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.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Hunter, Darryl B. II, "Faith in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Star Wars as Religion" (2017). Honors in the Major Theses. 168.