08 July 2015

C-3P0, Han Solo, and Pope Francis?

The scripts of the original Star Wars movies contain a great many quotes one can use in everyday life, which is one of the reasons I have long enjoyed A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and (my personal favorite) The Return of the Jedi. You never know when "Greetings, exalted one," or "Don't make me destroy you," or " Judge me by my size, do you?," or "Do or do not; there is no try" might come in handy; they can be used - with proper timing - to great effect.

One of my favorite lines from the movies is spoken twice, first by C-3P0 in The Empire Strikes Back and second by Han Solo in The Return of the Jedi. The phrase, of course, if you haven't already guessed it, is "delusions of grandeur."

While I'm sure this phrase is not original to the screenwriters of Star Wars, it's a phrase I don't remember reading or hearing outside the context of the movies. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found it in the encyclical letter Laudato Si of the Holy Father Pope Francis:
Science and technology are not neutral; from the beginning to the end of a process, various intentions and possibilities are in play and can take on distinct shapes. Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur (114).
I'm not suggesting that Pope Francis - or those who assisted him with the encyclical - are Star Wars fans, but one does wonder.

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