When the first Star Wars films were released, I gave countless commentaries on radio and in meetings. The last installment, “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” set box-office records. There’s even talk of a TV series. Star Wars is wildly popular, and I thought would be appropriate to look at it once again in light of Biblical principles.
Years ago, when the first Star Wars films came out, Christian sociologist Tony Campolo commented that the morality point of the films was obvious with the good guys in white and the bad guys in black. He further noted that the films’ successes were largely because of what was then new technology in special effects and editing rather than great acting and scripts. Today’s technology is even more remarkable. In six films, millions of moviegoers have been mesmerized—and unwittingly exposed to paganism and the occult.
On the surface, the battle between good and evil appears to be virtuous, but the problem with the Star Wars films and other movies like them is the occultism and pagan influences that contradict and distort Scripture. It is a subtle attack on Biblical truth masquerading as a legitimate morality play.
The recurring theme of Stars Wars features “the Force” as both good and evil. Whenever it is in print in the context of the films, “the Force” is always capitalized making it a proper noun—a person, place or thing. If the Force is not a place or a thing, is it a person?
Star Wars producer George Lucas said, “The Force is neutral, and it can be used for good or evil… The Force has two sides. It is not a malevolent or benevolent thing. It has a bad side to it involving hate and fear, and it has a good side, involving love, charity, fairness and hope. If you use it well, you can see the future and the past. You can sort of read minds and you can levitate and use that whole netherworld of psychic energy.”1 His description of “the Force” seems to be right out of the occult and witchcraft.
Constance Cumbey first alerted Christians to the New Age Movement’s occult association in her book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow. She refers to Eva Dowling’s comment in a New Age “bible” that “…one may enter fully into the spirit of the ‘God of Force’”2, which, in the New Age Movement, is a central spiritual being.3
“Force” is a technical term used in witchcraft, which is what the films feature. Black (“bad”) and white (“good”) witchcraft are contrasting uses of the force of nature, which is defined as neutral but can be employed either way.
Serial killer David Berkowitz, known as “Son of Sam” (from “Samhain,” the highest Druid demon, meaning “Son of Satan”), declared that when he became heavily involved in witchcraft, “the Force” was in him. Years ago, Anton Lavey, self-proclaimed “head of the first church of Satan,” declared, “…there is a Force – a godhead or whatever you want to call it. It is a displacement of the energy of human beings that will become a malleable source of action for the magician – the witch.” 4
Cumbey writes, “The entire theme of occultism, Luciferianism and cultism connected with the New Age Movement is learning how to manipulate the ‘Force.’ … New Agers…believe that God is a neutral force which can be manipulated either for good or evil.” 5
In another interview, George Lucas said, “There is more of me in Star Wars than I care to admit. I was trying to say in a very simple way, knowing that the film was made for a young audience, that there is a God, and there is both a good side and a bad side. You have a choice between them, but the world works better if you're on the good side.” (emphasis mine)6 It sounds like a noble idea to influence people to choose good, but Lucas’ premise that God is good and bad directly contradicts I John 1:5. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
Lucas believes all religions are true, and he drew from elements of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Greek mythology in making the films. His pagan leanings were evident in a 1980 interview. “When you are born you have an energy field around you. You could call it an aura. An archaic description would be a halo. It is an idea that has gone all the way through history. When you die, your energy field joins all other energy fields in the universe….”
Weird creatures such as Yoda and others appear to be representations of demonic beings such those that can be seen in ancient pagan art forms.
Astute Bible students may recognize some Bible words in Star Wars. Endor was the home of the medium Saul consulted in I Samuel 28:7. Yoda is nearly identical to the Hebrew word “yada” (pronounced “yawdah”) meaning “to know.” Anakin is close to Anakim, a group of Canaanites descended from Anak (Numbers 13:33; Deuteronomy 1:28; 2:10). I received a letter from a Star Wars enthusiast who observed that the name Darth was close to the word “dart” in Ephesians 6:16 (“fiery darts of the wicked one”).
Worse than its occult connotations, “the Force” has prophetic implications. Daniel 11:38 forecasts Antichrist honoring “the God of forces.” This can also be translated “the God of Force.” This is a devilish spiritual lineage traced through many pagan cultures. With Star Wars now a part of our culture, millions of people have been introduced to “the Force.” When Antichrist makes his appearance following the Rapture of the Church, his blasphemous worship of “the God of Force” will not be a strange concept.
Many believers enjoy the Star Wars films. The stunning visual effects and editing make them entertaining, and the broad theme of the battle between good and evil can be seen as having some moral value. However, as with any form of secular entertainment, Christians must use Biblical discernment and look beneath the surface at the underlying themes and issues involved. We must be mindful of the full implications of “the Force.” Discussion of the films may be a good opportunity to share the truth with those who may be unaware of the producer’s drift from Biblical principles and open doors for sharing the Gospel and true nature of God.
The original “star wars” began with the ejection of Satan from Heaven (Isaiah 14:12–14). He is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and we are engaged in spiritual battle with him (Eph. 6:12). Satan’s best efforts have already been defeated in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection (Eph. 1:19–23). Because of Jesus Christ, who is the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16), “the Force” ultimately loses (Rev. 20:7-10).
1 TIME magazine – May 19, 1980
2 Constance Cumbey, The Hidden Dangers of the
Rainbow, pg. 83
3 Cumbey, pg. 253
4 Look magazine – August 24, 1971
5 Cumbey, pg. 83
6 TIME magazine – May 23,1993