Star Wars’ Worldview

The logical conclusion to the philosophy behind the Star Wars saga hit me like a ton of bricks when our family finally got to watch Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. (From the perspective of a cinematic experience, I thought the movie to be quite entertaining. That is, I thoroughly enjoyed it! However, I find its worldview troublesome for the reason I describe below.)

SPOILER ALERT: At the end of the movie, the Resistance defeats the First Order. But I’m sure you already assumed that since Hollywood appeals to people’s emotions and to the human proclivity for victory and justice for the do-gooded protagonists. So, this multi-billion dollar franchise concludes with a satisfying happy ending for the Resistance.

But the ending of this trilogy of trilogies doesn’t correspond with the metaphysical overtones of the Force within the big picture of winner or loser. So what is the Force? Well, supposedly, it’s a spiritual energy that binds all life in the galaxy and gives power to those who harness its mysterious energy–Jedi and Sith, Light and Dark Side, good and evil, alike. This is remarkably similar to what the yin-yang symbol of Taoism represents.

Both the yin-yang of Chinese philosophy and the Force assume a balance of energy that is cyclical–eternal, without beginning or end. If this is in fact the case, then how can the Light Side conclusively and irrevocably conquer the Dark Side? The disturbing simple answer is “It cannot.”

Of course, the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force or the Galactic Republic and the Trade Federation (Episodes I, II, III) or┬áthe Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire (Episodes IV, V, VI) or the Resistance and the First Order (Episodes VII, VIII, IX) have their fare share of wins and losses. But there can never be one final winner! What’s so disturbing is that the Light can never become too bright so that it completely vanquishes the Dark. This would upset the balance of the Force.

If we are to take seriously the logical conclusion to the philosophy behind Star Wars for us today, then we are left with the eternal struggle of Sisyphus–who was forced to roll a huge rock up a steep hill only to find it rolling back as it nears the top–not just for this life but, like I said, for all eternity.

May it never be!

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Chester Delagneau


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