Recently, I was fortunate to sit down with The Dharma of Star Wars author Matthew Bortolin to discuss his thoughts on The Force Awakens. With “awakening” right in the title, the movie seemed sure to continue the Buddhist themes found in all the Star Wars films. You can read more about how those themes came through in my Q&A with Matthew in the first issue of the Shambhala Sun under its new name, Lion’s Roar (available February 1st). In these two clips from our conversation, we discuss how awakening plays a role in the newest film, and how the Jedi have always been mindfulness masters.
And, while we’re on the topic. We couldn’t help but notice something that looks like a meditation bench that could belong to a certain Jedi master near the end of the film. Is that what our young hero is pausing to examine in the below gif (excerpted from video circulating online)?
Matthew Bortolin comments:
“I noticed that during my first viewing and had a good chuckle. They really went for the “master on the mountain top” motif. Meditation (and its accoutrements) is not out of place in Star Wars. There are lots of times we see Jedi meditating. Yoda has a sort of zafu he sits on in the Jedi Temple. Even Vader has a meditation chamber. I wonder, though, if the placement of Luke’s meditation bench–abandoned there–is suggestive of his state of mind and his troubled appearance in that final scene.”