A Catholic Church publication in Mexico has accused The Phantom Menace of "parod[ying] the holy scriptures" and pushing a "New Age culture."
"Even if its creator [George Lucas] denies it, the Star Wars mythology is a response to the spiritual void in modern society, nurturing paganism," a Church culture critic charges in Nuevo Criterio, the weekly newsletter from the archdiocese of Mexico City.
The much-anticipated Star Wars prequel opened in the predominately Catholic nation two weeks ago. Its debut mirrored the one in North America in two ways: First, the moviegoers turned out in big numbers; then, the social critics lit into Lucas' script.
In the United States, the we-so-talkin'-funny Jar Jar Binks creature was accused of being a virtual Stepin Fetchit--an offensive black stereotype. In Mexico, it's Anakin Skywalker, or more accurately, the events surrounding his birth, that has ticked some.
In the film, it's hinted that the young Anakin (aka, the future Darth Vader) was the result of a virgin birth, à la Jesus--a notion that strikes church leaders as parody.
On Tuesday, Lucasfilm told Reuters its top officials were in London (for yet another Phantom Menace premiere) and unavailable for comment on the Mexico flap. Previously, the camp has defended the movie (and Jar Jar Binks) on the grounds that it's just a "fantasy movie."