In the little book Star Wars on Trial, in the chapter “Charge #2″ (to whit: While Claiming Mythic Significance, Star Wars Portrays No Admirable Religious or Ethical Beliefs”. The witness for the prosecution (John C. Wright) attacks this in part by pointing out that Star Wars borrows more from boy-fiction Flash Gordon &etc than anything pretending to be religion. Mr Wright suggests:

A real religion addresses metaphysics, spiritual powers, martyrdom, ethics, salvation, miracles, and life after death.

And no, all world religions necessarily evidence all of these. What he argues, point by point, is that Star Wars “Force” as religion is a calisthenic, it is

an atmosphere, a spooky hint of mystic powers and hidden forces meant to lend an air of exotic super-naturalism to the proceedings. The Force is there for the sword fights. The Force is meant to explain why a kendo fencer can perform amazing leaps, parry laser bolts or make a single one-in-a-million bull’s-eye shot into a ray-shielded thermal exhaust port with a proton torpedo and blow up a space station the size of a small moon.

The Force isn’t learned by credoa nd ethics, it’s something you learn by practice, “by doing one handed handstands while levitating crates on Swamp Planet.”

What, for example, are the doctrinal differences between Obi-Wan and Mr Vader?

Filed under: Mark O.MoviesOffbeat QuestionsReligion

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