Star Wars: An Introduction to Buddhism

Posted on December 18, 2015 · Posted in Culture, Entertainment, Worldview

Full disclosure: I am a big Star Wars fan. But that doesn’t mean one should watch Star Wars or anything else without discernment. All films have a behind-the-scenes agenda.

For example, take George Lucas’ purpose for the Star Wars movies. He wanted to use Star Wars as a platform to introduce Buddhism to America. The “Force” represents the impersonal god of eastern mysticism. You don’t have to avoid Star Wars, but you and your children should be aware of its agenda. You should be able to articulate how using “the force” is different from how the Holy Spirit works in the life of God’s people. The Holy Spirit’s power comes from his membership in the Trinity and is distinct and separate from the power of Satan. They are not both using the same power source.

Lucas’ vision for Star Wars fits with the perspective of eastern mysticism. The “force” is not personal – it is there to be used and manipulated by anyone, Luke or Darth Vader, for good or evil.  It fits with the false idea of God being part of everything and not distinct or separate from his creation.

So, Lucas combines the plot line of the old-fashioned Western with good guys and bad guys, mixed in the force, and wrapped it all up in a fun, galactic story-line with killer special effects and gave us Star Wars. The result was the perfect vehicle to make Buddhist thought attractive without being open about it.

In Christian thought God is good, he alone defines goodness. He is wholly distinct and separate from evil. For the Buddhist, the eastern mystic, the force, or impersonal deity, is all around us. Both good and evil use the same power. Thus, there is a dark and light side of the force. Unlike the force, God has no “dark side.” He is only goodness, truth and light; he is personal. He is a person to be worshipped and loved, not a force to be manipulated. Christ and Satan are not each using the same power of an impersonal deity, or “force”, that surrounds all living beings.

Christianity will triumph over evil and defeat it. There is no balance of good and evil coexisting throughout eternity as is the case with eastern mystic belief.

Enjoy Star Wars for the engaging, entertaining saga that it is. But don’t miss the Buddhist agenda. Actually, Star Wars is a great opportunity to spread the gospel. The power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is for real. Tell people about it!

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.