Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine

By Kevin S. Decker; Jason T. Eberl | Go to book overview

11
"Size Matters Not": The
Force as the Causal Power
of the Jedi

JAN-ERIK JONES

Before Luke meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, his life is relatively uneventful. The only thing he wants is to leave Tatooine and enroll at the Academy. While living on his Uncle Owen's farm he has no idea of the kind of power he has at his disposal. As fate would have it, Luke and Obi-Wan meet and his Odyssey to help restore balance to the Force begins.

The Force, Obi-Wan tells us "is what gives the Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together." The appeal of the Force to viewers of Star Wars is that it gives the Jedi power over the physical world in ways that defy the natural order of events with which we are familiar. In our world, lifting an X-wing fighter from a swamp would require more than mental focus and control over our emotions. And as Qui-Gon, ObiWan, and Yoda teach Anakin and Luke about the Force and how to use it, we can't help but wish we had that kind of power over our environment.

The reason why the Force in Star Wars has such a grip on the viewer's imagination is because it makes us ask the fundamental metaphysical questions that have driven science and philosophy from the beginning; questions about cause and effect, the laws of nature, the possibility of foreknowledge, and the relationship between the mind and the physical world.

-132-

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