By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor
(CNN)“Star Wars” has always kept its fingers close to America’s spiritual pulse.
In the ’70s and ’80s, the interstellar saga explored Eastern traditions, mainly Buddhism and Taoism, just as many “spiritual, but not religious” dabblers were doing the same.
At the turn of the millennium, “Star Wars” caught the McMindfulness craze. “The Phantom Menace” opens with two Jedis talking about the benefits of meditation. Riveting, it was not.
But the latest film in the saga, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” touches on trends in American religious life in some surprising ways, especially for a franchise that’s so nakedly commercial. (“The Last Jedi” was the highest-grossing movie in the United States last year and raked in nearly $1.3 billion worldwide.)