Wednesday, April 27, 2005

May looms, he comes forth...

I admit it. I was a big Star Wars fan. Not being the guy that wears the cheese, paints the face or travels after Jerry in an RV, I did not become one of those Lucus disciples. I was a Star Wars version of a trekkie. However, I caught the magic of the original trilogy in my youth. It may have been the first film I saw as a kid.

Like many other 1st generation Star Wars fans, the new trilogy has disappointed me so far. Part of it is the realization that I may have liked the original three because I was a kid. Part of it is a certain burnout with Lucus', ahem, tin ear. (I wonder if he picks up satellite radio with that thing.) The last part is best explained here:

Boundless-Love, Sacrifice and Free Will in Star Wars

In terms of a mythology that somehow touches on something resembling a transcendent, yes, I think he's on to something. He also diagnosis the problem Americans have in this post-modern fashion of culture. Lucus' popular reinvention of the Wheel of Life shatters what Thomas Cahill ( loathe as I am to commend him for it) identifies as The Gift of the Jews. That would be the capacity of civilization to reckon life in linear time, allowing for acceptance of personal responsibility, and the power to people to influence their destiny. Without this gift, a response to God's gift of Grace is as absurd as drowning in the saharah.

At some level, enough people understand this. That's why we know that Lucus' moral universe fails to match our own. Love as the path to the anti-christ? Puh-lease! The de-nutered, new-ageified pop psychologically recyled eastern mythology peddled in the Star Wars Trilogy offers me nothing. I say this as one who, in less of a loving relationship with the Lord then I strive to enjoy now, flirted with taoist philosophy and zen buddhist meditation. G.K. Cherston has it right when he says there's nothing like living a fantastic mythology that happens to be true.

Still, Roberto Rivera y Carlo is right about the human hunger for story. John Paul the Great understood that. The heart of his theological understanding of our place in relation to God was that of incredible drama, the struggle between who we are and who we ought to be. Its no accident that the first of the gospals to be preached was the story of Christs passion, death and ressurection. Story has been a blessed tool the Lord has used to communicate his presence to us since time immemorial.

I hope to see the new evangelization fostered by JPG and carried forth by BXVI inspire many of us to revitalize our own story of Faith. Let's bring it to ones crying out about Catholicism's irrelevance. Let's bring it to the ones yearning for the truth story brings that await Lucus' final installment.

Wouldn't it be something if the Greatest Story Ever Told outsells him?

Hat tip to Eve Tushnet and Get Religion