Thursday, May 26, 2005
Terry Mattingly Covers The Moral Confusion of George Lucas
Yet in the climactic scene of the new "Revenge of the Sith," the evil Darth Vader warns his former master: "If you're not with me, you're my enemy."
Obi-Wan Kenobi replies, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
Say what? If that is true, how did Lucas decide it was wrong for Solo to gun down a bounty hunter? Isn't that a moral absolute? If so, why are absolutes absolutely wrong in the saga's latest film? Good questions, according to Staub.
While we're at it, the Jedi knights keep saying they must resist the "dark side" of the mysterious, deistic Force. But they also yearn for a "chosen one" who will "bring balance" to the Force, a balance between good and evil.
"There is this amazing internal inconsistency in Lucas that shows how much conflict there is between the Eastern religious beliefs that he wants to embrace and all those Judeo-Christian beliefs that he grew up with," said Staub, author of a book for young people entitled "Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters."
"I mean, you're supposed balance the light and the dark? How does that work?"
The key is that Lucas - who calls himself a "Buddhist Methodist" - believes all kinds of things, even when the beliefs clash. This approach allows the digital visionary to take chunks of the world's major religions and swirl them in the blender of his imagination. Thus, the Force contains elements of Judaism, Christianity, Animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and even Islam.
None of this is surprising. Lucas merely echoes the beliefs of many artists in his generation and those who have followed. But the czar of "Star Wars" also has helped shape the imaginations of millions of spiritual consumers. His fun, non-judgmental faith was a big hit at the mall.