From Star Wars to Superman

Christ Figures in Science Fiction and Superhero Films

From Star Wars to Superman book cover
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About this item

When cultures such as ours toss Jesus out one door, He comes in – albeit disguised – through another. That’s why author Jim Papandrea turned to Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix, Terminator, Spider-Man, Batman, Dr. Who, and half-a-dozen other modern shows, discovering in each one powerful images of Christ and salvation.

Nor is that surprising.

In stories of alternative universes, people always need rescuing; somebody needs to save the day; and sometimes the whole world cries out for a savior . . . which is just what a hero is.

About the heroes of some of the most popular sci-fi stories of all time, author Papandrea here answers questions that concern Christians who are also Trekkies, Whovians, Matrix Dwellers, or aficionados of popular science fiction: What kind of “Christ-figure” is the hero of this story, and what does that say about the show’s vision of Christ, humanity and salvation?

In the interest of being scientific, Papandrea even gives each hero a Numerical Orthodoxy Score based on the description of Christ in the Nicene Creed, Christianity’s common definition of orthodoxy.

Included herein are astute Christian analyses of:

Batman * Captain * America * Doctor Who * The Fifth Element * I, Robot * Iron Man * LOST * The Matrix * Planet of the Apes * Pleasantville * Spider-Man * Star Trek * Star Wars * Superman * The Terminator * The Time Machine * Tron * Wonder Woman

Here you’ll read about:

  • The pervasive Christian imagery in Doctor Who
  • Star Trek’s predicted “death of God”
  • Free-will: the stumbling block in the first Matrix
  • The crucifixion of Spider-Man
  • Why Wonder Woman is an image of a gnostic savior
  • The meaning of salvation in Star Wars (It masquerades as Christian)
  • How Superman’s life begins as a parallel of Moses.
  • I, Robot: the religious reason why the robot is called “Sonny”
  • Whether, in any Christian sense, Neo is The One?
  • Captain American and Iron-Man: one defends the innocent, the other brings justice to the guilty
  • The tomb scene in the Fifth Element: it’s not the resurrection we need
  • Matter vs. Spirit in Tron: gnostic to the core
  • The anti-Christian bias of Planet of the Apes
  • Why the Force in Star Wars is no analogy to Grace or the Holy Spirit
  • The Star Wars Christ figure: Obi-Wan? Luke? Or even, ultimately, Darth Vader
  • What Heaven is understood to be in the LOST universe
  • Time travel as incarnation in The Terminator: a compelling analogy
  • Regeneration as resurrection in Doctor Who: Is it Christ-like?
  • How Pleasantville reverses the dynamism of the Fall
  • The baptismal significance of the plane crash in LOST
  • Pleasantville: a twisted version of Eden
  • The incarnation of the Christ-figure in Planet of the Apes
  • Tron’s parallels between Christianity and the Roman Empire

. . . and much more about other science fiction and superhero shows!

Christians who enjoy popular culture will greet this fun book with interest and acclaim.

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Editorial Reviews

Matt Forbeck photo

"Fun, witty, and insightful. As the ultimate Sci-Fi Jesus geek, Papandrea puts storytellers on notice: Your Christ figures will be graded!"

Matt Forbeck
Author, Rogue One: Junior Novel and The Marvel Encyclopedia
Mike Aquilina photo

"I don’t think we can fully understand or enjoy superheroes and science fiction until we understand this dynamic. This book is a key to the evangelization of our culture. And — you know what? — it’s just a fun read."

Mike Aquilina
Lloyd Baugh photo

"From Star Wars to Superman is eminently readable, stimulating intellectually, and satisfying religiously."

Lloyd Baugh
Professor, The Pontifical Gregorian University

Product Details

  • Pages: 352
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-622823-888
  • Product Code: 3888
  • Availability: In Stock

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