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Geonosis - Where It All Began?

On August 22nd 2000, LFL registered several domain names, which included:

Last week we learned that Geonosis is in fact a planet that will be included in Episode II, but what does it imply.

Josh, TheForce.Net's resident pastor had this to say:

My first reaction to the name is that it bears a striking resemblance to the first Biblical book, Genesis. The book recounts the origin of life and the creation of the universe by God, and how sin entered into the world in His creation. This would be what would separate the Creator from His creation, the gulf between that could only be filled with the ultimate and perfect sacrifice in Jesus Christ.

Is Geonosis the place for the beginning of life? Maybe clones or perhaps the Force? Is this the place where we will see someone fall away from the truth? Is this the beginning of the need to show a Savior, a New Hope so to speak?

What follows is a collection of thoughts and ideas on the etymology of Geonosis, where Star Wars fans explore the relation between the earth, knowledge, religion, and disease. In fact, the term is already in usage today ...

Darth Mike, a writer and teacher of theology and formally trained at undergraduate and graduate levels in Bible, theology, and biblical languages points out that there are a number of possibilities with the term Geonosis:

The first is that the word is, indeed, related to the Greek word "genesis" meaning "birth, lineage." We get out English word "genesis" simply transliterated from this Greek word.

Something that Dom disputes:

Genesis, derives from another Greek word, gignesthai, that means "to be born".

Darth Mike believes that there may be another possibility:

Another possibility is that the word is derived from two other Greek words: "ge," meaning "earth, land, ground, mankind" and "gnosis" meaning "knowledge, esoteric knowledge."

In Christian history, the earliest heresy the church had to combat was "gnosticism," which was a religion drawing from Greek philosophy, mysticism, magic, and Christian theology. The result was a splinter group, a faction which was contrary to the true church and which the true church had to combat.

The gnostics claimed to have "secret knowledge" of spiritual things, had "secret ceremonies," and claimed to have had access to secret traditions passed on from the original apostles that were not passed on to the mainline Church.

Darth Mike believes that "gnosticism" option is worth exploring:

Christopher Lee's character is called a "charismatic separatist." Such descriptions of the Gnostic heretics as "charismatic" and "separatist" are prevalent among writers in the early church such as Irenaeus.

If Lucas is drawing on these ideas (which may be more likely than a wholesale borrowing from Christian Scripture, considering his penchant for religious and philosophical plurality) then "Geonosis" may refer simply to the planet of separatists.

The "gnostic" allusion may be borrowing from the first Christian separatists who distorted the true teachings of the church and created a sect that was opposed to the orthodox teachings.

This would be akin to the Sith order, which was once numerous, but now has secretly passed on its teachings through the generations. Geonosis would be the world now in the hands of these Jedi heretics from which they oppose the true order by intrigue.

Darth Raj also believes that there is a link to "gnosticism":

Gnosis is/was an ancient greek word/concept, meaning knowledge. It generally referred to knowledge gained through inspiration, rather than knowledge gained through study (Logos).

From the turn of the last millennium through roughly 500AD there were many hundreds of small Christian sects, whose followers were jointly called "Gnostics" due to their common belief in divine revelation as the only true path to knowledge. In fact, until the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, a majority of Christians were Gnostics.

After the conversion, the Gnostics were systematically killed off, until only a few isolated and hidden sects remained. The Gnostics were very influential in shaping Christianity and Western views of religion, and were certainly well known to Joseph Campbell's, since they generally believed in an allegorical form of Christianity that was integrated with the many similar Divine-Child religions that came before it.

It seems quite possible that rather than creating a planet referring to the "Beginning," Lucas will show us a planet where some critical knowledge will be imparted to one of the key characters, or where the inhabitants are privy to some world-shattering secret (or even some secret technology).

Barry Stoll links the earth/gnostic theory, and gives us his interpretation:

geo: "earth : ground : soil"

gnosis: "knowledge of spiritual truth held by the ancient Gnostics to be essential to salvation"

geo + nosis = "world of knowledge of spiritual truth"

The Gnostics were also considered heretics by the mainstream Christian church, so maybe this isn't referring to TRUE spiritual truth, but just what some (dark jedi?) think is true.

As does Chris Laughlin:

"Geo", means earth, and while "nosis" doesn't actually mean anything, "gnosis", which sounds exactly the same, means "knowledge" in Greek. Dictionary.com defines "gnosis" as "Intuitive apprehension of spiritual truths, an esoteric form of knowledge sought by the Gnostics". If we put this together it seems to indicate something about a deep knowledge of the earth, bordering on a mystical/spiritual connection.

Aunt Darthy, a librarian, explores several interesting ideas. She has even come across the word in usage today.

First she explores GEOGNOSIS - the relation between "earth" and "knowledge":


From the Greek geo=earth and gnosis=knowledge

The definition of GEOGNOSIS as "a science that portrays the creation or the emergence of the Earth as a process ..." has been attributed to Karl Marx (click here to read the article).

According to the 1997 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the term GEOGNOSIS is a variant form of the more widely used GEOGNOSY. The official definition for both terms is: "A knowledge of the structure of the earth, its strata, their relative position and the probable condition of the interior".

The Dictionary of Difficult Words defines GEOGNOSY as "geological study of materials forming the earth". (click here for the definition).

The "new age" and metaphysical definitions of GEOGNOSIS are reflected in the article "Geosophia, Geognosis, and Geopiety: Orders of Significance in Japanese Representations of Space" by Alan Grapard (to read a critique of the article and discussion of GEOGNOSIS, click here).

Secondly she explores GEONOSIS - the relation between "earth" and "disease":


From the Greek geo=earth and nosis=disease

"An ubiquitous communicable disease or pathogen"

The above definition and etymology is my own. Having done medical research in the past and being familiar with Greek, this term bore a resemblance to other disease classifications I have come across in the past, e.g., ZOONOSIS - a disease communicated to humans by animals. I have not been able to find an online dictionary definition for this term, but came across the following occurrences on the Internet:

After re-reading the above sources, I'm inclined to alter the definition a bit to read: "A communicable disease or pathogen found everywhere in the human environment".

I leave you with a simpler interpretation by Tom Nahas, which takes us right back to the cloning idea expressed in Josh's theory:

"Geo" is commonly the prefix for rock or land (geology: the study of rock). "Sis" is described as a mutated and/or overexpressed version of a normal gene. Could this be the Rocky planet where the cloning takes place?

Do you agree any of the ideas and opinions expressed here? Tell us what you think in this Jedi Council Forum Thread or email us at tfnrebel@theforce.net


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