- Dean Bainbridge
Kinda Force Is With You
Maybe it’s the mystique of possessing a rare esoteric knowledge. Maybe it’s the presentation of a supernatural power that spans the living universe but also requires no deity. Or maybe it’s the cool robes.
On some level - on many levels - I have always sought the answers to the spiritual via my interpretation of The Force, as practised in Star Wars.
So, yeah. I’ve always wanted to be a Jedi, I guess.
When George Lucas created his universe and devised the zen master Yoda he naturally turned to eastern philosophy to give The Force its resonance. Yoda’s dialogue with Luke Skywalker while in training was Buddhist philosophy 101.
“My ally is The Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force flow around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, yes, even between the land and the ship.”
Can I just make the point that it wasn't Lucas who wrote Yoda's lines. The screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan allows Yoda to speak fluently when discussing the force. We don’t see the stereotypical backwards speak and reversed sentences that Lucas would go on to rely upon for the subsequent (and inferior) movies.
In his original rendering, Yoda was clearly a Bodhisatva or Buddhist practitioner. He may have been a 900 year old green alien schooling Young Skywalker from his mud hut on a swamp planet in the Outer Rim, but his teachings made a huge impression on an 8 year old earthling with a bad haircut somewhere in country Victoria, Australia, Earth.