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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 8:30am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I know the Jedi Knights are religious - or at least comparable to a religion. And I know the "Force" is an energy field connected to every living thing. STAR WARS, unlike STAR TREK, hasn't really probed religion (which is fine, I know they are different franchises), but there are semi-religious aspects.

Is there a "God" in the STAR WARS universe? I have looked on the internet, but can't find anything.

Have any non-canonical adventures, i.e. books, featured anything remotely akin to "God" in STAR TREK V?

Thanks! 
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Both Han Solo's comment about "hokey religions" and C-3PO's comment that the Ewoks thought he was a god, imply that the concept of the worship of a god existed.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 9:04am | IP Logged | 3 post reply


 QUOTE:
Is there a "God" in the STAR WARS universe?

I barely know anything about what happened to Star Wars beyond the original trilogy.

Confined to the original movie, STAR WARS, the answer is "no." The single line about "hokey religions" isn't any kind of indication at all that any gods are recognized or worshiped. 

As for C3PO being taken as a "god" in JEDI, that certainly doesn't have be defined as God The Supreme Being. Many other denotations and connotations fit that scene and into the overall presentation of what people thought and believed in the original trilogy. But since the sequels so thoroughly screwed up the original in sundry ways no matter what, I also don't care what the movie either intended or laid out as a possibility.
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Byron Graham
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Deep Thought: When Threepio exclaims "Thank the Maker!" is he referring to Anakin?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 11:23am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Deep Thought: When Threepio exclaims "Thank the Maker!" is he referring to Anakin?

•••

Not the first time!

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 3:59pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

And the even more provocative question, Robbie... is there a Jesus in the Star Wars universe?

For my own tastes, I think that any fictional universe that refers to the existence of God loses the right to have any universe threatening catastrophes, e.g., Crisis on Infinite Earths, the destruction of Marvel Ultimate universe, Ghost Rider's 'friend", later treatments of the Spectre (including one spectacularly bad idea in a DC Comics Presents with Superman and the Spectre where Superman encountered God.)

For a small time setup like "Star Wars", it's the same question; why does God let bad things happen to nice planets like Alderaan? Too many unanswerable and controversial questions IMO..


Edited by Eric Sofer on 29 August 2017 at 4:00am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 5:31pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

And the even more provacative question, Robbie... is there a Jesus in the Star Wars universe?

••

I'll let Robbie give his own answer, obviously, but let's not forget the tale takes place "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."

How long? How far? Far enough that it might belong to a "parallel universe" which more or less duplicates our own, but on a different timeline.*

Then we ask if God repeats himself. Which would make us all very unimportant in the scheme of things.

____________________

* This is legitimate theory. If the Universe is, indeed, infinite. then everything we know and see must be repeated an infinite number of times. (An infinite number of me are typing these exact words, right now.) As the theory goes, these "parallel universes" -- which would actually be part of our Universe -- would be so far away that we would never interact with them (so don't worry about it), but it could satisfy the denser fanboys who insist STAR WARS represents our Future.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 6:05pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

And the even more provacative question, Robbie... is there a Jesus in the Star Wars universe?

***

Well, that's the million-dollar question.

And whilst not wishing to engage in thread drift - I do that enough! - it does bring to mind problems I had with Christianity when I started to question things: if all sentient beings are sinful, then that means God had two options. He could send Jesus to multiple planets to sacrifice himself time and time again. That seems excessively cruel (to put it mildly!). Or he could just ignore those other planets and allow Jesus to sacrifice himself only on our earth.

The second option seems even more cruel because it's condemning races on other planets (in other galaxies) to eternal hellfire. Unless, of course, races on other planets are born without Original Sin.

Not that I believe anything like that, but I'd sure like to see the Pope and others explain it should alien life ever be proven!


Edited by Robbie Parry on 28 August 2017 at 6:05pm
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 6:34pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply


 QUOTE:
...is there a Jesus in the Star Wars universe?

Considering only the original movie: no.

Luke as Jesus-type? Perhaps, but only if you stretch and cherrypick his story a lot then some basic points could be arguably similar.
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Warren Scott
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Well, there's definitely an after-life in Star Wars. In response to Eric: as a Christian, I've never had a problem with a fictional world with a god being at risk of ending. After all, not everyone in our real world agrees or professes to know how it will end. Who can say how a fictional world will end and whether its god (or gods. Hey, I'm open-minded since it's a fictional universe.)intends for that to happen at the hands of some villain or other force. Perhaps the heroes are the god's means of preventing that; perhaps the god is passive but knows the world won't end. Most of the time, I don't think much about that and just enjoy the movie (or not enjoy it) regardless of my religious beliefs.

Edited by Warren Scott on 28 August 2017 at 7:27pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 7:27pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Well, there's definitely an after-life in Star Wars.

••

For those with midichlorians in their blood!

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Warren Scott
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 7:34pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Yes, I don't think we've seen any spirits who weren't Jedi. That might be an interesting subject in itself. Do the Jedi return as spirits primarily to accomplish some task? That was true for Obi-Wan. Did he, Yoda and Anakin appear before Luke at the end of "Return of the Jedi" to offer some reassurance (besides providing a somewhat sappy happy ending)? Qui Jon Jinn doesn't return, at least in any of the movies. And there's no dance of the spirits of Jedi killed in "Revenge of the Sith" when the Empire falls. That would have been a really sappy ending.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 August 2017 at 7:37pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

And there's no dance of the spirits of Jedi killed in "Revenge of the Sith" when the Empire falls. That would have been a really sappy ending.

••

Especially since that "fall" was supposed to have happened at the end of the original movie!!!!

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 4:04am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Robbie... did you just imply that my asking about Jesus is thread drift in a topic about God?

It is thread drift, I suppose... but only if you're not Christian. :)

As for the Star Wars afterlife... I'm reminded of a sequence from "The Last Starfighter":
Alex Rogan: Wait a minute... when did the hangar go up?
Grig: I told you! When Xur attacked!
Alex Rogan: And where were the Starfighters?
Grig: In the hangar!
Alex Rogan: You mean they're dead?
Grig: [scoffs] Death is a primitive concept. I prefer to think of them as battling evil in another dimension.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 6:20am | IP Logged | 15 post reply


 QUOTE:
Well, there's definitely an after-life in Star Wars.

Not in STAR WARS.

Part of what I love about the original movie is that it's so subtle in so many ways. We see Darth strike down Ben, but the latter doesn't patently, blatantly become more powerful than Darth can possibly imagine. So at the end, virtually nothing forces (sorry) us to accept that Ben must have somehow spiritually survived in an after-life to coach from there (wherever "there" might be) Luke's destroying the Death Star. Rather, Ben's "voice" could have just been all in Luke's mind. In the mere hint of the notion of a greater than visible reality lies the profundity of STAR WARS. And the more it was made explicit from sequels through prequels, the more all that was ruined.



Edited by Michael Penn on 29 August 2017 at 6:37am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 7:36am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Robbie... did you just imply that my asking about Jesus is thread drift in a topic about God?

***

No, merely blaming myself. ;-)

I wouldn't mind seeing the occasional fake god in STAR WARS. I like the TOS episodes featuring fake gods; and the 'god' scene in STAR TREK V is the best part of the movie.

Let's see Luke Skywalker, in a comic, use that lightsaber against a fake god! 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Ben's "voice" could have just been all in Luke's mind.

••

You're rewriting the movie.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 9:59am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I was unclear, sorry. Luke was surely not merely engaging in some imaginary remembering of Ben. 

I meant to say that STAR WARS does not definitively posit some other literally ghostly after-life of the kind shown in JEDI. So, for example, when Ben "says" that Luke should run instead of trying to shoot down Darth on the Death Star, there's nothing shown and thus perhaps nothing to show but whatever is going on in Luke's mind. This is what I appreciate about STAR WARS. The gross depiction of spiritual survival in JEDI undercuts the graceful profundity of the original movie.


Edited by Michael Penn on 29 August 2017 at 10:00am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

STAR WARS does not definitively posit some other literally ghostly after-life of the kind shown in JEDI.

••

How can you say that? Ben clearly survives in a non-corporeal form. We don't SEE him, but thru Luke we HEAR him. Unless you want to rewrite the movie, as noted.

JEDI is unsubtle on every level, but it cannot be said to "undercut" the original, at least on this point. The implications were there, and while extrapolating on those implications was unnecessary, as have been pretty much all of the extrapolations by Lucas and others, the original concept remains intact.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 10:26am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I think I've already crossed into that realm where a fan can over-think a movie he loves. 

But as long as I have transgressed...

It's not that Ben continues in some way after -- who really knows what happened? he wasn't chopped up... he simply ceased to be in the place where he was -- his battle with Darth that I think is undercut by JEDI. Perhaps "undercut" is imprecise? It's everything that JEDI did with that continuing -- making it so gross, so literal, and so confusing when Darth is redeemed -- that ruins the graceful restraint of the original.

All that said, STAR WARS is straightforward about all this: Ben was there, then Ben is gone, then Ben still talks to Luke -- accept it and move on. I do!

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Warren Scott
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Michael, you raised an interesting way of interpreting all of the "Star Wars" films. Because Luke is the only one who sees (or hears) the spirits of Ben, Yoda and Anakin, you could assume they don't really exist and are only in his mind. In the first, he only hears Ben's voice so you could interpret that as his imagining what Ben would tell him to do.
Even so, I don't buy it because I think Luke, after hearing Ben's instruction, acts contrary to his first instinct. In the first scene, when he hears Ben telling him to run, he is emotionally distraught. In the climax, Ben tells him to shut off his targeting computer, which is contrary to what he's inclined to do, especially under the intense circumstances.
But it seems clear the Jedi spirits interact only with Luke.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 11:16am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

It's not that Ben continues in some way after -- who really knows what happened? he wasn't chopped up... he simply ceased to be in the place where he was…

••

NOTHING in the orginal film suggested anything like this.

+++

All that said, STAR WARS is straightforward about all this: Ben was there, then Ben is gone, then Ben still talks to Luke -- accept it and move on. I do!

••

Well, you coulda fooled me!!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 11:16am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

While Luke himself seems a bit unsure as to whether he's hearing things or not, it's important to remember that Ben literally disappears when Vader cuts him down. 

It's not as if Luke saw Ben hacked in two, and then started having auditory hallucinations in order to cope with the trauma. Ben simply disappears, and then Luke starts hearing his voice. He is initially unsure about it, but, by the end, has accepted that his mentor is still with him in spirit.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 29 August 2017 at 11:17am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 11:20am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Because Luke is the only one who sees (or hears) the spirits of Ben, Yoda and Anakin, you could assume they don't really exist and are only in his mind.

••

Sure, and Harry Pottery is experiencing hallucinations brought on by being locked in that hall closet, Ripley is having nightmares brought on by being locked up in that hibernation pod, and Superman is having delusions as he wanders the wasteland of an Earth stripped of life by all those indestructible Kryptonian germs he brought with him.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 25 post reply


 QUOTE:
In the first, he only hears Ben's voice so you could interpret that as his imagining what Ben would tell him to do. Even so, I don't buy it...

Neither do I, Warren. But I admit I failed to explain myself clearly. Ben is somehow "talking" to Luke. Ben's "voice" is not a figment of Luke's imagination. In discussing God and Jesus and an after-life in this thread, I wanted to express how happy am I that STAR WARS didn't do anything more than keep Ben in Luke's mind, quite unlike the subsequent movies and certainly unlike Christian concepts of heaven and souls and such. 


Edited by Michael Penn on 29 August 2017 at 11:23am
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