A key philosophical problem with the Star Wars universe is that it is ‘romantically’ yet unrealistically portrayed in terms of balance. For example, Luke Skywalker explains the force as so to Rey, ‘The force is not a power you have. It is not about lifting rocks. It’s the energy between all things, a tension, a balance, that binds the universe together.’ The force is described as a neutral force, that is wielded both by those on the light and dark side, suggestive that good and evil represented respectively are meant to be balanced. But how do you balance the duo? Where light is, darkness is not; where darkness is; light is not. How do you have semi-darkness or semi-darkness?
If a balance is to be kept, does it mean that moral precepts should only be half observed? And does it mean to close an eye to half the evils of self and others? How does this truly better oneself and the world? The truth is, a balance of good and evil has never been meant to be maintained, but constantly upset. Just as the dark side always seeks to dominate, the light side should too. Even physically, the universe is never balanced – as there are cosmic forces keep all elements in motion, both microscopically and macroscopically. The Buddhas too upset the balance of good and evil by doing all good to purge all evil from their worlds, thus purifying them, creating Pure Lands.
After transmitting the Dharma to Great Master Guàndǐng later, Master Zhìzhě’s last teaching was delivered by personally setting the example, of seeking rebirth in Āmítuófó’s (Amitābha Buddha) Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss, for the swiftest progress to Buddhahood. There was also the problem of Yoda letting the sacred Jedi texts burn, saying it is just ‘a pile of old books’, with wisdom but nothing that Rey the apprentice-to-be did not already possess. While this demonstrates non-attachment to words, if Rey is incapable of replicating record of the wisdom for posterity’s sake, are these original texts not still precious? Thus do Buddhists highly revere sūtras. Even Great Master Huìnéng, who is said to have burnt scriptures to exemplify non-attachment to texts still has his ‘Sixth Patriarch’s Platform Sūtra’ treasured by his followers to this day!
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Who Returned As Master