Without any doubt, the most recent installment in the Star Wars films is the most controversial and divisive among fans, casual viewers, critics, and genre observers alike. Countless posts, threads and videos rant incessantly online voicing opinions, pointing fingers, passing judgments and venting frustrations. In this article we shall dive beneath the surface issues, intensity and vitriol and delve into the very essence of what’s playing out before our eyes: a phenomenon which is typically reserved for the realm of religion. And therein lies the basis of this discourse: Star Wars was never a franchise or even a brand. As a modern-day mythology it most closely resembles a religion, and what we’re witnessing today can be best be understood in light of Christianity’s contentious and divisive history. (Note: the plural of Logos is Logoi, but we shortened it to Logi for poetic symmetry with Jedi).
No matter your age, there is a good chance you can remember the first time you read the words, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” and your consciousness was struck by the title, the crawl, and the orchestral magnificence which became both the signature and the anthem of what is surely a modern day mythology. Not as though you need a refresher, but conduct an exercise in conscious imagination and take yourself back to the age you were when you experienced the following for the first time…
If you have no love for Star Wars, little of what you just experienced will likely have had an emotional impact on you. If you do not consider yourself a fan of the films—particularly the original trilogy—you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Fan or not, you should be able to recognize that in the world of pop-culture Star Wars exists in a category all its own. Only one other legendary sci-fi franchise—Star Trek—comes close (and possibly Dune; in fantasy, maybe The Lord of the Rings, both of which reflect many of the tropes and archetypes found in Star Wars). Although we freely admit that to most Trekkies and Trekkers Star Trek is the “superior” and more influential of the two sci-fi properties, we are not here to open that can of worms or debate the relative merits of each franchise. What we are here to illuminate is what Francis Ford Coppola said about Star Wars in the mid-1970’s after George Lucas asked him to read the screenplay.
“Forget a movie, what you have here is a religion!”
Thirty-eight years later, history has proven Coppola right. The story that Lucas penned, put on film and playfully described as “a spaghetti western in space,” has gone on to spawn countless novels, animated television series, video games, and two actual religious organizations, each based on the philosophies and tenets prominent in the Star Wars mythology—the Jedi and the Sith. Each have followers, organize events, though they have no physical temples or anything for regular gatherings of congregations.
For the Sith perspective, there are at least two websites you could check out:
And of course, if you’re more drawn to “The Light Side,” there’s…
- The Temple of the Jedi Order referenced in the video above.
We’re not dwelling on this merely to make a point: that there’s much more at work in Star Wars than a spaghetti western in space. We’re sharing the most visceral examples of just how seriously some people take Star Wars. So seriously, that it is their religion, in the literal sense of the term. We could call these individuals orthodox, fervent believers, erstwhile practitioners, or possibly even fanatics—depending on the individuals’ beliefs and actions, and our own point-of-view.
There is a much larger group of Star Wars fans which we could call the faithful. They have not gone as far as adopting the precepts of the Jedi or Sith as their own bona fide religion, or joining a light sabre duelling guild, but they nonetheless are believers in all things Star Wars. They have a passionate love for the source material, the galaxy far, far away in which it is set, the stories played out in that universe, and the characters who play them out. In addition to lining up to be among the first to watch the latest Star Wars film, the faithful likely also read SW novels and comic books, watch SW animated TV shows, play SW video games, collect SW toys and other merchandise, possibly even travel to Star Wars Celebrations, where they cosplay their favourite SW characters. We might otherwise call them fans, but in the context of the present discussion, we know there is something more at work here than typical fandom. After all, there are plenty of fans of Captain America and Batman, and countless cosplayers going to Comicon to show off their hobby knowledge and skills, but no one has founded a melee fighting guild (let alone a religion) based on Marvel or DC Comics—at least, not to the best of our knowledge.
The reason Star Wars holds such a cherished place in fans’ hearts the world over is simple: it is based on universal Truths and archetypes which transcend time and place. It is at its core mythology, not science fiction. And its adherence to structures such as The Hero’s Journey, The Tree of Life of Kabbalah, and other timeless universal wisdom is so faithful, it inspired generations of young people to seek out their own “call to adventure” to descend on Dante’s Ladder to battle the darkness within themselves, and then ascend that same Ladder—also Jacob’s Ladder—to the realm of Mastery when they can return home “a Jedi Master; One with the Force.”
The impact and longevity of Star Wars can be likened to the works of Shakespeare. And, like most of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, the cast of characters each represent an aspect of a single human psyche. Thus, while the action unfolding on stage and screen stimulates the heart-mind on one level, the deeper archetypes stimulate the consciousness on an entirely different level.
Luke and Leia are twins. The two pillars of The Tree of Life are often referred to as “the Twins.” They are analogous to the energetic channels Ida and Pingala within all human beings. These are, of course, related to the sexual force. When they come together they are Yesod, the Vital Force (Chi, Prana, The Sexual Force, which is feminine) and Tipereth, the Force of Willpower, also known as The Human Soul, which is masculine. It is no question that Luke Skywalker is the soul of Star Wars. He is the one who is born in the desert and must not only regain his birthright through struggle and study—to become a Jedi—he must confront his own Father and (in his determination) defeat the Emperor, sacrifice himself, and turn his father back to the good side.
But no soul can achieve this task on its own. It needs the help of a personality. Enter Han Solo, whose scoundrel charm is matched only by his own self-interest. Han Solo gives personality to Star Wars. But a personality alone is useless without a physical body. Chewbacca is the strong animal companion of Han Solo. They are a team. Chewbacca represents our own animal instincts. As for R2-D2 and C-3P0, they are bold cleverness and anxious worrying of the mind (Netzach) and heart (Hod). They are mechanical, of course, and serve both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, who are their masters.
Speaking of masters, a soul cannot ascend to the rank of Jedi without a different sort of master: a guide, a teacher. Obiwan Kenobi is to Luke Skywalker what Jiminy Cricket is to Pinnochio: the Still Soft Voice of Conscience (Geburah). He whispers to Luke to “use the Force” and “let go” precisely in his moments of greatest need. But Luke also needs another teacher, Yoda, who embodies the timeless traditions of esoteric wisdom and who has taught generations of young Jedi. Yoda represents the outward forms, teachings and traditions which impart the path to Gnosis (Da’ath), which is Greek (Hebrew) for experiential knowledge. He is by all accounts the “guru” we all eventually encounter in one form or another on our own path to Mastery.
Which brings us to Darth Vader: Luke’s father, the “Chosen One” who was prophesized would bring balance to the Force. He descends into darkness, corrupted by Emperor Palpatine because of his own attachments to Padme, and is freed only because of Luke’s sacrifice and service to that cause. Luke and his Father share the same name, though Vader says “that name no longer has any meaning for me.” Luke responds, “it is the name of your True Self.” The Emperor, the physical embodiment of ego, and the Empire he establishes is our ego and our own individual psychological Klipoth (hell). It is only when Luke ascends to the level of Master (Jedi) that the Emperor can be defeated, and Peace restored to the Galaxy through the death of Darth Vader and the redemption of Anakin Skywalker. Something very similar to this process occurs within us, should we proceed successfully through our own tests and ordeals.
Many know that Skywalker was originally written as Starkiller. It was decided to be too violent and evil-sounding…more a Sith name than that of a Jedi. In fact, the name resurfaced as a Sith name in a Star Wars video game, and in The Force Awakens as the name of the First Order’s Starkiller Base. But this prejudice and second-guessing of Lucas’s intuition/inspiration shows the ignorance of what it symbolizes. The significance of this name as Skywalker’s original name should not be lost on those who have an intimate knowledge of The Christ. The Christ is the Fire of the Fire and the Light of Lights which indeed exists at the heart of hearts of every star in the universe, including our sun, The Son. It is born through death, as the mythological phoenix and the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The relationship between a star and death is about as Christic a symbol as one can get. Observe the power of the sunrise in the east and the mystical associations of the Winter Solstice, when the Sun/Son “dies” and is reborn on the third day. It should also not be forgotten that the menacing base of the original trilogy was called The Death Star. The connections between stars and death in Star Wars (it’s in the title), go far beyond physical stars and physical death. It represents the dual nature of life/death; Light/Dark; and Fire itself: the ability to create and/or destroy. This is The Christ, whose motto is inscribed above Jesus’s head on The Cross: INRI…igne natura renovateur integra…the fire renews nature incessantly.
Anakin Skywalker is our Innermost Being. Luke Skywalker is our human soul. Both are part of our Monad. It is only by confronting The Dark Side of our own ego that we reach Mastery in Tipereth (we become a Jedi); and we must die psychologically (Darth Vader) so that the name Skywalker (the Christ) can be reborn, and peace brought to the Galaxy.
This is the significance, esoterically and archetypally, of the achievement in Return of the Jedi. It is not only the redemption of Anakin Skywalker, the triumph of the Rebellion and the defeat of the Empire. All that is a symbol, whose true meaning can be found in the name “The Rebellion” itself. The Rebel Alliance is the force of good against the Evil Galactic Empire (the ego). If you want to know the deep significance of this, there are two very important books written by Master Samael Aun Weor whose titles should give you a clue: Revolutionary Psychology and The Great Rebellion.
Esoterically, then, we can see the deep psychological connections between our own inner struggles against the Dark Side and those of “The Skywalker”…The Christ…The Logos (all THREE of them: Anakin, Luke and Leia: The Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which embodies the Divine Feminine)…put another way, The Logoi (which we have cheekily reduced to Logi for the purposes of poetic symmetry).
As a brief aside, we should note that Leia “remains safely anonymous” throughout the original Trilogy. She uses her adopted name, Leia Organa. This veils tremendous significance. She is, in fact, a Skywalker. She—like Luke—is The Christ IN POTENTIALITY, but unlike Luke, whose potential as the Soul of Star Wars is overt, Leia’s is veiled behind the position of “Princess” and the name “Organa,” which is analogous to organics…mechanical nature. The feminine aspect of Christ exists within all of us as Divine Mother Devi Kundalini Shakti. But it sleeps in potentiality. It must be awoken, freed from the Death Star by Luke, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C3-PO and R2-D2, all of whom follow the guidance of Obiwan Kenobi to serve Leia. This archetype has existed for thousands of years in mythology, fairy tales, and literature: that is because the psyche is feminine, as is our sexual force, the Kundalini, both of which must be awoken; must be freed from the clutches of some “evil Empire” or “evil villain.” But we must be wary: under the guise of Leia Organa, the sexual force is aligned with ORGANIC NATURE; mechanical nature. And the pull of Mother Nature is very strong indeed. Yet Leia’s true calling is to BE THE LEADER OF THE REBELLION. Just as Luke’s birthright is to become a Jedi, Leia’s is to provide him with the inspiration, the knowledge, and the vehicle he needs to achieve that goal (the inspiration to rescue her, the plans to the Death Star, the Rebellion itself). All this is Leia’s True Nature as a SKYWALKER…in this case the feminine aspect of The Christ potentiality within us: Kundalini. It is only because of Leia that Luke can fulfill his destiny and sacrifice himself so that in turn, Anakin can fulfill his destiny, as prophesied, bring balance to the Force, by sacrificing himself, and dying so that his Son/Sun can live. All this represents what takes place within the psyche of an individual walking The Path of the Bodhisattva, the greatest of all Hero’s Journeys…the Path of Self-Sacrfice and Christification, walked by such figures as Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, Queztalcoatl, and many others.
So you may be wondering: “what about The Force? Wouldn’t it make more sens to say The Christ is the Force, considering both are literally a force in the universe?” The short answer is, yes, of course. But Consider the following:
“The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And my sister has it.” – Luke Skywalker
The association of The Force (The Christ) with Skywalkers is the strongest throughout the original Star Wars films. The Force as it is applied and shown is closer to chi than it is The Christ. That said, once Jedi characters die and “become one with the Force,” The Force indeed takes on more of the characteristics of The Christ. We have already described how Leia represents the feminine Christic Force in potentiality within us (Kundalini), which is directly related to chi (qi), also known as prana. So yes, of course, The Force is The Christ / Kundalini and is archetypally associated strongest with “the Skywalker clan” for the reasons already discussed.
This is what’s being “messed with,” in the new post-Disney-acquisition era of Star Wars films. It is the same process which took place over 1,500 years ago when Emperor Constantine decided to appropriate the burgeoning Christian religion (which was Gnostic), and make it the official religion of the Holy Roman Empire. However, that process was a political one, not a spiritual one. The powers that be had NO comprehension of the deeper mysteries of the property they were appropriating for purely political gain. So the Nicaean Council began throwing out all kinds of potentially “dangerous” books and references from the gospels, leaving only those bits which supported the politically expedient version of Christianity they were constructing.
The resulting religion must have been as insulting to the core followers of the early Christian faith (Gnostics) as The Last Jedi is to long-time fans of Star Wars. Like Constantine, the new owners of Star Wars are using it as a vehicle to propagate their own Empire (Disney), as well as bolster their own political agendas (Google “SJW Star Wars”). In place of powerful symbols and characterizations of timeless universal archetypes we’ve already discussed, we are being force-fed (pardon the pun) the contemporary dogmas of liberal intellectualism, most notably radical feminism, multiculturalism, anti-capitalism, and more. Whether or not you believe in any of these movements (or their respective merits) is irrelevant. It’s that they have no place in Star Wars that SW fans are up in arms. A mythology which was always about timeless and universal archetypes has been overtly politicized by those in power who have appropriated it for the sake of political expediency. The SJWs have no respect for timeless universal Truth—postmodernism has convinced them that no such thing as Truth exists, and that all things professing to be True are in fact oppressive Patriarchal which must be deconstructed. So Star Wars is “re-imagined” by activists like Rian Johnson who overtly subverts all that made it great for the sake of his own post-modern interpretation in-line with the goals of the Disney-Lucasfilm Empire.
And, just as this new interpretation of Star Wars is a subversion of the deep archetypal traditions which inspired the franchise, so too was Constantine’s Christianity seen for what it was by Gnostics: an overt dismantling of the Truth in favour of what was politically expedient. But because the ancient world lacked the pace of change we experience today (most notably due to the advent of information technology and the Internet), it took several hundred years before the politicization and degeneration of Christianity led to its fracture—known as The Great Schism. This established the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches of West and East, and set the precedent of dissident fracturing which would define Christianity for over a thousand years, from the Reformation and the birth of The Church of England, to the countless Christian sects we see today. A history of fracturing which includes more than just a few episodes of hatred, vitriol, and violent strife between sects right up to the modern age (i.e. “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics). And no wonder. One cannot cut the heart and soul out of a religion and expect it to endure. One cannot mess around with the very foundations of a building and expect it to stand for very long. Remember when we said Luke was the Soul of Star Wars? The Last Jedi murdered Luke Skywalker. First, a character assassination, followed by a romantic, sentimental physical death. It is the kind of move that leads to great schisms in Christianity—matters such as the status of The Virgin Mary in the Church. Was she really a virgin? Not understanding the true meaning of Immaculate Conception (clean, without blemish) and the deeper secrets of White Tantra (which had been discarded, including the Gospel of Mary Magdalene), of course factions formed along fault lines which ended up splitting up Christianity into ever more fractured sects.
This, dear friends, is the context in which we need to observe the apparent hatred and vitriol being spewed by different camps forming around the “Postmodern” Star Wars. The SJWs have their own “religion” (which is politically motivated), and they are only too happy to actively spit in the face of the “True Believers” by crapping all over Luke Skywalker (remember: a living embodiment of the Christ), burning The Tree of Life and the old Jedi Texts on-screen, having Ghost-Yoda proclaim gleefully that “page turners they were not.” This is what Constantine did during the Nicaean Council. But since Rome had a long tradition of attacking and persecuting Christian Gnostics before then, appropriating their texts and then burning all but 4 Gospels seemed like an appropriate (again, pun intended) way of adding insult to injury. The vast majority of Romans (and since then, Christians) were none the wiser…literally.
Now, all this may sound very conspiratorial. In fact, it is only somewhat so. Kathleen Kennedy and the folks at Disney are no more conscious of what they are doing to the legacy of Star Wars as the majority of movie goers. While many are aware that Star Wars is being ruined, and they can point to the politicization of the franchise as being the primary factor, they might not be able to explain it consciously in the level of esoteric detail we have just done. But they know it…they feel it…like the Force itself. This new Star Wars may look right, sound good, etc (see our article: Star Wars: The Substance Sleeps) but it leaves all but the sleeping sheeple with one highly significant impression…
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
So what, then is going on? If people are not consciously out to destroy the legacy and Soul of Star Wars, why is it happening? One might just as easily pose the question with reference to Constantine and Christianity. Was he determined to stamp out the Truth and Heart and Soul of Christianity, leaving only a hollow superficial shell of its True Gnostic Teachings? Or was that a side-effect of the appropriation and degeneration of the religion for political expediency?
If we look to the SW prequels, Palpatine must consciously stamp out the Jedi Order if he is to succeed at taking over the Republic and establishing his Evil Empire. This is our clue. Remember, Palpatine is the ego. And his practical power comes from his ability to win the sympathy of thousands of star systems and create a clone army. So, too, those who blindly follow the rationality of political expediency and self-interest are invariably under the influence of the hidden Sith Lord within their own internal governance structure (their subconscious mind). The ego-mind is so clever and can rationalize all manner of evils under various banners of morality, righteousness, logic, self-interest, safety, security, et al. The list is endless.
Esoterically, the ego is The Black Lodge. The Sith, in Star Wars terms. As the Sith do in Star Wars, the ego manipulates and seeks control over those in power (politicians) and the mindless masses (clones) in order that they do its bidding. Herein lies the true meaning of Palpatine’s real name: Darth Sidious. The modus operandi of ego is insidiousness. The Black Lodge (ego, Sith) carries out its true purposes unbeknownst to us via the subconscious mind, just as our higher comprehensions of the True meaning of Star Wars and its archetypes remain largely hidden away from us in our unconscious mind. What we follow are the surface rationalizations of our mind, just as the Republic grants emergency powers to Palpatine “to the sound of thunderous applause.” Meanwhile, they are all enslaving themselves to Darth Sidious, who they have never seen nor hear of.
We have written at some length in previous articles about the Law of Entropy (namely, in The Conspiracy of Conspiracies.) It is just a fact of the world that nothing is immune to this law. Things breakdown, become overcomplicated, fractured, and eventually die. It is a function of mechanical nature and the ego serves mechanical nature. The ego MUST conspire to first build things up, and then break things down in accordance with The Law of the Pendulum. It is precisely this Law, when filtered through ego, that we end up with the “divide and conquer” phenomena and the fractures and divisions which are all too familiar in the world of politics and—as we have demonstrated—religion.
No religion is immune either to the Law of the Pendulum or the Law of Entropy.
Not even language is immune to entropy, as George Carlin pointed out in his discussion of euphemisms and the degeneration of “shell shock” into “PTSD.” But here again, we witness The Essence, the underlying Truth of the word being slowly and seemingly deliberately watered-down by the “gentler” and “more technically descriptive” terms replacing it. A phrase like PTSD is more complicated, complex, more satisfying to the ego-mind. But it no way, shape, or form can capture the feeling of shell shock.
And no, Star Wars isn’t immune to the immutable Laws of Entropy and the Pendulum. All things which are born eventually die. If you have watched our YouTube video on the most important words ever written in English, you know that likely NO living Shakespearean scholar or actor actually comprehends what the famous “to be or not to be speech” is actually about, despite intuitively knowing them to be the most profound and meaningful words Shakespeare ever wrote.
However, Truth *IS* timeless and immutable, and where its outward expressions die in one form, it is redressed and reappears in other, new forms. Is there a TRUE “spiritual successor” to Star Wars awaiting to be birthed somewhere in the near future? Only time will tell. In the meantime, we have had many lesser candidates, from The Matrix Trilogy to the X-Men comics to the Kung Fu Panda Trilogy, all vividly exploring in symbolism and myth the nature of the path of the human psyche through darkness and haplessness into the Light of Mastery. (What do you think the “X” in X-Men really symbolizes, understanding it is a cross? Hint: they even have a character called “The Phoenix.”)
In the final analysis, then, one should have a better appreciation for why the fire and fury over Star Wars burns as intensely as it does, and why the SJWs now involved in the politicization of a modern-day mythology are playing with fire. Their outrage and indignation at the “attacks” they are being subjected to by “Star Wars fanatics” is unwarranted. They are wholly ignorant of the depths of meaning they are toying with. Or, if they are (as Ryan Johnson appears to be winking at when he has Ghost Yoda burn the Tree of Life and sacred Jedi texts), then they are wholly possessed by the Black Lodge (The Dark Side) and are consciously spitting in the face of Truth for the sake of not just political expediency, but accelerating the processes of entropy. They want Postmodern Star Wars to mean something radically new, something which serves their own lust for power and serves to dismantle what they judge as the Patriarchy of the past in exchange for a New Utopian Empire of Tomorrow…and so they are doing to Star Wars just what Emperor Constantine did to Christianity. And so the great schisms and strife between the followers of the old and the believers in the new is only just beginning.
If you love Star Wars, you know now why you are so troubled by what is happening to your beloved mythos.
[…] Let us embark, dear reader, on a heroic journey. Much has been written about Joseph Campbell and The Monomyth of The Hero’s Journey. There is precious little we can contribute to the immense cataloguing of human narratives, mythologies, traditions, folklore, fairy tales and scriptures compiled by Campbell during his lifetime and countless others since his passing in 1987. What we will do, however, is expand the analysis beyond mere story-telling and culture. As powerful and meaningful as Campbell’s work was (and remains to this day), it failed to have the intended impact on the broader populace and in other fields of study—particularly psychology, the sciences, and society as a whole. Yes, it had a profound impact on George Lucas and arguably gave us Star Wars, but fandom notwithstanding, as a modern mythology, it too has fallen somewhat flat in terms of moving the collective consciousness of humanity in a truly positive direction. For more on that, read our blog article Star Wars: The Last Jedi or The Last Logi? […]
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