Abstract

Within the past three decades, Star Wars has become nothing short of a household name. The millions of dollars gained from the films and various products, as well as the enjoyment and enthusiasm generated among fans, shows that Star Wars’ value and significance in the realm of entertainment is substantial.

In addition to this value, there are also many religious and mythological elements that are embedded within each of the movies. However, these elements do not carry the same prominence or interest that the plotline has with the audience. In an interview, Lucas stated that it was not his intent to use Star Wars to create a new religion or ideology. Nevertheless, the movie series has raised questions regarding its ability to attain such a devoted following. Consequently, the thesis will look into the dynamic between authorial intent and reader response.

In addition, this thesis will investigate the religious themes and mythological elements of the Star Wars series and use this analysis to corroborate the position that Star Wars both resembles traditional religion and functions as religion for the fans. This thesis will analyze the religious elements and myths that are embedded in the general story, as well as those that are unique to the individual movies, by highlighting a family resemblance/functionalist approach to religion that focuses on not only the resemblances to traditional religion but also the religious effects that Star Wars has on its fans and society; namely, moral issues and the sense of meaning and belonging it inculcates among the fan base.

Thesis Completion

2017

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

DiBernardo, Sabatino

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

Philosophy

Degree Program

Religious Studies

Location

UCF Online

Language

English

Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date

May 2022

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