I gave in to the merchandising juggernaut that is Star Wars VII on Saturday. There was no resisting the pull their peers were exerting on my kids. It is what William T. Cavanaugh would call the capitalist liturgy at its most forceful.
I wasn’t surprised to see the Catholic blogosphere trying to catch up with the marketing juggernaut. One article compared Ignatius of Loyola to the Jedi Knights. There’s a Loyola movie coming up the pipes. George Lucas seems to have modelled the Jedi Knights on the Jesuits, although I cannot confirm it. Here are the five things that Ignatius of Loyola supposedly shares with the Jedi Knights:
1. Service and Humility 2. Self-awareness and Self-Mastery 3. Spiritual Direction 4. Detachment 5. Finding God In All Things
This is interesting enough, although it does not catch enough of the ambiguity that most Catholics feel toward the Jesuits. It gave me the idea to explore why the Jesuits resemble the Empire and the First Order instead. What follows are my five reasons why the Jesuits resemble the Empire more than Ignatius resembles the Jedi Knights:
1. The Jesuits like the First Order, and the Empire before them, have a supreme leader whom they are supposed to follow unquestioningly, and, he is the pope. St. Ignatius advised his followers to follow the pope (or maybe it was superiors?) even if he says white is black and vice versa.2. The election of a Jesuit pope breaks the rules as much as Jedi Knights defecting to the dark side.
3. The Jesuits, like the Empire with its commitment with the Sun Crusher to using solar energy in Episode VII, are committed to harnessing alternative energy and scientific research.
4. Men in Black: They wear black. Of course, all Jesuits wear black, whereas only the Empire’s leaders wear black. Advantage: Jesuits.
5. Finally, the Jesuits, like the Empire are committed to taking over the world.
BONUS: The Jesuits love order, one might say the discipline of philosophy as a way of life (the Ignatian Exercises), as much as the First Order. The relevant quote from Episode VII could’ve been used against the Protestant rebels:
Today is the end of the Republic. The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder. At this very moment in a system far from here, the New Republic lies to the galaxy while secretly supporting the treachery of the rogues of the Resistance. This fierce machine which you have built, upon which we stand will bring an end to the Senate, to their cherished fleet. All remaining systems will bow to the First Order and will remember this as the last day of the Republic!
Now you can compare this with the 5 ways Ignatius was the first Jedi Knight.