Our new writer, Irina Deaconu, explores the symbolism, faith, and mysticism of the Force in this exciting and though provoking three part series.
Following the latest discoveries in Star Wars Rebels, the galaxy from far, far away that we know and love proves to be evermore rich in detail, vigorously expanding, all the while remaining enshrouded in mysteries. The mere mortal was suddenly struck by wonder: “What is the ‘Bendu’?” he ponders, “What is this ‘balance of the Force’?”. Of course, the charm of Star Wars and its mysteries is that sometimes they can never be unlocked, and yet it still calls to be explored.
One such way is via color.
What is the symbolism of colors, and how do they differ in cultural thought?
Red, in Asian though is the color of courage, happiness and success. The Japanese consider it the color of anger, danger, desire, excitement, love, passion, strength, and a repellent of evil. China also takes it as a sign of fertility, marriage, good luck, and family.
In Western symbolism, added to the aforementioned values are introduced the eros and radicalism.
In Christianity, red represents the blood of Christ, thus, a sacrifice.
Blue, on the other hand, is perceived as cold, life, loyalty, peace, rational by the East, while in the West it represents freedom, healing, intelligence, unhappiness. In Hindu, it is also seen as a sign of creativity, an announcer of the gods, for Native Americans it also meant trouble, whilst Eastern Europe also attributes it wisdom, and virtue.
In Tibetan Buddhism, blue is the color of on the the Buddhas, a celestial one at that, whose image is the immensity of the sky and in Hinduism is suggests infinity and vastness.
Red and blue are used to employ opposition in an emotional spectrum, while at the same time they almost fully encompass the entire range of human emotion, if put together. Oppositions come together in the human being, and normally we manifest different attributes of each spectrum in uneven quantities throughout our lives, but nonetheless, we are defined by both. The intensity and fierceness of the emotions of Red and the distant and cold attitude of Blue; When tasting both flavors, we gain knowledge and become enlightened, just as when two opposing Holocrons are joined the truths of the universe are uncovered (I see you Dave, you brilliant soul!).
Let’s consider the separation of those spectra now and their visual equivalent in Star Wars, or what we’ve come to know as ‘the Jedi’ and ‘the Sith’. It is no mistake or coincidence that those colors were used in communicating their message now that we also know what they mean. The existence of Jedi and Sith as notions, factions, and creeds draws a parallel to Christianity itself.
Satan embodies the carnal needs and desires of man, the primitive mind, the animal that resides within, as well as nature itself, the natural and the chaotic that it nurtures, a la his oft portrayal as a red faced, horned individual (like one formerly half-spider legged individual we have come to know). In an effort to overcome, control the beast inside and around himself, man crafted “God” in his image, as the ultimate ideal, the ultimate form of conduct, of crisp control, measure, restraint and civility. Deifying the ideal urged man to respect it, fear it, and obey it throughout time, for if not, the promise of punishment awaited. It is no mistake that when Eve and Adam eat from the forbidden tree, God – who so happens to dictate that we must love one another, and show kindness towards each other – provides a judgement that is unforgiving. He, as the enlightened, knows “good” and “evil,” and can punish accordingly.
But what if he is wrong?
He forbids Adam and Eve to eat from the tree, on account of them “gaining wisdom”; wisdom which comes from experience, the experiencing of the full range of emotion. Being whole comes with accepting the animal, comes with accepting that we are chaos, just as well as we are order. And God only loves order, because God thinks that order is proof of civility as opposed to jungle. People want to have the power to judge, that’s why their ideal is God, because he knows all with no question, people want to also be right in their judgement. If no one questions it, they are right, and no one questions it if there is order.
This is God. This, is Jedi.
Jedi strive to be the enlightened ones, the ones that are above the animal, the ones that deny it, because they have a power to decide fate, to decide right and wrong, and to choose freely not just to protect, but also what to protect. In the end they only act based upon what they consider ‘good’ and ‘bad’, not what those whom they’ve vowed to protect would, which becomes transparent in the last phases of the Clone Wars when instead of firmly and actively acting to protect, they prioritized political gambles and turned against what even they once held sacred: life.
Come back next Tuesday, when Irina jumps into the parallels between Jedi, Sith, and our religions in this galaxy….