A classicist comments on the forthcoming Revenge of the Sith ... from the Daily News inter alia:

The movie's portrayal of a would-be savior's unavoidable steps toward sacrifice is not unlike Christianity's Stations of the Cross. It's not the first time Christian imagery has cropped up in the films (Anakin's was a virgin birth), along with sprinklings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American symbolism and Greek tragedy.

"Lucas took things from Campbell, but there are other things at work in the 'Star Wars' films," says Prof. Adele J. Haft, a professor of classics at Hunter College specializing in epic literature. "Homer's 'Iliad' is a story about what it is to be a warrior, and 'Star Wars' has echoes of that, though it's more similar to 'The Odyssey,' which is about right versus wrong.

"And all are about the end of an empire. What's fascinating is that with 'Sith,' we now fully understand an in-between character, Anakin. His story is similar to Achilles, who committed gross errors, isolated himself, and ended up destroying parts of himself that were dear to him.

"These movies have become our collective myth," Haft continues. "Anakin is a slave with great talents, shows himself to be extraordinary, and grows up to do terrible things. His son Luke is living an existence he doesn't like, has no sense of his real family, is thrust into his fate by tragedy, and is ambivalent about his skills. These are 20th- and 21st-century myths we can all share."