On Star Wars
May the Midichlorians Be With You
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, do not be deceived. We are all fans of Star Wars, some of us more so than is healthy or wise. Some of us flatter these films by imagining that they have some deep metaphysical, ethical or spiritual meaning. But this is merely flattery.
I cannot truly discuss the ethics and religion in Star Wars, because, honestly, there is nothing to discuss.
A religion has many elements, but a real religion makes some attempt to account for the great mysteries of the universe. A real religion addresses metaphysics, spiritual powers, martyrdom, ethics, fate, salvation, miracles, and life after death.
Star Wars does not address these issues, and does not try to.
Remember what Star Wars is.
In the midst of the murmuring sloughs of the 1970s, Star Wars shook the movie world like a trumpet blast: a triumph of sheer youthful energy and imagination at a time when all other movies were wallowing in themes of despair. The moment those letters began to scroll up the screen, everyone in the audience knew what kind of film it was meant to be: a serial, a chapter-play, a Buck Rogers film,
Observe what Stars Wars is not.
I cannot call it a great film, unless I use the term in the same way I talk about a great wad of cotton candy or a great fireworks display. I have been awed some Fourths of July with the sheer noise and light and color of the pyrotechnics, …