Volume 93, Issue 4

Wednesday, May 28, 1999


Provincial elections "the pits"

Darth Vader gives us a hope in hell

Zoo? What zoo?

Darth Vader gives us a hope in hell

Re: Star Wars

To the Editor:

Star Wars is a religion. At least that's what some anxiously awaiting enthusiasts have been saying in anticipation of this spring's release of The Phantom Menace. And, in a sense, it's quite accurate.

The Star Wars trilogy, now quartet, does possess many religious elements. For instance, values about friendship, loyalty and even spirituality come into play. Master Yoda and his young disciples being instructed in the "Force" is reminiscent of monks sitting at the feet of a Zen master learning the "Way." Yet, there is something embedded in the Star Wars saga that is disturbing.

Us versus them. Light versus darkness.

Star Wars parrots the same "black and white" world-view that is seen lacing both eastern and western religious history. Like starkly dualistic religions, Star Wars tends to define clear battle lines between the "good guys" and the "bad guys," the "light" from the "darkness" and the "saved" from the "unsaved." There are no good "storm troopers" and the "rebel alliance" is unquestionably righteous. Sound familiar?

But, there is a redeeming character. Darth Vader.

In the first three movies, Vader represents the embodiment of evil. Yet, at the last moment in Return of the Jedi, he changed – he experienced a conversion of heart. In the end, he died for the love of his children. Could the infamous Darth Vader be a Christ figure? Who knew that the mechanical breathing agent of darkness was a philanthropist? Who knew he could love unto death?

Vader's conversion sent the movie-goer's head spinning with disbelief. More importantly though, it sent a powerful message to the viewer. Within a black and white universe where boundaries of friend and foe are so clearly, albeit erroneously, defined never underestimate the power of the human heart to do something miraculous. If Lucas' incarnate evil could be redeemed with love, who else may yet surprise us?

Alex Chartrand
Masters Journalism

To Contact The Opinions Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999