If you needed more proof that the obsession with fictional corporate franchises has a religious overtone to it, here is a major filmmaker advertising just that.
When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney makes a Star Wars movie that undoes the stories of the Lucas era, it really is like a religious reformation – or an iconoclasm.
Smith’s tweet also highlights something very real about the pop cult. Besides trying to replace real religions (especially Christianity), they don’t really understand what religion is to begin with. The Bible is not just a collection of stories that “inspire you,” it is a host of instructions on how to live your life and how to understand the one, true, living God and your purpose as part of His creation.
Being divorced from true faith, pop cultists equate the stories that fill comic book pages and movie screens with those of Classical and Norse mythology, again not understanding that the mythological stories of the Romans were not their religion. Their religion was a thing full of active rites, laws, and traditions that were bound up in their culture. Pagans made literal sacrifices just like the Hebrews, though for different purposes.
The Romans lived their religion, it wasn’t merely superstition.
People all over the globe live their religions today.
Only a people stripped of their culture and religion are capable of viewing a superhero story as something worthy of religious reverence. There is no real “canon” to Marvel or DC because there is no law, the literal meaning of “canon.” There are merely stories, each one more deconstructive than the last.
This leads me to my last point – how can you have reverence for a mythology that is actively being destroyed? That is what is happening to “cultural institutions” like Star Wars. The future will not find meaning in the adventures of Captain America because all that he stands for, all the meaning that was part of the original stories, will have been stripped from the franchise or inverted.
You can support me by choosing to read the new, interesting stories (full of meaning) that I put out regularly. Here are a few fan favorites: