From Star Wars to Superman

Christ Figures in Science Fiction and Superhero Films

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$19.95

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.

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
  • Pages: 352
  • Format(s): Sale-priced ppbk, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-622823-888
  • Product Code: 3888
  • Availability: In Stock
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A great read for any SciFi or superhero fan
I was surprised that I enjoyed the sections on movies/shows I have yet to watch as much as the sections on content that I know well. Once read, you'll see Christology in new fiction, such as Stranger Things and Altered Carbon. Very interesting.
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Fun book for Religious SciFi Fans
As a science fiction fan and, more importantly, a huge Jesus fan, I really enjoyed reading this book. Jesus isn't well depicted by Hollywood's unorthodox messianic figures, so you learn a lot about errors and heresies in this book, which is a good, educational thing. I go back to reading the Gospels to see Jesus, The Real God-Hero, going around doing good, healing all those oppressed of the devil, and destroying the works of darkness.
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Makes a great read for anyone from lovers of superhero films to anyone interested in Church teachings. Would make a good Christmas present, too. I give it a five star rating.
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Interesting book on how Hollywood has tried (but gotten wrong) the Christ-figures in their movies/TV shows
Within Hollywood, there are so many movies that flood the big screens every year. Most of them are trash if we're being honest, and that's no surprise seeing that most of Hollywood has become a land of filth and sleaze. However, if you look at some movies close enough, you can see Christ symbology in them. Yes, you can re-read that sentence and let it sink in. Author Papandrea identifies and explains this symbology by dividing his book into four sections - Aliens Incarnate; Alternate Universes; Time Travel as Incarnation; and Jesus Christ, Superhero - with each section further divided into a specific movie or TV series. I'm glad to have read this book and would recommend it to all Christian fans of SciFi movies/shows, so they can identify and interpret orthodox from heretical representations of Christ.
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Watching SciFi with a new understanding
A remarkable analysis of Christology and its effects on science fiction. I am now watching old favorites with a new awareness.
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