Son of the Suns: The Star Wars Symbol Cycle


The Star Wars story-cycle is one of the most popular of our modern myths, but also one of the most garbled. For the original trilogy, George Lucas consciously drew upon mythic and religious elements (ransacking every myth, fairy tale, scifi story and comic book he could get his hands on, especially Jack Kirby's New Gods), but not always coherently.

Six films were made in all (Lucas has recently promised that more are on the way), but only the first (Chapter IV: A New Hope, 1977) and the last (Chapter III: Revenge of the Sith, 2005) hit the symbolic bases in the way that something like the Star Trek: the Next Generation films do. The films in-between are mostly concerned with high adventure and dazzling special effects.
Jack Kirby's Fourth World story cycle was a huge influence on Lucas

Even so, Lucas has accomplished something unique with the Star Wars films in that they truly form a cycle. The reverse chronology motif of ritual drama (meaning the drama is meant to reverse an unhappy historical event, often using reversal of time in the narrative) is used in a way to see the story as an endless loop, similar to the cycles of creation and destruction in Hindu theology.

The last film in order of release ends on a down note, in which the hero of the past three films is transformed into the personification of evil. In order to experience the kind of redemption that ritual drama provides, you need to return to the first film, which is set after the last film chronologically. By watching the films in order by release, you are then returned -- by emotional necessity --back to the beginning. And by emphasizing the chapter assignation in the titles, viewers are now perpetually confused by what the ‘first film’ actually is.

In the first-released Star Wars, we meet a Horus/Jesus analog (Luke Skywalker), an Osiris/Jesus who becomes a Set/Satan (Darth Vader), an Isis/Hathor/Mary amalgam in Princess Leia (who has Hthor’s warrior spirit), an Osiris/John the Baptist (Obi-Wan Kenobi), two Thoths in the droids C3PO and R2D2 (note similarity of the word ‘Droids’ to ‘Druids’) and an Anubis, split into the figures of Han Solo and Chewbacca (as Anubis the canine figure).

Yet Han Solo also becomes a type of Osiris in the Empire Strikes Back in his symbolic killing by Boba Fet (Boba Set?). Han also connects to Anubis vis a vis his Christian adaptation, St. Christopher, the dog-headed Christ-bearer.

 In the mythology, Christopher carries the Infant Jesus across a dangerous river on the orders of a hermit (which is exactly what Obi-Wan is, of course). The identification of the Milky Way with the Nile River is worth remembering in this context.

Along these lines, the first half of Return of the Jedi plays somewhat like an adaptation of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris, when Leia and the others recover Han from Jabba the Hut and ‘resurrect’ him.

The Contendings of Horus and Set
is also mirrored in the clash of wills between Luke Skywalker and the desert-dwelling Jabba the Hut who has Solo encased in a Osirian carbonite coffin. How much of this is intentional and how much of it down to the fact that these conflicts have been used from everyone from the Bible writers to the authors of the various Arthurian Romances to Lucas’ most obvious touchstone Dune, is impossible to discern. Lucas himself probably couldn’t tell you.

However, the underlying theme of the films resembles that of the Knights Templar drama, who are mirrored in the form of the Jedi Knights (originally the "Jedi Templars"). There is also an explicit panentheistic motif represented the Force (the universal energy field that acts as the supreme god), as well as a great deal of confusion in some of the role-playing assignments and cultural references. For instance, Darth Vader is one of the evil order of the “Sith,” a sort of black-magic counterpart to the Jedi Templars. Sith is reminiscent of “Seth,” an alternate spelling of “Set.”

Star Wars introduces us to Luke Skywalker, a young farmer boy on the desert planet of Tatooine. Luke dreams of adventure and is filled with yearnings for his long-lost father, a legendary Jedi Knight whom Luke never knew. Adventure then finds him in the form of two robots or (“droids”), C3PO and R2D2, whom his uncle buys from the Jawas, a nomadic tribe of desert-dwelling merchants. While tinkering with R2D2, Luke triggers a holographic message intended for Obi Wan Kenobi from Princess Leia, who seeks his Kenobi’s help.

It's worth noting that in the message, Leia (meaning ‘ruler’ in Assyrian) is dressed to resemble the Roman depiction of Isis, replete with gown and veil. Luke knows of a Ben Kenobi, an old hermit who lives in the mountains nearby. What Luke does not know is that Kenobi has been standing guard as an unseen protector since Luke’s birth.


Luke meets Obi-Wan after a near fatal encounter with a Tusken Raider, the Bedouin-like “sand people.” Luke shows Obi-Wan the message from Princess Leia, prompting Obi-Wan to reveal his true identity to Luke.

Leia has included the schematics to the Death Star (an obvious Lunar stand-in) and asks Obi-Wan to deliver them to the rebels. The two then travel to the port city of Mos Eisley to find a ship to take them to Leia’s home planet, Alderaan.

 They meet Han Solo, the captain of the Millennium Falcon, in a bar and Obi-Wan offers Solo 17,000 credits to take he and Luke to Alderaan. The Falcon symbolism is self-explanatory, but the 17 requires a bit deeper understanding of the symbols.

En route to Alderaan, Obi-Wan trains Luke in the ways of the Force while Solo scoffs at the old Jedi faith (as do other characters in the film). As the Millennium Falcon enters the Alderaan system they find only planetary debris.

The fearsome Death Star, which had destroyed the planet, then appears in the distance. The Falcon is pulled aboard the Death Star via a tractor beam, and the men and the droids search for the princess. They find her but their escape is delayed as Obi-Wan fights with his former pupil, Darth Vader (played by David Prowse, with voiceover by James Earl Jones).


As Luke and his friends try to escape the Death Star, Obi-Wan engages Darth Vader in combat to divert attention away from them. As Obi-Wan and Vader fight, the former warns the later of the futility of his cause.

Obi-Wan is on the threshold of his apotheosis, and is about to become one with the Force. When he sees his companions escape with Princess Leia, he becomes discorporeal. Vader slices only through his empty cloak. Luke doesn’t understand and believes Obi-Wan has been struck down.

The Millennium Falcon escapes and reaches the rebel base and the Death Star schematics are delivered. Luke joins the rebels, and they then attack the Death Star. The divine voice of Obi-Wan guides Luke as he completes his mission and the Death Star is destroyed.


The conflict told here mirrors the Contendings of Horus and Set (and its endless clones), with Luke and Darth Vader battling using opposite sides of the Force, and the Emperor embodying the usurpation of rightful rule. But there are other important subtexts to the story (the secret to the film’s success is how many borrowed memes it packs into a very simple story).

Again, the dissolved Jedi Knights clearly recall the dissolved Knights Templar, and Obi-Wan is very much a John the Baptist figure. Wan is pronounced the same as “Juan”, the Spanish variant of John (an obvious nod to Don Juan of the Carlos Castaneda novels).

Darth Vader’s role in Star Wars is not generally understood. He is not a political figure- he is a religious one. He is essentially the pope of the Sith Empire. He acts as the inquisitor aboard the Death Star, not as its military commander. He is clearly doing the Emperor’s bidding, and leaves ordinary military protocol up to the Death Star’s commander, Grand Moff Tarkin (played by Peter Cushing). His faith is not held in high regard by the military men, and is ridiculed by one of Tarkin’s generals.

Just as plot points from the original trilogy come from Kirby's New Gods (which was making waves at the time Lucas began working on Star Wars) Darth Vader is essentially a doppelganger of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s archvillain, Doctor Doom. The mix of mysticism and science, the body armor, the fascism- it’s all taken lock, stock and barrel from old Fantastic Four comics (Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca form their own foursome in this regard).

As we see in later films, Vader is a broken and fragile man, kept alive only through the use of his armor. He can’t even breathe on his own. He personifies religion in service to the state; a dead, useless thing that can only bring misery and death.

The “red” and gold” Rebel space-fighter squadrons give away the Solar-Lunar struggle being played out here.

TO BE CONTINUED

29 comments:

  1. Hell yeah! Another slam dunk, Chris. In your face, meaninglessness! In yo' face!

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  2. nice post chris. hope your feeling better, we miss you when your not your prolific self. John Rush was interviewed again on gnostic media recently and made the same point about the three abrahamic faiths being political not religious constructs.

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  3. Hey again, Chris

    Just a weird personal anecdote, seing as this post is entitled 'Sons of the Sun'.

    When I was a little kid (maybe 6 or 7) the phrase "The Second Sun" was often going around in my head and I had no idea where it came from or what it meant. I started reading from quite an early age so it was probably a phrase I'd read and couldn't shake for some reason.

    A little while later I often took to calling myself the "son of the second sun". It was a phrase that came up often in my childhood poetry. It annoyed my family and even began annoying me after a while.

    Now with this twin suns meme that's been floating around lately, and the binary star-system , sirius stuff, I figured it was worth mentioning.

    It flashed in my mind the first time I found your blog. Now it makes me smile to think of it. I don't think there was any literal importance to my obsession with that phrase, I just liked the way it sounded - being a lifetime sci-fi geek and all.

    But it's funny what surfaces in a child's mind and then stays there.

    Peace

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  4. Jawas are ,"Jews", as well?

    I like your connections, and
    remember Joseph Campbell had
    the same thought about Vader
    as the machine-servant of the
    mechanical . fascist state.

    A also like what you say about
    fundamentalist religious sects
    which suppress rather than free
    a person.

    Some think that Catholicism is
    completely corrupted but we
    trust God and know there is
    truth to be experienced in
    that system even though it's
    considered ,"lost to the
    machine".

    Light will make a way.

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  5. Very nice. I would like to know what you think of what I wrote last Sunday —I paid the due respects to your work, of course ;)

    Here's a bit of an excerpt:

    "[...]if you permit yourself to stop looking at Star Wars as a mere sci-fi film meant to entertain little kids and look beyond the story, you might be open to consider how Luke Skywalker, looking at the two suns of his (adopted) homeworld, is about to embark on a journey of transcendence, expanded consciousness, and discovery of his true self."

    I know you've made a lot of studies re. the "Dog star" Sirius. Now isn't it interesting that the optical illusion of a "second" sun which is sometimes seen due to weather phenomena is commonly called a "dog sun"? And now it seems we're about to have our own Tatooinian sunrise in the future thanks to Betelgeuse going nova (possibly in 2012).

    Now, re. your mythical studies, I think you're omitting a very important element: the fact that Leia and Luke are twins, which is an obvious allusion to the divine twins Castor & Pollux, Romulus and Remus, and I would even suggest it fits best with the Popol Vuh and the Hero Twins Hunahpú and Xbalanqué —because in the Maan tale, the twins are trying to save (redeem?) their father, the corn god.

    One even would find an interesting link to the Alchemical yearning for the perfect being, the hermaphrodite, because in the story is obvious that Leia and Luke's role are equally important in the defeat of the Empire.

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  6. I'm pretty sure there's an old story floating around claiming George Lucas had lunch with Jack Kirby and Kirby told Lucas about the New Gods. George Lucas then used the New Gods story as a basis for Star Wars. I always wondered if said tale was based on fact. Considering the similarities, it certainly seems like it.

    Also, I think you need to look a bit more into the political undertones of Star Wars [as well as Jack Kirby].

    Many people interpreted the “Evil Empire” as a metaphor for the Soviet Union - Ronald Reagan being one of those people.

    Heck, the first prequel dealt with something similar to a NAFTA trade dispute. Star Wars is a lot closer to Earth than we've been led to believe.

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  7. Awesome article. Cleared some things up for me.

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  8. #1) LMFAO @ that first video!

    #2) How the hell can you not like Yoda. It's freakin' Yoda?! I love that muppet.

    #3) That said, this was some great writing as usual.

    #4) That Consciousness Drives The Universe Vid was really cool too. That shit's true. For better or for worse. Like a Rebel Alliance, or an Unholy one. Zing!

    Peace.

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  9. Dboy- Oh, there's no question about it. It's ultimately all about selfish genes and sexual domination, particularly of children. The so-called liberal media covers it all up, but if you check out religionnewsblog.com you can see how epidemic sexual exploitation of children (and human sacrifice in the form of "faith healing" and honor killings) among the so-called religious world is. Or look at all the instances of people killing family members (more human sacrifice, though the media doesn't dare call it by name) because they were "possessed by demons." And the media covers that up too. And then turn around and make more evil young girl movies.

    Raj- You hit on the central theme of all of this- things that we know that we shouldn't, artists having access to information that transcends causality, motifs repeating on certain issues like secret suns, twin suns, secret worlds, etc etc etc. There's a whole other reality knocking at our door and most people ignore it, unfortunately.

    Just- ?

    Pete- Wow, you know I thought that after I posted. It didn't make sense since the Jawas are nomad/Bedouin types, but seeing that this is all Medieval allegory it makes perfect sense.

    Red- Yes, I saw that on your blog- great, great stuff. Mike posted the link on the FB page, too. And very interesting points about twins and the rest of it as well. I was struck watching the first film how feminine Mark Hammil was then and how tomboyish Carrie Fisher is. Probably not intentional but that's how the most meaningful stuff happens.



    レベッカ- That story is apocryphal. I don't believe they ever met. Jack loved the movie but was very concerned about all of the lifts. As to the Evil Empire, it's lifted from The New Gods, but it seems clear that it's a stand-in for Hollywood itself. Lucas is not really that political, or wasn't back then so much. But he has a real problem with the Hollywood establishment and was furious about (minor) changes that were made to THX1138 and American Graffiti, and that's why the story kind of evolved to featured this big Manichean struggle. It's also why he financed everything himself after the success of the first SW movie.

    Tommy- Awesome. Glad you dug it.

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  10. Toothy- I like Yoda before he became a superhero. I like when he was the wise old sensei figure.

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  11. Chris,

    There is definitely a whole other reality knocking at our door, for sure.

    Also, I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your comment to Dboy about religion's sexual domination of the vulnerable and of children. It's something I feel pretty strongly about.

    I'd go so far as to say that I think organised religions were crafted almost exclusively for the purpose you outlined. I'm just truly glad that you've got the balls to say it, and to not pull your punches in that regard.

    Being half Indian, I've heard some truly awful stories about sexual domination and 'honor killings' within Hindu families, and someone associated with my own family once doused his wife in gasoline and burned her alive - because she wasn't dutiful enough.

    I'm not fucking kidding.

    When I first heard that story I thought the excuse would be assumed infidelity, but no...just not subservient enough.

    Organised religion is exploitation and perversion of the worst kind. It's a deviant hate-machine, IMHO.

    That doesn't mean I can't find beauty in religious stories of various faiths, but there's a whole lot of darkness there. And we're complicit in it if we try to down-play such things.

    Ok, rant over.

    Peace

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  12. Hey Chris,
    First off I have Our Gods Wear Spandex and The Secret History of Rock and Roll. Both great! I actually wanted to point out a few things,maybe off topic except the first one.
    1. James Earl Jones did the voice of Darth Vader and you mentioned his connection to Set. It should be noted that He also played the Set-worshipping Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian.
    2. Concerning Harry Potter: I don't know about you, but after I heard about the magical battle of Britain, that seems to be the same situation as HP (to me at least).
    3. Lots of symbolism in Warren Ellis' Planetary series. Just thought you should know.
    4. Do you know of any connections between Eastern mysticism, E.T.s, and the number 23? I had a few experiences that seem to connect these things.
    Trevor

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  13. Presuming we are indeed in some sort of holographic reality, here's a little meta-sync for you:

    Princess Leia Debuts Kinect-Powered 3-D Video Streaming

    (Reminds me also of those "Force-Feedback" type toys that come out last year. Sorry if you've already noted this elsewhere.)

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  14. Other than the bizarre Da Vinci Code theory (I suppose its from Holy Blood, Holy Grail, right?) what are the central themes of the Knights Templar legends and myths. I understand their history, but what specifically parallels the Jedi?

    Thanks,

    John

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  15. @ John Henning:

    To begin with, they were warrior monks, which sounds kind of odd to our modern mentality.

    Also, for a time they were the most powerful organization in the world. So powerful that they used to lend money to the European kings.

    And lastly, they suffered a similar sudden and tragic downfall, orchestrated by powerful men behind their backs. They were persecuted, and some were burned in the pire as heretics; but many of them managed to escape.

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  16. Thanks, I can see those connections. Does this make the Sith the Knights Hospitallers?

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  17. @ John:

    LOL you know I hadn't thought of it like that ;)

    Personally I'm more satisfied with Chris' own conclusion that Vader and his minions are actings as the Inquisition, enforcing the will of the Emperor through force and brutality —in the first scene Vader is shown ready to torture Leia for a confession.

    And let's not even discuss the eerie resemblance between Palpatine and the *current* leader of the Catholic church! :P

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  18. It's funny because it's true. Honestly, though, have you seen the Pope as depicted in Garth Ennis' scathingly hilarious graphic novel, The Chronicles of Wormwood?

    To be honest, if I were Pope, I would probably abuse the heck out of the office, too.

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  19. …… Wonderful start to a new series , Knowlesy. The mythological basis to Star Wars. Thanks, man. I was bothered that they incorporated the term Sith in the Star Wars mythos for the evil Darksider characters, as it were. You see, the Sith are a supernatural race peppering the pages of Scottish folklore, & aren't necessarily baneful, but do have capricious natures. The 17th century Scots minister, Robert Kirk, in his still re-published 1691 treatise, The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, & Fairies, said of the Sith, "These Siths, or FAIRIES, they call Sleagh Maith, or the Good People, it would seem, to prevent the Dint of their ill Attempts, (for the Irish use to bless all they fear Harme of) & and are said to be of a midle Nature betuixt Man & Angel, as were Dæmons thought to be of olde; of intelligent fluidious (?) Spirits, & light changable Bodies, (lyke those called Astral,) somewhat of the Nature of a condensed Cloud, & best seen in Twilight. Thes Bodies be so plyable thorough the Subtilty of the Spirits that agitate them, that they can make them appear or disappear att Pleasure. Some have Bodies or Vehicles so spungious, thin, & delecat (?), that they are fed by only sucking into some fine spirituous Liquors, that peirce lyke pure Air & Oyl: others seid more gross on the Foyson or substance of Corns & Liquors, or Corne it selfe that grows on the Surface of the Earth, which these Fairies steall away, partly invisible, partly preying on the Grain, as do Crowes & Mice; wherefore in this same Age, they are some times heard to bake Bread, strike Hammers, & do such lyke Services within the little Hillocks they most haunt: some whereof of old, before the Gospell dispelled Paganism, and in some barbarous Places as yet, enter Houses after all are at rest, & set the Kitchens in order, cleansing all the Vessels. Such Drags goe under the name of Brownies. When we have plenty, they have Scarcity at their Homes; & on the contrarie (for they are empowred to catch as much Prey everywhere as they please,) there Robberies notwithstanding oft tymes occassion great Rickes of Corne not to bleed so weill, (as they call it,) or prove so copious by verie farr as wes expected by the Owner."

    Yes, an earlier, archaic form of the English language for sure. There are even supposed to be Sith cats & dogs, too, remarkably enough. So, intriguing is Robert Kirk's coverage of the Sith (called Sidhe in Ireland, pronounced SHEE), that a film has been made on Kirk's life & involvement with them. (See trailer here if you're at all intrigued.

    Also, there's a heavily annotated & commented upon reappointment of Kirk's work that I'd highly recommend to anyone by the contemporary Faery Seer (one who has contact with the Fae), RJ Stewart, easily found through most book vendors. It's also rephrased in modern day English so as to understand more fully the Sith race of whom Robert Kirk wrote. An interesting speculative factoid on Kirk's demise. His body isn't lain to rest in Aberfoyle, & he was instaed spirited away by them into their parallel world for having observed & written about them. In that form, the title is renamed Robert Kirk: Walker Between the Worlds. But perhaps he wasn't taken against his will. Mayhap he just liked it better there than here, so he stayed.

    From a snow covered Apple Mountain,
    Anadæ Quenyan Effro (von Thüringen)

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  20. It's very thought provoking, I definitely need to pay more attention to sci fi.
    I got to wondering if there is also an element of Marduk thrown in, and found that Nabu (noted as being Marduk's son) was the inspiration for the name of planet Naboo. Which is a rather odd choice considering the the most correct adjective form of Naboo is "Nabooan" based upon an indigenous wild panther known as a "Nabooan tusk-cat"!

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  21. Another thing I've been thinking about, is if the term Jedi (spelled like Yed-EYE) has some sort of important connotation. Was it a way to convey that they were the only ones who could *see* the true nature of the Universe?

    Or was it intended to give the third film (Return of the Jedi)a veiled nod to the myth of Osiris and Horus?

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  22. …… Wonderful start to a new series, Christopher. Thanks, man. BTW, an earlier version of this got ett up by an internet gremlin, I believe. As a folklorist my(s)elf, I was somewhat bothered that they incorporated the term Sith in the Star Wars mythos for the Darksider bad guy characters, as it were. You see, the Sith are a supernatural race peppering the pages of Scottish folklore, & aren't necessarily baneful, but do have capricious natures. The 17th century Scots minister, Robert Kirk, wrote in his still published 1691 treatise, The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, & Fairies, said of the Sith, & in then current Scots-English parlance, "These Siths, or FAIRIES, they call Sleagh Maith, or the Good People, it would seem, to prevent the Dint of their ill Attempts, (for the Irish use to bless all they fear Harme of) & and are said to be of a midle Nature betuixt Man & Angel, as were Dæmons thought to be of olde; of intelligent fluidious (?) Spirits, & light changable Bodies, (lyke those called Astral,) somewhat of the Nature of a condensed Cloud, & best seen in Twilight. Thes Bodies be so plyable thorough the Subtilty of the Spirits that agitate them, that they can make them appear or disappear att Pleasure." And on & on it goes.

    There are even supposed to be Sith cats & dogs, too, remarkably enough. So, intriguing is Robert Kirk's coverage of the Sith (called Sidhe in Ireland, pronounced SHEE), that a film has been made on Kirk's life & involvement with them. See trailer here if at all intrigued. Also, there's a heavily annotated & commented upon reappointment of Kirk's work that I'd highly recommend to anyone in the Sith connection. It's by the contemporary Faery Seer (one who has contact with the Fae), RJ Stewart, easily found through most book vendors. It's also rephrased in modern day English so as to be understood more fully by a contemporary audience. However, this reappointment underscores the inner initiatory work threading through Rev. Kirk's contact with the Sith race. An interesting speculative factoid on Kirk's demise. His body isn't lain to rest in Aberfoyle, & he was instead spirited away by them into their parallel world for having observed & written about them. In that form, the title is renamed Robert Kirk: Walker Between the Worlds. But perhaps he wasn't taken against his will. Mayhap he just liked it better there than here, so he stayed.

    Your having correlated the Jedi with the Templar Knights more readily parallels the Sith of Star Wars with the Jinn of the Middle East, the local supernatural race we as kids were taught could be trapped in oil lamps. There's already a similar distinction drawn in Ufological circles, at least online, here.

    Also (snap), light sabers! There's a tradition in Magic, Feri, begun by Magic workers, Victor & Cora Anderson, in which certain colour wands & their attendant emblems have their own significance. Magus Storm Faerywolf wrote a comprehensive system on that here. Thanks again for all the pointers in this stellar piece, Christopher.

    From a snow covered Apple Mountain,
    Anadæ Quenyan Effro (von Thüringen)

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  23. Interesting article Chris.

    The biggest influence on Star Wars was Joseph Campbell, specifically his book "Hero With A Thousand Faces". Lucas used a very old pattern to weave a simple tale, and all the other themes were gathered subconsciously. You can fit Star Wars to dozens of mythologies, simply because of the Hero template Lucas based it on.

    The Obi-Wan/John the Baptist analogy is on the money, Lucas has said he was inspired by gnostics in the desert for the Tattooine scenes. The Knights Templar influence is there, simple warrior-monks who protect pilgrims, but Lucas has said the Force is modelled more on Eastern mysticism, specicifally Tao & Buddhism (the use of Padme in the prequels clearly shows the Jedi are based on Hindu, Buddhist & Taoist ideals). Considering that gnosticism and Buddhism pretty much seek the same thing (enlightenment within oneself, not through a Church authority), it all fits together nicely.

    Also, a very important point is the fact that Lucas only changed the relationships of Luke, Leia and Vader after Star Wars was made. Before Empire Strikes Back, Vader wasn't Luke's father, and Leia wasn't his twin sister. Everything was as it was in Star Wars -- Vader killed Luke's father, and Leia was the stereotypical romantic interest. This storyline continued in a book Lucas co-wrote with Alan Dean Foster, Splinter Of The Mind's Eye (reading this after Empire will really make Leia & Luke's relationship like something from a HBO tv series!). It wasn't until The Empire Strikes Back was conceived that Lucas dramatically changed the storyline, turning Luke and Leia into siblings, and Vader into their dark-side-seduced father. Why he made these relationship changes, now that's the interesting question! If only Lucas had changed his mind about The Phantom Menace! ;-)

    But analysing Star Wars, I honestly don't think you can go anywhere past Campbell's hero journey, mixed with Jack Kirby.

    I'm going to watch my original VHS recording of Star Wars again now. Now if only a tabloid prints a photo of Lady Gaga arriving at Skywalker Ranch, it'll all make sense!

    May the Force be with you, Chris. :-)

    Rick MG

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  24. Chris, you keep bringing up the point about the Sith being a state-sponsored religion, and that Darth Vader is not so much a military leader as a religious figure. I had never really thought about it as such, but this rings true. The Sith aren't even looking for converts, but only to spread terror: spiritual terror. This is brilliant on Lucas' part, as we are presented with only the bad parts of a religion with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The Jedi are intended to be the flip side of that coin.

    But your point highlights some of the problems with the depiction of the Jedi in the prequels: a bunch of self-righteous watchdogs sitting around in bathrobes in a nicely carpeted hi-rise type building overlooking some prime real estate in the Galaxy's capitol. By your argument, the Jedi should have had no place in government whatsoever, choosing to live in seclusion, becoming closer to nature and the Force, passing on the teachings, and only occasionally getting involved in galactic conflicts.

    Really, the only law enforcement function they should have been involved in is to police the Sith or any other powerful Force-users from using their unfair advantage over regular folks... particularly in politics. I'm picturing some one-on-one lightsaber duels on lonely mountaintops or other deserted locales. Settling trade disputes? Leading armies of clones to fight armies of robots? Are you kidding?

    As for "General Kenobi," who we know fought in the Clone Wars... I don't believe "General" is a Jedi rank. He might have officially left the Order, maybe even against Yoda's advice, to join the Army of the Republic, because he was young and "reckless" and felt so strongly about this cause that he couldn't just observe with detachment. Sure, he could keep practicing his chosen religion, and even use his lightsaber, but he would not be acting as a representative of the Jedi. This would of course be how he meets Anakin, already an amazing pilot, and a cunning warrior, who is unconsciously using the Force...

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  25. To shed light on the following question: "is if the term Jedi (spelled like Yed-EYE) has some sort of important connotation. Was it a way to convey that they were the only ones who could *see* the true nature of the Universe?

    Or was it intended to give the third film (Return of the Jedi)a veiled nod to the myth of Osiris and Horus?"


    I would say both. Take the word jedi and place a 'd' in front.

    Djed.

    The Djed symbol is a phallic, pillar-like ancient Egyptian symbol representing stability, or "balance in the force". The Djed column is the 'backbone' of the Egyptian god Osiris.

    The 'raising of the Djed pillar' symbolizes the resurrection of Osiris as well as the Tree of Life.

    In Egyptian lore Ptah, and Tatenen, are also sometimes referred to as "the noble Djed".

    In this regard I think 'Tatenen' and 'Tatooine' are a pretty interesting coincidence, no?

    And then, of course, there's those light sabers again ... :-)

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  26. "The 'raising of the Djed pillar' symbolizes the resurrection of Osiris as well as the Tree of Life."

    Great input, Anon! :)

    And of course, that gives a whole new meaning to the design of the Jedi temple in Coruscant ;)

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