Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

» Peggy Fletcher Stack E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)

May the Fourth be with you, Jedi faithful

Today is "Star Wars Day" — May the Fourth (get it?) — a time of celebration for followers of so-called Jediism.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The religion, so to speak, sprang up as a result of the most popular sci-fi films of all time — George Lucas’ series about the battle between the good Jedi clan and the evil Empire, including Darth Vader, a Jedi warrior who defected to the dark side.

Jedi "draw from a mystical entity binding the universe, called "the Force," writes Matthew Cresswell in The Guardian. "Sporting hoodies, the Jedi are generally altruistic, swift-footed and handy with a light saber. Their enemies, Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader and other cohorts use the dark side of the Force. By tapping into its powers, the dark side command armies of demented droids, kill Jedi and are capable of wiping out entire planets."

In Britain’s 2001 census, some 390,000 people listed Jediism as their religion, Cresswell writes, and a spokesman for the "church" said it was growing, gaining hundreds of new members each month — mostly online. It can easily blend with other faiths, reflecting notions found in Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism, for example. Indeed, they believe, Jediism predated the films.

"We can no more understand the Force and our place within it than a gear in a clock could comprehend its function in moving the hands across the face," spokesman Chi-Pa Amshe told Cresswell. "I'd like to point out that each of our members interprets their beliefs through the [prism] of their own lives and although we offer guidance and support, ultimately like with the Quran, it is up to them to find what they need and choose their own path."

But is it really a religion?

"I remain skeptical," the columnist writes. "Jediism belongs in the star systems of Lucas' mind."

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.