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Pantheism in Star Wars

Discussion in 'Theological Concepts' started by Boethiah, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Boethiah

    Boethiah Penguin

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    This idea has probably been brought up, but isn't pantheism a major theme in the Star Wars universe? The whole "forces that binds us together" thing seems to have some pretty pantheist undertones. If it isn't strictly pantheism, would it fall under another category better?
     
  2. fantome profane

    fantome profane quintessence of dust

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    I vaguely remember reading once that George Lucus was influenced by the idea of “Chi” (or Qi) in Taoist philosophy.
     
  3. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    I think it's more of a Tao theme, but there are also other ideologies that the Jedi are based on. There is also a good deal of Bushido and Buddhism blended into a Jedi.
     
  4. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli Premium Member

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    Lucas said:
    "The Force evolved out of various developments of character and plot. I wanted a concept of religion based on the premise that there is a God and there is good and evil. I began to distill the essence of all religions into what I thought was a basic idea common to all religions and common to primitive thinking. I wanted to develop something that was nondenominational but still had a kind of religious reality. I believe in God and I believe in right and wrong. I also believe that there are basic tenets which through history have developed into certainties, such as 'thou shalt not kill.' I don't want to hurt other people. 'Do unto others...' is the philosophy that permeates my work."
    [Source: Ryder Windham. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Scrapbook. Random House (1999), pg. 11.]
     
  5. xkatz

    xkatz Glory to God!

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    Star Wars draws a lot from Eastern religions, especially Toaism, Buddha Dharma, Confucianism, and maybe from other traditions as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  6. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    I wouldn't argue with the theology of Star Wars being pantheistic in nature. I would say with the "apparent Will of the Force (Universe)" being Tao-istic in nature. While the code action of the Jedi being Bushido (a fusion of Zen, Buddhism and Shinto with a warrior/martial arts/Confucian-like code).

    ...or maybe panentheistic if the Force is "alive" (conscious/active).
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  7. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    I think he just ripped off everyone other myth in the world where there is a hero in a good/evil situation because everyone loves it so much and the potential to make money is ridiculous there of.
     
  8. Skwim

    Skwim Well-Known Member

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    According to Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars film, the Force is an energy field created by all living things, which surrounds and penetrates living beings and binds the galaxy together. Throughout the series, characters exhibit various powers that rely on the Force. So it isn't pantheism.

    Source: Wikipedia
     
  9. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi New Member

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    I don't know what religion Lucas used as basis for the force in starwars.

    I do know that Lucas considered Joseph Campbell as his mentor, and used the book Hero with a Thousand Faces as the basis of Starwars. So the movie was made in the style of a Myth . Lucas did a whole interview with Bill Moyers on this subject.

    Cinema: Of Myth And Men - TIME
     
  10. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli Premium Member

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    PSSSSST!
    Post #4
     
  11. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    ...but if the "Force" was Gods Essence or Will it could still be considered (monist) pantheism.
     
  12. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    The Force comes from one's midichlorian count. And since Lucas did state a biological nature to the Force long before so many people where upset about it when Episode 1 came out, it debunks any ideas that the Force is of a divine influence.
     
  13. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Persona Polytheist / Proud Ergi Staff Member Premium Member

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    Which is why most fans consider midichlorians non-canonical. :D I do.
     
  14. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    I use to consider it non-canonical, but then I read in an interview with Lucas from the 70's I'm pretty sure it was that he did state back then that the Force is of a biological nature.
     
  15. Skwim

    Skwim Well-Known Member

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    And if mice had wings they could fly.
     
  16. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    (Copied from Wookieepedia Midi-chlorian)
    Midi-chlorians were intelligent microscopic life-forms that served as organelles within all living cells, existing in a symbiotic relationship with the beings they inhabited and comprising a collective consciousness amongst themselves. Present in all life, midi-chlorians were isomorphic on every world that supported life. Midi-chlorians, in fact, were necessary for life to exist. They also allowed for a connection with the pervasive energy field known as the Force; in sufficient numbers, midi-chlorians could allow their symbiont organism to detect the Force, and this connection could be strengthened by quieting one's mind, allowing the midi-chlorians to "speak" to their symbiont and communicate the will of the Force.
    I fail to see how "biological nature" would preclude evidence of the Divine. Where there is "life" there are midichlorians. Midicholrians are the Divine thread by which all living things are united. They act upon life like our neurons do in our brains. Neurons transmit signals/messages by which our body/mind communicates with parts of itself. Midicholrians transmit that connection through all life in order to allow life to connect with the Force/Will of the Divine and tap into a higher level of understanding and control of other parts of creation as there is no real separation between those parts because "The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." Obi Wan Kenobi

    Perhaps also of interest: midichlorians (or midichlorian like genes) are currently being investigated under the God gene hypothesis. Dean Hamer, the director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, has proposed that there are a set of genes that predisposes some people to believe-in/feel-connected-to a higher power.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  17. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    Some do. They are called "bats". ;)
     
  18. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    It's a biological entity though. The Force isn't the mystical energy/psychic energy that usually comes to mind, but rather micro-organisms that allow for the use of the Force.

    That has been theorized for many years now. Even if it is true, it doesn't mean there is a divine influence that causes that to occur.
     
  19. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    If I may throw out a few definitions.
    bi·o·log·i·cal
    Of, relating to, caused by, or affecting life or living organisms.

    mys·ti·cal
    Involving or having the nature of an individual's direct subjective communion with God or ultimate reality.

    Pantheism
    The view that the Universe/Nature* and God are one.

    *Nature
    Derived from the Latin term natura - "that which has been born".
    Biological in that it is symbiotic with "life": yes.
    The Force meets the definition of "mystical".
    Midichlorians allow you to feel the force. But they do not allow you to use the force any more than a compass allows you to use the north pole. It merely points the way, what you do with it is up to you.
    In pantheistic theology God and the Universe/Nature are one and Nature can be defined as "that which has been born" then God it would not be inconceivable that God would/could also be biological (related to/affecting life) at least when viewed within the scope of our current understanding.
     
  20. Skwim

    Skwim Well-Known Member

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    Bat's ain't mice. Heck, they ain't even rodents.
     
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