Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Star Wars Ideology

My sister and I saw Star Wars for the first time this week. It was definitely an interesting story. Some of the scenes were incredibly well-filmed and the plot was complex and well-organized. The movie was very clean. I could stop here, call it a "good movie" and go on. But it seems to me that there is a lot more below the surface of this story than meets the eye.

I don't think that there is any such thing as an "innocent author." What I mean by this is that every author has his or her own opinions, biases, beliefs and worldview and that these will naturally come out in that author's writings. Is this bad? No! Of course not! But it is dangerous, especially when we don't read carefully. The same goes for movies. Perhaps we tend to say a movie is "OK" if it doesn't have any inappropriate graphical scenes or bad language. Do we sometimes forget that movies (and books) are usually written to communicate an idea (and even if they aren't written for that purpose they fulfill it anyway, albeit unintentionally). Ideas are dangerous, especially when we aren't paying attention to them, because it is then that they slip into our minds unnoticed and uncontested.

In George Lucas' World there is no God, but 'The Force" -an energy field created by all living things that surround us. It has a good side and an evil side. When someone dies, his spirit joins the force and becomes part of it. This is a Buddhist/New Age belief. By the way, have you noticed that the characters names all sound far-eastern (Obi Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda)? While researching New Age beliefs, I was surprised to find that many New Agers believe crop circles to be created by aliens and welcome their coming to our earth. Star Wars holds a picture of a world where aliens and humans will one day live together. Each Jedi has a 'guide' who teaches him secret knowledge. Often these guides communicate as 'ghosts' after they have died. This is forbidden in the Holy Scriptures (Leviticus 19:31) and is also a common New Age belief.

When interested in the ideology behind an author's work, I think it's a good idea to research the beliefs of the author concerned. In this case, that would be George Lucas. Did you know that he wrote a book about his New Age beliefs and had it made into a comic books series? Then...you guessed it! The birth of Star Wars! It is clear that Star Wars is New Age propaganda. George Lucas doesn't deny this. I suppose an informed person can still enjoy the adventure in these movies, but I think they are really dangerous for the naive and especially young children and yet this is the audience the Star Wars creator has targeted.

If you're interested in Star Wars, I think it would be a good idea to learn a little bit more about the worldview of its author and the concepts portrayed in the movies. You might profit from it -- I did.

Seize The Day!


anya said...

We have watched Star Wars (so many times!) and noticed the New Age elements -- but also elements of Christianity which are always in every good story. An especially clear one is Obi-Wan's sacrifice of himself.

Hate what is evil...
Cling to what is good.

You are completely right that all authors' (and movie-makers', and musicians') worldview does come through in their work. :)

In Him,

Aldawen said...

That's interesting; I've watched Star Wars, but never really sensed strong connections between it and the New Age movement (although the "force" is an obvious one). I didn't know that George Lucas wrote about his new age beliefs. With these types of movies, I tend to chew the meat and spit out the bones. ;-) But we always have to be careful about the subtle influences that seep in through our media choices.