Author Dick Staub Finds Christian Wisdom
in George Lucas’ Sci-Fi Mythology
CAN THERE REALLY BE A connection between the words “Christian” and “Jedi masters”? Author Dick Staub, a Seattle Pacific University
adjunct faculty member who teaches a theology course titled “The Culturally Savvy Christian,” clearly thinks so. The arrival of “Star Wars: Episode Three — Revenge of the Sith” has brought a wave of new Jedi-oriented books into bookstores. Among them, and selling quite steadily, is Staub’s own curiously titled volume: Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters (Jossey-Bass, 2005).
When Staub talks about his new book, he makes it clear that he’s not saying the “Star Wars” movies are “Christian movies.” And yet, in examining George Lucas’ popular franchise,
he extracts insight and echoes of Christ’s teachings. He imitates the method of
the Apostle Paul, who once examined altars to popular-culture gods in the secular marketplace
and found evidence of God.
“Some people think I’m doing a ‘Christian’ theology of ‘Star Wars,’” Staub observes, “which would be tough to do because, of course, ‘Star Wars’ is Eastern in theology. What I am doing is picking up on the theme of Luke Skywalker as a clueless kid who finds his way through lessons
learned from mentors, and then showing how the same process and similar lessons lead to maturity in followers of Jesus.”
The book is receiving enthusiastic responses from readers as diverse as hardcore “Star Wars” fans and pastors with Ph.Ds. Recently, Staub learned that one young-adult reader who had struggled with his faith told his pastor
that the book “made God and religion understandable and relevant
to him.” The pastor then read the book, decided to use it as the focus of the church’s summer youth camps, and made it required reading
for an adult Bible study class.
“Revenge of the Sith” arrived in theatres after the publication of Christian Wisdom. So what is Staub’s opinion of the franchise’s operatic conclusion? “In Lucas’ Eastern theology, the Jedi are supposed
to balance the Force, not favor one side over the other,” he says. “However, in his execution, I think Lucas ends up with a Judeo-Christian
story: Resist the dark side and you’ll reach your potential; fall under the dark side’s spell, and you’ll find you have been deceived and will live a lesser life.”
Editor’s note: Christian Wisdom can be purchased
at barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.
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