In his new book,Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters(Jossey-Bass), faith and culture commentatorDick Staubuses theStar Warsmythos as a vehicle to share Christian truth with a generation searching for authentic spirituality. Staub, also author ofToo Christian, Too Pagan, conducted many author interviews forChristianity Today. This time, he's on the other side of the desk, with CT senior associate news editorStan Guthrie conducting the interview, which is also at his website.
Which is your favorite Star Wars movie?
The Empire Strikes Back, because it reveals such essential elements of the Luke/Leia/Vader relationship and introduces us to Yoda, through whom we learn the sad tale of the Jedi decline. At the same time, we begin to see the Jedi comeback as Yoda comes out of retirement to train Luke. We see Luke begin his transformation from clueless young man to Jedi knight. In Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters, I show how Luke's development is analogous to a serious Christian's progression as a follower of Jesus.
How do you explain America's enduring fascination with all things Star Wars?
George Lucas created an epic tale that taps into the universal themes of good versus evil, and did it in what was at the time a next-edge use of technology and special effects. The alienation of parents and children and allusions to the spiritual and unseen connected at a deep level with a generation seeking something more. A great story and an advancement of filmmaking combined for a memorable and enduring series.
In the book, you call both Star Wars and Christianity "mythology." What do you mean?
A myth is a story that confronts us with the "big picture," something transcendent and eternal, and in so doing, explains the worldview of a civilization. ...