Saturday, December 19, 2015

Star Wars and the Bible

CANONICAL AND NONCANONICAL: The Saga Continues. Devotees of Star Wars and the Bible have something in common: they have expanded the universes of each text through sheer creativity, even taking ownership of them along the way (David Zvi Kalman, Tablet Magazine). Excerpt:
Both the Bible and Star Wars comprise a set a interconnected and largely self-consistent stories. Both also feature a distinction between the central, authorized canon of material and a set of related but peripheral works (Star Wars’ “Legends,” Biblical apocrypha and, in different way, midrash). Forgetting for a moment that the Bible is more important by orders of magnitude—Star Wars gave us “May the Force be with you” while the Bible gave us fundamental aspects of modern English, and it wasn’t even written in English—the two share an important quality: both canons continue to expand. Both fans of Star Wars and followers of the Bible donate to these works their attention and money, but also their individual talents, their unique and best selves. These devotees can do more than just enjoy and learn from the seminal texts; they can add to them and, in doing so, claim some form of ownership, a time-share’s worth of a cultural edifice.
Some interesting reflections for those interested in midrash and biblical apocrypha and pseudepigrapha. I agree that "the Bible is more important by orders of magnitude," but I often find that younger people today know Star Wars far better than they know the Bible. Perhaps we should find their lack of faith disturbing, but that's how it is and I adapt my teaching accordingly.

I haven't yet seen the new Star Wars movie, but I have a ticket for Monday. I was horrified by the second trilogy and it put me off the whole thing. But I'll try to maintain an open mind for the new one.