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 Religion and Star Wars

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PostSubject: Religion and Star Wars   Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:58 am

There are people who believe that God (Christianity) exists in the Star Wars universe (let's call it GFFA: Galaxy Far, Far Away) because of all the millions of worlds there has to be like one world that worships in the same ways that we, on Earth do.

But I call BS because Christianity is an Earth-born cult and mixing the Bible with a fictional form of entertainment.... That's right, I just called Star Wars entertainment. Well it's either demeaning for the people who actually follow that dogma or it makes the Christian Star Wars fan look like an idiot.

This is to say that some people need to draw the line between real life and Star Wars.

An after-effect that I do not want to see in a Star Wars community (like, for example when you roleplay or read a fanfiction... or even a novel) is characters basing their actions and thoughts from Christian Guilt, justifying themselves from the Holy Writings, talking condescendingly to non-believers.

Star Wars has the Force, and it lets people have their own mind and their own freewill. They also don't need to belittle others with mythical superstition of "heaven and hell" and the Force doesn't create power-hungry religions that sucks on people's wallets. Okay that's a stretch but you get my point. Even if SW is a futuristic fantasy story I prefer to call it parallel science-fiction, stressing the science-fiction there where it serves more as an experimental ground for social and philosophical theories. NOT a given sandbox world where you can put anything in it and call it your own.

The main issue for me is having to cope with stuff that i don't like on Earth and see them transferred into my favorite runaway universe that is the GFFA. I believe in UFOs and ancient astronauts but you don't see me slapping flying saucers and ancient summerian scripts all over my fan art, do you?

Haha okay, I didn't mean to sound rude but anyway, I was confronted with a "Christian TOR guild" recently and it got me aggravated. I don't support religion in any sort of way, I believe in some things, but faith is a private, personal thing that shouldn't be used for fun or fame or money. If you're a believer in God or follower of a cult, I'd like to know your perspective on mixing those things in the GFFA.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion and Star Wars   Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:32 am

In my Star Wars fanfictions, I avoid any use of association with Earth religions. I don't even conjure up imaginary relgions either for that matter. I tend to just leave my characters with their own personal faiths, and even then I don't mention their gods/goddesses/symbols. It comes out more as a belief in themselves and in the "power within," for lack of a better term.

I'm not religious myself (had too many experiences in my own life that dissolved the faith I once had), so I guess that transfers over to my Star Wars fiction.

I agree with you, Daennika, that such concepts of Earth religions have no place in the GFFA. However, I'm not against using a culture or race and giving them their own gods/goddesses/etcs. But...once you establish a "fictional" religion, it needs to remain consistent to that culture and not suddenly pull in names like God, Jesus, Saint Joseph, etc.

Funny thing is that when C-3P0 first mentioned "The Maker" in A New Hope, I seriously thought he was referring to a god/goddess that was the equivalent of the Star Wars "Great Spirit." I was oddly disappointed later in the prequels when he actually referred to Anakin as "The Maker." That irked me. I really wanted 3P0 to have used what I believed was a human (yes, human...not Christian) reference for whatever spirit he was talking about. That small phrase in A New Hope gave me the sense that even in a GFFA, there was something basic and common with human spirituality, the way we try to connect with something beyond our understanding in order to get through challenges in the day.

As for running into these over-crazed and religious types, all I can say is just ignore their preachings. I have two cousins who I love very dearly, but they are Born-Again Christians...highly fanatical in their beliefs. I will talk to them about anything and everything...BUT religion. I draw the line there because I nearly got into a heated argument with the one cousin after I told her my lack of faith and that I needed proof before I get it back. She got all upset and practically cried that I wouldn't get into heaven and spend the afterlife with her. I just shrugged my shoulders and said, well, I plan to come back as a pampered housecat anyway. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Religion and Star Wars   Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:43 pm

My only concern is if I can use the curse word "Hell", which I've decided I can because of Empire:

Rebel soldier: Your TaunTaun will freeze before you reach the first marker!
Han: Then I'll see you in HELL!

Also I think it's stupid that people bring Christianity into GFFA. It's weird, too, that commando squads are sometimes labeled with Greek letters. Who messed THAT up?

But yeah, I don't think there's any logic in putting Christianity in GFFA. I guess if you're insane you could make up a religion. I wouldn't frown upon that. It sounds like a very Tolkien thing to do. Other than that, GFFA is not earth-based, and therefore cannot have any semblance of Christianity in it. End of story.

The only argument I could see is if you presented the possibility that the humans that populate GFFA originated from earth and carried on traditions of earth people, but I would probably call bullshit. Even if it's true, there's hardly anything in GFFA that alludes to earth, which is why it was important for Lucas to emphasize that Carrie Fisher couldn't wear a bra in ANH. Too earthy. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Religion and Star Wars   Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:22 pm

That "no bra" policy is a real hint that people should have picked up on! cheers

On a more serious note, when MMJ talks about Born-Again Christians I'm drawn to imagine them as creating their own sect or micro-church in a heartbeat when they discover a new way to worship. So this SW mixed with religion thing would apply as a personal cult and therefore be considered somewhat illegal or a sin? I don't know, the line is blurry.

It wouldn't be exactly like worshiping other gods, but it's definitely self-appropriating a fictional creation and using it for a purpose different than what it was meant for. I think that's what has been ticking me off all of this time. It's exactly like when someone takes one of my paintings and changes it a little, claiming it's a character from their own imagination.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion and Star Wars   Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:27 am

I seriously don't think any form of religion should be added into the GFFA. It's a place you to for escape and for *gasp* entertainment.

I mean, if you follow a form of religious belief, then worship on your own time, out of the Star Wars world, in the real one. I've always predicated that there are 2 things you should never discuss. Politics and Religion, simply because it always leads to flaming because there are people more passionate than others about THEIR religion and THEIR political views. Personally I think it's vanity to force your religious and political views onto others, and sliding those into the GFFA only has one goal, propaganda. So definitely not, I am totally against including any religious views (other than the Force) in Star Wars.

As for the use of the word "hell" I guess it wasn't totally thought about when the dialogue was written down for Empire, similarly.. they didn't think out the use of the Greek alphabet for RC squads either, although admittedly "Delta" squad sounds more "tactical" than "D" squad. I'm assuming the call- sign "Delta" was picked for RC, the game and consequently the book, because of the old special forces unit "Delta Force" who were considered one of the elite units in counter-terrorism.

I'm thinking people just get carried away and do include a lot of earthly details in fan writings and even in official canon material ("I'll see you in hell") But from "hell" and "Delta" and actually including Christianism, Buddhism, or any other religious -ism in the Star Wars universe is plain silly and is at the border of propaganda and imposing ones religious views on people who don't necessarily want it.

I have come across fan-fiction that have included religion in the subject and it's just off-putting I stop reading altogether. Another example I've come across is a "Christian Mandos" group. To each his own, but mixing an actual religion with an element of Star Wars, is almost as silly sounding as "Christian Justice League" or "Christian Iron Man".

The only thing I haven't done with fan fiction or fan groups that include their religious belief in the GFFA is point and laugh, but that's because I have good self-restraint.

Two cents.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion and Star Wars   Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:59 am

Their is already all sorts of Religion in Star Wars, many based losely off real world faiths. Mandalorians have Manda and Jedi the force. Trandos follow some mythical score keeper while Wookiees worship... just about everything lol. Theres countless examples and each can be paralleled to somthing witnessed in real world, its the nature of fiction.

Doesnt bother me so much as long as no ones trying to force their real life beliefs down my throat.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion and Star Wars   Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:17 am

I have to agree with Dose.

There are numerous religious faiths in Star Wars, as he mentioned. Having faith in some sort of deity or power that controls everything is a base-human reaction for explaining the unknown. And in a GFFA there's a LOT of unknowns to consider.

There is no reason to think that, someone like Han, doesn't have a faith of some sort. The use of Hell and the military call signs like Delta, Omega, Alpha, etc. shouldn't be considered as a tie in to our religious sects. There's a lot of stuff in Star Wars that they just take from here and Star Warsify. For example coffee is simply caf. Luke finds a great new drink called hot chocolate. Nothing bashful about the Earthly reference.

I think there is plenty of things in the GFFA that can be considered Earthly, but it has its own history in Star Wars.

And as far as the religions go, as the above stated proves that each species and culture has its own belief, don't forget that there are some cultures who have insanely fanatical beliefs. Does anyone remember the Yuuzhan Vong? Their religion was pretty thoroughly established, all though they were shown that a lot of their beliefs were falsified, many of them held on to it.

But as far Christianity in Star Wars... Yes, it has NO PLACE in the GFFA. None of our Earthly religions do. I agree that when we go into the GFFA, its to escape the things here in Earth in our societies and cultures.

And people can apply it to their little groups and fan clubs and stuff, but the one I don't get is the above mentioned Mandalorian Christians... I've seen some of these on another board, and I have to say that concept confuses me. I honestly don't like it 'cause as much as everyone is given the freedom to the beliefs, I think having it in your banner is flaunting it in my face and really annoys me. Be proud in your faith, but fuck, have a little humbleness.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion and Star Wars   Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:50 pm

My opinion is let people do whatever they'd like with their fan fics.
They are after all fan fiction and not cannon I'm sure we do many things other fans would find distasteful.

If you don't liek a fan fiction you're not obliged to read it afterall Wink

As for those cannon pieces containing references to earthly things well like Delta squad etc comeone don't tell me you don't think delta just sounds awesome? Adding to that it's part of the radio alphabet often used in military terms and all does not make it religious lol.

Anyway don't take me as taking sides just putting my opinion out there that it's star wars and there to have fun with not to stress over or get angry about Smile
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