The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Star Wars (again)

May 26, 2005

I stumbled across Orson Scott Card’s review of Star Wars whilst reading Lawyers, Guns and Money, which itself links to the article via Lance Mannion. There’s been some disappointment over the tenor and quality of Card’s article, but this is what jumped out at me:

As a religion, the Force is just the sort of thing you’d expect a liberal-minded teenage kid to invent. There’s no God and there are no rules other than a vague insistence on unselfishness and oath-keeping. Power comes from the sum of all life in the universe, and it is manichaean, not Christian — evil is simply another way of using the Force. Only not as nice.


In Manichaean doctrine, good and evil are intermingled in the present world, but their pure substance is irreducibly distinct. Evil is just not another way of being, it is a totally different “being” altogether. Thus, Augustine’s insistence that evil is simply alienation from God, an “absence” of the light. Evil could not have a separate substance, for that would be opening the door to a Manichaean interpretation of Christianity.

website | + posts

Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.