Star Wars and the History of Vatican II

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The outrageous but bizarrely supportable thesis statement that I lay before you is this: the Star Wars saga symbolizes the history of Vatican II.  For those unschooled in the ways of Star Wars and recent Church History, this may not interest you … or will just be incoherent.  But without further ado, let me start at the beginning, a long time ago, in an Ecumenical Council far, far away …

Anakin Skywalker (who becomes Darth Vader) is the Second Vatican Council.

The discovery of Anakin (the “Chosen One”) by the Jedi and the convening of the Council by the Clergy are both surprising and seem to come out of nowhere, although at the same time everyone knew they had to come, as alluded to by the historical memoirs of Pius XII and the Jedi Prophecy.  The Ecumenical Council was to “bring the Church into the Modern World,” as the Chosen One is to “bring balance to the Force.”  Both of them go completely awry.

Qui-Gon Jinn is Pope John XXIII

Qui-Gon Jinn, the main Jedi Master we are introduced to at the beginning of the saga, stumbles upon Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, just like John XXIII suddenly announced the opening of the 2nd Vatican Council.  Also, Qui-Gon and John XXII both die at the outsets of their projects.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is Paul VI

Both Obi-Wan and Paul VI set out to finish what their predecessors had begun.  Both are known to be kind-hearted, holy individuals of competent learning who are, nonetheless, quite clueless as to what is happening to what they’re in charge of.

Emperor Palpatine (or Darth Sidious … or the Sith in general) is Modernism

As Chancellor Palpatine works to manipulate Anakin to the dark side for his Sith-ruled galactic conquest, so did conniving modernists work in shadows to turn the Council to their evil agendas.  Palpatine’s modernist views are made explicit when, for example, in attempting to warp Anakin’s mind, argues, “Good is a point of view.”

Similarly, Palpatine, when he was Chancellor of the Old Republic, can be seen as a kind of Liberal, who pretends to work for freedom, but in the end increases the size of government, taking away people’s rights, and is very popular among freedom-loving Democrats for it.

Darth Maul is the Explicitly Satanic Prelude to Modernism

As Palpatine initially sends a very ostentatious disciple against the Jedi, so did modernism show a very obviously demonic face to the world, as was manifested, for example, in Nazism and Communism (two opposite but deadly extremes … sort of like Maul’s Double-Bladed Lightsaber, dare I say).   However, both Palpatine and Modernism would then calculatingly change strategies and work more successful, subtle ways in undermining the Church.

Qui-Gon Jinn was defeated by Darth Maul, showing the unpreparedness of the Jedi to the newly invigorated Sith, just as John XXIII failed to prepare the Church for the modern world due to his untimely death.  Obi-Wan’s defeat of Maul, while praiseworthy, did little to fix the more elusive elements of the Sith, just as Paul VI’s accomplishments, many of which were good, did not sufficiently defend Catholicism against the new onslaught of modernist machination.

The Trade Federation is Capitalism (or Neo-Conservatism)

Capitalists often pretend to entertain what the Popes have to say (particularly regarding Church social teaching), but in the end betray them, just as the Trade Federation, the largest commercial corporation in the Star War Universe, pretended to entertain Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi who visited as diplomats but were then almost assassinated.  The Neimoidians, the race of aliens heading the Trade Federation (chief among them being Viceroy Nute Gunray), furthermore, have stereotypical Oriental accents, which relate them to Japan and China, both of which became huge capitalist empires.

The Trade Federation’s greed spring-boards people to want greater government control in the Galactic Republic.  And ironically, it was people in the government, namely Palpatine (Darth Sidious) that encouraged their greed so that this would happen.  Similarly, the greed of the neocons (something that Capitalists often say is a virtue rather than a deadly sin) is often the catalyst for people wanting more government power in their lives, which, they think, will protect them from oppression by the wealthy.  While the Trade Federation visibly opposed the Galactic Republic (which was, once again headed by Chancellor Palpatine), the Trade Federation ironically was getting their orders from Palpatine the whole time (who disguised himself as Darth Sidious).  Likewise, many Capitalists unbeknownst to them are serving the same agenda as the Liberals (i.e. Modernism), though some are indeed aware of it, considering that many of the richest Capitalists in the world, in fact, are Liberals.  Further, where there is big business (capitalism), you will find big government (socialism), which can be seen in the United States and, moreover, in China.

Jar-Jar Binks is a Stupid Catholic

Jar-Jar Binks represents the really annoying, naive, wild, and even ethnic influences that drizzled into the liturgy and minds of Catholics and consequently empowered modernism to take more control, which is what happens in Episode II, when Jar-Jar is put in charge of Naboo Representation in the Senate and explicitly gives power over to the Supreme Chancellor, which enables Palpatine to secure his reign.  Jar-Jar is evil.

Count Dooku is a Liberal Priest/Bishop (or Jesuit)

Dooku, having been an old, well-respected Jedi Master, turned to the dark side, as many Catholic Bishops (and, yes, lots of Jesuits, who controlled most Catholic universities) just before and after Vatican II, turned modernist and liberal.  Just as Dooku cut off Anakin’s arm, so did clerical Judases help to maim the true nature of Vatican II.

The Clone Wars are the Wars between Conservatives and Liberals

As alluded to before, the Galactic Republic (controlled by Chancellor Palpatine) and the Separatists/CIS (chief among them being the Trade Federation, who are controlled by Darth Sidious … who is also Palpatine) are unknowingly serving the same master despite their hatred of each other.  Palpatine uses the war to distract the Jedi from his plans of destroying them, converting Anakin, and taking over the galaxy.  The conflict between the conservatives and the liberals, in comparison, is a useless war to distract us from the true plans of modernism.  Despite how well-meaning and faithful they are, most Catholics tend to pledge allegiance to one side or the other and thus overlook the true evil at the heart of the modern situation.  Both Capitalism and Socialism are modernist constructs that ought to be rejected … both the Republicans and Democrats have done nothing to stop abortion (yeah, that’s right, the Republicans haven’t done anything).

General Grievous is the Sin of Eugenics (e.g. contraception, abortion, etc.)

General Grievous, a skeletal multi-limbed goat-like cyborg, is like a Satanic idol to whom devil-worshippers sacrifice their children.  Grievous furthermore demonstrates his genocidal character when he himself sacrifices his whole ship when the Jedi are on to him, ejecting all the empty escape pods into space so no one can be saved.  His very name alludes to “grievous sin” which is another way of saying “mortal sin.”

Many Jedi had fallen to Grievous, who then confiscated their lightsabers and used them as his own, just as many priests and bishops fell to supporting contraception (and even abortion sometimes), thus becoming tools of the evil one.

Paul VI with his papal encyclical Humanae Vitae struck it a mortal blow, as Obi-Wan did to General Grievous.  Most people didn’t think he would do it, since much of clergy were on the side of contraception, as Grievous outnumbered Obi-Wan in lightsabers.  But he did.

However, things like Grievous (like Darth Vader) would live on for awhile, just as eugenics would.

The anti-humanistic attitude in the Jedi Council is the same kind seen among many pre-Vatican II Catholics

Is there any other party, besides the Emperor and Anakin himself, who deserves responsibility for creating Darth Vader?  Well, I think, honestly, a large portion of the blame falls on the Jedi Council.  You see, the Jedi Council, as depicted in the prequels, is horribly – you could say – conservative.  They are incredibly stiff, rigid, and, frankly, quite boring.  We hoped the Jedi Order would be an awe-inspiring congregation of mystical legionaries, like the Knights of the Round Table, but instead, we get a bunch of disappointing, spiritless, affectionless dullards.  The cause of this, I believe, is their denial of the goodness of human emotion, which in their understanding, leads to the dark side; thus, they condemn all desire, all anger, fear, and even love for other human beings.  This mindset cannot be lived without having one’s emotions eventually erupt forth in treason, for nature rebels when ill-treated.  The passions must be ordered to reason, not repressed by reason, as St. Thomas would say.  Hypocrisy commonly results from this repression, or else just plain and honest apostasy.

For example, Anakin’s emotional attachment to Padme (and his mother, for that matter) is natural but tragically never dealt with properly by the Jedi Council, who teach that such emotions have no business whatsoever in the life of a Jedi.  That is why they almost do not allow Anakin to be trained, for he has an emotional bond to his mother.  This badly handled psychological treatment would be the Jedi’s undoing.

They focus too much on the discipline and the Force and not enough on the human person. The Sith, on the other hand, over-emphasizes the self, seeking only to gratify human appetite without any heed to higher things.  Both lack balance, both of them – Jedi and Sith.  The Force, by itself, is not enough.  The Force, which is symbolically divine, needs to be incarnated harmoniously with the human person … not replacing the human person.  This is what is meant by the “balance of the Force,” which Anakin is destined to bring about by his having been conceived in a human mother but not by a human father.

Before the second Vatican Council, the Church was like this decrepit Jedi Council: rigid, emotionless, and in serious need of reform.  Everyone knew it, even Pius XII.  They had dwelt on the divinity of Christ for too long and needed to regain that sense of humanism that the modern world was thirsting for after the inhumanity of World War II.  But they were a little late, since secular humanism, symbolized by Palpatine, had already waged an impressive campaign.

Mace Windu is a Pharisaic Catholic

Mace Windu (played by Samuel L. Jackson), the greatest hypocrite of them all, begins leading the Jedi Council down “a dark path” (as Yoda himself calls it) when he makes illicit moves against the Chancellor that oppose the very Jedi Code itself.  This hypocrisy makes Anakin go crazy, considering Mace Windu is one of the strictest and most unrelenting Jedi in the Order.  Like all other youths, Anakin does not stand for this blatant contradiction between creed and act, and objects, saying, “It’s not the Jedi way!” right when Windu is about to execute Palpatine without due process.  But Master Windu right then is conquered by the indignant passions he had once condemned. At that point, he practically joins the Dark Side — just as conservatives and liberals ultimately end up on the same side, opposite extremes, though still at war with each other and the truth.  So, after Anakin kills Windu and rescues Palpatine in an effort to uphold Jedi Code as well as his emotions for Palpatine, what is left for him?  Windu proves the old Jedi are no better than the Sith, for they are both willing to bypass creed for the sake of passion, so why not be honest about it and just turn to the Dark Side?

It is because of such hypocrites like Mace Windu that the Jedi are discredited.  It was because of ongoing, insensitive, repressive conservatism that many fell away from Catholicism.

All this indicates that the Jedi Order needs reform.  The ease, however, with which the Sith takes over the Republic proves that the Jedi Knights were weak and in need of such reform, just as it proved the Church was in need of repair when the Liberals effectively hijacked the Council’s power in the years following it.  The Church Council was the medicine, not the disease; but since the Body of Christ was so ill and weak, the medicine caused a violent reaction and became a poison of the Body.  But not for long …

Darth Vader is the Spirit of Vatican II

Despite his grievous sins during his padawan years, the point at which Anakin takes a knee before the Dark Lord and says, “I submit myself to your teachings,” comes to us as rather unbelievable and insufficiently transitioned.  Yet, in an eerie way, isn’t this what suddenly happened to our beloved Council after its closing in the late 1960′s?  Didn’t it immediately become the very tool of Satan to destroy the Church, as the Emperor implemented Anakin to destroy the Galactic Republic?

The answer is: yes.  Vatican II was seduced by the dark side.  In the council’s name, the liberals destroyed the seminaries and gutted the churches.  What is the first thing Palpatine commands Anakin to do?  Purge the Jedi Temple.  Slaughter the padawans in training.  The Jedi nearly become extinct, as do the priests.  Vatican II’s name will live in infamy in the hearts and minds of a lot of faithful Catholics henceforth, just as Vader’s name will live in the rebels, who sought to restore the old ways, before the dark times … before the Empire.

Obi-Wan, upon seeing the ruins of his fallen apprentice after their duel, breaks his stoic mood and pours out his soul, hopeless, confused, shouting, “You were the Chosen One!  You were suppose to bring balance to the Force!  Not leave it in darkness!”  Paul VI, likewise, in the midst of the aftermath, at a papal audience, suddenly broke with his character, threw down his prepared notes, and cried out, “Where is the love for the Church?!”  Where was it indeed?  What had happened?

A particularly interesting theme stressed throughout the Star Wars saga is the idea that Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader are different people.  Both Anakin and Vatican II take on personas – masks – behind which their true natures remain good, though the extrinsic elements imposed on them by their seducers direct them against themselves and their true purpose.  I’m not denying the volition or responsibility of Anakin’s choices; I’m just noting how interesting it is that Anakin Skywalker ceases to be Anakin Skywalker but, rather, Darth Vader.  The Emperor explicitly changes his name upon his ordination, and later on, Obi-Wan refers to these two names as two different people.  Likewise, and most importantly, in Return of the Jedi, Luke tells Vader, “You were once Anakin Skywalker, my Father,” and the Dark Agent then turns to him and says, “That name no longer has any meaning for me,” to which Luke replies, “It is only the name of your true self you’ve only forgotten … I feel the good in you.”

This distinction between “Anakin” and “Vader” is the same difference between “Vatican II” and the “Spirit of Vatican II.”  The former is the true self that has only been forgotten, the latter is the name of the evil menace wearing the mask that loyally serves the dark forces plaguing the Church.  Luke thus considers his father to be the kind of thing many faithful Catholics consider Vatican II to be … intrinsically good but something which was used for evil but can nonetheless be redeemed and used for good again.

Why does Anakin fall so quickly from the Light?  Is he fulfilling his call as “Chosen One” by becoming evil, so as to balance the force between good and evil?  I hope not.  That would be flagrantly Gnostic.  Just keep reading.

Queen Amidala (Padme) is the Pre-Conciliar Church

Queen Amidala, in an attempt to rescue her people on planet Naboo, worked toward reform in the Galactic Republic, as the Church’s people needed rescuing before Vatican II.  This is because, for example, the Church was becoming besieged by Capitalists who wanted to take her over but who nonetheless claim they are not technically opposing the Church, just as the Trade Federation claimed their blockade of Naboo was “perfectly legal.”  However, her efforts to reform things seemed to have made things worse … as her support when to Chancellor Palpatine … i.e. Modernism.

Padme, furthermore, was the woman Anakin was supposed to love and serve, but instead he betrayed her … just as Vatican II appeared to betray the Church.  Her death represents the kind of apparent death the Church underwent after the Council.  It looked like the Church was at its end.  Palpatine makes Vader forget about Padme and their offspring, telling him they all died, just as Modernism sought to divorce the memory of the Church from the aims of Vatican II completely.

However, despite all the chaos, there was hope.  Padme gave birth to Luke and Leia, just as Vatican II gave birth to … well, you’ll see …

Owen and Beru Lars (Luke’s Uncle and Aunt) are Disenchanted and/or Traditionalist Catholics

As many Catholics who were scandalized by the fallout of Vatican II and bitter at the pontificate of Paul VI, so are Owen and Beru Lars extremely (and overly?) worrisome about the Empire as well as about Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom they no doubt see as (at least) the partial cause of Darth Vader.  They are the kind of people who, while hating the great evils in society, nonetheless try and hold people back from fixing them out of a small-minded, misplaced paranoia.  The Lars hold Luke back from learning the Jedi ways, just as many extremist Catholics hold back others from learning what their faith actually says.

The Sand People (a.k.a. Tusken Raiders) are Muslims

Both are desert-dwelling backwater people who terrorize others and steal technology from people to then use it against them.  Exactly.  That’s stereotypical though … obviously, some Sand People aren’t like that.

Luke Skywalker is John Paul II

John Paul II, the New Pope, the Witness to Hope, was a child of the Council, as Luke is a child to Anakin Skywalker.  Luke contains that humanism and emotion that his father had – seen in his boyish enthusiasm and care for his friends.  At first his emotionality is uncontrolled and incredibly annoying, just like many liturgies in churches after the Council.  But eventually he molds it successfully with his Jedi nature.  He accomplishes what the second Vatican Council had set out to do: to bring that humanism into the spirit of the divine institution with a right, golden, harmonious balance.  John Paul II had that same quality, possessing both the loving heart of a Christian humanist and the powerful mind of a Catholic theologian.  This was the perfect combination to bring back the original aim of the Council.

Luke, furthermore, was almost killed by the Sand People, just as John Paul II was almost killed by the Nazis (and Communists for that matter), who had incidentally been largely influenced by Muslims (due largely to the Germans being allied with the Ottoman Empire back in World War I).  Furthermore, John Paul II was shot and almost killed by none other than a Muslim.

Princess Leia is the Post-Conciliar Church

Leia carries on the fight against the Empire (i.e. the Sith), despite overwhelming odds, just as the Church continued to fight against modernism.  Darth Vader sought to stop her, just as the Spirit of Vatican II sought to thwart the efforts of the Church.

Furthermore, she first starts out a little feministic, just as the Church became so after Vatican II, but gradually becomes more feminine as masculine leaders finally begin living their heroic callings.

Han Solo is the Laity

Part of Council’s goal was to incorporate the laity more fully into the life of the Church and show that they, too, play an important role.  Han Solo, likewise, does not want anything to do with the Rebellion or the Princess and refers to the Force as a “Hokey religion.”  Eventually, however, by Luke’s encouragement, Han rescues the Princess, enters into the Rebel Alliance, and helps rescue it at a crucial moment in its history.  Moreover, he falls in love with Leia, the Church, and then becomes frozen in Carbonite, which represents the death and resurrection of baptism, after which he is united to Leia, just as converts are united to the Church at baptism.

(As a side note, Han Solo also has a curious connection to St. John the Evangelist.  First of all, “Han” is an alternate of “John” … and “Solo” means “Alone,” which I say somewhat groundlessly, may allude to John the Evangelist being alone among the apostles at one point, namely the only apostle to resist running away from Christ’s crucifixion.  However, in perhaps the most explicit crucifixion-like scene in Star Wars was in Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo acts as a Christ-figure, namely when he is about to be frozen in carbonite only to eventually be resurrected later (he also gets tied to a thing and injected with some painful needless, alluding perhaps to the Scourging).  However, Han tells Chewbacca to take care of Leia right before he gets frozen, similar to how Christ tells St. John to take care of Mary.  Lastly, the Millennium Falcon, Han’s ship, might be connected to St. John’s traditional iconographic symbol of an Eagle, since Falcons and Eagles are related species.  I don’t know if this perceived St. John connection also relates to the Laity theory, but if anyone can figure it out, please let me know.)

Chewbecca is Man’s Animalistic Passions

Chewbacca, a seemingly irrational beast on the surface, is at first hostile to various good characters (such as Luke), just as man’s disordered passions are repulsed by goodness (and by the Pope who uncomfortably calls men to live lives of virtue).  Furthermore, Chewbacca is closely associated with Han Solo more, such as human passions are more closely associated with the laity.  But, as struggles are won, Chewbacca not only aids Luke but develops a dog-like affection for him.  This helps further to symbolize the overall efforts of Vatican II, namely to integrate the Church’s message into men’s hearts (which includes their passions).

The Death Star is the Culture of Death

The Death Star symbolizes the Culture of Death, a whole world bent on universal conquest and purposed for the murder of millions of innocent lives, as it senselessly destroys Alderaan, a planet that is completely defenseless, without any weapons.  Paul VI, when the Culture of Death began to take shape, as it were, heard the “millions of voices [that] suddenly cried out, and were suddenly silenced” as Obi-Wan said when he sensed the planet’s destruction — a perfect image of abortion.  Alderaan, furthermore, is Leia’s planet, and thus, symbolically, the Church’s people, and the loss of so many lives on it represents the loss of so many souls in the Church because of abortion.

The heroes involved with saving the Church from the Culture of Death, i.e. rescuing Leia from the Death Star, was Paul VI, John Paul II, and the faithful Catholic laity … that is, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo.

The way to destroy the Culture of Death is, paradoxically, by means of more life … that is, by sex, impregnation … and so forth.  At the battle of Yavin, the rebels intend to symbolically do just that … namely (hear me out on this one) … have sex with the Death Star.  Oh, man, I’ve really lost it haven’t I?  The rebel starfighters attempt to shoot proton torpedos (which vaguely look like sperm) into a small exhaust port (which, I’ll just say it, represents the vaginal opening).  Furthermore, the rebel’s ships are called X-Wings and Y-Wings … which, of course, represent X Chromosomes and Y Chromosomes (i.e. the sex-determining structures of DNA involved in reproduction).  Moreover, imperial TIE Fighters, which represent contraception (i.e. TIEing one’s tubes … and later on TIE “Interceptors” which sound like “Contraceptors”), try to destroy them to prevent this symbolic act of impregnation.

While Luke is narrowing in on the target with his targeting computer, Obi-Wan mystically tells him to “let go” and just “use the force,” as the computer is destined to fail.  In other words, Obi-Wan is encouraging a natural method for this act rather than an artificial one.  Luke obeys him, and it works.  This, of course, parallels how Paul VI advocated natural sex as opposed to artificial birth control, and John Paul II followed his predecessor in this.  John Paul II thus helped to blow up of the Culture of Death with his … yes, that’s right … Theology of the Body (his pivotal work explaining to the modern mind the correct view one should have with regard to human sexuality).

Fittingly, as the torpedos successfully enter the exhaust port which cause the destruction of the Death Star, Luke gives a satisfying and almost orgasmic sigh of relief (and just FYI, this is not to symbolize John Paul II having sex, but merely people having truly satisfying sex as a result of John Paul II’s theology).

If you think I’m off the wall on this one, I don’t blame you.  I’m probably crazy.

Yoda is Tradition (both big “T” and little “t”)

Yoda is hundreds of years old and in possession of the ancient knowledge of the Jedi, just as Sacred Tradition contains divine revelations dating back to Christ.   From him, Luke learns the ancient aspects of the Force, just as John Paul II would be horribly missing something without having united himself with Church Tradition.  However, Yoda by himself is not enough, just as tradition is not enough, just as Yoda was not able to defeat the Emperor (in Episode 3), and, similarly, Catholics who focus too much on tradition fall into error (people often called “Traditionalists”) and merely become reclusive and disenchanted by the destruction around them.  The parts of Yoda that have grown genuinely “out of touch” with the world (and in need of the prophesied “balance”) falls under small “t” tradition (i.e. the particular, fallible habits of the former age).  Luke still retains a heed to his human emotion, though Yoda, in accord with the anti-humanistic tendency of the previous Jedi, tries to squash it, condemning certain emotions like anger and fear as evil, claiming they lead to the dark side of Force.  This is what many Traditionalists (who also fail to distinguish big “T” from little “t” tradition) tend to think too, that human affections are evil, but they in the end shall be proved wrong, just as Yoda was.

Yoda, as well as Obi-Wan’s ghost (who also takes on the persona of a sad trad, which Paul VI was at least maybe likely to adopt at the end of his life too) also tries to destroy Luke’s predominant feeling of human affection.  Think of it.  Yoda and Obi-Wan’s Ghost want Luke to destroy Darth Vader, just as some trads want to destroy Vatican II, believing it cannot be salvaged from the machinery added on to it by the Liberals.  But Luke wants to bring him back, saying, “I can’t kill my own father.” So too John Paul II couldn’t simply invalidate a legitimate Church Council: rather he sought to reclaim it from liberal malefactors.  Obi-Wan simply replies, “Then the Emperor has already won.  You were are last hope.”  Or really Obi-Wan?  Turns out you were wrong!

R2-D2 is Sacred Scripture

R2 contains the Death Star plans, the only truth capable of their salvation … just like Scripture still has the truth which will save us from the Culture of Death.

C-3PO is the Magisterium

C-3PO representing the Magisterium who interprets Scripture (just as C-3PO interprets the often baffling beeps and whistles of R2-D2), knows more than anyone else, and is really annoying to some people.  His golden finish, furthermore, can symbolize the golden key on the Papal insignia representing the Pope’s spiritual authority.

Just as Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium are constants throughout the Church, so are Yoda, R2-D2, and C-3P0 appear in all six movies (well, Yoda doesn’t appear in Episode 4, I admit … close enough).

Lando Calrissian is a Racially Persecuted Minority in the Church (e.g. African Americans)

Lando Calrissian (and this is sketchy at best) represents the black community in the Church, who having been dealt a bad hand (which is what happened to Lando in a card game that lost him The Millennium Falcon to Han Solo), makes a deal with the Empire and betrays the rebels for his own security and perhaps out of past jealousy, just as the black population seems to take sides with Liberalism against the Church, which they think will offer them protection against racists.  This creates bitterness between blacks and other members of the Church, just as Lando is so scorned by Han and Leia.  But realizing that Modernism is more racist and dangerous to blacks than the Church is, the blacks will have a change of heart and will begin to aid the Church, as Lando does to the Rebels.  This is what is happening in Africa and hopefully in America, as Liberalism continues to grow more apathetic to racist issues.

Boba Fett (and Jengo Fett before him) is Radical Individualism

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche promoted the idea that people should act only out of their own selfish desires, without any reference to concepts of good and evil (which he said were only lies).  Likewise, the image of a Bounty Hunter (of which the character of Boba Fett belongs) implies an individualistic lifestyle, the lack of allegiance to any authority, the freedom to chose to do whatever one wants, and a license to do things that would normally be considered immoral (e.g. killing).  Also, both have a strange appeal to people, as Nietzsche, despite his flagrant condemnation of morality, nonetheless fosters in some of the most moral people a kind of dark attraction … likewise Boba Fett, though being a very minor character who doesn’t do anything good, might be the most popular character among Star Wars fans.  Furthermore, Boba Fett is the one to capture and imprison Han Solo, just as Radical Individualism has enslaved much of the laity.

Ironically, if you look at Boba Fett objectively, he really never does anything very spectacular in the movies.  Likewise, if you look at Friedrich Nietzsche, he led a very pathetic life, eventually descending into a pathetic insanity (kind of like how Boba Fett descended into the Pit of Sarlacc to be digested over a thousand years).  In addition, Boba Fett, despite his alleged non-alignment, is simply a servant of the Empire and obeys their orders, just as Individualists seem to, almost out of obligation, align themselves against the Church.

Stormtroopers (and Clone troopers before them) are Radical Conformity

Another irony about Jengo Fett and Boba Fett is that their DNA was used to spawn the army of soldier Clones for the Galactic Republic and eventually the Stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire.  These soldiers, of course, appear nearly mindless and rather slave-like. Similarly, the result of people trying to be Individualistic is that … they conform to the same model.  Moreover, they become enslaved to their passions and follow whoever will promises fulfillment of them … or as time progresses, whoever is the strongest.

Jabba the Hutt is Nihilistic, Worldly Hedonism

Jabba, a huge alien slug (Phallic symbol?), in his dark and murderous pleasure palace, lusts for females of different species … a nice symbol for the sexual excess and deviance of the Modernist world.

Once again, Boba Fett, the model of Individualism, is actually shown as a kind of servant for Jabba, just as Individualists are simply slaves to their passions.

Most importantly, we see Han Solo bound to Jabba due to a past debt, just as the laity is more often enslaved by the desires of the flesh, which, if they don’t deal with the problem, will become frozen in their sin.  As Han is rescued by Leia and Luke, so were many lay people rescued from sexual and material slavery by the Church and, notably, John Paul II.  The moral teaching of the Popes incites much unholy anger from hedonists, just as Jabba tried killing Luke with his monstrous creature (which was called a Rancor … hence, the anger allusion) under his trapdoor.  Furthermore, Leia, the Church, eventually kills him, just as it is through the Church that the sins of the flesh are overcome.

Ewoks are the Catholic Youth

The Ewoks’ small, teddy-bear-like appearance and alliance with the Rebellion correlate them with the children who have the Catholic faith.

First, in their uneducated confusion, Ewoks were hostile to Leia and her friends, just as teenagers after Vatican II thought the Church was uncool and didn’t care what the Pope had to say.  However, the Ewoks were converted thanks to the divine-like shininess of C-3PO who, with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, were able to befriend them, just as even teenagers can become attracted by light of truth in Catholicism (via the Magisterium) and strongly became so under the Pontificate of John Paul II.  It will be through the younger generation going over to the Church’s side that the Culture of Death will be vanquished.  The Ewok attack on the most well-trained Imperial legion rather implausibly worked and was instrumental in the Death Star’s destruction, just as World Youth Days, which can be just as annoying as a rabble of Ewoks, make a surprisingly good impact on the culture.

The Defeat of the Empire is the Defeat of Modernism

What defeats Darth Vader?  Emotion.  Emotion directed toward the good.  First it is anger, when Luke explodes in holy wrath at Vader’s threat to convert Leia to the Dark Side, severing off the Dark Lord’s hand in justice.  Does Luke fall to the Dark Side because of it?  No.  The Emperor tries to make him think that he had fallen, as Yoda had taught him that anger is evil, but Luke, after a bit of rational contemplation, realizes that his anger was righteous and not sinful.  Furthermore, what converts Darth Vader back to the Light Side?  Human affection.  Luke, under Palpatine’s Force Lightning, cries out desperately to his father, yelling, “Father!  Please!” and Vader’s dark heart is moved by his son’s love.

Surprisingly, in the end, Anakin Skywalker does turn out to be the Chosen One, as he is the one to destroy the Sith, throwing the Emperor down the bottomless shaft, and by the aid of Luke, the ways of the Jedi are harmoniously restored and reunited with the neglected goodness of the human person.  Just now, we are beginning to see a rebirth in the Church with a correct implementation of the Council, which, hopefully, shall throw the evils of modernism down to the abyss as well (though remnants may endure, as there are remnants of the Empire still buzzing around after Return of the Jedi … but whatever).

Vatican II, since it was an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, was perhaps the most important event of the 20th century.  Likewise, such a thing can be similarly stated about Star Wars (i.e. it was really important).  Despite its pop culture appeal, there’s something about it that speaks to people and continues to do so (even though the prequels sucked … though Revenge of the Sith wasn’t so bad).

As Pope Benedict XVI calls for a correct hermeneutic (interpretation) of the Second Vatican Council, I hope that I have provided a correct hermeneutic of Star Wars.  If you don’t think so, then rebel.

May the Lord be with you.  Always.

(For another similar movie analogy, see Mary Poppins and the Blessed Virgin Mary)

About Remus

I am a teacher at a High School in Minnesota. I've taught History, Philosophy, Literature, and Psychology. That's about it.
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225 Responses to Star Wars and the History of Vatican II

  1. Darcy Bunn says:

    “Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.” – Princess Bride Not sure I followed everything here but it is a creative study in parallels. It is refreshing to read a writer who acknowledges Vatican II was a gift from the Holy Spirit to the Church, and it was in its interpretation that it went wrong.

  2. Maureen says:

    Hilariously different from Lucas’ intent, sure, but your retelling makes a good deal of sense for modern Catholics! (And I appreciate your putting in a good word for poor Pope Paul VI.)

  3. Emily L. says:

    Fabulous! Am I sensing the genius of Julian Ahlquist? Hmmm…

  4. Love the comparison. Just goes to show that we can achieve ‘balance’ – a fabulous Latin Mass and a wonderful new translation in English, both coming together to celebrate true liberty.

  5. Therese says:

    I hardly know what to say–fabulous? (Okay, that’s a bad pun.) But I do appreciate what you’ve put together here and offer my thanks. I am reminded that all roads lead to Rome; that is not to say all roads lead to heaven, but rather that all things are meant to bring us face to face with the reality of our existence and the struggle for good against the forces of evil. In our day, literally swimming as we are in a cesspool of its pernicious influence, we seem to have trouble even believing there is evil. God help us all.

  6. Jenny says:

    I mean, this might be the best thing I’ve ever read.

    • Stephanie says:

      I concur. Brilliant! Ashley posted this on facebook, so I clicked it as a distraction from my paper. An excellent choice – you had me chortling in the library – several times!! Bravo!

  7. D'Arcy says:

    I agreed with you right up to the point where I imagined the Post-Conciliar Church in a gold bikini.

    • Remus says:

      Haven’t you seen bikinis worked into the liturgy at Post-Conciliar masses? I’ve seen at least one or two.

      In any case, Leia was forced to wear that by Jabba, just like the Church has had demeaning things done to it by similar sickos.

  8. Brother Mark says:

    Very astute analysis
    however, it only applies to the first world west of europe and north america where modernism and capitalism were plagues of catholicism, unlike the third world where vatican ii had an explosively positive impact on the church.

    • Sorry, Brother, I disagree. It has been explosive, but not the way you meant it. I am Cuban-American but I live in Brazil. I think V2, with the implementation of ‘liberation theology’, has done much harm. Some Masses you would not recognize as Catholic, and many of the Faithful have left for evangelical movements.

  9. Jon says:

    No, no, no, no, NO! Everybody KNOWS that “Hotel California” by the Grateful Dead is the great allegory of Vatican II. “I said please bring me my wine…he said, ‘we haven’t had that spirit here since 1969′”…

  10. Fr. Josh Miller says:

    “The anti-humanistic attitude in the Jedi Council is the same kind seen among many pre-Vatican II Catholics”

    One problem with this section here. Jedi are constantly told to “be aware of their feelings,” etc; what is key is that they do not become dominated by them, which is precisely what happens to Anakin. There’s no repression of feelings, just an ability to subjugate them to reason, precisely as Aquinas would advocate: hence one would acknowledge their strong feeling toward the opposite sex, but then dismiss them based upon the fact that they are celibate Jedi without attachments.

    Otherwise, hilarious piece :)>

    • Remus says:

      It seems that the old Jedi not only tried to avoid being dominated by emotions, they also began to simply condemn them altogether (or at least some of them), rather than redirect passions in good ways according to reason. Here are some highlights:

      - The cold and confusing way the Jedi Council scorned Anakin’s love for his mother. His emotion for her was perfectly natural, but the Jedi were about to condemn him to hell.
      - Yoda and Obi-Wan continually criticize Luke’s affection for his father, but it is Luke’s rejection of that condemnation that wins the day. Luke’s love resurrects Anakin.
      - Further, Yoda explicitly says: “Anger, fear, aggression: the Dark Side are they.” So, it’s obvious that these emotions are EVIL according to the old Jedi. But, once again, Luke’s Anger helps defeat Darth Vader … and Luke doesn’t turn to the Dark Side, even though he was told he would if he did express such emotion (the Emperor played on that idea to try and convert him too, but Luke eventually saw the truth).

      So, yeah, that’s why I think the old Jedi were anti-humanistic, and how Luke re-humanized the situation.

      Don’t get me wrong. I like the old Jedi. But there was something wrong with them, I think. I may wrong.

      • You aren’t wrong. The old Jedi seemed almost blind in their regard for Anakin. Here was a potential loose cannon of great power and they didn’t think it would be a good idea to keep a close eye on him, and the worst perpetrator of this terrible idea was Yoda. I don’t think, however, that this really fits well into your otherwise extremely clever contrivance of a parallel between Star Wars and recent Church history.

        And as much as I’ve read about Star Wars, your description of how Luke embodies what is needed for good to triumph over evil, and how the Jedi were missing a key component of this was the most clear and concise explanation I’ve read.

        Similarly, traditionalism can be refreshed and reinvigorated without being abandoned, a balance that the Church may yet achieve in this new century. I’m currently reading “Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century” by Amerio Romano and I am constantly struck by how naive Pope Paul seemed to be about the effects of modernism, all the while doing great things to preserve the faith and morals of the Church, particularly “Humanae Vitae”. It took moral courage, a keen intellect and an openness to the Holy Spirit to promulgate this unequivocally strong encyclical in a climate where many people expected (and were pushing) His Holiness to swing the other way, But his unwillingness or inability to directly call out the Church’s enemies from within, all the while decrying the damage they were doing, was mystifying. His seeming attitude that they would eventually come to their senses given time and contemplation was perhaps noble, but it was also hopelessly naive, and yet it’s obvious he ultimately understood how much damage had been done.

      • Remus says:

        Thanks, ConceptJunkie. I think I agree with you completely about Paul VI.

  11. Pedro Erik says:

    Fantastic.Congratulations.

  12. I think you may be the first to use the phrase “skeletal multi-limbed goat-like cyborg” in a critique of the post-Vatican II Church, but any thinking person would agree that it’s long past time. You’re probably NOT the first person to suggest that Jar Jar Binks is evil. I was actually angry about him after watching the fifth–er, second–Star Wars film, because he was so dim that he was past even manipulation. He didn’t need to be talked into anything; it was like handing a gun to a three-year-old. That dynamic certainly holds up in your analogy…

    I’ll never see the Death Star the same way again (and…ewwh), but this is one of the most lucid pieces I’ve ever read on the current state of the Church. I was hoping Luke wouldn’t end up being known only for whining about his chores, so I was happy to see him stand in for JPII. And thanks for not trying to make sense out of Luke kissing his sister.

  13. Pingback: Star Wars and the History of Vatican II | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

  14. Maggie says:

    Brilliant! Gave me several hearty laughs and a lot of smiles. Well done!

  15. Christopher says:

    I have often thought this, though, not going to the indepth analysis of the political identifications, and I cannot agree more.

    You know though… Luke, Leah, and Han, through their combined efforts, and their children actually do bring about a great balance to the force….. also, married Jedi.

  16. I’ll never watch the movies in the same light again!

  17. EssEm says:

    I note that while Capitalists and NeoCons are universally condemned without exception or hesitation, you remark that, to avoid stereotyping, –which, as we know, is The Worst Sin In The World– the Muslim/Sand People “are not all like that”. Plus, the JPII standin, Skywalker, escapes death at the hands of the Sand People, who are then Nazis and Communists…but you totally omit the fact that it was a Muslim who shot that Pope in St Peter’s square.

    God forbid we should offend the most exquisitely sensitive warmongers in history.

  18. Mike says:

    Perhaps Princess Leia would be Mother Theresa. A true spiritual twin for Luke and a leader of the Rebel Alliance in its darkest hour.

  19. It’s a really clever comparison. However, it’s a comparison between a gnostic-manichaean Sci-Fi saga and a neocon wishful thinking kind of church history reconstruction. Both are mere fiction.

    If somebody were interested in reading something closer to the facts, from a progressive point of view, see Ralph M. Wiltgen’s: “The Rhine Flows onto the Tiber”. And from a conservative one, see Michael Davies’: “Cranmer’s Godly Order”, “Pope John’s Council” and “Pope Paul’s New Mass”.

    Both views can be completed with the details oulined in Dietrich von Hildebrand’s: “Celibacy and the Crisis of Faith”, “The New Tower of Babel”, “Tojan Horse in the City of God”, and “The Devastated Vineyard”. It can be found more on that in Jacques Maritain’s: “The Peasant of the Garonne”, and Yves Congar’s: “Au milieu des orages”.

    If someone wants to digg a little more, he could try Philip Trower: “Turmoil and Truth” and “The Catholic Church and the Counter-Faith”. And if wants to digg even deeper -not for the fainthearted- he could try Romano Amerio’s: “Iota Unum” and “Stat Veritas”, Brunero Gherardini’s: “Concilio ecumenico Vaticano II. Un discorso da fare”, and Johannes Dörmann tetralogy: “Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey”.

    IN CORDIBVS IESV ET MARIƆ
    Miguel Serrano Cabeza
    Murcia, Spain

    PS. “Hotel California” is a 1976 Eagles record.

  20. Michael says:

    While I found this to be a very interesting article there were some..flaws that i found. The Jedi are not anti-humanistic at all, in fact they are quite the opposite. While there are certain emotions that they try to warn the young Jedi’s away from i see a connection between that and what the church teaches today.
    The Jedi for one are not Vulcans they are allowed to feel and have emotion. There job are to be peacekeepers of the galaxy which means they must have and understanding of human compassion. Either that or they are pathological altruists. Anakin himself says that ” the Jedi must show compassion to all creatures which in my mind is unconditional love” while on Naboo with Padme. So the Jedi are not anti-humanistic.

    Further more if you look to the teachings of St. John of the Cross you can notice a correlation between his teachings of denying the human of its “appetites” to the Jedi code. After all is it not through self sacrifice and denial of physical life that Obi-Wan transcends death?

    The Jedi do not teach complete denial of emotion simply ideas such as “dont let your anger get the best of you” and do not give into fear which could be represented as despair. It is through the fear of loss that Anakin turns to Palpatine for help. Detachment is not an anti-humanistic few its is simply the understanding that this world and things of this world are Temporal, While the force or divine are everlasting.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article though and you bring up great points.

    Peace of Christ be With You.

    • Remus says:

      “While there are certain emotions that they try to warn the young Jedi’s away from i see a connection between that and what the church teaches today.” Yes, I acknowledge there are similarities, but the old Jedi and many old Catholics began thinking that to control emotion, they must get rid of it, rather than use emotion in a good way according to reason. Here are some highlights:

      - The cold and confusing way the Jedi Council scorned Anakin’s love for his mother. His emotion for her was perfectly natural, but the Jedi were about to condemn him to hell.
      - Yoda and Obi-Wan continually criticize Luke’s affection for his father, but it is Luke’s rejection of that condemnation that wins the day. Luke’s love resurrects Anakin.
      - Further, Yoda explicitly says: “Anger, fear, aggression: the Dark Side are they.” So, it’s obvious that these emotions are EVIL according to the old Jedi. But, once again, Luke’s Anger helps defeat Darth Vader … and Luke doesn’t turn to the Dark Side, even though he was told he would if he did express such emotion (the Emperor played on that idea to try and convert him too, but Luke eventually saw the truth).

      So, yeah, that’s why I think the old Jedi were anti-humanistic, and how Luke re-humanized the situation.

      Don’t get me wrong. I like the old Jedi. But there was something wrong with them.

  21. as7 says:

    tusken raiders/sand people are muslims?? LOL, that’s too funny and not racist at all hahaha

  22. as7 says:

    IS ANYBODY SENDING THIS TO GEORGE LUCAS?

  23. charles woodbury says:

    It’s a wonderful life-
    In the same era as Vatican 2, America’s story finds our hero Robert’s brother John murdered by an assassin(s?). He becomes the people’s champion and runs for president, but he too is murdered, and the whole nation gradually becomes Pottersville.

  24. Borodinov says:

    Funny but absolutely stupid !!!!! I think your joke is insulting more John Paul II and Benedict XVI than the muslims

    • Remus says:

      Why is it insulting John Paul II? I certainly didn’t intend that. I was comparing him to Luke Skywalker, the hero of the Star Wars saga, and didn’t say one critical thing about either. Also, I ONLY had critical things to say about Muslims. So why did you say JP2 was being more maligned than Muslims?

      Also, I didn’t mention Benedict XVI.

  25. Holy cats that was fantastic!!!

  26. MarkA says:

    While a very clever piece, its also somewhat tedious and philosophically shallow with equivalence comparisons of the One True Faith with Pantheism (i.e., The Force) and pop-culture. Nice job, but it went on too long and lost meaningful insight after the 1st third of the piece.

    • Remus says:

      My apologies.

      Not sure why the Force is Pantheistic though.

      • MarkA says:

        Pantheism – “Pantheism is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God (or divinity) are identical” (Wikipedia). “Patheism – any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe.” – Dictionary.com

        I’ve always viewed The Force as Pantheism, but as with most things in life, maybe I’m wrong.

        Also, my sincere apologies for my criticism of you piece being stronger than my support. I didn’t mean that; my admiration is equal to my criticism. All-in-all; nice job.

      • MarkA says:

        My apologies for my botched apology for my unfair criticism. Nice job.

    • Remus says:

      That’s okay. I didn’t take offense. Thanks for your compliment.

      I believe the Force is portrayed as quite distinct from the Universe. The Force is an energy field created by living things (as Yoda says). So, at the very least, it’s an energy field created by some parts of the universe, rather than equivalent to the Universe.

      It’s obviously a fictional device, but I think it holds some symbolic value with the supernatural. Just my opinion though. I may be wrong.

      • MarkA says:

        I have to give you tremendous credit, Remus. I’ve never read you before, but I will try to do so regularly in the future. You’ve challenged my preconceived notions with a virtue I most admire (and try to develop for myself, but do so poorly) – humility. You’ve changed my opinion and gained my respect and admiration.

  27. This idea is brilliant,and something which has occured to me as the movies,and church were evolving over the years, i was however never able to verbalise it as such, i congratulate you on your vast knowledge of both subjects and i hope that you will further this theory and that it gets the recognition that it deserves

    • Remus says:

      That you so much!

      I’m glad to hear that other people made the connection. If it had only been me, I would have begun to question whether this was all just crazy.

  28. Tim Reid says:

    Way to use Star Wars as a not so subtle attack on the major, inspired and important gains of liberal Catholicism and to only vaguely attack Capitalism by making them the Neimoidians. Look, what you tried to do was appeal to Star Wars fans in order to say that anything liberal is just like the Sith and Darth Sidious and anything conservative is just slightly mistaken, but in the end will be the true realization of Vatican II.
    For the record…. Qui Gon Jinn is 1 of the greatest Jedis ever and his demise was no reason for the more conservative/traditional side to completely dismiss progressive Catholics as the un-welcome and soon to be amputated members of the Body of Christ.
    Don’t be so soon to put the label of Capitalism on Japan and China. The United States of America is equally guilty of its’ Nemoidian credentials as those other nations.
    Luke Skywalker never disavowed Obi Wan and Qui Gon’s intention of being right with the Force. Just like John XXIII and Paul VI should not be regarded as short-sighted mild progressives who had no idea that the Second Vatican Council was some dangerous Pandora’s Box of Modernism. They were holy, blessed and insightful men who understood that the Church must and should and has a moral imperative (in the Spirit of Jesus Christ) to move the faith forward. Christ moved the stagnant Pharisaic faith forward and all of your intimations were that liberals were always the bad guys destined to fail under the crushing blow of the truth of the Holy Spirit. Did you ever consider that Traditionalists don’t have the majority opinion of the Holy Spirit?

    Now….. I must say… I very much appreciate your attempt to bring the reality of Vatican II into synthesis with the enjoyable saga of Star Wars. That is to be very commended, and I thank you ( in Christ, brother)

    But don’t use it to bash 1 side more than the other.

    • Tim Reid says:

      and just to say…. China is not capitalist, it’s communist. Equating the Nemoidians with the Chinese is an evasion of equating the un-fettered capitalism of Reaganomics with the Nemoidians.

    • Tim Reid says:

      Looking at the other replies… I realized… equating the Sand People with Muslims.
      Low! very very Low!

      • Remus says:

        I don’t mind you disagreeing with me, but I’d really like to see your reasons why. So, why is the equation of Sand People with Muslims “low”?

    • Remus says:

      I tried to bash both sides equally, but you might be right. I did, however, actually see some comments on other blogs that accuse me of bashing the Trads too much. So I’m not quite sure what to think. But I’ll keep your advice in mind.

      I agree that Luke never “disavowed” Obi-Wan’s intention of being right with the Force. Sure, Obi-Wan had a right intention, but he wasn’t right about everything. And Luke proved that.

      I agree that Paul VI (and all Popes for that matter) must “move the Church forward” by making pastoral changes (among other things), and Paul VI, who was certainly holy (as I stated in the post), seemed to let things go out of hand. I’m not blaming his holiness, I’m blaming his leadership abilities (because the two don’t always go hand-in-hand unfortunately).

      I agree that the United States is very Capitalistic. When I say “Capitalism” I ultimately mean “Big Business.” So, that’s what I mean by China being Capitalist. You may disagree with that use of the term.

      Thank you for your comments. I’ll seriously keep in mind what you said regarding the balance of criticism between the liberals and conservatives, because that is a thing very dear to my heart. God Bless.

      • ruffntuff says:

        As far as your comparison of Sand People to Muslims go, it seemed very harsh and unnecessary. I understand you tried to make the comparison somewhat humorous and not too insulting, but to end the comparison with “obviously, some Sand People are not like that” sounded like all Muslims are hicks in their own homes and only some of them may have some sense or a conscience. I know Muslims and Americans obviously have different views and beliefs, but that’s no reason to discredit them as intelligent human beings. I would argue that SOME Muslims are like Sand People, like SOME Catholics today could be compared to Jar-Jar, and SOME white people could be compared to Storm Troopers, since arguably all white guys (or dressed in white) helped continue the dark times of the second Vatican Council’s outcomes. I applaud your attempt to make a funny comparison to Muslims and Sand People, but had you just ended it with something a little more realistic, like “we know there is a whole civilization of Sand People, but we only see a handful of them that gives them such a bad name,” I feel like you would not get such a bad rap for being “racist” or “stereotyping.”

      • Remus says:

        Thanks for your comment. Many have criticized me on this point. And I think they may be getting to me. However …

        Even if “good Muslims” don’t actively blow people up, they nonetheless fail to criticize their radical brothers and hence act like a smokescreen to cover up the idea that Islam is a violent heresy. It is estimated that about 20% to 25% of Muslims are radical, and yet where are the moderate Muslims’ opposition to these abuses? All Muslims seem to in some way be complicit in the extreme actions undertaken by the worst of their fundamentalist brothers. Otherwise, where are their apologies? Where are their attempts to convert the terrorists to a more humane mode of thinking? Virtually non-existent to completely non-existent.

        If Muslims WERE a race, then of course my blanket criticism would be wrong and evil. However, “Muslims” are not a race. They are members of a RELIGION. And an evil religion at that. Their irrational belief system is the reason why much of the middle east is so backward … it is not because they are Arabs (for the record, I absolutely love Arabic culture and am a big fan of their music and art … I even have an Arab friend who hates Islam as much as I do … so this has nothing to do with race).

        If you still think I’m wrong, please don’t hesitate to say so. I appreciate your comments.

      • JMRJ says:

        The question is why are they any worse than protestants?

      • Remus says:

        Here are some reasons why Islam is, in some way, worse than Protestantism:
        - Protestants in general seem more willing to engage in rational arguments (there are exceptions, of course), whereas Muslims generally are not (this is based on my numerous experiences with both groups, as well as experiences told to me by other people)
        - Protestantism is closer to the truth than Islam is (both with regard to natural and supernatural revelation)
        - Islam, from its very beginnings, stresses the importance of Imperial conquest of other people, whereas Protestants generally do not (consequently, Protestants are more open to converting in response to Catholics showing kindness and even tolerance sometimes, whereas with Muslims less so … they are more apt to take advantage of situations when Catholics let down their guard … history proves it over and over again)
        - Less Protestants are engaged in violent religious crimes, whereas Islam is ranked very high in this field (again, about 20% to 25% of Muslims are radicalized)
        - Protestants are dying out, but Muslims are not (Islam is the fasting growing religion in the world)

      • JMRJ says:

        Remus. I was only half serious. I think this is a very uniquely interesting thread so I thought I’d stir the pot a little.

        Even so, let me run with the idea a little. The US, I often say, is the world’s only protestant country founded as such in its beginnings. Hasn’t it been remarkably resistant to conversion, preferring, I have to say, the most idiotic scriptural interpretations to the sublime truths of the historical Christian faith?

        And on the issue of violence, ever hear of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The fire bombings of, e.g., Tokyo and Dresden? Which country brandishes overwhelmingly and stupefyingly destructive weaponry at the slightest frustration of its national will? It isn’t Iran or Jordan. Considers itself entitled to “project power” around the globe, regularly invades other countries but has not been invaded itself since 1812? Lies and cheats without compunction? Self justifies in the most incoherent fashion?

        We always knew prostestantism would lead to this. It’s incoherent. More incoherent than Islam, because at least Islam doesn’t claim to believe that Jesus was God incarnate.

        I’m only half serious, but I AM half serious.

      • Remus says:

        “The US, I often say, is the world’s only protestant country founded as such in its beginnings. Hasn’t it been remarkably resistant to conversion”

        I’m not sure if that’s true. It seems, from my limited knowledge, that it has been much less resistant to conversion to Catholicism than Protestant Scandinavian countries (which were originally Catholic).

        “And on the issue of violence, ever hear of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?”

        Good point. However, I’ve always thought that Freemasonry was more behind that than Protestantism. Maybe I’m being paranoid and a little of a conspiracy theorist. Harry S. Truman, after all, was perhaps the most high-ranking Freemason in US Presidential history (correct me if I’m wrong … I may be). Even if Freemasonry and Protestantism are connected (which I believe they are), there are plenty of Protestants who very vocally condemn Freemasonry. I do not see moderate Muslims, however, condemning radical Muslims … ever.

        “Which country brandishes overwhelmingly and stupefyingly destructive weaponry at the slightest frustration of its national will?”

        For some reason, I think the US has demonstrated considerable self-restraint with regard to its destructive potential than Muslim countries have … considering the US’s destructive potential. Is an Islamic country controlled something like the US military … it would be a lot worse. I’m willing to be proven wrong on this.

        “Lies and cheats without compunction?”

        Islam does this too. The Qur’an says Allah is the Great Deceiver. Lies and deception are a staple for Islamists. Usually, Protestants do not subscribe to such behavior. Well, they are at least a little more hesitant to do so.

  29. I cannot help but disagree on a few minor points (for instance, I think Qui Gon was a bad guy (cf: http://www.lifeafterliberalarts.com/blog/star-wars-theory-darth-qui-gon-jinn.cfm) …but overall I am utterly enthralled by such a witty dissection of two thorny issues. Well done, good and faithful servant / “true believer”.

  30. Fantastic job! Couldn’t say it better myself…im spreading this around to my friends. May the Lord be with you. Always.

  31. mkc says:

    This is one of the most entertaining and enlightening blog posts I’ve ever read. As someone who was born post-Council, I often hear from the older generations how bad Vatican II was. It was nice to get some perspective here, and the parallels help bring it home. Bravo!

  32. Jay says:

    Wow…just wow!

    I am thinking about becoming Catholic (baptized Lutheran) and was kind of concerned about Catholicism, because the reason I’m leaving the ELCA is it’s submission to the evils of Liberalism like you said. I feared that the Catholic Church was moving in the same direction because of Vatican II, with Pope Benedict XVI recently talking about wanting to ban capital punishment, when the issue of capital punishment is a far minor subject than say abortion and hedonism in society (pervasive in Western society) and I’ve been hearing that Catholics believe one can get into heaven regardless if they believe in Christ or not (if that’s so, why bother being a Christian, let alone a Catholic where there are 7 Sacraments instead of just a few or none at all!)….however your exhaustive comparison of Star Wars and The Catholic Church before and after Vatican II has given me some more insight into the church and has told me to be weary as “remnants of the Empire still exist after the fall”…and watch the Star Wars saga (never saw one film).

    I have a couple of questions and corrections. Question, why compare Sean Hannity to Windu, to me (I’m a Conservative) the hypocrite would be better suited to both Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi….both are on opposite political extremes, both are Roman Catholics, but both disregard their Roman Catholic faith (Pelosi publicly for endorsing abortion, Gingrich privately for his infidelities) and in the end, both wind up joining the “Dark side” (Newt and Pelosi on the couch together)…..also I think you do not mean Capitalism is evil….capitalism has been the only successful model to pull people out of poverty (Socialism never has and never can do half the things of what Capitalism has done, you only need to compare the Soviet Union and the US from 1920-1990)….I would instead argue that instead of capitalism, you instead meant to say:

    Third-Way “economics” or Mixed Economy – which is an un-holy alliance of far-right and far-left politics forming a quasi-Capitalistic-Socialist system, where corporations become masters of their trade and dictate to the government, and vice-versa….where corporations are both victim and predators of government. In the case where tobacco companies are heavily taxed, regulated and ridiculed by government (but as long as those sin taxes keep coming in, government has no need to ban them, just keep them miserable) and automobile companies are victim to higher CAFE standards and building cars they cannot sell….meanwhile other companies like the lightbulb companies can lobby to force the government to ban all incandescents so the lightbulb manufacturers (like GE whose CEO now serves as a “jobs” czar) can sell more “higher priced” lightbulbs.

    The best example is the banks where the government forced the banks to lend to people who couldn’t afford the loans in order to “help the poor” and in return after the banks fell victim to government, it turned around and lobbied the government to repeal Glass-Stegall, thus allowing the banks to package the sub-prime loans (which were just a sunk fund at the time) and sell them…here the government fell victim to the banks and finally in the 2000s the banks and government came together where the Federal Reserve kept interest rates low to sell more loans to people who couldn’t afford them, the government used the FHA and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to securitize these bad mortgages so the banks could make more…..and the banks made insane amount of profit, to which the banks used the funds to fund politicians to do more…..it truly is an un-holy alliance when the government and corporations get together.

    Sorry I went on too long…here’s my 2 cents, or probably $20.

    • Remus says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for your large commentary (no need to apologize).

      Sean Hannity calls himself a devout Catholic but obstinately rejects the Church’s teaching on contraception. Maybe there’s a better alternative that I could put next to Windu. That might happen.

      Very broadly speaking … (and this is how define them)
      - Liberalism is the concern for things that people want and the desire to make changes in order to get them.
      - Conservatism is the concern for things that people already have and the desire to avoid changes in order to keep them.

      I think it wrong to side with one and reject the other. Obviously, there are things we don’t have that we should try to get (and that involves changing things). Also, there are things we DO have that we should try to keep (and that involves avoiding certain changes).

      When I say “Capitalism” I mean “Big Business.” Big Business seems to only come about if it works with Big Government (which, broadly speaking, can be called Socialism). The two always go hand-in-hand in some way. They are two evil sides of a coin. Some Catholics will disagree with me on this of course. If you mean “Capitalism” in terms of “business without oppressive rules from the government” then I don’t have a problem with that. But I don’t think that’s what the term signifies in most people’s minds anymore.

      • bsjy says:

        Where you use the term “Capitalism” you might consider using “Corporatism” which was the government-directed private enterprise system under Mussolini. Capitalism, though coined as an epithet by Marx, is generally used to mean something akin to free enterprise and is actually more consistent with Christian theology of free will. Corporatism, Mercantilism, Keynesianism: all these systems are opportunities for stewards to be unfaithful to the owners of property, and all eventually destroy the positive savings of work because they co-opt the freedom of individuals to choose how to use their own property. From the extreme examples of Soviet Communism to the blended system of Japan’s MITI to the subtle impact of the EPA, the assault on human freedom in the economic sphere is as pernicious as the constant assault on the human person in the social sphere.

  33. Chris Chan says:

    This is brilliant. If I could shake your hand, I would, but since this is the Internet, all I can do is say “Job well done.”

  34. ToS says:

    “Luke Skywalker is John Paul II”

    Nope.

    And to call Traditionalism an error is about as stupid as saying Novus Ordo always spawns abuse. Don’t lump us with the SSPX or some independent TLMer just because we go to the same type of Mass and share some concerns and I won’t lump you with liberal “Catholics” who approve of contraception and abortion because they attend the same type of Mass as you do. Geez.

    • Remus says:

      It’s possible I may be wrongly vilifying the overall term of “traditionalism.” However, when you say “us” … what do you mean? Why do you consider yourself a traditionalist? What makes you different from other Catholics?

      • ToS says:

        We (me and others like me) are Authentic Traditionalists because we embrace organic development and reject novelty. We do not like to use ambiguous terminology in theology as was purposely inserted into some parts of Vatican II. Hence we are forced to do mental gymnastics in order to refute the neo-Modernists and to show that VII does not contradict past teaching:

        In this regard we are not like the ultra extreme so-called “traditionalists” who throw VII out the window and say it teaches error.
        Nor are we like the neo-conservatives who say that there was nothing wrong with the council itself (a reading of its history proves otherwise) and was simply hijacked (although this is true too) They also say that VII criticism is simply an reaction to the political and social upheavals of the 60s that also helped produce a crisis of faith. True as well but to ignore in entirety of events before, during (such as the liberal Rhine Fathers) and after VII would be foolish.

        We do prefer the TLM over the NO because the prayers and ritual are richer and better reflect Catholic doctrine (TLM is organic growth and better reflects the Church and how it also slowly grows and how doctrine slowly develops). We reject that the NO can enrich the TLM as the NO was a fabrication by a commission whose explicit intent was to water down Catholic doctrine, appeal to non-Catholics and was plagued with participationism:

        In this regard we are not like the ultra extreme so-called “traditionalists” who see the Novus Ordo as invalid and/or positively evil and harmful.
        Nor are we like the neo-conservative who says that it really doesn’t matter which Mass as long as there is no abuse because Jesus is still there.

        We reject what I call ambiguous ecumenism. Whereas the Ultra extreme so-called “traditionalist” sees JPII’s ecumenical activities as false and sinful and the neo-conservative does everything they can to defend it we simply define it as ambiguous. There is no explicit indication that one must convert to the Catholic faith in order to be saved in a lot of these events but there is also no explicit mention that you shouldn’t convert either. Hence the novelty of modern ecumenism which embraces strange and new methods of so-called evangelization, foreign to the Apostles and laden with ambiguity; the outward appears makes the non-Catholic feel that where they are at is fine as long as we have some kind of unity in a general sense.

        We see the scandalous incidents of JPII kissing the Koran, Assisi meetings, liturgical abuse, stating that non-Catholics can be martyrs, etc. as doing violence to our Catholicity. Even though he was a holy man and did much good:

        In this regard we do not take the position of the ultra extreme so-called “traditionalists” who say JPII was a heretic. Nor do we take the position of the neo-conservatives who defend every little thing he does and cry out that he is a saint.

        I am generally thinking of FSSP type of Trads here basically.
        We are the golden mean.

      • Remus says:

        Thank you for that thorough reply.

        I’m just curious why you call yourselves “traditionalist” when it simply seems to just “kind of” associate yourselves with all those extreme conservative views that you reject.

        I (and plenty of other Catholics that I know) also believe:
        - There were modernists who inputed ambiguous language into the Council Documents
        - Tridentine Mass is richer than the Novus Ordo mass (whether it’s “better” however depends on what you mean)
        - The Novus Ordo does comparatively water down Catholic doctrine, appeal to non-Catholics and to have the congregation participate more
        - JPII kissing the Koran, Assisi meetings, liturgical abuse, stating that non-Catholics can be martyrs, etc. has done at least SOME violence to Catholicity (depending on what that means)

        However, we don’t call ourselves Traditionalists. We just call ourselves Catholic. I would encourage that faithful Catholics consider distancing themselves from the “Traditionalist” label, as it is simply laden with connotations of schism, or at the very least, conservative defiance against the Church in some way. If it was truly the golden mean, I don’t think it would need a specifying label to add on to the term “Catholic.”

        Just my opinion of course.

  35. Tim Reid says:

    Remus…. I appreciate your feedback on my comment. It was very fair and broad-minded and you showed a willingness to listen to another side of the story. Thanks so much for reading and I appreciate what you’ve done.
    Happy rest of Advent!

  36. Ian Thal says:

    Problem with your allegory is you don’t take in account the real actions of some of these historical figures:

    Pius XI (and the future Pius XII, Papal Nuncio Eugene Paceli) actually endorsed fascism and most (though not all) provisions of the anti-Jewish laws passed by the governments of both Hitler and Mussolini during the 1930s. These laws were a pre-condition of the genocide that would follow in the 1940s. Quite unlike the allegory you use here. Fascism (and the National Socialist variant) may have had elements of modernism, but in many ways, were strongly anti-modernist.

    Cardinal Angelo Rancalli (the future John XXIII) on the other hand, spent WWII aiding thousands of Jews escaping genocide– maybe that makes him a modernist but it also means he stood up to the evils of Hitler when Pius XI and XII had chosen a path of appeasement.

    • This is a fallacy. Pius XII did much to help the Jews during the War. http://www.ewtn.com/library/issues/pius12gs.htm

      • Ian Thal says:

        Susan Zuccotti’s Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy is the most thorough historical account of the Vatican in that time period (in that she examined all the documentary evidence that has been released to the public.) While she was able to find a number of instances of Catholic clergy helping Jews escape the Holocaust (notably, Cardinals Rancalli and Rotti) there was no evidence that Pius XII did much of anything– in fact, that he was rather passive on the issue during the war.

        Much of the Jewish praise of Pius XII came from the mistaken impression that Catholic clergy who did come to the aid of Jews did so under Papal orders when in fact, most of this aid was in response to direct pleas for assistance from Jews to local Catholics. There was also an urge by many Jewish leaders to not examine the evidence too closely because they wanted Vatican support for the new state of Israel.

        There were Catholics who deserve to be seen as heroes– the problem is that Pius XII was not one of them, and furthermore, his own negotiations with Mussolini and Hitler when he was still the Nuncio helped set the groundwork for the murder that would happen several years down the line.

    • http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/researcher-thinks-pius-xii-went-undercover-to-save-jews/

      Gary Krupp, a Jewish New Yorker who works to clear Pius XII name has turned up evidence that says otherwise. This is just one of those issues that enemies of the Church have latched onto and spread lies to besmirch the name of the Vatican, the Church, and Pius XII

      • Ian Thal says:

        Mr. Krupp may very well be sincere in his beliefs but he’s not a historian either by vocation or by training (he sells medical equipment) and has been widely criticized by scholars of the era for his poor research– including scholars within the Catholic clergy.

        There’s more to being a historian than making statements about the past.

        The larger point is that while there are members of the clergy who did save Jewish lives during the Holocaust, they are not being praised while Pius XII, who did little to nothing is being misrepresented as a hero.

      • John Fannon says:

        And you can add Professor Sir Martin Gilbert who is a distinguished Jewish historian and he also agrees that Pius XII did much to save the Jews in Rome.

    • if it is “scholarly” authors you want, here link to a PDF file by Sr. Margherita Marchione who herself participated in sheltering Jews from the Nazis, which presents evidence defending Pius XII. The smear campaign against Pius XII is an effective tool of the Devil. Golda Meir praised Pius XII for raising his voice. Do not be fooled by the enemies of the Church.

      • Remus says:

        Some references defending Pius XII:

        - The Defamation of Pius XII by Ralph McInerny

        - Righteous Gentiles by Ronald J. Rychlak (How Pius XII and the Catholic Church saved Jews from the Nazis)

        - Hitler, the War, and the Pope by Ronald J. Rychlak (includes a critical examination of Cornwell’s book Hitler’s Pope)

        - A Vatican Lifeline ’44 by William Simpson (an account of how Allied fugitives, aided by the Vatican and the Italian Resistance, foiled the Gestapo in Nazi-Occupied Rome)

        - Yours is a Precious Witness by Margherita Marchione (Memoirs of Jews and Catholics in wartime Italy)

        - Pope Pius XII: Architect for Peace by Marghertiz Marchione (contains a huge bibliography)

        - Three Popes and the Jews, by Pinchas Lapide (written in 1967 by an Israeli Diplomat, who said that Pope Pius XII saved over 800,000 Jews.)

        - The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis, by Rabbi David G. Dalin

        - Before the Dawn, by Eugenio Zolli (He was the chief Rabbi of Rome, who converted to Catholicism and took the name “Eugenio” in honor of Eugenio Pacelli, who was Pope Pius XII. He saw firsthand how the Pope worked to save Jews, and was so impressed he became a Catholic.)

  37. Br. Charles says:

    The Jawas are conspicuously absent. That’s all I’m sayin.’

  38. Dexter says:

    What a great metaphor, between the STAR WARS Saga and the history of the VATICAN II. My 7 y/o son enjoyed every bit of it (I was reading it out loud to him). Frankly I don’t know what the fuzz about VATICAN II, but with your analogy of the two it really became clear. You’re very creative, I know GOD and George Lucas will be proud of your work.

    Peace and may the Force be with you :)

    PS
    My son is insisting to tell you all that he just drew all the STAR WARS SAGA in a few and small multi-colored sticky notes (he’s such a fanboy).

    Your brother here in the Philippines,
    Dex and Clark

  39. Joseph says:

    This post combines two things that I love: The Church and Star Wars. However, whatever one may say about Lucas’s Jedi, the characterization of the “pre-conciliar Church” with respect to “emotions” is, I feel, lacking. Such blanket statements as that the pre-conciliar Church denied the goodness of human emotions are rather vague and do not ring true to me. I am curious as to what Remus has in mind when he makes such a comparison.

  40. Candid says:

    I think the Sand People should ally with Chewbacca in order to kill Luke, screw Leia and afterward get orrupted by Jabba and Boba, who establish a religion to worship Palpatine. Hollywood, here I come.

  41. iHPg62 says:

    And with your spirit!!!

  42. Bill Walker says:

    Brilliant!

  43. Cassian says:

    This is so good. Bravo. I’ve forwarded on to all of my geeky Catholic friends.

    I’m nowhere as smart or funny as you are, but how about this corollary:

    Lightsabers = Thomism/scholastic argumentation.

    Let’s see: Back before the Spirit of Vatican II took over, the pre-conciliar church used these weapons all the time. They were beautiful, elegantly-constructed weapons wielded by a specially-trained priesthood, and for many years they helped the church to vanquish its enemies. An elegant weapon, from a more civilized age.

    Like lightsabers, Thomistic argument both gives light and cuts through – the illuminating and incisive power of logic and reason. For generations, the skilled priests who used them brought the light of truth and cut through falsehoods.

    But in the latter days of the struggling pre-conciliar church, these weapons lost their effectiveness. Perhaps the priests didn’t wield them as well – or perhaps the priests became too enamored of their surface features — for example: gaudy, different colors, and overly-dramatic, hyper-choreographed, flashy uses of them. (Heck, one of them even narcissistically preferred a special purple one all his own.)

    So, that’s why enemies of the church, like the Eugenics Movement, were able to defeat so many of the priests and bishops and steal their arguments from them (cf. Grievous’s lightsaber trophies of defeated Jedi).

    By the time John Paul II came along to provide a New (Witness to) Hope, no one really knew how to handle lightsabers anymore. You have to go through a lot of training and study to use them properly, after all. And most of the old Jedi had died or left the Order.

    By then, the laity who were still basically on the side of the church preferred to use “Blasters” — emotional appeals. Effective in some ways, but ultimately much more clumsy and random. This makes sense, given that the laity spent so much time hanging out with man’s animalistic passions/emotions (Han & Chewy).

    So, when the laity starts to grudgingly join in with JP II to go after Empire, at first the lightsaber is laughingly dismissed as an “ancient weapon.” No match for a good blaster at your side.

    But over time, by learning from his predecessors (Obi-Wan/Paul VI) and from Sacred Tradition (Yoda), John Paul II learns to appreciate the elegance of the older ways — and quietly, slowly, the appreciation and use of the old weapon grows among the laity and the rebels.

    And in the end, although Thomistic argumentation plays an important role in disarming (literally) the Spirit of VII, it does not do the final work of converting the heart of Darth Vader. Only love can do that – and it does.

    • Remus says:

      Dang. That’s fantastic. I think you’ve nailed it. Thank you for that.

      Man, I’m going to have to make this thing longer. And people are already complaining that it’s too long. Well too bad!

    • Goldbloom says:

      Does that mean the time Han uses the lightsaber to save Luke’s life can be taken to mean the rational emancipation of self induced simplicist ignorance of the laity no less ,albeit fledglingly, in defense of the Holy See?

      Very entertaining and acute article Remus.
      And smart little addition Cassian.

      • Santiago says:

        Yes, I think you, Remus, have to add Cassian’s add, no matter if some people complain on the extension!

  44. Kevin says:

    This is theologically badass. Bravo.

  45. Michael Elohim says:

    I have often casually worked out in my mind a similar comparison between the Star Wars mythos and recent ecclesial history. Yet I sometimes suspect that, if the story were framed differently, we could see the Sith as the original discoverers and users of the Force, with the Jedi representing a modernistic degeneration of the original discipline. Notice that in almost every 1-on- fight, the Sith dominate the Jedi. And notice that the Jedi are manipulative, deceptive, and uncaring while posing as peaceful and in love with nature. We could thus develop an extended allegory in which the Sith are the Traditionalist/Orthodox Catholics and the Jedi are the feelgood “social justice” hippies who hijacked the Church after V2. John Paul II is Palpatine, Benedict is his apprentice Vader, and the new liturgical reforms and focus on centralized authority are the prophesied restoration of balance.

  46. John says:

    I don’t think Yoda is so much Sacred Tradition (capital T) as he is little-t tradition. The problem is that he can’t represent the “divine revelations dating back to Christ,” and an indispensable part of the Church’s Magisterium, and also be wrong about Luke’s holy wrath in “Empire,” because Sacred Tradition can’t be wrong in one age, and right in another.

    I don’t think you’d really disagree with my comment, because your section on Yoda basically describes him as being both big-T and little-t tradition. So I think that section warrants a little clarification.

    But please be assured, the only reason I write to tell you this is because I think your article is really, really cool.

    - J

    • Remus says:

      You’re absolutely right. That does merit clarification …

      There. I’ve made some changes. You might want to check it out, just in case. I think it’s a bit clearer now though.

      Thanks for your input. That was a good idea.

  47. Spectator says:

    “Luke, furthermore, was almost killed by the Sand People, just as John Paul II was almost killed by the Nazis (and Communists for that matter), who had incidentally been largely influenced by Muslims (due largely to the Germans being allied with the Ottoman Empire back in World War I). ”

    What on earth are you talking about here? Please tell me you aren’t serious!

  48. Spectator says:

    I took your statement to mean that there was a concrete link between Islam and Hitler. The Muslim world hardly held a trademark on genocide or ethnic discrimination that the Nazis had to pay royalties on. We don’t have to look further afield than Christian Europe to see examples of both. I’d say Luther was a far more of a direct influence unless you are aware of some specific references to Turkish inspiration/emulation.

    In fact it would be more accurate to say that the Fascist movements and theories of ethnic nationalism influenced the Muslim world with the post colonial Pan-Arab movement and the Ba’athist parties.

    I get that you didn’t mean this as a scholarly article but that was just a bit too big of a leap to take.

    • Remus says:

      I’m not denying Nazis weren’t influenced by things other than Islam. All I’m saying is that Islam influenced Nazism. That’s what I’ve read from historians (like the Jewish sources I cited). Maybe they’re wrong, in which case I’m wrong. And I apologize.

  49. JMRJ says:

    How about the SSPX? Who are they in Star Wars?
    And the traditional Mass? And the Latin language?
    Or did I just miss those things? It would be hard to correlate anything to V2 without having something representing those items, methinks.

  50. John says:

    I now understand more thoroughly why it’s immensely risky trying to draw parallels between movies/fantasy and real life:

    - I never had the impression that the Jedi Council condemned Anakin’s love for his mother. They sensed great conflict within him–for obvious reasons–and Yoda felt this to be too great a problem to be overcome very well. He was right. Ultimately, though the Council decided to allow Anakin to be trained, doing so winds up causing a great deal of death, mayhem, and bloodshed. Saying the Jedi were anti-humanistic makes no sense: They legitimately feared the consequences of Anakin’s past creating serious problems in times to come. The movies prove that sentiment VERY accurate.

    - Yoda and Obi-Wan routinely, rightly, condemn what Anakin has become. They also fear what Luke’s emotions may induce him to do.
    - “Further, Yoda explicitly says: “Anger, fear, aggression: the Dark Side are they.” So, it’s obvious that these emotions are EVIL according to the old Jedi.”
    Yes….and no. Yoda DOES, in fact, condemn the abusive nature of these emotions, when a person allows the emotions to control him. Saying that they consider these emotions evil? I doubt it. Yoda and Ben Kenobi both express displeasure, irritation, and exasperation with Luke’s failure to control himself or his emotions.
    If you want to insist they consider most emotions..unacceptable..keep in mind they strike me more as Buddhist monks than as Catholics. If they don’t channel their own emotions–or Luke’s–quite as well as they might, well, it IS a movie, not real life. You aren’t going to get an analogy THAT good without being rather preachy.

    • Remus says:

      “They sensed great conflict within him–for obvious reasons–and Yoda felt this to be too great a problem to be overcome very well. He was right.”
      Yes, there was great conflict in him, but this conflict was entirely natural (i.e. a child loving one’s mother and be taken from her to perhaps never see her again). Anakin could have been consoled throughout this, but instead he was told that there was something wrong with him. It was a recipe for a spiritual and psychological disaster.

      “Yoda and Obi-Wan routinely, rightly, condemn what Anakin has become. They also fear what Luke’s emotions may induce him to do.”
      Yes, they rightly condemn what Anakin had become, but they also don’t want to save him. Obi-Wan actually gives up hope when Luke says that he can’t kill his own father, as Obi-Wan says, “Then the Emperor has already won. You were our last hope.” But in fact, Luke’s love for his father does triumph, contrary to Obi-Wan’s despairing insistence to do the contrary.

      “Yoda DOES, in fact, condemn the abusive nature of these emotions, when a person allows the emotions to control him. Yoda and Ben Kenobi both express displeasure, irritation, and exasperation with Luke’s failure to control himself or his emotions.”
      That’s fine. However, they go overboard in this area, and condemn actual particular emotions altogether. None of the old Jedi EVER make the distinction between anger and abusive anger. It’s all uniformly condemned. And Luke believes them to some extent, that’s why he resists lashing out at Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi … but he then DOES lash out in righteous anger and defeats him … and doesn’t turn to the dark side, proving Yoda and Obi-Wan were wrong.

      “f you want to insist they consider most emotions..unacceptable..keep in mind they strike me more as Buddhist monks than as Catholics.”
      Yes, in fact, Traditionalists strike me as Buddhist monks. Both of them are afraid of emotion.

      “It IS a movie, not real life. You aren’t going to get an analogy THAT good without being rather preachy.”
      I apologize if I sounded preachy. If you don’t buy this, that’s fine. I doubt these parallels will speak to everyone, and I don’t condemn them for that. God Bless.

      • Joseph says:

        Remus, would you _please_ specify what you mean when you say that the pre-conciliar Church was afraid of “emotions”? It seems to be a part of your argument that is very important to you, but it seems rather vague and odd. You keep saying it but never explaining what you mean by it. Please do tell!

      • John says:

        Like I said, Remus, this analysis demonstrates why it’s a hazard to try drawing parallels between movies and life.
        It makes no sense to cast aspersions upon the Jedi thinking and actions according to Catholic principles: They aren’t Catholics. You wouldn’t expect them to behave as though they were.
        I never took Yoda or Obi Wan to have completely given up on Vader per se. I think they demonstrated a better understanding of how to motivate Luke than this would allow. Throughout the movies, even if they don’t make clear the distinction between having emotion and exercising emotion abusively, what they DO say and their actions in relation to everything seem to me to demonstrate the difference quite well.
        Luke’s ability at the end of the last movie to exercise greater discretion demonstrates to me that Yoda and Obi Wan FINALLY got the point across in spite of Anakin or Luke struggling with their own approach.


        I have never understood Traditionalists to fear emotion. They typically remind me of..me. I don’t care for unceasing embrace of emotion “out on your sleeves” either. They frequently tend toward being more contemplative than that.

      • Remus says:

        Joseph,

        Yeah, I may have to devote an entire post to more fully answer this question, since apparently it has confused a lot of people.

        In short, the Pre-Conciliar Church had become bogged down with rules and regulations to the extent that they had somewhat forgotten the Catholic joy aspect of the faith. Some signs of this were:
        - While Church doctrine was well understood by educated theologians, it used language that was, unfortunately, now a bit archaic and out-of-touch with the world … and because of that, while the laity could simply “accept what the church taught” it really didn’t mean very much to them, and, at the very least, certainly did not engage them on an emotional level (and so, part of the human person, that is the emotional side, was not engaged in their faith)
        - Often no participation of the Laity in Masses, making it very emotionless, as Priests would often almost inaudibly go through the masses, while the laity, oftentimes, prayed their rosaries to occupy the time
        - Things like the Baltimore Catechism displayed the faith as a somewhat dry laundry list of do’s and don’t’s and lacks a kind of human/emotional quality to it (don’t get me wrong, I like the Baltimore Catechism to large extent, and we can still learn from it).
        - The stereotypical strict, insensitive, abusive nuns in Catholic Schools, I think, is another sign of some of the emotionally repressive symptoms that Vatican II recognized and tried to fix.

        Well, those are some things. If that’s not entirely satisfying, I understand. You’ve sort of inspired me to look into this more deeply, and someday hopefully I’ll come out with a post that gives a more adequate explanation. Thanks.

      • JMRJ says:

        I have a theory about some of what you are saying.

        I think the Church was adversely affected (not to the point of error, of course!) by the puritanical trends in Europe in the 19th century. While this was mainly a protestant phenomenon, it spilled over a little at least, to the point where popes issued pronouncements about thinks like skirt length for women, which strikes me as being rather un-catholic.

        The Church had its puritanical leanings from the beginning, of course. You can see elements of it in Augustine and St. Paul. But in the larger view Catholicism had kept these things in perspective. Aquinas, for example, never seems to become shrill about sins of the flesh, or any other kind of sin for that matter.

        But certain protestant sects treat, say, sexual sins out of all proportion to other kinds of sins that are just as serious or more serious. They never point fingers at people who succumb to anger or pride or gluttony, but let some girl get pregnant out of wedlock and oh, the shame of it all!

        Which is, you know, not to excuse or defend any kind of sin. But puritanism notoriously degenerates into stupefying rigidity, and ultimately sterility. Probably an intellectually empty form of gnosticism, too – the body and the senses are simplistically regarded as shameful, but nobody really knows why and stupid inconsistencies abound. Gnosticism is bad enough when it is intellectually driven. Take that away, and you are left with something that is profoundly perverse in practice.

        Notably, the traditional Mass is a richly sensory experience: colorful vestments, incense, chanting. Puritanical protestants regarded it as primitive, vulgar and shameful, of course.

        I think the laity living in predominantly protestant cultures may have partly succumbed to these wayward mis-impressions, and the Church had a hard time addressing them.

        Just food for thought.

      • Remus says:

        John,

        “Like I said, Remus, this analysis demonstrates why it’s a hazard to try drawing parallels between movies and life.”
        Obviously, it’s essential to draw parallels between movies and life, otherwise movies would be entirely useless.

        “It makes no sense to cast aspersions upon the Jedi thinking and actions according to Catholic principles: They aren’t Catholics. You wouldn’t expect them to behave as though they were.”
        But you have been doing that. You have been defending Windu according to Catholic principles.

        Furthermore, I don’t have qualms of conscience judging non-Catholic thinking against the standards of Catholic thinking. I think every Catholic is obligated to do that. What other standard should one measure other people’s beliefs against?

        “I never took Yoda or Obi Wan to have completely given up on Vader per se.”
        Maybe not, but they sure did per accidens. Just like some Traditionalists have varying degrees of despair with regard to Vatican II. The fact is, when Luke says that he can’t kill his own father and that he feels the good in him, Obi-Wan says, “Then the Emperor has already won. You were our last hope.” (when he says “our” it seems to imply he’s speaking for Yoda too). If that’s not despair with regard to the redemption of Vader, I don’t know what is.

        “Throughout the movies, even if they don’t make clear the distinction between having emotion and exercising emotion abusively, what they DO say and their actions in relation to everything seem to me to demonstrate the difference quite well.”
        That seems to be a contradiction. How could they not make the distinction clear and yet make it clear through their words and actions?

        “Luke’s ability at the end of the last movie to exercise greater discretion demonstrates to me that Yoda and Obi Wan FINALLY got the point across in spite of Anakin or Luke struggling with their own approach.”
        I’m not quite sure what particular kind of discretion you’re talking about that Yoda/Obi-Wan fostered that Luke demonstrates that allows him to win. Luke wins because of his anger that finally made him cut off Vader’s hand and, at the same time, because of his love for his father that sought to redeem him. Both of those kinds of things were condemned by Yoda and Obi-Wan.

        “I have never understood Traditionalists to fear emotion. They typically remind me of..me.”
        If you’re a Traditionalist, then it makes sense that you are defending Windu, Yoda, and the Ghost of Obi-Wan. No offense.

  51. John says:

    BTW, for what it’s worth, the assessment of Mace Windu vs Palpatine AND Anakin’s walking in on the fight doesn’t work either. Even before the scene begins, Windu warns Anakin that Palpatine has been fooling with him, so he (Anakin) needs to remain to the sidelines. When Windu walks in on Palpatine, ultimately he attempts to arrest Palpatine, who IMMEDIATELY resists by physical force. Windu, like any law enforcement officer would, does his best to neutralize the threat the “Emporer” poses.
    When Anakin walks in, his frame of mind has already long since been compromised to the ideas of the Jedi to favor the Sith, even if he, himself, doesn’t wish to admit it.

    Declaring that Windu acts from a misguided view of law or justice, or that Anakin rejects some kind of hypocrisy that Windu presents..simply doesn’t match up with the movies that I remember watching.

    • Remus says:

      Windu had instilled in Anakin a rigid letter-of-the-law kind of justice, and Windu’s betrayal of that was the essence of his hypocrisy, and the confused (and, yes, already compromised) Anakin called him out on that.

      In fact, Anakin told Windu that killing Palpatine without trial was “against the Jedi code” and Windu does cite any part of the code that takes exception to that. Even if there was, his mind was clearly not on the Jedi code at all. Yes, he may have been acting like a reasonable law-enforcement officer, but it did not gel to the particular legal rigidity that he was known to demand of others.

      • John says:

        If there are parallels here, Remus, it might be the fact that youth will often tend to be less capable of making wise discernments between rigid, unyielding interpretations of law than might be wise.
        Windu HAD instilled a pretty rigid sense of justice in Anakin; such was wholly appropriate. There are times when a rigid sense of the law and it’s consequences are not only wise, but in fact, essential.

        I find it rather strange that you’re concerned about Anakin’s interpretation of Windu’s actions. Anakin isn’t supposed to be there right then anyway. Windu, knowing that Anakin’s judgement was already compromised, having told him to avoid becoming further involved..
        If Anakin acts against what he sees as Windu’s incorrect approach, keep in mind that Windu, himself, would’ve been warranted a trial before the Jedi Council regarding said infractions. Anakin doesn’t offer the opportunity, but strikes according to Palpatine’s wishes instead.
        And, of course, Anakin doesn’t bother to discern precisely what all has occurred, but assumes–incorrectly–that Windu acted against Palpatine in the first place. Anakin wasn’t in the room when Windu first confronted Palpatine, so he doesn’t know that Palpatine resisted arrest–illegally–in the first place. Anakin proceeds to do what Windu likely feared earlier: He misinterprets both the Jedi code AND the scene in front of him, so he acts according to Palpatine’s wishes. …And of course, Palpatine goads him into it, provoking Anakin to act according to his worst emotional intents.

        If the Jedi haven’t precisely prepared Anakin to deal with Palpatine’s particular mind-twisting, don’t forget that they haven’t actually known who it was they were contending against–or what about–until the last several moments.
        Masters of any craft generally don’t attempt dealing with specific concerns until they know what a specific concern IS.

        Also, don’t forget that

      • Remus says:

        “There are times when a rigid sense of the law and it’s consequences are not only wise, but in fact, essential.”
        Maybe. But sometimes the opposite is true. It certainly didn’t prove fruitful in Anakin’s case.

        “He misinterprets both the Jedi code AND the scene in front of him, so he acts according to Palpatine’s wishes.”
        Yes, he does. And that is largely thanks to Windu, who provides no correction on Jedi Code for Anakin and no explanation about what the scene in front of him actually is.

        “If the Jedi haven’t precisely prepared Anakin to deal with Palpatine’s particular mind-twisting, don’t forget that they haven’t actually known who it was they were contending against–or what about–until the last several moments.”
        This further shows the poor shape the Jedi Order was in. They did not understand the true nature of evil, otherwise, they would have recognized it sooner when it was in front of their faces.

        Once again, none of the Jedi offer ANY solution to Anakin’s emotional wants … except “Don’t do that.” Hence, Anakin’s emotions are demonized, and he begins to believe that the only resolution for them lies in the dark side. I’m not excusing Anakin, I’m just saying the Jedi sure gave him a helping hand in his fall from grace.

  52. D.A. Howard says:

    This post is a schismatic act. Have fun with your Society of Saint Pius X buddies.

  53. Speaking as a Catholic, a literary scholar, and a _Star Wars_ fan, this is brilliant!

  54. John says:

    Wow. Your appraisal over-all strikes me as..problematic..at best, downright out to lunch at worst. I think you’re view of the Jedi order in general needs some help. I think you’re missing a great deal of what they’re about.

    As for Traditionalist vs other, I find it remarkable that anyone would consider me to be one. I have never been to an SSPX chapel; I barely got along with CMRI when I had a chance. I DO, however, think there’s a great deal to be learned from what the traditional crowd has to say. The more I learn of Catholic culture and practice, the more I’m shocked by what the “newer” Church didn’t bother to mention.

    If Windu doesn’t explain the finer reasoning behind his actions in relation to the Jedi Code, we might be bothered to forgive him the oversight: It’s a little tough to rationally explain anything when you’ve already been locked in mortal combat for the better part of 5 minutes. Considering that he’s barely holding off Palpatine’s energy bolts, he’s not exactly in a position to be explaining anything!

    As for attempting to apply Catholic ideals, I would point out that I usually find it severely hazardous to attempt to hold anyone accountable to Catholic doctrine if they haven’t chosen to follow Catholic faith by their own free will. By all means, let’s examine what Catholic faith would say, but until we have just cause to hold them accountable to it, it’s rather foolish to insist that they ought care what the Catholic Church thinks.

    Honestly, trying to hold someone accountable to Catholic faith if they aren’t Catholic…might be somewhat akin to asking an African-American from the United States why he doesn’t speak German.
    In either, you’re going to get a rather odd look. The person of whom you’ve inquired will be wondering why you think he ought care a whit.

    • Remus says:

      “I DO, however, think there’s a great deal to be learned from what the traditional crowd has to say. The more I learn of Catholic culture and practice, the more I’m shocked by what the ‘newer’ Church didn’t bother to mention.”
      I’ve personally known SSPXers and Sedevacantists, and yes, there is much to learn from them, just as there is much to learn from the ultra-conservative Jedi, I’ve mentioned. But ultimately, they have something wrong. You seem a little on the fence about Traditionalists. I’m not sure where you stand. Maybe if you pick a clear side, this conversation could go more smoothly.

      “If Windu doesn’t explain the finer reasoning behind his actions in relation to the Jedi Code, we might be bothered to forgive him the oversight: It’s a little tough to rationally explain anything when you’ve already been locked in mortal combat for the better part of 5 minutes. Considering that he’s barely holding off Palpatine’s energy bolts, he’s not exactly in a position to be explaining anything!”
      Well, then, I suppose Windu should simply have not been as rigid and unrelenting to the letter-of-the-law BEFORE he was in such an emotional and cloudy-headed position, so that Anakin wouldn’t have seen him for the hypocrite that he was. That’s the benefit of getting down the spirit of the law in the first place rather than demanding the letter-of-the-law all your life and then expect people will understand you taking exceptions to it when you don’t have the opportunity to clearly explain yourself.

      “As for attempting to apply Catholic ideals, I would point out that I usually find it severely hazardous to attempt to hold anyone accountable to Catholic doctrine if they haven’t chosen to follow Catholic faith by their own free will. ”
      That’s only true with regard to specifically divinely revealed truths (i.e. the doctrine of the Trinity). When it comes to natural law (i.e. murder is wrong), then I expect any group (even fictional ones like the Jedi) to figure those things out. The expectations I have held for the Jedi to fulfill fall under natural law, so it is not unreasonable for me to criticize them for having fallen short of it.

    • D.A. Howard says:

      You do not have the authority to question the acts of a pope, and definitely not a Ecumenical Council. To infer that Vatican II and the pope have led the Church astray is to deny the dogma of indefectibility, which states that the Church cannot fail to be a means of Salvation to the world.

      Stating that: “Well, I think, honestly, a large portion of the blame falls on the Jedi Council.” Is attacking indefectibility. You are blaming a Church council for people not attending Mass, mass moral decline and other sophist arguments. The problem is DISOBEDIENCE.

      Priests and religious did not conform to Vatican II norms: They reinterpreted them as Benedict just restated by saying we need a “new hermeneutic” (interpretation) of Vatican II. Disobedience is not the Church’s problem, as several popes have consistently stated the norms are not being following. Even bishops I have talked to have constantly stated that they are not responsible for the interpretation, just the words on the page.

      You are making the Church responsible for the interpretation. You want the Church to use Jedi mind-control. There is no Jedi mind control, just the constant discipline and teaching of the Church when people go astray, and they are not listening. The Faithful have entered schism constantly throughout this history of the Church. This is not the Church’s problem, it is the laity and their lax in obedience that is to blame.

      You do not blame the Savior for people’s sin, why do you blame the Church for the same?

      Everyone is held accountable to Catholic standards:

      “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved” (Vatican II, Paragraph #14, Lumen Gentium).

      Did not Jesus say that those who rejected him, will suffer the “eternal fire prepared for Satan and his angels?” Those who reject Christ’s Church will not be coddled in the end, they will be punished.

      • Remus says:

        “You do not have the authority to question the acts of a pope, and definitely not a Ecumenical Council.”
        I’m not sure what you mean by this. The only thing a Catholic cannot question with regard to the Papacy and Ecumenical Councils are their dogmatic declarations. Vatican II gave no dogmatic pronouncements. Furthermore, I’m not even questioning Vatican II (i.e. I’m not condemning anything in its documents). I’m condemning “The Spirit of Vatican II” i.e. the atrocities done and said by liberals who said they were simply acting according to what the Council intended when in fact the Council never intended those things.

        Furthermore, we can certainly disagree with certain acts made by Popes. Certainly if a Pope fornicates (as has been done a couple times in the past), we are not bound to withhold criticism of such actions. So, I’m not sure what you’re exactly getting at.

        “You are making the Church responsible for the interpretation.” I never said that. When did I ever say the Church was at fault at all? I’m saying that certainly people in the Church screwed up, confused a lot of people, and created chaos. I didn’t say “the Church” did that.

        “The Faithful have entered schism constantly throughout this history of the Church. This is not the Church’s problem, it is the laity and their lax in obedience that is to blame.”
        Once again, I’m not blaming “the Church” I’m blaming certain leaders of the Church. What you seem to be saying is that if someone tempts another to sin, that someone is not responsible at all for that person sinning, which is ridiculous. So, when Church leaders by their negligence tempt people to sin, those leaders are partially responsible for those sins. Is that even up for debate?

        “You do not blame the Savior for people’s sin, why do you blame the Church for the same?”
        No, because I don’t think the Savior was negligent. I believe many Church leaders amidst the Vatican II era were, hence some blame falls on them.

        “Those who reject Christ’s Church will not be coddled in the end, they will be punished.”
        I agree. But I never rejected the Church. I simply condemned the imperfections of its members. If you are not willing to do that, then why are you criticizing me?

  55. John says:

    I can’t very well pick a clear side, Remus, with regard to Traditionalists and “moderns”. There isn’t one. I think ultimately they’re both too determined to exclude the other, to the immense detriment of both. I think far too many people, including myself, have been forced to make many ultimately equivocal choices precisely because neither of the two sides makes sense.

    As to Windu’s supposed hypocrisy, I’m trying to remember anything he did that I could describe as legitimately hypocritical. What part of the Jedi code did he genuinely break? As I remember it, Windu winds up in a death struggle with Palpatine when PALPATINE uses physical force to–illegally–resist Windu’s legitimate attempt to check the power of the wannebe emporer.

    If the Jedi haven’t guided Anakin so terribly well, remember that Anakin was a paduan with Obi-Wan, preceded by Qui-Gon, not by Yoda or Windu. Qui-Gon, you’ll recall, had a..reputation..within the Jedi Council for being..overly impetuous. Yoda, in particular, saw the problem quite clearly in the first movie. Anakin’s personal concerns, mixed with Obi-Wan’s comparative inexperience as a Master, provided Yoda’s reasoning for voting against Anakin’s having been trained in the first place. He was over-ruled.

    Throughout the movies, you see Anakin’s definite tendency toward failing to fulfill Jedi expectations. Ultimately, he decides against the wisdom of Yoda and others, instead deciding to go along with Palpatine. That’s not an example of Jedi failing, but several examples of Anakin’s failing as a Jedi. He doesn’t truthfully turn around until, having been defeated in front of the emporer, he finally throws the emporer into the giant pit in the room, so his son won’t be killed. It appears to me to be his one redeeming move.

    I understand all too well the idea of trying to evaluate people’s actions relative to natural law. Trouble is, attempting to hold anyone accountable even to natural law usually fails when the person you’re addressing doesn’t wish to change their ways.
    Again, it makes no sense to attempt analysis of Jedi via Catholic principles or natural law in a sense. They aren’t Catholic and don’t seem to know what natural law IS, therefore, you’d need to persuade them to follow either.
    Given what I remember from college, I’m thinking that attempting to hold someone even in this world accountable to natural law…will create all manner of difficulty.
    Teach it, preach it, and live it, by all means, but don’t be surprised if others are..rather reluctant.

    • Remus says:

      “I can’t very well pick a clear side, Remus, with regard to Traditionalists and ‘moderns’.”
      I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear. I said to pick between being “Traditionalists” and “not Traditionalists.” It’s interesting that you think “Moderns” is the only alternative. It shows that you have bought into the false dichotomy, represented by “Rigid Jedi” vs. “Sith” (or similarly, Conservative vs. Liberal). In any case, it would be valuable to answer my question (the one I DID ask), because otherwise, no hope of resolution is possible, since your views will not be clear and probably shift in every direction to avoid being contradicted.

      Unless you can argue that Windu was not a rigid, stickler for the law, then maybe you could exempt him from being a hypocrite. However, my impression (and that of many others) is that he was very much a stickler, and thus his breach of the law in forgoing due process with Palpatine thus appears hypocritical. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t think such a claim is that out there.

      “Qui-Gon, you’ll recall, had a..reputation..within the Jedi Council for being..overly impetuous.”
      I’m not sure what you’re point here is. Are you saying the Jedi didn’t influence Anakin well? That’s my point. I believe even Qui-Gon Jinn (or John XXIII) suffered from the kind of ecclesial/Jedi imbalance of the Pre-Vatican II or Pre-Chosen One era.

      “Yoda, in particular, saw the problem quite clearly in the first movie.”
      Yes, the problem being Anakin missed his mother. Yoda did nothing useful to console him or resolve this emotional trauma in any reasonable way except saying that anger and attachment are of the Dark Side and whatnot.

      “Ultimately, he decides against the wisdom of Yoda and others, instead deciding to go along with Palpatine. That’s not an example of Jedi failing, but several examples of Anakin’s failing as a Jedi.”
      Once again, he turns to Palpatine because his emotions are never dealt with by the Jedi and because Palpatine showed a possible fulfillment of them. His emotional needs as a child are the responsibility of his elders, but his elders didn’t give a crap. Hence, recipe for disaster.

      “Trouble is, attempting to hold anyone accountable even to natural law usually fails when the person you’re addressing doesn’t wish to change their ways.”
      I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. I’m just condemning the actions of the rigid Jedi because they were wrong, whether they were “wishing to change” or not. That’s irrelevant.

      “They aren’t Catholic and don’t seem to know what natural law IS, therefore, you’d need to persuade them to follow either.”
      They don’t know what Natural Law is? You said that the Jedi know that people should control their emotions. Guess what? That’s natural law. To say that the Jedi are devoid of knowledge regarding good and evil pretty much contradicts everything you just said. And if they don’t know what natural law is, then it further shows that the Jedi Order was clueless and stupid.

      “Given what I remember from college, I’m thinking that attempting to hold someone even in this world accountable to natural law…will create all manner of difficulty.”
      Did you go to some secular college? That’s what it sounds like. No offense.

      “Teach it, preach it, and live it, by all means, but don’t be surprised if others are..rather reluctant.”
      Okay, I’ll teach it and preach it to the Jedi when I’m watching the movie but I won’t be surprised that the Jedi are reluctant … wait, what? I have no idea why you said this. How am I to teach it and preach it to the Jedi since they’re fictional characters? The issue of “condemning people’s actions because they go against the natural law” and “trying to get people to follow the natural law” are entirely different. Don’t conflate the two. That would be ridiculous, especially since we’re talking about fictional characters.

  56. John says:

    Ah, so finally we come to it. We’re dealing with a story of FICTION, not real life. I continue to wonder why anyone attempts to read natural law, natural science, or what we know as Catholics into a fictional universe. George Lucas created Star Wars to tell a story, to entertain people, not to be a moral treatise or examine theology. He didn’t create the idea of the Jedi, the Force, or anything else to be a case study in how badly someone can go wrong if they aren’t raised properly. At best, it’s a long story that demonstrates how willfully poor judgement on the part of a very few people can have severe consequences.
    By the way, with that statement, I’m not referring to the Jedi, Yoda, Mace Windu, or any others. I’m referring to the poor judgement that Anakin demonstrates throughout, and which Luke also comes close to falling prey to.
    I don’t agree even remotely that Windu in particular demonstrates any particular rigidity. Seems to me that charge comes about because people wish to insist that Anakin had some kind of severe emotional difficulty. He did, in a way, but accusing Windu of failing to handle that properly makes no sense. Again, OBI WAN is Anakin’s master, not Mace. Obi Wan even admits to being a rather poorer teacher than Yoda had been. Interestingly enough, it would seem that being a very GOOD Jedi master doesn’t guarantee anything either; Yoda, when confronting Count Dooku–obviously a bad guy–implies that Dooku had once been his, Yoda’s, student.

    I think if anything, Star Wars demonstrates not the failings or incompetence of the Jedi, but rather the idiocy of insisting that emotional needs should hold such high priority. Mace Windu never struck me as being rigid, he struck me as comprehending very well precisely what being a Jedi IS, and what it is not. His input comes primarily as a means of attempting to help curb Anakin’s mercurial approach.

    By the way, for what it’s worth–perhaps not much–natural law as the Church would recognize it and natural science as we know it..do not appear to me to precisely apply to the universe of Star Wars. In our universe, we don’t have a Force, people can’t manipulate objects large OR small, and light sabers, X-Wing fighters, and the like..don’t actually exist. They’re all sci-fi elements from George Lucas’ imagination. ..And if the Jedi in general aren’t perfect according to Catholic precept, well, we might both recall that they’re not intended as a religion as we understand it per se, and while some of George Lucas’ ideals related to Buddhism or whatever might creep in, it’s absurd to attempt to see the Jedi or much of anything as any but exceedingly poor analogues to life.

    It’s fiction and entertainment. Let it be so.
    Trying to read religious principles very far into it..won’t do much more than look absurd.

    • Remus says:

      “Ah, so finally we come to it. We’re dealing with a story of FICTION, not real life. I continue to wonder why anyone attempts to read natural law, natural science, or what we know as Catholics into a fictional universe.”
      Yes, this is fiction, hence we cannot preach to those characters. However, we can still judge their actions against the natural law. Do you see the difference? I mean, YOU have certainly been judging their actions in defending the Windu and Yoda, while criticizing Anakin. If you really think you shouldn’t judge the actions of fictional characters, then stop doing it.

      “He did, in a way, but accusing Windu of failing to handle that properly makes no sense. Again, OBI WAN is Anakin’s master, not Mace. Obi Wan even admits to being a rather poorer teacher than Yoda had been. Interestingly enough, it would seem that being a very GOOD Jedi master doesn’t guarantee anything either; Yoda, when confronting Count Dooku–obviously a bad guy–implies that Dooku had once been his, Yoda’s, student.”
      All of this indicates that the Jedi Masters were in bad shape. It makes perfect sense. I don’t know what your point is.

      You said, “I don’t agree even remotely that Windu in particular demonstrates any particular rigidity.” And yet before you said, “Windu HAD instilled a pretty rigid sense of justice in Anakin; such was wholly appropriate.” Bingo. You’re contradicting yourself. Windu is rigid. That’s the undeniable impression people get. Even you have acknowledged it.

      I’d like to hear you cite Lucas saying that he created Star Wars “just for entertainment with no deeper meaning” please. Because I think you just made that up because it sounded right to you (and it helps your argument). In fact, let me draw you attention to an interview with Lucas, where he said: “When I did Star Wars, I consciously set about to recreate myths and the classical mythological motifs. And I wanted to use those motifs to deal with issues that existed today.” You can find the video of this at:
      http://www.myspace.com/video/www-considereverything-tv/the-mythology-of-starwars-interview-with-george-lucas-the-powe/4940492

      “I think if anything, Star Wars demonstrates not the failings or incompetence of the Jedi, but rather the idiocy of insisting that emotional needs should hold such high priority.”
      Wait, I thought you said Star Wars was just for entertainment, but you’re saying that it expresses a message … well, which is it?
      Anyway, you sound very Pre-Conciliar and Traddy. Emotions are very important. Those who control people’s emotions control the world. We as Catholics need to acknowledge the importance of emotions rather than just reason, because mere logical argumentation will not win the hearts of the people over to the Church. The Jedi thought that emotions weren’t that important but the Sith did. Hence, the Sith won.

      “Trying to read religious principles very far into it..won’t do much more than look absurd.” Yes, it may look absurd to some. But it is valuable. If you don’t bring your religion to your entertainments, then those pleasure will be empty and vain.

  57. John says:

    “However, we can still judge their actions against the natural law.”
    Considering that I’ve already commented that natural law only exists in Star Wars insofar as Lucas’ storytelling allows, I think this is risky at best.

    “I mean, YOU have certainly been judging their actions in defending the Windu and Yoda, while criticizing Anakin.”
    Um, not really. I’m pointing out what I consider to be serious errors in appraising the whole concept of the Jedi and their beliefs. If I defend Yoda and Windu, but criticize Anakin, it’s because the former appear to me to be following the Jedi ideal quite well, while the latter..routinely seems more interested in doing as he wishes, regardless of what he’s actually been taught.
    Since you seem to have a horrid time with the idea of the Jedi’s frame of mind, I’m rather curious with regard to why you wrote this whole thing in the first place. If I recall, your premise at the very beginning seemed to imply that your appraisal might be..strange.
    It certainly was to me.

    “You’re contradicting yourself. Windu is rigid.”
    Not quite. If Windu is rigid, he is not OVERLY rigid, which seems to be the charge you’ve levelled.

    “All of this indicates that the Jedi Masters were in bad shape. It makes perfect sense. I don’t know what your point is.”
    I wouldn’t say that. I’d say it’s more accurate to declare that a few of the Jedi had tended to go astray from their intended ideals. Bear in mind that Qui-Gon, while allowed to be a master for Obi-Wan, then intended as Anakin’s master, was not a member of the Jedi Council; I think one of Obi-Wan’s comments from the first movie even implies that he is not because of his tendency to interpret Jedi Code as he wishes, not in conformity with the Jedi Council’s views. Again, Yoda only reluctantly allows Anakin to be a paduan in the first place, so we can safely say that the whole Jedi order is not necessarily in error.

    “I’d like to hear you cite Lucas saying that he created…You can find the video of this at:
    http://www.myspace.com/video/www-considereverything-tv/the-mythology-of-starwars-interview-with-george-lucas-the-powe/4940492
    I never said that he created the movies EXCLUSIVELY for entertainment, or with no thought at all to teaching ANY moral beliefs at all. Obviously he did, and to make it credible, which the later three movies generally are, he would’ve needed to include something of real life to grab and hold our attention. I don’t think I ever denied that.
    On the other hand, there’s a world of difference between creating an imaginary world that can be believed by the average audience as something that’s moderately plausible for today’s life..and creating a story in which each and every aspect of science, faith, or politics will definitely apply.

    “Wait, I thought you said Star Wars was just for entertainment, but you’re saying that it expresses a message … well, which is it?”
    BOTH, as explained a moment ago.
    If you wish, consider that this was a set of movies we went to see in theaters for entertainment, not a movie series we saw during CCD class at Church or Theology class at Catholic high school. Of course there’s a message in it. But it’s a message that’s going to be..not very precise.

    “Anyway, you sound very Pre-Conciliar and Traddy.”
    If that means that you think I’ve grown fairly disgusted with the Church as I knew it as a teen, you’re quite correct. I take this as something of a compliment.

    “Emotions are very important.”
    Important, yes. All-encompassing, no. The more modern renditions of the Church frequently seem quite hollow to me, as did the liturgies that supposedly catered to my age group as a teen. I rather detest the over-emphasis on “feeling” the “modern” Church seems to press, while almost completely neglecting the reasoning behind anything older than 1970.
    If that makes me an old, dry, Traddie, fuddie-duddie to you, well, I can’t change much about that. I might suggest learning a bit more about what the faith has taught and still teaches, so you’ll have a better understanding of why I’m not very impressed with the more modern renditions of the Church.

    “We as Catholics need to acknowledge the importance of emotions rather than just reason, because mere logical argumentation will not win the hearts of the people over to the Church. The Jedi thought that emotions weren’t that important but the Sith did. Hence, the Sith won.”

    Two key problems here:
    1. Emotion isn’t more important than logic and reason.
    2. The Sith ultimately lost.

    I can’t think of any time when Catholics have stubbornly neglected emotion as badly as you suggest. It’s true enough that such an accusation has been leveled against the “Pre-Conciliar” Church many time. It’s also true that many of those who raise it..ultimately demonstrate that they didn’t understand what the Church actually taught, now how She addressed emotion effectively. If anything, I’ve actually found the reverse to be true: Most of those who insist that emotion had been buried or killed prior to 1962..are the very same people who ultimately bore me to death with an insistent lack of substance in their faith.

    Too many people seem insistent that because they feel this way or that about something, that the Church needs to reconsider Her point of view. I usually discover that..the Church DID, in fact, consider the view–or something near enough to it–some time ago. She ultimately didn’t pursue it further precisely because She found error running rampant in it.

    Sad that we haven’t been allowed to learn Her teachings in greater depth from the get-go.

    “But it is valuable. If you don’t bring your religion to your entertainments, then those pleasure will be empty and vain.”
    I wouldn’t say that. I didn’t even say that you can’t assess the value of what they do or believe. I DID say that you need to keep it in context.
    Value that may be derived from assessing entertainment out of context will tend toward being intensely compromised.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve heard many of the same criticisms offered against Harry Potter more recently. While the criticisms certainly have a point and Harry CAN be a danger if he’s assumed to be real, the same criticisms usually strike me as somewhat off-base precisely because they seem insistent at believing that Rowling created the series to be a genuine effort at teaching relatively specific morals, especially in a Catholic or Christian sense.
    While it’s true she DID write the series with an interest in teaching, perhaps more so than did Lucas, we know very well she’s neither Catholic, nor Christian. Insisting that she goofed royally in terms of teaching morals the way we would wish them to be doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

    • Remus says:

      “Considering that I’ve already commented that natural law only exists in Star Wars insofar as Lucas’ storytelling allows, I think this is risky at best.”
      So, the natural law DOES exist in Star Wars (that’s certainly not what you said before). But of course when you say “insofar as Lucas’ storytelling allows” that is a most convenient, ambiguous caveat that doesn’t really mean anything. Frankly, I have no idea what you’re talking about. And I don’t think you do either.

      “If Windu is rigid, he is not OVERLY rigid, which seems to be the charge you’ve levelled.”
      So, just for the record, do you think he’s rigid or not? Your views keep on shifting, so I don’t know what I’m suppose to say. Once again, you need to make your views clear, otherwise they will just shift yourself endlessly, so this conversation will never end.

      “I’d say it’s more accurate to declare that a few of the Jedi had tended to go astray from their intended ideals. Bear in mind that Qui-Gon, while allowed to be a master for Obi-Wan, then intended as Anakin’s master, was not a member of the Jedi Council; I think one of Obi-Wan’s comments from the first movie even implies that he is not because of his tendency to interpret Jedi Code as he wishes, not in conformity with the Jedi Council’s views.”
      How was Qui-Gon going against his ideals? There is no evidence that Qui-Gon’s ideals pertained to conformity with the Council’s views. So what ideals are you talking about?

      “Yoda only reluctantly allows Anakin to be a paduan in the first place, so we can safely say that the whole Jedi order is not necessarily in error.”
      Yoda is not in ANY error simply because he is reluctant to have Anakin trained? I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve already addressed how Yoda was wrong (namely, with regard to the emotions of anger and the possibility of redemption of Darth Vader). I’m not sure what you’re saying here.

      “Since you seem to have a horrid time with the idea of the Jedi’s frame of mind, I’m rather curious with regard to why you wrote this whole thing in the first place.”
      I have a horrid time with the Jedi’s frame of mind because they were wrong, and the Sith proved it. And Luke proved it too.

      “Important, yes. All-encompassing, no. The more modern renditions of the Church frequently seem quite hollow to me, as did the liturgies that supposedly catered to my age group as a teen. I rather detest the over-emphasis on ‘feeling’ the ‘modern’ Church seems to press, while almost completely neglecting the reasoning behind anything older than 1970.”
      Yes, and that’s because of the Spirit of Vatican II which went to the opposite extreme. Emotion but no true intellectual substance. Luke however managed to combine them (i.e. truth and emotion), whereas the old Jedi and the Sith did not.

      “I might suggest learning a bit more about what the faith has taught and still teaches, so you’ll have a better understanding of why I’m not very impressed with the more modern renditions of the Church.”
      I have a degree in theology, so I have some idea, thanks.

      “1. Emotion isn’t more important than logic and reason.”
      In terms of what? In terms of understanding the truth, logic and reason are more important. In terms of winning the hearts of people, emotion is more important.

      “2. The Sith ultimately lost.”
      And that’s only because Luke acknowledged the importance of emotion, contrary to what the old Jedi did. But the old Jedi lost because they rejected emotion.

      “For what it’s worth, I’ve heard many of the same criticisms offered against Harry Potter more recently. While the criticisms certainly have a point and Harry CAN be a danger if he’s assumed to be real, the same criticisms usually strike me as somewhat off-base precisely because they seem insistent at believing that Rowling created the series to be a genuine effort at teaching relatively specific morals, especially in a Catholic or Christian sense. While it’s true she DID write the series with an interest in teaching, perhaps more so than did Lucas, we know very well she’s neither Catholic, nor Christian.”
      Once again, your point alludes me, and you seem to just use erroneous premises to defend … whatever you’re trying to say. Rowling IS Christian. She HAS said that Harry Potter is about teaching Christianity. So, I’m not quite sure how this has to do with anything.

  58. CD- Host says:

    Well that was fun. Well done!

  59. Mario R. says:

    This is completely and absolutely BRILLIANT!! Awesome work!

    The only think missing was that the current secular celebration of Christmas is The Star Wars Holiday Special. :)

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  63. John says:

    *shakes head*
    Remus, I give up. I get the distinct impression that, though we’re technically talking about the same things, we’re on wholly different wavelengths. Not sure there’s any solution to that. I’ll simply leave you with these thoughts:
    - I don’t begin to know what your beef is with the old Jedi, especially Windu or Yoda. They don’t appear to me to reject, ignore, or in some way trivialize emotion. They DO, however, routinely master their emotions with reason and contemplation.
    - I tend to think reason and emotion pretty complementary, not one more important than the other. I also tend to think the more traditional aspects of the Church expressed a great deal of emotion. Simply not the way many insist they ought today.
    - I think it strange to portray Luke as being different from the old Jedi; he IS the old Jedi!
    - Glad to hear you have a degree in theology, I guess. I hope you use it well.

    Take care.

  64. Jay says:

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever read. :D I’m dying to rewatch the whole series now that I realize they’re really an allegory for 20th century church history.

  65. Mike S says:

    RE: Han Solo as the Laity
    (Haven’t read all comments so sorry if some of this was mentioned before)

    You could also argue that Han is frozen in carbonite much the same way many of the Laity have their faith captured by “the Spirit of Vatican 2″ (Han is captured by Darth Vader) only to be taken away by Boba Fett (radical individualism) when they take that “spirit” too far to then become a “trophy on the wall” of hedonism (Jabba the Hutt) or the passions. He was then separated from the post-council Church (Leia) even though he knows she loves him when she tells him (Leia: I love you; Han: I know) as he descends into the dark chamber of loss of faith. Also, Han was a pawn used by Vader to capture Luke (the “New Hope”) after Luke eluded Vader when he was hidden by Obi Wan after birth — perhaps the way “the New Hope” of the original intentions of the council had been hidden away in the myriad of outcomes of….losing my thread here so I will stop.

    Also, I may have something more for when Luke was captured by the snow beast (forgot the name) and didn’t JP2 learn in the seminary in secret in post WW2 Communist Poland? Something there too. (Dagobah swamp??)

    I will have to keep reading as I may have more to add.

    Also: “we see Han Solo bound to Jabba due to a past debt, just as the laity is more often enslaved by the desires of the flesh” or just as humans were bound by original sin — or their “rebellious inclinations”.

    • Mike S says:

      Also: Owen and Beru Lars don’t like to stir things up and rustle Imperial feathers so to speak, but eventually are killed by Stormtroopers (radical conformity and Imperial Agents) — often the path that “not wanting to make waves” can lead one to — conformity and destruction of the self, that is. Just ask mid-Twentieth century Germans…

      • Mike S says:

        You could also argue that both battles against the Death Star took place from bases on two different planets that teemed with life — one blow was made by Luke Skywalker (New Hope/Pope) the second final blow was enabled to happen with the help of the Ewoks (Cath youth) but done by the Millenium Falcon in the hands of a rather inter-racial team (the wider world of faith), but we’ll have to see what this symbolizes as it has not been fully defeated yet.

        I am seeing something for the Millenium Falcon too — that “hunk of junk” named for a thousand year bird — perhaps the faith of the European laity (Han puts faith in it; won it from Lando (of light skinned African descent — i.e. middle eastern Church; lives in a Cloud City….) something more there.

        Sorry for typing my out loud thinking but maybe it will spark some ideas.

      • Remus says:

        No need to apologize. I really appreciate your contributions. You have some fantastic points (the two planets teeming with life … that’s a really good point). Feel free to unload your consciousness. Your unearthing some pretty neat stuff.

  66. Nicholas Youmans says:

    “The sand people are Muslims” … ?!?!?!?!

    • Nicholas Youmans says:

      Perhaps you did not respond to my post because I was not clear about my opposition to the statement. What I mean by that is:

      I hope that´s purely a description of a stereotype and not an actual affirmation. You mentioned Vatican II and its false interpretations, while you yourself are guilty of misrepresenting the facts. What about Nostra Aetate and its explicit call to respect our Muslim brothers and sisters based among other things upon our common heritage? That detail must have slipped your mind. If your statement was an attempt at humor, it was in poor taste.

      This is the sort of thing that many Catholics just don´t get about inter-religious relations. Especially Ratzinger. His on-again-off-again dedication to dialogue with other religions is so evident. Any Muslim or Jew can see straight through it. He just doesn´t get it or doesn´t see the true need for it. That is why he said what he said at Regensburg, and ultimately why he did not really apologize for it, but instead said “I´m sorry IF I offended anyone.” Then he invited Muslim clerics to a sit-in at castel gandolfo where he blabbered on and on and did not allow a single one of them to speak. In diplomatic language, you might as well just give them the middle finger.

      • Remus says:

        “What about Nostra Aetate and its explicit call to respect our Muslim brothers and sisters based among other things upon our common heritage?”

        I respect them regarding our common heritage. But that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize the backwardness that Islam has caused amongst the people of the Middle East. Or are you saying that I can’t even do that?

      • Nicholas Youmans says:

        Reply function is a bit funky here… anyways:

        I would say critique is one thing, promoting negative stereotypes is another. You didn´t critique the Middle East, you stereotyped Muslims. You do realize that two-thirds of the world´s Muslim population lives in Asia, right?

      • Remus says:

        “You didn´t critique the Middle East, you stereotyped Muslims. You do realize that two-thirds of the world´s Muslim population lives in Asia, right?”

        To be precise, I critiqued Islam and its effects on the Middle East. I stereotyped Muslims insofar as I made a general statement about many of them that isn’t true about all of them. However, about a quarter of all Muslims in the world are categorized as “radical” and most of the rest waver between some kind of complicity or indifference. Of all the billion+ Muslims in the world, rarely do I see any actually condemn the radical Islam. Until I see more doing that, I’m not going to be afraid of some stereotyping. I don’t think doing such a thing is a sin.

        And are you implying that parts of the Middle East are not in Asia?

      • Nicholas Youmans says:

        I actually mean Asia-Pacific as opposed to the Middle East-North Africa region commonly thought of as the land of Islam.

        It’s ironic how in the rest of your article you strive for high levels of precision, whereas when it comes to another religion you consciously propagate hurtful, nasty stereotypes. You can choose to acknowledge that, or not.

      • Remus says:

        “It’s ironic how in the rest of your article you strive for high levels of precision, whereas when it comes to another religion you consciously propagate hurtful, nasty stereotypes.”

        I’m not quite sure why that would necessarily be ironic. An article geared for high precision regarding Catholic/Christian-specific issues does not necessarily demand equal precision regarding side issues mentioned.

        Also, what I’ve written is more in the literary genre than anything else, employing Allegory/symbolism/analogy/etc. These are NOT things of high precision. The correlation between Star Wars figures and historical figures are actually quite imprecise, in my opinion, despite any striking similarities. So the imprecision I give toward Islam is the kind that I also give to the other, I believe.

        Also, if you think I’ve “consciously propagated hurtful, nasty stereotypes” of Muslims, then let a Muslim come forward and tell me so. Furthermore, let this Muslim condemn radical Islam throughout the world. Furthermore, let this Muslim go to other Muslims and inspire them to condemn the atrocities of radical Islam too. But, of course, such Muslims don’t exist. And if they do, they are so suspiciously rare (I say so because I’ve NEVER seen any, despite my studies of Islam). Until I begin seeing such Muslims, I do not feel a need to adjust the language I’ve used.

        And, yet, maybe I’m wrong. I am willing to be convinced if you make a solid argument. Something especially tells me that you may have a point, particularly considering a curious detail in Star Wars Episode II, where Anakin slays a tribe of Sand People (including the children) who captured and killed his mother … something that contributed to him turning to the Dark Side. Maybe there is something about an “Excessive Hatred of Islam” that led to the post-Vatican II disaster. Perhaps I am guilty of this in some way. I don’t know.

        I’m still listening to you. I’m willing to hear what you have to say. But I am not convinced by any of it so far. Please help me to understand your position.

  67. Emma says:

    I agree completely that the Jedi’s suspicion of Anikan’s love for his mother is problematic on their part, especially considering that Anikan’s mother is a type of the Virgin Mary (ie, her conception of Anikan was without sex.) The Jedi are essentially implying that love for the Virgin Mary is the path to the Dark Side, or to sin. (Of course, a person’s love for the Virgin Mary could lead a person to sin in certain circumstances, but that does not mean that a person shoud not love the Virgin Mary.

    • Remus says:

      That’s a good point.

      The Virgin Mary has always been associated with the more human and even emotional side of Catholicism, so it is fitting that the unhumanistic Jedi somewhat scorn Anakin’s mom.

  68. Emma says:

    BTW, Jar Jar Binks is definitely evil!

  69. Emma says:

    Oh, and it goes without saying that they awesomeness is almost overwhelming!
    I haven’t seen Star Wars in years, but I might just watch it again. Although, as you pointed out, parts 1 and 2 will still suck.

    Now, how about a Lord of the Rings or Star Trek DS9 anaysis of Church history?

    • Remus says:

      Whoa! You’re amazing!

      I’ve intensely been working on something like this for Star Trek for the last day or two, especially DS9, actually … are you telepathic or something?

      That’s so weird (that you brought up DS9 in particular). But, yeah, I’ll just say that I got something for Star Trek … big time. It might be a few weeks until I come out with it though.

      • emmasrandomthoughts says:

        Two thoughts
        1 Great minds think alike and
        2 Star Trek DS9 was far and away the best Star Trek series ever made.

      • Emma says:

        First of all, great minds think alike.
        Second of all, Star Trek DS9 was far and away the best Star Trek series ever made.

  70. Edwin David says:

    wow. you people are a bit mental. maybe you should all consider eating less sugar and perhaps taking up some sort of sport?

  71. Kristiina Piili says:

    Hello friends, I was thinking a long time whether to leave a reply or not. Remus, you are not mad or lunatic at all. You are brilliant and blessed. I was just delighted to read your post on Star Wars and Vatican council. I sometimes think that I must be sliding to the slippery paths of discerning without a clue where I am going. I don’t know will you understand at all my thoughts but anyway, I will write them down.
    I am not a native English speaker, so there might be a lot of mistakes in my written English, but anyway, after reading your post I am just praying for you. It is not long time ago; I think 6-7 weeks I was last time making comparisons between Mary, Jesus, Adam, Eve, Christ’s human nature, Christ’s divine nature and…Star Wars, Anakin, Padme, Luke and Leia…
    This isn’t the first time I do thinking on Star Wars-themes. Well, the story has been used many times by all kinds of thinkers in order to give birth to all kinds of funny theories. My family, my brother and I, we have always been Star Wars -fans. The most important thing to me it isn’t Star Wars, of course. It is the flow of Holy Spirit, the Force. Some may say I am getting closer to pantheism, but it is not that.
    As we live in, through and with something indescribable and Divine, in other word, Christ, I truly think that in some level, we can have a glimpse or understanding about “the history of salvation”. The thing is that a part of this history of salvation is truly in us, within us, in material, but the part of it contains things that we cannot grasp in material, though, everything is united in Christ, and even though some parts of the history of salvation are totally incomprehensible to humans, through our connectedness with Christ, there is always “some data” coming through. In this point the art, stories and subconscious come play a role, as well as even science, family life and literally everything that exists in the material plane. We tend to think that only “artistic” and “sensible” creations and things are able to transmit some “supernatural” (very bad word). But as individuals, humans, however children of God are different. still, everyone has some kind of gift, and I believe that each and every gift could be used as some kind of connecting surface reaching out towards some area with which we are connected already, have always been, but the connection devices have suffered a major deformation. This everything confirms me that the seed of a new world and a new human is already here, it is the smallest of all the seeds but will, after dying in the darkness of the black soil, grow into a beautiful big plant. The good is definitely not a relative thing, though, it is sometimes hard to know which part of the existence and reality continues to grow, like the germ in a seed and which part is to be consumed while germinating. Or can you define which part of Anakin transformed into Vader and which was the part of him which remained and woke up again when Luke cried out for help to his father? Even though we cannot define that we know that the only thing that could have survived in the dark depths of Vader was the absolute good.
    The lightsabers are quite old-fashioned weapons if understood possibilities among theological research and philosophy. And the survivors of the Death Star and the Empire are here. As one could imagine that a lonely survivor tries to hide in crowds, anonymous, looking like just anybody and taking totally opposite side in his opinions spoken loudly. There are some leftovers of modernist Sith warriors around, maybe trying to use totally different weapons as before.
    Against hiding enemies and dangers in the shades, the openness of the communication and relaxed study of the hidden nature of humans is now needed, because nothing can stay hiding if we lovingly reveal every hidden treasure of human nature. A radical example; a pedofile cannot continue his vicious behaviour if we always smile at him when coming across him, and smile, hug him and say to him “My dear friend, how you have been dealing with your inner desires, have you been able to stay straight?” I hope you see what I mean; loving, honest, openness works miraculously. The old way of teaching the truth, what the church has always been following, remains intact. Love and serve one another. The thing is that we have to learn to use that vast knowledge of spirituality in actual situations and not only assume that it works in certain situations and in certain kind of world. Like the old Jedi knowledge was working beautifully in Luke, despite of his totally different state of mind and state of emotions than the ancient Jedis had or despite of his totally different training. For example, there are not any more so much monastic vocations, or, people won’t be any more expressing their spirituality in exactly the same way than the generations before us. It doesn’t matter! The church shouldn’t be scared of the new situations, because we have the Force, we have the Guidance. If we allow ourselves as devout and honest members of the church, to look openly what is happening in ourselves and in the world, the tradition will help us to find a way through anything, and that is why I like to say that Star Wars is right, fear begins the road to the dark side. Fear not! Even if the current situations seem to be unknown to a doctor, the old medicine will work, if we are able to let go the false control and really let the church led by Holy Spirit guide us through everything, but honestly, through everything, not denying anything, not hiding anything.
    This last summer I have had my most enlightened moments and clearest inspiration with the TV series “Doctor Quinn, medicine woman”. There is unbelievable symbolism if you interpret is as told to do for example with meditation on Psalms, put the things inside of you, in your inner life, in Christian context.

    • Remus says:

      Thank you VERY VERY VERY much for your kind words. I am most certainly glad you made this comment. I really liked it when you said:

      “Even if the current situations seem to be unknown to a doctor, the old medicine will work, if we are able to let go the false control and really let the church led by Holy Spirit guide us through everything”

      and:

      “Like the old Jedi knowledge was working beautifully in Luke, despite of his totally different state of mind and state of emotions than the ancient Jedis had or despite of his totally different training.”

      That really kind of summarizes what I’ve been feeling for awhile. Things today are so much different than what the Church is used to dealing with. And yet, somehow, against all expectation, as long as we trust the Holy Spirit, the Church is still going to work … and work beautifully.

      Thank you for sharing that. I found it very encouraging. God bless you (and thank you for praying for me).

  72. Chris says:

    Remus,

    As you no doubt know the Fathers of the Church often looked for the spiritual sense of scripture. I think what you are doing here is applying the same hermeneutic to the ‘book of culture.’ And this exactly what Han Solo (er, the laity) is supposed to be doing in his vocation: bringing the gospel within their worldly circumstances (LG, 33b).

  73. Rod Allers says:

    A response to Jay on Capitalism. Unbridled Capitalism is evil. It is a snake that eats its own tail. The proof is simply this, have you ever played Monopoly? What is the result? One person has everything and everyone else nothing. There is no perfect political system (ironically a communist model seems to work quite well for religious orders, just sayin).

    Every Catholic should be both liberal and conservative. Liberal in that we should be concerned about the least among us and a distribution of funds that gives priority to them, see the Gospels. Conservative in that we remember where we are rooted and that we work to conserve the faith.

    Lastly, on capital punishment, hate the sin, not the sinner. A murderer is still inherently good and created by God (although they made some remarkably poor choices), therefore, execution of a human being is still destruction of life created by God and is as serious as abortion.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars and I guess off topic.

  74. Santiago says:

    Remus,
    congs! a true work of hermeneutics on the book of culture, as Chris said. But, as in every hermeneutic can happen, some words may be used in a wrong sense, despite the true meaning behind them. I think your comparison between “Vatican II” and “the Spirit of Vatican II” is not felicitous; but just in the use of term “spirit”. I guess the spirit of something (in this instance, Vatican II) is the deepest and truest stream which has to lead people after it. So, “the spirit of VII” is not the wrong interpretation that some bad interpreters have made on Vatican II. “The spirit of Vatican II” is, fundamentally, the new Catecism of the Catholic Church, made under the leadership of Cardinal Ratzinger. So, “Vatican II” was a fact, and as fact has -in every present time- a genuine or not genuine spirit. The genuine spirit of Vatican II is the hermeneutics of continuity that BXVI has in mind and deeds.

    Then, I guess you should to put the comparison in terms like these: “Vatican II” and “the non genuine spirit of Vatican II”

    PS: I am not English native speaker. Apologies for my wording.

  75. Juan Navarrete says:

    Have you run this by George Lucas ?

    • Remus says:

      No. I doubt his secretary would let it pass into his inbox. He’s probably sent all sorts of crazy stuff. For some reason, I don’t think this would survive the screening process. That’s what I’m feeling.

  76. B.W. Magoo says:

    Absolute bunkum…..Frankly if the historical Christ were to see modern established ‘christian’ churches, especially the RC, he’d be throwing bigger tantrums than he supposedly did in the Temple. It is rather frightening that you purport to be a teacher and makes one worry for young minds and corrupting influences like yours. Essentially cretinous bigots like you make a very good case for atheism. Were there such a thing as an after life I am sure the late Jesus would be having a good laugh right now.

  77. GADEL says:

    Reblogged this on GADEL said what? and commented:
    Interesting post on Star Wars and Vatican II

  78. GADEL says:

    I think this is an interesting and thoughtful piece. Thanks a lot. :)

  79. Alphonsus Jr. says:

    I wonder how many readers recognize that this piece is, in fact, itself a neo-conservative screed. For example, Remus fails to recognize that Vatican II itself, and not simply its aftermath, is at the root of the cancer. His panegyric to John Paul II is also a dead give away. Much more could be mentioned. I recommend googling for these:

    The Justice of the Term ‘neo-Catholic’ by Christopher Ferrara

    &

    The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church, by Fr. Matthias Gaudron

    By the way, I wonder how many readers started at this astonishing assertion by Remus: “They had dwelt on the divinity of Christ for too long.”

    Incredible.

    • Remus says:

      “I wonder how many readers recognize that this piece is, in fact, itself a neo-conservative screed.”

      I certainly didn’t.

      “Remus fails to recognize that Vatican II itself, and not simply its aftermath, is at the root of the cancer. His panegyric to John Paul II is also a dead give away.”

      And this is the defining aspects of Catholic neo-conservatism? Liking JP2 and not condemning V2?

      Your suggestion that V2 is “at the root of the cancer” is, of course, a bit vague. You can, of course, claim that SIN is really the root cancer of everything and nothing else. So depending on what you mean, I may agree with you. But, frankly, I’m not entirely sure what you’re talking about.

      I read Ferrara’s spiel, and I’m not quite sure what you want me to get out of it. I’d appreciate you yourself addressing some particular points rather than throwing other sources at me (just because I actually don’t have a lot of free time and I’m not a fast reader … but I’ll certainly make a note of them for future reference, thanks). I know Ferrara personally. He is, of course, an out-spoken traditionalist, but I agree with him on a lot … such as with his condemnation of capitalism, which firmly excommunicates me from the neo-conservative factions. For what it’s worth, I want the US to get out of the middle east completely and to stop policing the world. So, calling me a neocon, I think, is neither here nor there. I disassociate myself with both neo-conservativism and paleo-conservatism (and liberalism, most definitely). I’m not convinced these dichotomies are of Catholic origin. But, heck, if you want to call me a neocon, go ahead. Do what you feel like. I just won’t be sure what you’re talking about.

      “By the way, I wonder how many readers started at this astonishing assertion by Remus: ‘They had dwelt on the divinity of Christ for too long.’ Incredible.”

      Nonsense. Nearly all the early Church heresies did this very thing and consequently fell into error. Christ is actually both God and man. If you dwell on one nature for too long, there is a danger of forgetting about the other. My claim is that Christ’s divinity was emphasized too much to detriment of his humanity. And, of course, the reverse can happen as well (and has, many times, with many heresies). I’m not quite sure why this point is so incredible. But maybe you could explain it to me.

      I thank you for your comments, but I would ask you to explicate them a bit more.

      God Bless.

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  81. Cool post! I enjoyed reading it.

    Have you thought of examining the Lord of the Rings in the same way? :)

    • Remus says:

      Yeah, I’ve thought of it. The strange thing is, though, Tolkien didn’t like allegory (he experienced an overdose of it reading Lewis or something). I hope this was just a matter of taste rather than an actual ideological stand he took … I was never quite clear about that. Supposedly then, Lord of the Rings has carefully been designed not to be allegorical of anything … or something. So far, at least, I haven’t unlocked any secrets of it. But there’s time … there’s time …

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  84. David Cahill says:

    Awesome stuff. I am inspired to read up on V2.
    How about examining a couple more cultural heavyweights from the entertainment business?
    1) The Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd – 797 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart
    2) The Wizard of Oz – AFI’s #1 Fantasy Genre Movie / #10 Movie of All Time (All Genres)

    • Remus says:

      I hope to one day tackle Wizard of Oz. We’ll see if I can figure it out. No guarantee I will though.

      As for Pink Floyd … hmm. Might be worth some consideration. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • David Cahill says:

        When you are done with those, you need to come up with a Chuck Norris allegory to explain the divine unity of the Holy Trinity to our Protestant friends in the South. That would surely bring in some converts.

  85. Bob Dobbs says:

    You’re using Star Wars to illustrate Catholicism in the hopes of gaining converts? That is the so called “Liberalism” you’re wetting the bed about. FAIL

    • Remus says:

      What?

      My intention when I wrote this was not to gain converts. I originally wrote it with the assumption that my audience would only be composed of Catholics. I assumed that much of the topics discussed (e.g. Vatican II) would not interest non-Catholics or would even be unknown by them.

      And what am I wetting the bed about? I’m not clear what the rest of your comment is talking about. If you think I’ve grossly erred in some way, I’d like details on that. Much appreciated.

  86. Captain Buffaloe says:

    Disagree with the anti-capitolism, but otherwise an entertaining read.
    Don’t appreciate the protestant bashing either. In the ongoing struggle we are on the same side.
    I like the Catholics and often go to Mass, but have yet to join.

    • Alphonsus Jr. says:

      The horrific heresy of Protestantism deserves nothing but continual scorn in every way. Why? Begin here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY6.TXT

      • Joseph says:

        Alphonsus, cool down a bit. Your namesake (St. Alphonsus) was far more courteous than you. We desire the conversion of our Protestant brethren because, you know, we _love_ them. Let that show a bit, sport!

      • Alphonsus Jr. says:

        Heretics, apostates, and indeed all non-Catholics are NOT my brethren. The great St. Alphonsus knew this, of course.

        Reject all false compassion. Reject all Vatican II Oprahism.

      • Joseph says:

        What I mean to say is that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. They may not be your brethren, but they are your neighbors–and this is the sense in which I meant brethren. A man who “like[s] Catholics and often go[es] to Mass” is someone who is open to hearing about Catholic convictions. All I meant is that, while anyone who believes that the truth is something to be prized will of course scorn that which is false, we should not for a moment permit our neighbors to believe that we scorn _them_ tout court. That is all I was concerned about.

      • JMRJ says:

        Well said Joseph. Gentle, patient tolerance mixed with a little correction where the opportunity presents itself seems the prudent course of action. We have to be respectful of others’ free will as we would have them respect ours. Scorn and forceful confrontation may have their place, but as a rule they are uncalled for and very often counter-productive.

    • There are crucial disagreements between Catholics and Protestants, Captain, but also many important things that we share, most importantly our love of Jesus and acknowledgement of Him as our Lord and Savior.

      I would greatly encourage you to learn more about the Church and its history. In particular, you will find that many of the problems that sparked the Reformation in the first place are no longer real issues, having been reformed from within by the Popes, the Council of Trent and other councils. You will find its depth and beauty to be wonderful to behold, especially how an organization run by flawed and sinful men (of which we hear no end) can remain intact for over two thousand years, which we can only attest to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Few people, especially we Catholics, have much knowledge of Church history, and many misconceptions and outright lies about it continue to thrive in the public consciousness. You will be edified by the real history of the Church, both the good and bad: how its members (and even leaders) have erred and how those errors have been corrected and reformed, and how the Church as a whole has triumphed and literally built Western civilization upon the foundations of the Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture.

      Although the Church has had and still has many courageous heroes and pious saints to defend it, Who else but the Author of Life Himself could maintain the Church amidst all the scandal and corruption that has existed throughout its history from literally its founding which Jesus chose the flawed and sinful but ultimately holy and triumphant St. Peter as the Rock upon which He would build His Church.

      For starters, I would recommend the following two books. Neither book is especially deep nor thorough, but they are excellent introductions of the real history of the Church and good first antidotes for the pervasive ignorance of and calumny against the Church in our culture.

      “How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization” by Thomas Woods

      “Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church” by H. W. Crocker III

  87. d c says:

    Your a bunch of mindwashed morons

  88. Rebecca says:

    It undermines the efforts to end abortion to dismiss the successes we have had in putting restrictions on it.

  89. Nick says:

    I’m interested what you may have to say about this: http://datinggod.org/2013/01/29/10-ways-to-misunderstand-vatican-ii/

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  91. Thibaud says:

    I have thought a lot about this article (which I first read when it was first published) since the resignation of Benedict XVI and the subsequent election of Francis. Indeed, reading comments from Traditionalists and other “Ratzingerian” Catholics on the Internet suggests to me that many see the recent turn of events as pretty much the Revenge of the Sith ie the Revenge of Modernism. Many seems to see Pope Francis as Darth Sidious, as they are getting ready for an Attack of the Clown (Masses) and fearing a purge of those attached to the “hermeneutic of continuity” in doctrine and liturgy (with Mgr Marini, Benedict’s Master of Pontifical ceremonies taking the place of the Jedi younglings, the first to be massacred during Order 66. Plus look at him, the poor guy looks like he’s 12). The current rejoicing of the mainstream media would be the equivalent of the Senate cheering Palpatine’s proclamation of the Empire : as Padmé said : “So this is how liturgy dies : with thunderous applause” (or something like that).

    I, and actually everybody else this side of Eternity, have no idea if those fears are justified or not. We may look at every tiny detail of Francis’ pasts and present actions trying to use it as proof that he is either the Antichrist or the perfect Padawan of John-Paul II and Benedict XVI, but it will most likely take a few weeks to months before we find out.

    It is at this point of my ruminations that I realized something : they are making new Star Wars movies ! It could be a simple coincidence or it could be that the respective history of the Catholic Church and the Star Wars franchise are now, by divine mandate, completely intertwined. Episodes I to VI recounted and predicted the history of the Church from the 1950′s to the early 2010′s (the crisis of the pre-Vatican II Church / the downfall of the Old Republic ; the attacks of Modernism during the Dark Times of the 1970′s / the Revenge of the Sith and the Dark Times of the Empire ; the restauration of the Church by John-Paul and Benedict / the redemption of Anakin by Luke). Now, since the parallels with Episodes I to VI are over, it is necessary for the continuing existence of the Church that new Star Wars movies be made, which means that Episodes VII to IX will parallel the current history of the Church and predict the few next decades of Church history. Knowing that, we may actually predict what Episode VII (which will mostly parallel the present history of the Church and the next few years) will be about : Luke (John-Paul / Benedict) has helped restaured the Jedi Order (the Church) but because of his age he must now retires (Benedict’s retirement) and transmits the responsability of leader of the Jedi Order to another generation. The new leader of the Jedi Order (Francis) will most likely be well-intentionned and initially create much enthousiasm but he must be flawed in some way (otherwise there is no conflict and no trilogy) : will he be tempted to turn to the Dark Side (modernism) or will he only be overly idealistic and somewhat clueless, like Qui Gon and Obi Wan (John XXIII and Paul VI) ? But we can be pretty sure that the new trilogy will end on a happy ending, much like Church history.

    • Remus says:

      Thanks for the fantastic comment. I’m in awe. I’ll probably be contemplating your words for some time.

      I was likewise thinking that the new trilogy may reflect the post-JP2 events in the Church. Maybe it won’t. But it would really cool. (even if it does, I am still expecting the movies will be a disappointment).

      “So this is how liturgy dies : with thunderous applause” … good quote.

      Personally, I am very enthusiastic about Francis. So far he appeals to me more than JP2 or Benedict did. But indeed, there is nothing wrong to say that he will definitely have flaws (because all Popes and Saints had flaws … only Christ and Mary are immune to such things). In any case, Francis has demonstrated that he defies expectations. No one saw him coming. Who indeed knows what he’ll do.

      We’ll just have to watch Star Wars to find out.

  92. continuously i used to read smaller posts that also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which
    I am reading here.

  93. drush76 says:

    ["Mace Windu (played by Samuel L. Jackson), the greatest hypocrite of them all,"]

    Mace is the greatest hypocrite? Why? Because he is the only major Jedi character not to appear in the Original Trilogy? Or is it because he was portrayed by an African-American actor?

  94. Pingback: Doctor Who and the Eucharist |

  95. Andy Maul says:

    It was so sad to see my cousin Darth embrace modernism, but please explain how “Before the second Vatican Council, the Church was like this decrepit Jedi Council: rigid, emotionless, and in serious need of reform… They had dwelt on the divinity of Christ for too long and needed to regain that sense of humanism that the modern world was thirsting for after the inhumanity of World War II… It was because of ongoing, insensitive, repressive conservatism that many fell away from Catholicism… many extremist Catholics hold back others from learning what their faith actually says… This is what many Traditionalists tend to think too, that human affections are evil…”? Where were there hypocrisy, uncaring of the human, and ignorance within the Church prior to Vatican II where reform was necessary?

    • Remus says:

      - While Church doctrine was well understood by educated theologians, it used language that was, unfortunately, now a bit archaic and out-of-touch with the world … and because of that, while the laity could simply “accept what the church taught” it really didn’t mean very much to them, and, at the very least, certainly did not engage them on an emotional level (and so, part of the human person, that is the emotional side, was not engaged in their faith)

      - Often no participation of the Laity in Masses, making it very emotionless, as Priests would often almost inaudibly go through the masses, while the laity, oftentimes, prayed their rosaries to occupy the time

      - Things like the Baltimore Catechism displayed the faith as a somewhat dry laundry list of do’s and don’t’s and lacks a kind of human/emotional quality to it (don’t get me wrong, I like the Baltimore Catechism to large extent, and we can still learn from it).

      - The stereotypical strict, insensitive, abusive nuns in Catholic Schools, I think, is another sign of some of the emotionally repressive symptoms that Vatican II recognized and tried to fix.

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  97. Jimmy says:

    “Obi-Wan Kenobi is Paul VI”

    ## Good try, but wrong. Paul VI is Darth Sidious/Palpatine/Emperor Palpatine, in alliance w/ the Yuuzhan Vong. Darth Montini is by any reasonable measure one of the Popes ever to have disgraced the Papacy – his only possible competitor is JP2. Darth Montini wins by a head, b/c once he became Emperor he used the power of the Force to destroy the Republic, carrying on his work from the time he undermined the Republic by his activities in the Council.

    Darth Maul – er, Paul – has successfully cloned himself, so there is lots more bad stuff of his to come. It’s insane that Darth Franky wants to canonise him.

    • Remus says:

      So, to be clear, you’re a trad and keep company with Owen Lars (also a Trad) in his condemnation of Obi-Wan (Paul VI) due to his failure to lead Anakin (Vatican II) to fulfill his true aim, thus resulting in Darth Vader and a whole lot of other ugliness (Spirit of Vatican II). You also have Owen’s not-so-subtle disrespect for Luke Skywalker (John Paul II). Do I have everything right?

  98. Patriot says:

    Great comparison!
    Although, two things:
    Boba Fett DID have an allegiance, but he doesn’t find it until after the movies. You have to read some of the books, but he does go back to his father’s planet, Mandalore, and becomes their leader, and even helps the Jedi.
    The clone troopers had no choice in serving the Republic, or the Empire. If you read the books, especially the Republic Commando series, or watch the Clone Wars TV show, you’ll see that they had really no choice but to serve both regimes. Many clones, though, do defect and create their own lives, away from the wars.

    • Remus says:

      Thanks. And thanks for that info. I’ve read many of the books and played many of the games, but I didn’t know about that. I’ve thought about trying to add to the interpretation to include the expanded universe stuff … but so far, I haven’t gotten any tangible inspiration (or time) to do that exactly. It wouldn’t be a small project either. Before I do that, I’m going to wait for the Abrams films … and see how that turns out.

  99. fav says:

    Brilliantly dissected, i actually came up with the same interpretation so i looked it up and located this blog. I found great delight in reading your thoughts especially your break down of Darth Vader becoming of pro ducted of neglected youth never fully realized. A lot of religious children can relate growing up instilled with a belief not allowing you to explore emotional intelligence. Making a child believe a natural part of them is a sin, is a terrible confusion that would make any person compare themselves to Satan and believe they were born to the dark side.

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