Order’: an evil group of people who seek to conquer the galaxy by any means necessary. During the film, Finn has an ‘awakening’ and begins to question the evil ways of the Order. Finn ends up risking his life to fight against the very evil he was a part of, and of course (spoiler alert!) ends up helping to save the galaxy.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Watch the following clip. We see Storm Trooper Finn clearly questioning the orders he has been given: to heartlessly execute a group of alien villagers. As you watch, think about why he might suddenly have a sense of what is right. Was it enough for him to simply stand back and do nothing, or do you think he should have done more?
    • Play clip one from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm Ltd., 2015, certificate 12A)
      • Start time: 00:05:40
      • End time: 00:08:50
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 10 seconds
    • This clip begins with a battle taking place in a desert village. We see our Storm Trooper, Finn, help an injured friend. You can pick him out from the three stripes of blood across his helmet.
    • Finn seems visibly distraught as the fight continues. He is ordered to murder a group of villagers, but cannot bring himself to do so. He looks on helplessly as they are killed.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Here we see Finn make a difficult decision; one that may get him killed. He does this because he feels he cannot go on doing something he believes is wrong. Later on in the film, when Finn has successfully escaped the First Order, he is asked to go on a mission to help overthrow it once and for all, but he says he would rather run in the opposite direction. He argues that nobody can really beat such a force, and so they are better off getting as far away as possible. While watching the clip, think about why Finn wants to run. Do you think he is right? Has he done enough by simply refusing to be a part of the First Order?
    • Play clip two from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm Ltd., 2015, certificate 12A)
      • Start time: 00:59:50
      • End time: 1:03:50
      • Clip length: 4 minutes
    • This clip begins with Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) talking in a bar with Maz (Lupita Nyong’o), an old friend. She warns them that they cannot run from the fight anymore: they must face the First Order. Finn is visibly upset by this and storms away. He explains to Rey that he has done his bit: he has left the Order. Now the best solution is to run.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Those of us who know how the story ends know that Finn had a bigger role to play in the fight against evil. By not only saying no to wrongdoing, but also standing up for what is right, he helped bring good into the world. Star Wars is about epic battles, and overcoming super-villains with Death Stars, but we face similar decisions about right and wrong during the course of our daily lives. We often see people in our classes and in our local community doing things we think are wrong, and we have to decide how we are going to respond. Is it our responsibility to speak out and fight for what we believe is right in these situations?
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • The Bible is full of stories about people who stood up for what they believed in even though they faced great danger. For example, the prophet Daniel risked being thrown into a den of lions for refusing to obey an order he thought was wrong. Peter, Jesus’ disciple, spoke bravely before a Jewish court about what he believed was right at the risk of being imprisoned or killed.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • 2 Thessalonians 2:15 in the Bible teaches that God has given us a way to understand what is right, and wrong and when we see wrong we must stand up – what is the point of knowing what is right if we don’t do anything about it? The writer of the letter to a Church in the Greek town of Thessaloniki, told the people of the church to ‘stand firm’ even if those around them had forgotten to. Why is it important to do this?
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Looking back at Finn’s story, even though he didn’t realise it, he had a part to play in stopping evil, and in bringing about good. The Bible says if you stand up for what is right, even when you are the only one, you will be like a light shining in the darkness, making a difference for good.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Even if this still seems like a scary prospect, the Bible promises that God will give courage and strength for those who stand firm and fight for what is right, so we need not be afraid.
    • Philippians 4:13 (NLT) ‘For I can do everything through the one who gives me strength.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • What important lessons can we learn from this? Firstly, even if we don’t think we can make a difference, standing up for what is right always makes a difference, even if that difference is small. What can we do this week to make a positive difference in our class, school and/or local community? How can we be more courageous about standing up for what is right in our day to day lives?

Headings and Bullets

Download the Is It My Job to Stand Up for What is Right? PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Doing the right thing.
    • Doing the right thing is sometimes easy.
    • [click]…but sometimes it is not.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Disagreements can be scary.
    • People might agree, but they might end up treating us badly.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Finn: The Good Storm Trooper.
    • Finn experiences a moral dilemma – obey orders, or do what he thinks is right?
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Introduce film clip one.
    • Finn has an ‘awakening’ and has second thoughts about what he is doing.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Introduce film clip two.
    • Finn is asked to help, but he wants to run.
    • Has he done enough by simply refusing to be a part of the Order?
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Star Wars vs. Real Life.
    • We don’t often have to fight epic battles.
    • We do have to make decisions about right and wrong.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • The Bible is full of stories about people who stood up for what they believed in.
    • Daniel and Peter are two examples.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Read Bible verse from 2 Thessalonians 2:15.
    • Why is it important to stand firm?
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • If you stand firm you are like a light in the darkness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Read Bible verse from Philippians 4:13 (NLT) ‘For I can do everything through the one who gives me strength.’
    • God promises to give us courage and strength.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • What can we learn from this?
    • Standing up for what we believe is right, always makes a difference, no matter how small.
    • Sometimes we need to not only avoid doing bad, but strive for good.

Photo Copyright for Why is Doing the Right Thing Sometimes Difficult PowerPoint: Slide 1 Tene / Slide 2 Elie Wiesel by David Shankbone,  Yehuda Bauer / Slide 3 Paramount Pictures / Slide 4 William Wilberforce Public Domain, Martin Luther King by Phil Stanziola, Oskar Schindler Public Domain / Slide 5 andiStockphoto.com

Photo Copyright for Is it My Job to Stand Up for What is Right? PowerPoint: Slide 1 Pixabay.com / Slide 2, 8 and 11 iStockphoto.com / Slide 3 Finn Lucasfilm, DVD cover Lucasfilm / Slide 4 Lucasfilm / Slide 5 Industrial Light & Magic a division of Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd / Slide 6 Lucasfilm / Slide 7 image 5 LUMO Project / Slide 9 Lucasfilm / Slide 10 Lucasfilm 


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you that you have promised to give us courage and strength to stand firm in our beliefs when we see wrongdoing around us. Help me to clearly see what I can do to help bring more light and goodness into the world.

Reflection

  • Next time you see something being done that you think is wrong, what will you do? How might you and your friends find ways to be forces for good in your friendship groups, school and local community? Think about why it is important for each and every one of us to try and make a difference, even if it is small.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A copy of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm Ltd., 2015, 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Why is Doing the Right Thing Sometimes Difficult? PowerPoint.
  3. Is it My Job to Stand Up for What is Right? PowerPoint.

 

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