May the Force Bewitch You: Evaluating the Star Wars Worldview

By Robert Velarde

For nearly forty years, the Star Wars motion picture saga has captivated audiences the world over. With three new films on the horizon, Star Wars remains culturally relevant and iconic. Its music, sounds, visual effects, characters, and extensive merchandising resonate with millions of people. But technical brilliance and commercial success do not always equate with truth. The Star Wars worldview may at first glance appear to support Christian morality, such as the reality of good and evil, the search for meaning and redemption, and the pursuit of virtue. In reality, however, Star Wars is replete with non-Christian worldview concepts, including elements of Gnosticism, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Eastern meditation, occultism, and moral relativism. Star Wars, for instance, posits a yin-yang balance of opposing powers, which it calls “the Force”—a prominent thread in the films that has much in common with Taoism. Monistic pantheism is another element of the Star Wars movies that, in this case, borrows heavily from Hinduism. Moreover, aspects of the occult are prevalent in the Star Wars films and infuse various discussions and training involving the Force. Occult elements of Star Wars include telepathy, telekinesis, mind reading, and spiritism, to name a few. In addition, when it comes to its epistemology, Star Wars roots knowledge firmly in the realm of subjective feelings, urging viewers with pithy admonitions such as, “Feel, don’t think.” Far from being Christian, the Star Wars worldview is, on multiple levels, diametrically opposed to Christianity. The films may be entertaining, but the claims they make about faith, reality, knowledge, and morality do not correspond with truth.

A long time ago, in May 1977, filmmaker George Lucas launched a blockbuster movie franchise and global phenomenon with the release of Star Wars. Originally comprised of three motion pictures, three more were released beginning in 1999.1 In late 2015, the films continue with Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, to be followed by two additional films in 2017 and 2019. The Star Wars films have significantly influenced millions of people the world over, and not just children. With stunning special effects, archetypal characters, and epic storylines, Star Wars remains a major influence not only in filmmaking but also in areas of merchandising, theme parks, video games, books, television programs, graphic novels, and in philosophy and religion. In 2012, media empire Disney purchased Lucasfilm, including the rights to the Star Wars franchise, for $4 billion, ensuring continued exposure of the Star Wars worldview. Nearly forty years after the release of A New Hope, the films and their various derivative properties remain an influential global force on the collective human experience…

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May the Force Bewitch You: Evaluating the Star Wars Worldview – Christian Research Institute