Sunday, January 03, 2016


I don’t watch a lot of the Honest Trailers series on YouTube because I normally prefer to provide my own snark for the movies I watch. But when I saw that they were taking on Jupiter Ascending, hands down one of the goofest movies to come out in 2015, I just couldn’t resist…

Actually, the funniest part of the whole thing is when they simply restate the convoluted plot of the film with no embellishment. Watching Jupiter Ascending, you could tell the Wachowski’s really, really wanted to write their very own version of Dune except, you know, with dog-eared guys on roller skates instead of worm-riding warriors. Never has so silly a film been so chock full of labyrinthine world-building.

Hey, if you’d like to hear an elaborate take on on our solar system’s largest planet, but with 100% less toilet-cleaning space princesses, then you might want to take the time on this tenth day of Christmas as we preemptively celebrate The Epiphany to track down and read astronomer Mark Thompson’s theory that the Star of Bethlehem was, in fact, the planet Jupiter. It’s a pretty cool theory that takes into acocunt planetary positions, astrological beliefs during biblical times, and the illusory effects of retrograde motion. If his theory is correct, it would even pretty much nail down the year of Jesus’ birth.

All that’s nice, of course, because it would demontrate that yet one more thing in the Bible was an actual historical event and not just metaphor. And yet that wouldn’t stop the Star from having theological significance as well. As Father Scott Carl, assistant professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, explained in an interview with The Catholic Spirit:
“First, Matthew tells us that the Magi have seen ‘his star at its rising’ (Matthew 2:2). His readers would have made a connection to the promise made to Abraham that his descendents would be like the stars of heaven (Genesis 15:5; 22:17); Jesus is one of these descendents who surely stands out. Second, Numbers 24:17 says that ‘a star shall advance from Jacob.’ This verse was seen as a prophecy about the Messiah who was to come. Jesus, being a descendent of Abraham, thus, comes from the line of Jacob, and so the star of Bethlehem fulfills this Old Testament prophecy. Third, the fact that the Magi, astrologers from the East, seeing the star, come looking for the newborn king shows that the Gospel message is not just for those of Jesus’ race but for all people. The star, therefore, helps to communicate the universal significance to Jesus’ birth.”
Not bad for a story without Channing Tatum in eyeliner, huh?

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