Now , as everybody can see by my avatar , I'm a Star wars fan ( not necessarily becaus I subscribe to the 'dark side' but merlely because I liked Ian McDiarmid's acting talent as the emperor . .)
This thread deals with the symbolism in Star Wars as this saga truly drew hard on real life equivalents . . .
First of all , there is the concept of a kind of universal energy field , 'the force' . . . .
The concept of a universal force can be found in the mythology of many cultures . . The antique philosophers already philosophised about a 'vis vitalis' , a life force which connects things , also called 'Anima mundi'
The Hindu people called it Prana and the Chinese referred to it as Qi . .
This force is said to have both a 'dark' and a 'light' side . .
Often , when pointing to the struggle between good and evil , there is a dark-light contrast involved . .
It started with Zoroastrianism to the Yin and Yang in Taoism to the belief about Christ and Satan in Christianity . .
In Star Wars Episode 1 the midi-chlorians are introduced , "microscopical beings dwelling in all living cells in communication with the force" . . George Lucas based this concept on Symbiogenesis , calling midi-chlorians a "loose depiction" of Mitochondria . .
Further Lucas said about this : "[Mitochondria] probably had something – which will come out someday – to do with the beginnings of life and how one cell decided to become two cells with a little help from this other little creature who came in, without whom life couldn't exist. And it's really a way of saying we have hundreds of little creatures who live on us, and without them, we all would die. There wouldn't be any life. They are necessary for us; we are necessary for them. Using them in the metaphor, saying society is the same way, says we all must get along with each other."
The Jedi Order ( or Jedi Knights ) in the saga could be interpreted as Buddhist monks who are into Martial Arts and are on a high spiritual level . .
They mostly dress like medieval monks , probably as an allusion that they are in league with a 'higher force' . .
Dagobah , for example , the planet where Jedi Master Yoda finds refuge after his exile , is an allusion to a Dagoba , the name of a Buddhist meditation temple . .
The supernatural powers Jedi possess are commonly referred to as Telekinesis and ESP . .
Also , Star Wars drew hard on many religious sagas . . Anakin Skywalker for example , who is the main character in the movies , is said to have been a virgin-birth , similar to the legends about Jesus , John The Baptist and Buddha . He later turns to the dark side but in the end fullfils the prophecy that he will be the one "who will bring balance to the force" by ultimately destroying the Sith . .
Parallels to the "act of redemption" by Jesus are hard to ignore in this act . .
Also , concerning the 'bad guys' in religions there are numerous allusions to be found in Star Wars . .
Darth Maul for example . . .
The horns which are visible are , in the movie , explained through the fact that Maul is a Zabrak , a human-like species which grows horns . . .
But the symbolism could , of course , be deeper than that . . Isn't that the way the Devil in Christian mythology is always portrayed ? I don't think it is a coincidence that Lucas chose a horned being to portray a bad guy . . .
Also , Darth Maul's body is tattooed in black and red . . Of course , red can also be interpreted as the colour of the Devil and as for black , Mara , the tempter in Buddhist mythology , is often depicted as a black being , especially on Buddhist mandalas . . .
Mara is also the surname of a woman in the Star Wars world , to be precise Mara Jade , one of the closest associates of and fighter for emperor Palpatine . .
The mythical Mara could be interpreted as "the devil of Buddhist mythology" . . . .
Star Wars also drew hard on the idea of witchcraft . .
During the Middle Ages it was believed that witches can produce lightning with their bare hands , an example Lucas also made true for the Sith . .
I think we should at least watch Star Wars with open eyes since it carries so much allusions towards real life. .
To me it is an interesting masterpiece based on human mythology . .