Since it first came out in 1977, Star Wars has become saturated in our culture.
But does the Star Wars saga have anything in common with the Catholic faith? Catholic speaker Anthony Digmann sought to answer that question.
On Tuesday, Jan. 23, Digmann presented at the St. Thomas More Newman Center. His talk was titled “Star Wars: A Catholic Perspective.”
First, Digmann tried to help people who may not be Star Wars fans to have a greater appreciation for the series. He explained that when the first Star Wars movie came out, it was not expected to be a big hit.
“It only got booked to show in 37 theaters, but it had 36 house records. It was explosive. Something about Star Wars just connected with people and I think a big part of that is the spiritual component,” said Digmann.
The Jedi embody charisms, which are gifts of the Holy Spirit that everyone has. Yoda can read into people’s souls, which is similar to a gift that St. Padre Pio had.
“If you went to confession with Padre Pio, he would be able to tell you your sins,” Digmann explained.
The Jedi Order has a hierarchy, like the Catholic church does. There are 12 members of the Jedi council, just like there are 12 Tribes of Israel and 12 apostles. Grand Master Yoda, the head of the council, is like the Pope. The other members of the council are like the college of Bishops, who make decisions on behalf of the church.
The evangelical counsels are chastity, poverty, and obedience. These are the counsels that members of religious orders profess, but they are also demonstrated by the Jedi. Digmann explained how the Jedi show obedience.
“[The Jedi] actually show us in secular society that obedience is a trait to be admired. Our secular society wants to say ‘rebel, do whatever you want, do whatever feels good.’ Here we have the Jedi Order, coming out of Hollywood for crying out loud, promoting something good and true and authentic, and having obedience to a legitimate authority,” said Digmann.
The Jedi Order in the Star Wars prequels weren’t always on the ball. That can happen in the church, too, where church leaders aren’t always on the ball.
“There can be sin, even in high places. We have to evaluate that sin, we have to root it out,” Digmann said.
The Theological Virtues are faith, hope, and love. Hope is a common theme throughout the Star Wars movies, as there is always hope that the light will conquer dark. The first Star Wars movie ever is “Star Wars: A New Hope.” “Hope” is the only word said by Princess Leia at the end of Rogue One.
Charity or love is shown through Jedi through their concern for others, even non-humans. Faith is shown in Luke’s trust in the force while training with Yoda. He has to have faith to lift the X-Wing from the murky swamp.