Lots of Christian movie critics have been going on and on about the new Star Wars movies of late and some bring up a good point:
“Darkness” and “light” are notable themes in Gnostic and especially Manichaean thought; they also feature prominently in 1 John, for instance. (In Star Wars, the “light” side of the Force is usually called the “good side” — when it’s specified at all. “The Force,” used without clarification, often means “the good side,” giving goodness a kind of priority.)
The problem I face is that the underlying philosophy is exceptionally problematic and lots of kids are buying in to it, even more than before. Kids I've taught honestly think that conscience is some sort of battle between angels and demons hanging out on your shoulder. And they see good and evil in the way Star Wars portrays it.
I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with exactly what the succinct reason light vs darkness in the context of Star Wars is more like light vs darkness in the Manichean Heresy than it is light and darkness in the Biblical sense. Furthermore, it would seem from reading a few things about The Force Awakens that I had shied away from before seeing the movie that:
the who is killed guy in the beginning of the movie might be some sort of figure in the "Church of the Force"
Previously, I didn't think there was any religiosity to the force. But now, I'm not so sure...
The questions, succinctly put is: What is the difference between the way Catholicism portrays the balance between good and evil and the way is is portrayed in Star Wars and how close does the way it is portrayed in Star Wars align with the Manichaean Heresy?
Orthodox Catholic answers preferred, you don't have to posit a quodlibet, but those are fun to read!