Welcome to a new series that I hope to do in my spare time called Star Wars and Philosophy! There is a book out by that name right now that I love deeply and is the inspiration for this blog series. I will be posting a link at the end of each post to the book on Amazon. With that being said, let’s discuss the concept of the Force and the worldviews that influenced it.
Obi-Wan Kenobi describes the force to a young Luke Skywalker in a New Hope. “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” The concept of a universal spirit is not unique to Star Wars alone. From what I have been able to determine, Hinduism has a similar concept with what they call Brahman. Brahman manifests itself thru the various gods and that Brahman is the only reality. The Force lives through and guides everyone but is not the universe. Brahman seeps through and influences everything because it is the ultimate reality. The two ideas are similar though they are not completely related.
There are also Christian influences in George Lucas’s concept of the Force. Christian theology claims belief in one God in three persons: The Trinity. The Force however is a single entity that speaks to and guides those who will listen, for example: The Jedi are supposed to let the Force guide their actions. The Holy Spirit takes a similar approach by guiding Christians in the way they are to live. However, a common refrain by Chirrut in Rogue One is, “I am one with the Force, the Force is with me.” This phrase does not translate over to Christianity well as we cannot be one with God though God can guide our actions. Instead it fits more with Hinduism as in this worldview we are one with Brahman which is reality.
Finally, in the original trilogy the Force was seen as more mystical than scientific. In the prequel trilogy there was the controversial inclusion of midichlorians. To make a long story short, midichlorians are extremely tiny organisms that live in your cells. The more of them you have the easier it is to listen to the Force. You are either born with it or not, this is where the similarities to the Christian and Hindu worldview cease. In Christianity, you can choose to listen to God or not. In Hinduism, everyone is connected, whether or not they realize it is another thing. In the Star Wars Universe, you either got it or you don’t! It also displays the shift in our own culture to de-mythologize the supernatural or to explain things with science instead of keeping an air of mystery.
Those are the concepts that I see with the Force in relation to modern religions and worldviews. I would love your thoughts on this and if I misrepresented any worldview please let me know! Philosophy is a communal pursuit as the love of knowledge can’t be held by just one person. So please, tell me your thoughts!
Here is a link to the Star Wars and Philosophy Book I was talking about. They are far more qualified than I am to discuss this but still it is a concept I enjoy exploring. Some of the ideas in this blog and in future posts came from this book so please consider buying it!
See you next time!