In “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” The Force Becomes a Full-Blown Religion

A stand-alone narrative that chronicles the journey of the Rebel forces who steal the plans of the Death Star

Disney recently released a new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story during the Olympic Games broadcast. It showcases new characters who live during the same time period as those from Episode IV.

A stand-alone story, Rogue One chronicles the journey of the Rebel forces that steal the plans of the Death Star. The film’s plot leads right up to the beginning of the original Star Wars trilogy.

The trailer features Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), and Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). Darth Vader’s theme pervades the trailer, building anticipation for the return of this iconic character, which culminates in a sneak peek at the very end. James Earl Jones returns to do the voicing.

The spiritual them of good versus evil has shaped Star Wars since the beginning. In the new movie The Force more clearly takes on the character of a religion.

The Christian Examiner reports that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story traces the theme of religious decline in the world of the movie–a theme common in our own world as well.

“‘The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie,’ director Gareth Edwards told Entertainment Weekly Aug. 8.

“‘We were trying to find a physical location we could go to that would speak to the themes of losing your faith and the choice between letting the Empire win, or evil win, and good prevailing,’ he says. ‘It got embodied in this place we called Jedha.’”

Jedha resembles a Middle Eastern city filled with “holy men.”

The Christian Examiner further reports, “the plot seems reminiscent of recent conflicts over the land of Israel, what some say is the waning of Christianity in the West, and even Islamic conquest and the Crusades.”

As a religion, the Force resembles Hinduism more than Christianity, but the struggle between good and evil belongs virtually to every religion. The decline of faith in Rogue One will tie in perfectly with the need for renewed belief in Episode IV: A New Hope.

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