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"My guess is that when he made the original series he was a fairly serious Buddhist"

For the record, as late as 2002 in a Time magazine interview Lucas describes himself as "spiritual" and a "Buddhist Methodist." He was raised a strict Methodist in the San Joaquin Valley - thus the emphasis on clear lines of good & evil - but his friend Gary Kurtz introduced him to Buddhism, as perhaps did the general northern California vibe. I think it's important to recall that Lucas knew Joseph Campbell personally. Finally, the Force didn't exist in the earliest drafts of the story.