Other Kjos Articles:
Legalized Mind Control Part 1
STAR WARS AND SOCIAL CHANGE
June 12, 2005
'Twenty eight years is an enormous period of time for one work to play such a big role in culture and society,' said Robert Solar, author of Movie-Made America. The series, which thus far has earned a staggering $4.3 billion, changed forever the ways movies are made and marketed." Bruce Newman, "An Epic's Global Impact."
"Lighten up!" people tell us. "Don't take everything so seriously! After all, it's just entertainment! We know the difference between good and evil."
This argument may sound reasonable, but it's based on feelings and fantasy, not on facts and reality. Studies have shown that today's popular entertainment -- what some call edu-tainment -- is more effective than textbooks in changing a person's beliefs and values. That's why change agents in schools and organizations prefer to use shocking stories rather than traditional textbooks to teach new values and attitudes. If you doubt that, please read A New Way of Thinking and Toying with Death.
For more than three decades, George Lucas has been re-shaping the world's view of reality through his amazing stories. Few individuals have done more to fuel the postmodern shift from what UN leader, Brock Chisholm called "poisonous certainties" to spiritual speculations that twist all of God's promises. Not only did Lucas turn "movies into... a global commodity,", he has altered the ways even "Christians" view God and His creation.
Yet, the main issue here is not Mr. Lucas' personal beliefs. Far more important are the "take-home" images and suggestions that shape the thoughts of his fans. One such suggestion came from the mouth of Obi-Wan, one of the most honorable Jedis. "Only a Sith deals in absolutes," he told Anakin.
The apparent implication? Since absolutes belong on the evil side, those who deal in absolutes must be enemies of the "good" side. So might Lucas equate evil with Christians who trust in God's absolute truth and values? Maybe. Such an assumption could surely be applied to his globalist neighbors at the Presidio -- a former San Francisco army base converted into a globalist center for social and spiritual transformation.
Similar assumption are now broadly discussed and embraced by Star Wars fans around the world. A Google search for "George Lucas" brings up over 4 million links. No wonder Christian truth and Star Wars myths mingle together until it's hard to tell them apart. Even Christianity Today blends those two opposites into a tempting new twist on truth. In a troubling interview with Dick Staub, it tells us that "Christianity is the prevailing myth of Western culture and Star Wars is a prevailing myth of our popular culture."
But God's Word is not a myth! His unchanging Truth points to actual reality -- the opposite of fantasy! In fact, God warns us that "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn their ears away from the truth, and will turn aside to myths." [2 Timothy 4:2-4] By minimizing the persuasive power of myth, we open our minds to subtle distortions of truth.
To guard against both subtle and obvious suggestions, those who have watched the Star Wars movies might ask themselves these questions: What kind of mythical universe do the movies (and games) promote? What occult notions and suggestions fill the viewer's imagination? How do the Star Wars themes and values clash with Biblical beliefs and values? And most important, what kind of "god" does he plant in receptive hearts?
1. THE BELIEFS BEHIND THE FORCE.
In an interview with Wired titled "Life After Darth," George Lucas shared his view of the Force. The interview began with a conversation between artificial intelligence pioneer Warren S. McCulloch and Roman Kroitor, who developed Imax. While McCulloch thought that life resembled "highly complex machines," Kroitor believed in something more:
When Wired asked if this statement laid the foundation for "the Force," Lucas answered that his own use of the word Force was "an echo of that phrase...." But he didn't take credit for this universal concept of "God". "Similar phrases have been used extensively by many different people for the last 13,000 years to describe the 'life force,'" he explained.
This "life force" fits today's all-inclusive views of humanity, nature and an impersonal god. When affirmed through a success-story such as the Star Wars epic, this mythical god becomes all the more believable. And what seems true and normal in the world of myths, can quickly become lies in the context of the real world. In fact, what feels good to the imagination, may seem more real than reality itself to adaptable minds. Like the New Testament people described in 2 Timothy 4, today's pleasure-seeking masses readily turn from truth to myths.
Unlike Biblical truth, those myths change from time to time and from culture to culture. As fans around the world share new "insights" with their friends, the story grows new twists and branches. "Christians" tend to follow right along. Caught up in the stream of seductive speculations, many embrace new notions that clash with Biblical Christianity on every point. Then, to justify their craving for new mythical thrills, they redefine or dismiss God's "offensive" and unbending Word.
One of the many popular websites that describe these myths is Wikipedia -- an online, participatory encyclopedia. It identifies the two sides of the Force and adds a confusing explanation of some strange midi-clorians that defy all logic:
The movie itself doesn't mention this mystical link between body and spirit. But within the worldwide Star Wars culture, such creative details help shape a new religion that's well fitted for the twenty-first century. This "collective consciousness" and all the other pieces of the grand puzzle will surely be fleshed out in upcoming role-playing games and television series. As BBC tells us, "Two Star Wars TV series will follow the latest movie in the hit film franchise."
2. JEDI GHOSTS AND LIFE AFTER DEATH.
To Star Wars fans, these ghostly appearances add a mystical assurance of never-ending life. It sounds more promising than the Buddhist Nirvana, which erases all hope of personal or individual existence after death. While the Lucas version of an afterlife conflicts with the Christian hope of eternal life, it matches the darkly occult religion, Theosophy, with its belief in ascended masters that communicate their wisdom to more highly evolved and spiritually-attuned human servants.
"Qui-Gon...is the alleged key to the whole 'Jedi Ghost' phenomenon," wrote a fan, "and it's because of him that Obi-Wan is able to come back and help young Luke in the coming years. If not for Qui-Gon, the events of the original trilogy would be drastically different. Imagine if Obi-Wan never appeared to tell Luke to head to Dagobah and seek out Yoda? ... To me, explaining the whole ghost thing without Qui-Gon actually appearing at some point won't just be the same. I'm sure Lucas could explain it through dialogue, but you all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Seeing is believing. The moment Qui-Gon shows up in some form will be a Matrix 'whoa' moment for sure."
3. THE TIES TO EASTERN RELIGIONS.
The apparent inspiration behind the Jedi Knights was the historical Samurai -- the Japanese warrior class whose political power and public influence would rise and fall through the centuries. True or not, countless articles on the Star Wars phenomena have claimed that connection and helped establish that perception in the public mind. One such article, "It's Written in the Stars," tells us that "George Lucas has mentioned on many occasions that he has been highly influenced by the seminal Japanese director Akira Kurosawa." It then lists numerous similarities:
The Samurai "were supposed to lead their lives according to the ethic code of Bushido ('the way of the warrior'). Strongly Confucian in nature, the Bushido stressed concepts such as loyalty to one's master, self discipline and respectful, ethical behavior." But the Samurai culture was also influenced by the Shinto religion:
To Jedi Knights, obedience to one's master is essential. They maintained a strict system of training and mentoring from childhood, and the children selected for this strict training program lived and learned within the massive Jedi Temple. That's why the transformed Anikin -- now the evil Darth Vader -- could slay so many of them in a single place.
"The Samurai were mainly Shintoists or Confucianists, both religions with relatively inflexible dogmas," we are told in the article, "The Jedi as Ninja." In contrast, the "Ninja, as outcasts from mainstream society, were mainly Zen Buddhists, so their world view was more that of being one with the universe rather than joining their ancestors in glory."
4. TRUSTING THE FORCE OR FEELINGS, NOT FACTS OR LOGIC.
"The Jedi as Ninja" continues with this important point:
Apparently, feelings -- especially bad ones, affect a Jedi's ability to receive and manipulate the Force. But they are also a key source of guidance. "Search your feelings," Palpatine told Anakin. And according to a description posted at the official starwars.com, Qui-Gon Jinn illustrates this principle well:
This shift from objective, factual thinking to subjective, feeling-based thinking is also essential to the world's quest for global solidarity. Today's utopian visionaries cannot transform the world without first tearing down the old foundations of truth, facts and logic. Sad to say, their vision is nearing fulfillment as Biblical resistance is fast eroding. For we cannot take a stand together on God's unchanging truths when we surrender objective facts and logic to the realm of social myths, subjective feelings and useful pragmatism. Yet that paradigm shift -- driven largely by today's entertainment, education and "mental health" agenda -- is now transforming the way we think in our churches as well as nations. Look again at Christianity Today's interview with Dick Staub:
But Christians are not "given that definition." It's an oxymoron! If we receive this twisted meaning and then apply it to Biblical Christianity, we would distort God's guidelines. As I wrote in "Lord of the Rings: Truth, Myth or 'Discovered Reality," myth, by standard definition, implies something other than reality -- something contrary to truth. Tolkien himself denied the link between his myth and God's truth. Still, that link lingers in many contemporary minds -- especially among those who love the exciting myths of our times. Notice the blend of truth and deceptive suggestions in Dick Staub's next statement:
5. TRUSTING TRUTH AND REALITY, NOT MYTHS OR FEELINGS. Our sovereign, all-wise, all-loving Creator is nothing like the Force. The very suggestion makes a mockery of His holiness and glory! According to Biblical definitions, the Star Wars Force is a different god -- the kind of counterfeit god that the Bible tells us to shun. And like those pagan gods of the past, it comes with an enticing built-in mythology. It may well have the largest group of devotees of any pagan deity throughout history. But we can't ignore the consequence:
The "highest good" God shows us in His Word is His holiness, not the eventual defeat of darkness (a victory which is according to His work and time, not ours). Therefore He calls us to separate ourselves from all the cultural influences that would mar His holy life in His 'born again" children. "'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Mythical stories that evoke strong feelings distract fans from true realities and bombard them with contrary suggestions that appeal to emotions rather than minds. Trained by today's dialectic (consensus) process to seek "common ground" along with new meanings that promote group consensus, the postmodern person simply relieves the tension (cognitive dissonance) between old and new ways through mental and moral compromise -- a basic element of today's "new way of thinking." [See "Reinventing the World"]
In spite of man's unceasing quest for feel-good revelations and mind-blowing thrills, there's only one source of absolute truth: the Bible. That may sound narrow, divisive and offensive to some of you. Others will lose friends for accepting that truth, but they know that oneness with Jesus is well worth the cost. As He told us long ago, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19
To Him who created all things, the dim lights of today's mythical fantasies are mere illusions within a vast spiritual darkness that clouds this fallen earth. Therefore God warns us:
Bruce Newman, "An Epic's Global Impact," Mercury News, 5-15-05.
© 2005 Berit Kjos - All Rights Reserved
Order Berit's book Brave New Schools
E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale
Berit Kjos is a widely respected researcher, writer and conference speaker. A frequent guest on national radio and television programs, Kjos has been interviewed on Point of View (Marlin Maddoux), The 700 Club, Bible Answer Man, Beverly LaHaye Live, Crosstalk and Family Radio Network. She has also been a guest on "Talk Back Live" (CNN) and other secular radio and TV networks. Her last two books are A Twist of Faith and Brave New Schools. Kjos Ministries Web Site: http://www.crossroad.to/index.html
Yet, the main issue here is not Mr. Lucas' personal beliefs. Far more important are the "take-home" images and suggestions that shape the thoughts of his fans.