Saga Journal Review
Topic: Publicity and Reviews
Saga Journal had this to say about Finding God in a Galaxy Far, Far Away ...
Christian authors have come a long way since Frank Allnut's The Force of Star Wars was published in 1978. It used to be that religious authors either made flimsy and sometimes ridiculous connections between a particular brand of Christianity and the Star Wars films, as Allnut did, or they condemned the films as a vehicle for peddling New Age ideas or paganism to young people.
Thankfully, most Christian views of the saga today are positive and more informed, since there are many Star Wars fans among the devout. One of them is author Timothy Paul Jones, pastor of First Baptist Church of Rolling Hills, Oklahoma. As is often the case with books that discuss religion and popular culture, Star Wars is the hook to get the reader in the door. Jones wants readers to find the same sort of awe (a word he uses frequently) in their faith as they do watching the Star Wars films, only to a greater degree.
Thankfully, Jones understands the films well enough for his points to make sense to fans and to the faithful. He uses the films as a springboard for discussion and contemplation. When he writes about the need for community, i.e. the community of a church, he uses Anakin as an example of someone whose pursuit of power cost him all of the people in his life, leaving him broken and alone. When he writes about faith, he differentiates between Luke's belief in the Force's existence and Luke's (lack of) faith that he could move his X-Wing out of the Dagobah swamp waters.
The book is divided into three parts: "Your First Step Into A Larger World," "Come With Me," and "Impossible to See, The Future Is," with seven chapters total, along with an appendix and a study guide. The overall idea is to find that sense of awe in everyday life, in others, and in the unexpected. Like The Dharma of Star Wars, there are "Spiritual Exercises For The Serious Padawan" but instead of Zen verse, there are prayers and exercises using Scripture. Jones also has Bible study lessons that use both his book and the Star Wars films. For the uninitiated, there's a section that summarizes all six films.
Finding God In A Galaxy Far, Far Away is probably the best Christian-themed book concerning Star Wars to date. Fans might be able to find an insight or two that connects their love of Star Wars with their faith, while pastors and religious educators will find it a great way to connect with their flock.
Posted by timothypauljones
at 2:25 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006 3:57 PM CDT