In the book, you call both Star Wars and Christianity "mythology." What do you mean?
A myth is a story that confronts us with the "big picture," something transcendent and eternal, and in so doing, explains the worldview of a civilization. Given that definition, Christianity is the prevailing myth of Western culture and Star Wars is a prevailing myth of our popular culture. However, one of these myths is actually true and historically based, and that is Christianity. Both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien loved great myths, but each believed beneath all well-crafted myths there was the one true myth, Christianity.
George Lucas, to my knowledge, has never made explicitly Christian claims for Star Wars. How would you compare his fantasy world with those of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien?
As you mentioned, the Lucas story is more theologically attuned with Hinduism. In Jedi mythology, the highest good is achieved by balancing light and dark, whereas Jedi Christians believe the highest good is achieved when darkness is defeated. In Jedi Christian lore, the dark side is not just the opposite of light, but is an unequal opponent of God, who, in Star Wars terms, is the Lord over the Force.
In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, there is a ring over the other rings, and then there is a Lord of the Rings. The wizards Sauron and Gandalf represent the dark and light sides, but Tolkien's title reveals his Christian belief that above all the rings and all manner of powerful wizardry, there is a Lord of the Rings who rules over all, and who will bring history to a just and good conclusion. Tolkien said of his work, "The Lord of the Rings is a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; it is about God, and his sole right to divine honor."
Lewis also recognized the ultimate rule and authority of God over the "forces of good and evil." As Lewis put it, we must ultimately decide whether Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or who he said he is, the Lord. The first chapter of Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters draws this important distinction between the Star War's Hindu, monistic worldview and Christianity, which teaches that there is one who is wholly other and Lord over all.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Christianity Today interviews Dick Staub, author of Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters. The Q&As below refer to Chesterton-influenced authors CSL and JRRT.
Posted by Joe at 11:43 AM