In 1977, Star Wars took the world by storm, and Chris, who was seven at the time, found his first love. He talks to Father Niko about his love of the original blockbuster trilogy as The Empire Strikes Back celebrates its 40th anniversary. Father explains that as a child, he “didn’t get” the movie, but as the years went on, it became his favorite.

Father Niko talks about the challenge of his days at the seminary, which he calls “Orthodox Boot Camp.” He relates his seminary challenges to Luke’s training at Dagobah. The exercises – both spiritual and mental – that Luke experienced can be metaphors for the Christian journey. The notion of free will and the temptation of the Dark side is an essential part of the Jedi religion. It can be viewed as a reflection of a Christian’s journey during Lent, a time to focus our energies and mental faculties.

About Creative Blessings

A Greek Orthodox priest and an artist walk into their home studios… and connect across 3,000 miles to share their musings on comics, pop culture, and their Orthodox faith.

Father Niko Bekris of Castro Valley, CA, leads Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church while writing the popular blog Christ, Coffee and Comics and raising two growing boys Christos and Dimitrios with the love of his life, Presbytera Stella. Father Niko enjoys ministry a great deal. His joy is spending time with his family, Greek folk dancing, contemporary Greek and American music and life in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also an avid Seattle sports fan and comic book/graphic novel reader.

Chris Kotsakis of Cinnaminson, NJ, is a life-long comic art enthusiast and frequent guest of Artists’ Alleys at Comic Conventions. This love led him in 2016 to co-found Artistacon, a unique conference designed to help aspiring creatives by connecting them with industry professionals for a weekend of education and mentorship. Planning is underway for the next Artistacon in 2019. After graduating from the University of the Arts in 1992, Chris enjoyed a long professional freelance illustration career that included work for much prominent advertising, editorial, and publishing companies, and advertising for DC and Marvel Comics. Chris and his wife Janet are members of St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, NJ, they are active workers in the church, Sunday School, and youth programs, sharing their faith through an example with their young son Constantine (Dean).

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