George Lucas Horoscope and Star Wars III
By Glenn Perry
I must confess. I’m a Star Wars junkie. Ever since the first Star Wars film (Episode IV) came out in 1977, I’ve been following George Lucas, who was born on 5/14/44, 5:40am, in Modesto, California. The first astrology article I ever wrote was on Lucas, which was preceded by an intrusive phone call to his mother. She told me everything. I learned about his dark, controlling father and their troubled relationship, his efforts to resist being sucked into the family stationary business, his subsequent estrangement from his family, and his eventual heroic return as a revolutionary filmmaker.
Not surprisingly, these themes are repeated in the myth of Star Wars, a heroic tale of a young man (Luke Skywalker) who resists his evil father’s seductive entreat to join him in the “dark side of the Force”. Luke gains mastery over his feelings and eventually heals his family by re-entering the womb of evil—the Death Star—and confronting his father, whom he redeems via the power of love (aided nicely by some spectacular lightsword play). As a whole, Star Wars is the story of one’s man’s descent into darkness and evil, and the eventual redemption of that evil via the powerful love of a son.
“Myths are public dreams,” said Joseph Campbell, “and dreams are personal myths.” In effect, Star Wars is the personal myth of George Lucas writ large before the public eye. The just released final installment, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, is the centerpiece of the six-part drama in that it constitutes a turning point—the “turning” of Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker, into the evil Darth Vader (dark father).
George Lucas Horoscope: May 14, 1944, 5:40 am, Modesto, CA
The core conflict in Star Wars is reflected in Lucas’ T-Square involving Moon Aquarius in the 10th opposing Pluto in Leo in the 4th, both of which are squaring Venus in Taurus in the 12th.1 In Episode I, we are introduced to nine-year old Anakin Skywalker, a brilliant child living with his mother on Tatooine, a dry, inhospitable planet on the outer rim of the galaxy. They are both slaves of the despicable “Watto” who mistreats Anakin’s mother and exploits the young boy’s talents for personal gain.
Unexpectedly, Anakin is given the opportunity to become a Jedi warrior-apprentice, which means emancipation but also loss, for his mother is forced to remain behind as Watto’s slave. It is a grim and anxiety-ridden decision for Anakin, and constitutes an emotional injury that he dreams of healing by one day returning to Tatooine to save his mother.
If the 4th house is one’s family of origin, or “motherland,” then the hot, hellish environs of Tatooine, inhabited by barbaric savages, ruthless criminals, and reptilian thugs who gamble on gladiatorial “pod” races, is an apt symbol for Pluto in Leo in the 4th. Pluto, of course, symbolizes the underworld, which psychologically represents the shadow—the dark and unknown side of the self that must eventually be integrated.
Not only is Pluto in the house of the Moon (the 4th), it’s also opposing the Moon, thus repeating the Moon-Pluto theme. The Moon signifies our capacity to feel and emotionally connect to another; it is both the need for nurturing and the impulse to nurture, the child yearning for its mother, and the mother longing for her child. Pluto, on the other hand, represents our instinct for healing and transformation, which by implication means it also symbolizes the wound to be healed. Since the Moon opposes Pluto, it is in conflict with, yet forced to engage, all that Pluto represents—trauma, pain, evil, and death.
This suggests an injury to the feminine dimension of the self, a lunar-wound if you will. Anakin and his mother’s disempowered, pain-filled, shame-ridden status on Tatooine depict the Moon-Pluto relationship quite clearly; it’s a degeneration of the feminine that must ultimately be regenerated.
Psychologically, this aspect connotes an intense fear that one’s lunar needs will not be fulfilled, that they are bad, and that expression of them makes one vulnerable to further pain and humiliation. In anticipation of this, the individual will generally try to gain control over that which is feared—rejection, neglect, or aloneness. This can range from emotionally manipulative, covert, or demanding behavior to doing to the other what has been done to you. In one way or another, extreme measures are taken to avoid the pain that is associated with lunar needs for closeness and belonging.
Since the Moon is actually in the 10th, it also describes the relationship to the father (10th house). We are never told of Anakin’s father. We can surmise, however, that Moon in the 10th opposed Pluto symbolizes an injury to the feminine component of the father’s psyche, for this is what Anakin ultimately comes to embody in his relationship to his own son, Luke. It also symbolizes the gentle but ultimately evil Chancellor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious), who assumes a father role in relation to Anakin. In whatever way the aspect is expressed, it will occur in a context that involves 10th house issues of career, authority, and success/failure.
With the opposition, there is often a tendency to flip-flop from one polarity to the other. First Anakin is in a disempowered lunar-slave mode, then a powerful Plutonic-Jedi mode; yet, to swing to the Pluto side of the opposition means he must repress his painful feelings of loss. Ripped away from his mother to become a Jedi-in-training, Anakin’s lunar injury is compounded. It is an emotionally devastating experience that he tries to control through avoidance.2 But true emotional power can only come from integrating one’s painful feelings, an accomplishment that will take another generation before coming to pass.
In Episode II, set 10 years later, Anakin completes his Jedi training, but the Jedi masters sense in him a dangerous fear and emotional instability. His longing and worry for his mother is never far from his thoughts. Anakin feels her pain through “the Force” and rushes back to Tatooine to save her. But it is too late; she dies, tortured and broken in his arms, as the full Moon passes overhead.
The murder of Anakin’s mother, and more importantly his failure to save her, sets the stage for Episode III, wherein further emotional trauma overwhelms Anakin completely. His Jedi “family” require him to spy upon Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who has assumed near dictatorial powers in the intergalactic senate. The Jedi Council regards Palpatine as a threat to freedom and democracy (Aquarius theme). Yet, the Chancellor has always been a kindly father figure to Anakin—gentle, protective, and emotionally sympathetic, the perfect image of Moon in the 10th. Underneath Palpatine’s fatherly façade, however, lurks an evil Sith Lord—Darth Sidious—whose hidden agenda is to “turn” Anakin to the dark side of the Force. Again, the Moon’s opposition to Pluto is in evidence, for Palpatine’s tenderness toward Anakin harbors a wicked intent.
Anakin feels betrayed by his Jedi family, whom he knows do not fully trust him. Torn between his loyalty to the Chancellor and his duties as a Jedi, Anakin is like an emotional volcano about to erupt. His most troubling concern, however, lies with his beautiful wife, senator Padme Amidala. Secretly married at the end of Episode II (Jedi’s are not allowed to form emotional attachments), they are deeply, hopelessly in love.
Padme is approximately 9 years older than Anakin. Her character has evolved from surrogate mother in Episode I to forbidden lover in Episode III. Clearly, this represents the Moon-Venus square (woman as mother and as lover), and the Venus-Pluto square (love, intimacy and attachment associated with risk, danger, and taboo). Indeed, after discovering that Padme is pregnant with their child, Anakin has a terrifying premonition of her dying in childbirth. Palpatine psychically intuits this and exploits Anakin’s fear by intimating that Sith Lords have the power to reverse death. Anakin is still tortured with the guilt and pain of not being able to save his mother; thus, he is absolutely determined not to lose his wife. Somehow he will find a way to save her. Anakin seeks guidance from the most powerful Jedi alive, Yoda.
“The fear of loss is a path to the dark side, young one,” warns Yoda. “Rejoice for those who transform into the Force. Mourn them not. Miss them not. The shadow of greed, attachment is. What you fear to lose, train yourself to release. Let go of fear, and loss cannot harm you.” In essence, Yoda is saying that loss, pain, and death are natural experiences for every human being. It is the inordinate fear of and wish to avoid such experiences that makes one vulnerable to the dark side.
If the Moon signifies our emotional attachments, and Venus our physical ones, and each is in hard aspect to Pluto, then attachment and the inevitability of death and transformation are at odds. Consistent with an unintegrated T-Square, Anakin ignores Yoda’s advice and pits himself—the lunar and Venusian parts of himself—against death. This is the square and opposition to Pluto. Anakin is polarized to death, but not for long. Ultimately he comes to embody it so fully that his capacity to care (Moon) and to love (Venus) is nearly extinguished.
Once he discovers that Palpatine is Darth Sidious, and that he can teach Anakin how to reverse death, Anakin cannot allow the Jedi to kill him. For Palpatine’s death would mean the irretrievable loss of the very knowledge that would empower Anakin to restore Padme’s life. Driven by his fear of loss, and compelled to gain power over death, Anakin commits the unpardonable sin of aiding Palpatine in the killing of a fellow Jedi, and so collapses fully into the dark side.
The story races to its conclusion when Anakin, now transformed into Darth Vader, is sent by Darth Sidious on a veritable killing spree that includes the extermination of younglings—Jedi children in training. Symbolically, this signifies the murder of Anakin’s inner child, his own lunar nature, and with it the longings and fears that he could never quite contain. In the final, climactic scene on the burning, hellish planet of Mustufar, surrounded by rivers of molten lava, Padme confronts Anakin with allegations that he has turned to the dark side. He retorts, “Everything I have done, I have done for you.” And then, upon discovering that Obi-Wan has accompanied her, Anakin uses the Force to strangle Padme in a fit of murderous rage.
In the lightsword duel with Obi-Wan that follows, Anakin’s legs and arm are severed from his body, and his torso bursts into flames upon a molten shore of black glass sand. The symbolism, as always, is apt, for never was there a more perfect rendering of a Plutonic underworld than Mustufar with its exploding volcanoes and rivers of fire. Surely Anakin is in hell. Though Mustufar claims Anakin, it is not to be his final end, for Darth Sidious finds him and converts what remains of his body into the half-machine remnant that becomes the Darth Vader of Episodes IV-VI: black cape, mechanical arms and legs, optical and audio sensors, artificial respirator, and cold electrosonic voice.
The transformation is complete, but the story is not over.Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, is but a phase in the healing journey of the Skywalker family. The Moon-Pluto theme of this particular film is clear: emotional trauma can lead to an attempt to ward off painful feelings associated with death. Following the loss, torture, and murder of his mother, Anakin is portrayed as an emotionally intense, volatile young man with a limited capacity to control his darker feelings—fear, anger, impatience, jealousy, revenge, and aggression.
“Trust your feelings” is a refrain heard throughout the Star Wars saga, but this is precisely the point: if there is sufficient build-up of emotional pain, one’s feelings can be overwhelming; thus, they are repressed. Once repressed, however, they build up even more pressure until, like a Mustufar volcano, they erupt from below and utterly possess the individual. Anakin’s inability to accept the traumatic loss of his mother, and his subsequent fear of death, compel him to attempt the impossible: to defeat death itself so that he will no longer be vulnerable to its sting. Yet, in so doing, the love that he tries to save, he destroys; his very effort to avert Padme’s death is what ultimately kills her.
With Moon-Pluto, it is not enough to simply trust one’s feelings. They must be mastered, too. This is Anakin’s failure. He cannot conquer his fears; thus, they conquer him, destroying his capacity for vulnerability and true love. By the end of Episode III, Anakin is emotionally “dead,” having killed off his lunar and Venusian feelings. Cloaked in black robes and body armor, a mechanical monster stripped of his humanity, his true self remains hidden, a dark secret beneath flickering lights and an artificial respirator that keeps him alive. He hasn’t even a face to betray a glimmer of kindness. Here we have the perfect symbol of Moon in the 10th opposed Pluto; Darth Vader is “Dark Father,” a powerful man who is wounded in his feminine side. Yet, Padme’s dying words presageEpisode IV – A New Hope, “There…is still good in him,” she whispers to Obi-Wan. “I know there is…still…”
That faith will come to be embodied in Luke Skywalker, Anakin’s son, who is able to accomplish what his father could not: a full integration of the Moon-Venus-Pluto T-Square. In healing his father, he substantiates his mother’s claim, “There is still good in him,” for Vader turns back to the light and becomes Anakin (And again) Skywalker, the symbol of transformation he was always meant to be.3
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1 Venus is also conjunct Mercury, which is thus part of the T-Square, but I won’t discuss Mercury’s role in this article.
2 Anakin’s emotional trauma of losing his mother is more clearly established in the book, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace by Terry Books, which is based on the screenplay and story by George Lucas. See pgs. 188-191.
3 For a full, updated discussion of all six films, please see Chapter 3, “Astrology As Personal Mythology: An Examination of Star Wars and George Lucas,” in Finding the Shadow In the Horoscope by G. Perry.