When the characters of the “Star Wars” series proclaim “May the Force be with you!” to each other, the Force in question is not Buddhism. In fact, Buddhism is never mentioned anywhere in the “Star Wars” series. Or at least not in an overt manner!

The link between the Buddha and Luke Skywalker and Co. has been made by writer Matthew Bortolin. Indeed, these are twin passions: Bortolin is an ordained member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, and has lived in Buddhist monasteries both in the United States and abroad. And a set of Jedi robes hangs in his closet.

Bortolin has outlined the unlikely common ground between these two cultural phenomena in his new book “The Dharma of Star Wars.” Covering the entire “Star Wars” odyssey from the 1977 landmark through the upcoming “Revenge of the Sith” (albeit with one notorious exception, which is discussed later), Bortolin traces elements of Buddhist philosophy and theology in the epic story lines and larger than life characters of the “Star Wars” films. Released by Wisdom Publications as part of the build-up to “Revenge of the Sith,” Bortolin’s “The Dharma of Star Wars” brings a very different and deeply compelling analysis of the galaxy far, far away.

Film Threat caught up with Bortolin at his Ventura, California, home to talk about his book and its unique considerations.

Get the interview in part two of MATTHEW BORTOLIN: DARTH VADER VS. THE BUDDHA>>>

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