ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



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Entertainment Media Analysis Report

Special Comparative Study
Star Wars

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site map (Table of Contents).


Nearing our fifth year of studying the impact of the entertainment industry on our youth, we have found that while sex, drugs, and violence are negatively influential to be sure, they are NOT the most influential. Indeed, the most negatively influential presence in the entertainment industry is much more basal than sex, drugs, and violence: rather, these influences are products of the more basal influence. The most invasive and value-shaping property of modern entertainment, which is for the most part invisible, especially to the young and impressionable, reaches far deeper into the values and beliefs level of the human character. Since 1955 the entertainment industry has incorporated into their programming the most powerful of influences: impudence and hate(1). Impudence and hate are character choices which best feed and indeed satisfy the innate foolishness bound in the heart of youth (Proverb 22:15). The following ignominy represent elemental features of impudence and hate which the entertainment industry has incorporated into their media at an exponentially increasing severity and depth:

freedom from accountability
freedom from fair authority
freedom from consequences
stealing childhood from children
self importance and self esteem at the expense of self respect
unmerited acceptance, unrighteous permissiveness, and excessive tolerance
dissonance as a manipulation or proselytizing technique
usurpment of and abandonment of parental teachings/authority
moral relativism
situational, emotive, and behavioral ethics
lowering the threshold of acceptability and inhibition
rebellion and arrogance
the "Go ahead and do the wrong, as long as you are sorry for it afterwards" rationale
excusing unacceptable and vicious behavior by embedding it under warm and loving themes
manufacturing justification for poor behavior
too much independence and autonomy too soon

-- but not so with George Lucas' Star Wars movies as revealed by our analysis of them.

Through the 22-year history of the Star Wars movies, Lucas has maintained an amazingly even distribution of ignominy. Clearly, he has not suffered the trend of many and even most other producers have fallen victim to: to incorporate progressively invasive and corruptive material into their programming since 1955. All four of the Star Wars movies fell well within the scoring band earned by PG movies in the comparative baseline database.

While impudence and hate are the strongest presences in the entertainment industry, they were among the weakest of influential presences in all four Star Wars movies. Please note the image to the left which presents the averages of the scoring distribution for the four Star Wars movies.

But in significant opposition to the positive feature of limited presence of impudence and hate in the Star Wars movies, they each presented a clear disregard for the Holy Scriptures. The Star Wars movies presented separation and independence from God's Sovereignty and Omnipotence and rightful Authority, in particular:

These influences are clearly confusing and counterproductive to the impressionable trying to grasp the mystery of the Gospel, of God's Omnipotence, and of His inescapable Authority. While other influential presences in the Star Wars movies may be redirected by caring and *participative* parents, these anti-Christian and mystic ethereal portrayals in the movies are indeed influences that must be reckoned with and reconciled.

While violence was a saturating presence in each of the Star Wars movies, the violence presented was described by one of our subscribers as "clean violence." I may not agree entirely with that description, but the point is made. Subjectively speaking(2), the kind and scope of violence in the Star Wars movies was akin to that with which we as parents today grew up with: cowboy, military, and cops & robbers violence -- the kind that does not typically drive itself so deeply into the behavior choice warehouse of the adolescent who is aflame with prepubescent or pubescent fire as does the popular style of steely cold violence inflicted with orgasmic satisfaction. Except for that expressed by the emperor in The Return of the Jedi as he tried to kill Luke and in the face of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, there was no lust for or joy in inflicting violence noted in the Star Wars movies.

The more graphic invasive elements of ignominy included in the Star Wars movies should be relatively re-directable by caring and participative parents, but it is especially important that you share with children the possibly dangerous common invisible or translucent sub-theme of discarding the Sovereignty of God and His Word.

The scoring distribution and findings of our comparative study of the four Star Wars movies are presented in the following table.


Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • battle deaths
  • attack by aleins
  • Jawa bodies strewn about
  • incinerated bodies
  • series of alein 'monsters'
  • bar room fight with injury
  • deaths by fire, explosion, battle

    Impudence/Hate I(1):
  • argumentive attitude toward fair authority
  • lie

  • female anatomy ghosting through thin clothing

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drugs to control
  • bar drinks

    Offense to God (O)(3):
  • submission to unholy authority
  • levitation

    Murder/Suicide (M)(4):
  • murder of starship captain by Vader


    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • animal attack
  • gutting a dead animal for warmth
  • battle violence with deaths
  • glimpse of mutilated scalp
  • an huge animal trying to eat the heroes
  • use of weapons to control
  • "sword" fights with amputation and decapitation
  • human torture with screams
  • forced hibernation
  • choking to avenge wrongs
  • attempted suicide to avoid submission

    Impudence/Hate I(1):
  • one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • inappropriate touching

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(3):
  • unGodly powers to control, manipulate, and kill
  • clairvoyance
  • seeking of guidance/rescue from non-holy ethereal entities
  • presentation of ethereal beings (after-death existence outside of Heaven)
  • "Pray [to me - Vader] I don't alter [the deal for the cloud city] any further."

    Murder/Suicide (M)(4):
  • two murders (non-graphic and no blood)


    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • threatening-looking alien "monsters"
  • threats with a firearm
  • beast consumption of a live being
  • death
  • a long series of battle deaths with injuries
  • a fall scene
  • some gore
  • chase by a flame front

    Impudence/Hate I(1):
  • rationalization of a lie and encouragement to lie

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • inappropriate dress and touch
  • partial nudity
  • sexual implication

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(3):
  • disappearing body
  • unholy ethereal beings
  • seeking counsel from unholy ethereal beings
  • levitation and mystic sensing
  • clairvoyance

    Murder/Suicide (M)(4):
  • none noted


    Wanton Violence/Crime:
  • orders to kill
  • eating of animals by animals
  • child slavery
  • multiple deaths in a race and in battle
  • "sword" fighting
  • exceptionally evil character
  • a being being cut in half (non-graphic, no blood/guts)

    Impudence/Hate I(1):
  • lies to deflect accountability
  • a small issue of a little boy's arrogance against mother's authority re: going to bed (sound familiar?)

  • Scant clothing
  • statue nudity

  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(3):
  • repeated talk of subservience to gods
  • calling on a nonholy force for direction, protection, and strength
  • claim of a virgin birth
  • foreseeing the future
  • repeatedly equating "the force" with God's Will and His Control
  • repeated references to a human as "the chosen one"
  • levitation/psychokineses

    Murder/Suicide (M)(4):
  • graphic murder by sabre (impalement through body)
  • murder by Sand People shooting racers

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment industry.

    (2) Remember that the CAP numeric scoring is raw mathematics and is both uncompromising and unforgiving. While this statement may be relative to the observer, i,e., cowboy violence may be disaterous for some but harmless for others, our numeric findings can be neither manipulated nor adjusted for the sake of opinion or manufactured justification for aberrant behavior.

    (3) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain.

    (4) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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