Okay, I got to laugh… I just got back from the movies with my wife and 10 year old son Ethan. We saw Star Wars, the Phantom Menace. I was truly amazed by all the Buddhist symbolism in the movie. I recall stumbling across some Joseph Campbell musings on the Star Wars subject years ago and I really paid attention to the symbolism today in the theater. After doing a little more research I found that others were interested or at least intrigued by the connection.

Per Eli Williamson-Jones website and even a book written by Matthew Bortolin, titled, the Dharma of Star Wars, I found this interesting scribble of info:

In the beginning of Star Wars Episode I, The Phantom Menace, we learn the Jedi Knight’s teachings of mindfulness of the Living Force is identical to the Buddhist teaching of mindfulness of the present moment. Jedi Master Qui-Gon instructs his student Obi-Wan to not center on his anxieties and to keep his concentration in the here and now where it belongs. Anticipation of the future is sometimes necessary but not at the expense of the moment. This is being mindful of the living Force. Only by touching the present moment deeply in the here and now, are we able to live fully. There is no life outside this present moment in the past or the future. When asked why his monks were so peaceful and serene, the Buddha said, “They do not repent the past, nor do they brood for the future. They live in the present.”  – Matthew Bortolin

I thought I would google and see if creator, George Lucas was indeed a Buddhist – would be kind of funny if he was a re-born Christian – it certainly would not make any sense… Turns out Lucas was a friend of famous philosopher, Joseph Campbell. According to adherents.com Lucas is in fact a Buddhist and the force is strong with him (except maybe not with Red Tails – ouch!)

I guess it all makes sense now.

Well, anyway, Ethan and I are stoked about the next five Star Wars movies being released in the coming months.

Enjoy your Saturday evening – My son and I will be dreaming about star fighters and far off planets tonight.

John C. Bader