The Force in-Universe: Portrayals of Religion, or Philosophy?

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29 Oct 2014 01:52 #167156 by Adder
Yea as a kid I clearly heard it referred to as a religion in A New Hope, the most specific IMO being;

TARKIN; The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that's left of their religion.

From that beginning, I viewed all other fiction in that context. Given the fiction was built based on human myths and religions are vehicles for that sort of thing, it sort of reinforces the practicality of it being a religion in the fiction.

I define a religion as a pursuit or interest followed with the greatest devotion possible, a central structure of social and self identity which is actively engaged in participation and observance. The supernatural stuff is a bit of a misnomer for me in defining religion, but the concept of a 'Force' does open that angle if people wanted to associate those concepts directly.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
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29 Oct 2014 03:11 - 29 Oct 2014 03:38 #167168 by ren
Han solo calls it a hokey religion in "a new hope". (edit: i just realised someone else mentioned that on the other thread)

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.
Last edit: 29 Oct 2014 03:38 by ren.
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29 Oct 2014 06:29 #167176 by
I always viewed it as the non force users due to their lack of knowledge and understanding contributed it to a religion. Which, that would make sense to them if you think about it, with the meditation (form of prayer) etc. So I could see how the non force user could just call it a religion.

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29 Oct 2014 11:44 #167197 by steamboat28

Revan Falton wrote: I always viewed it as the non force users due to their lack of knowledge and understanding contributed it to a religion. Which, that would make sense to them if you think about it, with the meditation (form of prayer) etc. So I could see how the non force user could just call it a religion.


A real-world analogue, on occasion, is the refusal of some people to consider Buddhism a religion even as those same people agree it should be given all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of a religion.

I also feel the need to note that just because you understand something scientifically doesn't make it any less mystical or religiously empowering; the Big Bang as noted by science-minded Christians does not make the account of creation less spiritual, but usually tends to make it more so.

In addition, in the EU, when you meet most Force-sensitive societies, whether or not they are familiar with the Jedi, tend to perceive these abilities as spiritual and religious in nature. Some of those traditions even survived contact with the Jedi Order and existed alongside them. Furthermore, the Jedi rank we are most familiar with in fiction, the Knight, was most likely chosen due to the history of the word. It does not escape me that a Jedi Knight's power comes from the Force, and the original "font of honor" for Eurpoean knights was the Church. It's not strong enough to be an actual connection, but it lends itself well to a supporting argument of my other points.

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29 Oct 2014 15:51 #167244 by

steamboat28 wrote:

Revan Falton wrote: I always viewed it as the non force users due to their lack of knowledge and understanding contributed it to a religion. Which, that would make sense to them if you think about it, with the meditation (form of prayer) etc. So I could see how the non force user could just call it a religion.


A real-world analogue, on occasion, is the refusal of some people to consider Buddhism a religion even as those same people agree it should be given all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of a religion.

I also feel the need to note that just because you understand something scientifically doesn't make it any less mystical or religiously empowering; the Big Bang as noted by science-minded Christians does not make the account of creation less spiritual, but usually tends to make it more so.

In addition, in the EU, when you meet most Force-sensitive societies, whether or not they are familiar with the Jedi, tend to perceive these abilities as spiritual and religious in nature. Some of those traditions even survived contact with the Jedi Order and existed alongside them. Furthermore, the Jedi rank we are most familiar with in fiction, the Knight, was most likely chosen due to the history of the word. It does not escape me that a Jedi Knight's power comes from the Force, and the original "font of honor" for Eurpoean knights was the Church. It's not strong enough to be an actual connection, but it lends itself well to a supporting argument of my other points.


Possibly. However, you must look at it this way. Most religions were created by men seeking to explain scientific occurrences that they did not understand. Such as the sun, weather changing, famines, etc. In their minds back then, due to the fact there was not an abundance of knowledge to explain how the universe works, they created dieties to control things they could not understand.

Now, on to the point you have made about the Jedi Religion in the fiction. Yes, I understand that in the EU(which is where I spend most of my Star Wars time at, vs the trilogies) that there are an abundance of NON-Force users who call it a religion. However, I personally have never seen or have any recollection of a Force user stating that it was religion. So in my mind, who to trust? The person who doesn't control the force, and doesn't have an understanding of it, or a person who can control it, and has more of an understanding of it then the other person. ;)

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