Movie Series (Star Wars) Proves Basic Morals Still Popular: Film Ought to Force Church to Rethink How to Portray Simple Story

By Elliott, Peter | Anglican Journal, April 1997 | Go to article overview

Movie Series (Star Wars) Proves Basic Morals Still Popular: Film Ought to Force Church to Rethink How to Portray Simple Story


Elliott, Peter, Anglican Journal


Star Wars Special Edition

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Harrison Ford and

Mark Hamill

**** (out of five)

TWENTY YEARS after its initial release, the producers of Star Wars, and sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, have re-released the films with new special effects to introduce a new generation to this saga on the big screen. This re-release is to prepare audiences for new Star Wars films, beginning in 1998 - "prequels" that tell the story that precedes the present three films. When fully completed, there will be nine movies- three trilogies of which the current movies are the middle set. Already the films have broken all box office and attendance records.

Star Wars tells the story of a battle between the evil power of the Empire controlled by Darth Vader (voice of James Earl Jones), and the goodness of the Force, taught by the mystic Obi-Wan Kenobie to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and the freedom fighters. Kenobie (Alec Guiness) explains that the Force is the power of all living things. Nothing is stronger than the force, including all the technological power that the Empire can muster. But the force must be learned, studied, practised if it is to be useful - and it must serve the good.

"May the Force be with you," say the characters in these films, and part of the reason for the popularity of the films is that the author, George Lucas, inspired by the great teacher of myth, Joseph Campbell, has created an archetypal story that combines elements of many ancient stories.

He presents a moral universe where those, like Darth Vader, who seek to use power for their own ends, are ultimately defeated by those who seek to co-operate with the Force for the extension of freedom, truth and justice. …

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