Woven through the political struggles of Star Wars are religious and personal conflicts. It’s possible that Star Wars is the most religiously interested of all major Hollywood franchises. While religion is almost completely absent in mainstream Hollywood cinema–except as an occasional bogeyman or mythological background–Star Wars is centered on the abstract and impersonal “Force” as a source of supernatural power and as a moral axis. The heroes’ journeys develop as they embrace and expand their connection to the force. “The Mandalorian” takes up Star Wars’ interest in religion, though with much the same postmodern wrestling that we see play out the trilogies. While the original trilogy presents the Jedi religion in a straightforward and positive light, the following films have complicated the faith in a way that fits with our questioning times.
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Philip Tallon about his online-exclusive article, “This is the Way…Or is It?: Thinking About Religion in The Mandalorian“. Note this review contains spoilers for Season 1 and 2.
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