May the fourth be with you on the day to celebrate Star Wars

As most of us know, the Star Wars franchise depicts the adventures of characters “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” and has amassed such a huge and devout following, it is often likened to a religion. It turns out, the feverence of Star Wars fans isn’t the only commonality between Star Wars and Catholicism.

The spirituality of Star Wars

The spiritual aspect of the Star Wars films is hard to mistake. The films are filled with themes of good versus evil, light versus dark and the mysticism surrounding the Force.

In a 1999 interview in Time Magazine, Star Wars originator George Lucas acknowledged his intent to create a guiding principle.

“I put the Force into the movie in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people – more a belief in God than a belief in any particular religious system.”

George Lucas’ stated aim was to create a mythology that could provide moral guidance within the context of renewed sense of spirituality and transcendence.

As the CatholicLink points out: “The fundamental foundations of George Lucas’ creation “Star Wars” engage us in a battle of morality, in good versus evil, and how he layers the film using core values of religion to delve deeper into what is more than just a sci-fi action-filled blockbuster.”

Catholic analogies

Right from the opening credits, the audience is drawn into a world where the battle of Good and Evil is ongoing. For the purpose of the story, Good is represented by the Jedi Knights and Evil is personified by the Sith Warriors.

CatholicLink likens the Good versus Evil conflict to the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel, which focus on conflict between angels and those who chose the side of Lucifer.

The mysticism of the Force itself is, in many ways, analogous to the Holy Spirit. Spiritual Musclehead describes the Force as: “...something mystical. Something grand. Something that was everywhere yet also inside.”

As CatholicLink points out: When Luke Skywalker asks Yoda how to differentiate between the good and bad, Yoda points out: “You will know when you are at peace."

Hope is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 says: “but the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is now law.”

A story of hope

Perhaps one of the greatest themes woven throughout the entire Star Wars franchise is the theme of hope.

Denver Catholic says: “But still, hope remains, and above all else, Star Wars is a story of hope. Without hope the characters in Star Wars would have nothing to fight for. Hope is why we all fight the battles we do. At times, these battles are daunting, exhausting and feel nearly impossible to overcome. But it’s the hope of something better and a brighter future that drives each of us to face those battles head on. In Star Wars, they do it with the aid of the Force. But Christians have something much better than that; we have the creator of the universe on our side.”

This message of hope closely mirrors the words Bishop Bill Wright shared in his 2017 Christmas Message.

When speaking of the birth of Jesus, Bishop Bill Said: “Christmas is a season of hope for the world. We recall the birth of Christ into a time when the raw power and oppression of the Roman Empire seemed to be the permanent truth of how this world worked, when the corruption and cynicism of King Herod’s regime seemed the model of achievement for those with worldly ambitions.

“Into that world was born a small child whose life and words would change the human story for ever. Jesus renewed and proclaimed the message of the Hebrew prophets that God was on the side of goodness and justice, on the side of the poor and the suffering. And he proclaimed the beginning of a new order of things, the Kingdom of God, in which a new world would finally take shape. He began the process that brought a new hope into being”

May the Fourth be with you

While today is Star Wars Day, and it celebrates the excitement of the Star Wars films and franchise, today also carries a message of empowerment and hope.

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