Star Wars has long been a cultural powerhouse, but the saga itself is powered by a strange, supernatural element that undergirds its universe: the Force.
The Force, in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s words, “surrounds us and penetrates us” and “binds the galaxy together.” It’s been a central tenant of every Star Wars movie, and the very concept has filtered into our own galaxy, too. The beliefs of many people—including some Christians—have been influenced by Star Wars’ spiritual world, and some folks have even fully embraced it. In England and Wales in 2001, nearly 400,000 people stated on a national census that their religion was “Jedi.”
And make no mistake, Jedi is a religion: Luke Skywalker says so explicitly in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But what does that mean for us moviegoers? Parents? Children?
Adam Holz and I unpack The Last Jedi’s religious underpinnings in our latest vodcast, and we offer some thoughts on both what’s bad and good about the spirituality in Star Wars’ newest chapter.