“The Star Wars Heresies” by Paul F. McDonald

Anakin as baby Jesus? (Star Wars Heresies)
Anakin as baby Jesus?

Like many Star Wars fans, I used to dislike the Prequel Trilogy. Unlike most of those fans, I’ve read The Star Wars Heresies.

The Original Trilogy rightly receives considerable praise for the ways in which it echoes Campbellian “hero’s journey” and other mythological themes. Paul F. McDonald, librarian and consummate Star Wars fan, applies the same thoughtful analysis to The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. While I was aware of some of the parallels between the Prequels and real-world mythology, this book showed me that I had barely scratched the surface. Continue reading ““The Star Wars Heresies” by Paul F. McDonald”

Star Wars & religion

As part of my series of articles for Legendarium Media, I recently wrote two pieces about some of the religious themes in Star Wars. The first, “The Star Wars Prequels as a Journey from Religious Dogma to Mysticism” (here), is an attempt to reinterpret the Prequel and Original Trilogies by looking at how Jedi religious practices evolved over the course of the saga. In “Hokey Religions and Midi-Chlorians” (here), I look at how the concept of midi-chlorians lines up against Eastern and Western religious traditions. At the least, writing these articles has helped me to better appreciate what George Lucas was trying to accomplish in the Prequels, to the point where I have no trouble viewing all six films as part of a continuous whole.

For those interested in a deeper discussion of religious themes in the Star Wars saga, I highly recommend Paul McDonald’s book The Star Wars Heresies.

“The Richest Man Who Ever Lived” by Greg Steinmetz

the-richest-man-who-ever-lived-9781451688559_hrI’ve always wondered why some historical figures attract so much attention from biographers, whereas others who had accomplished just as much languish in obscurity. Artists like Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 – 1564) have been the subject several exhaustive biographies and even feature films. Millions of tourists flock to the Vatican each year to view the Sistine Chapel. By contrast, Jacob Fugger (1459 – 1525), arguably the richest private individual who ever lived, remains unknown to all but the most dedicated history buffs. There has not been a major English-language biography about him in over 80 years. Continue reading ““The Richest Man Who Ever Lived” by Greg Steinmetz”

“The Theology of Battlestar Galactica” by Kevin J. Westmore

In honor of Glen A. Larson’s recent passing on November 14, 2014, I am running several reviews about books related to Battlestar Galactica, his most famous and greatest creation.battlestar

Battlestar Galactica clearly deals with issues of faith and religion. One of the most controversial twists in the BSG remake was that the Cylons believed in God. In later seasons, religious themes become more prominent as various cults come into conflict with each other. However, I admit that I didn’t quite appreciate the complexity of the show’s treatment of faith until reading Kevin J. Westmore’s The Theology of Battlestar Galactica.

Continue reading ““The Theology of Battlestar Galactica” by Kevin J. Westmore”