How Gary Bates’ Star Wars Comment Inadvertently Reflects Lazy Research In His Alien Intrusion Movie

The beginning of a short 2 minute clip of the Alien Intrusion movie, based on the book of the same name by Gary Bates, has a comment on Star Wars that should worry his audience. The same scene appears identically in the film itself.

“Consider the Star Wars franchise with its good versus evil concepts, its Messianic and redemptive themes. It inadvertently parallels the Biblical narrative in many ways.”


There was nothing inadvertent about those themes. It is no secret that George Lucas utilized the Hero’s Journey from Hero With A Thousand Faces. This is the same basic mistake Dr. Michael Heiser made in regard to scifi tropes and an alleged “alien gospel.” Campbell noted thst enduring myths and stories from around the world share a fundamental structure, which he called the monomyth. The protagonist’s part in the monomyth is called the Hero’s Journey.

According to TVTropes.orgThe Hero with a Thousand Faces discusses the following tropes:

  • Back from the Dead: The hero usually dies and returns, either literally or figuratively.
  • Big Bad: Every journey needs one to drive the plot.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Buddha, Jesus, and others become this after apotheosis.
  • Eternal Hero: This is what the phrase “hero with a thousand faces” describes, the idea being that all mythological heroes are facets or reflections of one heroic archetype.
  • Eternal Recurrence: In many cosmologies the world is in cyclical decline and improvement.
  • I Choose to Stay: The hero is tempted to but usually doesn’t and instead brings the boon back to their people.
  • Messianic Archetype: The classical hero is often one or at least aids one.
  • Standard Hero Reward: The boon they find is often represented by a woman.
  • The Underworld: The hero might wind up here, either while spending time dead or entering it themselves without dying.
  • Vision Quest: Again, the hero might find themselves on one.

Some folks are surprised to discover that the Hero’s Journey sounds a lot like the Gospel. Perhaps God ordained the narrative of Jesus’ life in such a way that the story would resonate with all the great hero stories so that such stories could be used to point back to Him!

In the next breath, Bates characterizes the main characters of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) as a “parody.” A parody! Not an allegory, as Car Weiland’s review of the film on states. This same review appears in chapter 1 of Bates’ book.

If we give Bates the benefit of the doubt, we could say that he’s taking a cynical view of screenwriter Edmond North’s admission that “It was my private little joke. I never discussed the angle with Blaustein [producer] or Wise [director] because I didn’t want it expressed. I hoped the Christ comparison would be subliminal.” This quote comes from Melvin Matthews’ 2007 book, Hostile Aliens, Hollywood and Today’s News: 1950s Science Fiction Films and 9/11.

I think we can all agree that the Christ comparison is about as subtle as a chainsaw. Even so, Bates would be the first person I’ve ever heard of to construe North’s admission that it was his “little joke” to be an indication that it was intended as a parody. Rather, it seems he’s attempting to poison the well with a term that means “a humorously exaggerated imitation,” implying mockery to most people, rather than calling it a “retelling of the Jesus Christ story” as Melvin Matthews did.

While it may appear that I’m making mountains out of molehills, the lack of research evidenced in Gary Bates’ off-hand Star Wars comment gives me pause. Coupled with the fact that other materials for the Alien Intrusion movie include mention of faulty abduction statistics. I’ve few doubts that he will neglect to mention that resistance and willpower are sufficient to stop an alleged abduction event (even without invoking the name of Jesus) or that Biblically sound alternatives to the Demonic Hypothesis of UFO exist.

I know for a fact that the Alien Intrusion movie Discussion Guide presents the same tired arguments based on logical fallacies that have been exposed on

For the record, the entirety of Session 1 of the Discussion Guide was debunked in “Alien Salvation: Answering a Cartoon Argument Against ETs.” The article commits an embarrassing amount of logical fallacies to make its anti-alien argument. If you think that truth can be founded upon error and fallacy, then by all means accept what this Discussion Guide says uncritically.

Session 2 deals with Gary Bates’ thesis that the “idea of extraterrestrial beings stems largely from a belief in evolution, so to allow for this possibility opens the door to a validation of the theory of evolution. As believers, we must be on guard against deceptive teachings and principles that lead us away from the truth of God’s Word.” This was the promised thesis of his book’s subtitle: “UFOs and the Evolution Connection. He barely allotted a page and a half to that subject and then never established an intrinsic connection between evolition and a belief in extraterrestrial life. The existence of extraterrestrials would not compel a belief in evolution.

A study of Christian beliefs through history reveals that believers have discussed the possibility favorably since at least the Middle Ages. The idea that demons were posing as aliens didn’t develop until the Church encountered the Contactee movement in 1954. The Demonic Hypothesis of UFO experienced a resurgence when it was linked to cult materials by Christian authors during the Satanic Panic. Gary Bates has picked up the bannet after learning of the claim that alien abductions stop at the name of Jesus. Unfortunately, he failed to mention that resistance and willpower are just as effective! Of course, considering that he supposes that Star Wars “inadvertently” mirrored elements of the Gospel, perhaps he just never bothered to examine the matter past the point where it confirmed his biases. I almost hope so, since the alternative is that he knew and chose to provide his readers with a selective presentation of the evidence.

Either way, I’m concerned that this Alien Intrusion movie won’t be as well-researched as we’d like.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Ken Ammi says:

    Most interesting, I actually thought that you would correct his claim that the Star Wars franchise dealt with “good versus evil concepts” since it certainly does not and, by definition, cannot.
    This is because with that mythos there is no God but only an impersonal and therefore amoral Force. Anyone can tap into this Force and use it at will for their own purposes, towards their own ends: just like one can use electricity to power a home or to electrocute someone.
    This is why the Jedi consider themselves to be the good guys and consider the Sith to be the bad guys but why the Sith consider themselves to be the good guys and consider the Jedi to be the bad guys. There is no true good and evil in that mythos because since it is based on dualism there is no way to distinguish between the two and, in fact, there are no two (not good or evil) but only subjective opinion.


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      That’s not accurate. The Star Wars canon includes several references to God (and hell) as well as minor deities (such as the gods worshipped by the Gungans) that are distinct from the Force. The Sith and Jedi are humanistic religions that have sprung up to explain and propose a way to live with the Force, an intrinsic part of Nature in their galaxy. They often anthropomorphize the Force, as when they ascribe a will to it, much as an atheist might say the universe is out to get them even though they don’t believe in God. The Force represents a different set of natural laws from our galaxy that gives its adherents god-like powers, but it is not a deity. Unfortunately, the God of Star Wars is undefined, which makes sense in a galaxy where even the Force is considered a superstition by many.

      Also, not everyone can use the Force. That’s not even a little bit true. As much as I hate the midichlorian explanation, it at least underscores the fact that not everyone gets to play Jedi or Sith lord, and explains why the Force is not a thing in our galaxy.


      1. Thanks for the corrections. By “Star Wars canon” are you referring to movies and books (and comic, cartoons, etc,. etc., etc.)? I ask because I would like to know where it “includes several references to God (and hell) as well as minor deities..” so that I can follow up and revise my views.


  2. Romeo_Delta says:

    Does the series imply which side of the force God ascribes to?


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      While the series does imply a hell and even a God, it is agnostic concerning what those things mean. George Lucas was raused a Methodist and used several elements of the Hero’s Journey which parallel Christ’s life; however, his interest in comparative mythologies while creating the Star Wars led to his accepting certain aspects of Eastern religious philosophies. He now describes himself as a Buddhist Methodist. His syncretism isn’t as evident in the original series as it was not yet fully realized (i.e., it is more influenced by his Methodist upbringing).


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