Book Review: The Jedi in the Lotus
By Jeffery Cox
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It is safe to say I did not expect to ever review a book about the religious influences on Star Wars, yet here we are. We have all heard how Lucas used Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey idea to outline the original trilogy. In his book, THE JEDI IN THE LOTUS, Steven J. Rosen takes the reader many degrees further to examine the deeper cultural, specifically Hindu, influences on Star Wars.
If it sounds like a heavy concept, it is. Rosen is able to draw parallels between not only major themes of destiny and universal energy (the Force), but also characters. Arjuna fills Luke’s role in Hindu folklore, and Rosen is able to show how their experiences mirror one another’s through multiple concise examples.
While Rosen focuses on the Hindu influence, he does not limit his examination to just that. Instead, other traditions are regularly referenced and the reader is able to see how these stories have migrated across multiple cultures.
THE JEDI IN THE LOTUS is not an easy read. At under 200 pages, it’s packed with more obscure concepts then any text Stephen Hawkings could put out. As such, it is more of a scholarly text then a fun summer read. But if you are fascinated by the entomology of myth and story telling, enjoy being exposed to epic tales of another culture, or just want to give your brain a workout, give this book a try.
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