Jedi Religion-May The Farce Be With You

February 25, 2007
esday, 27 August, 2002, 07:29 GMT 08:29 UK

Jedi ‘religion’ grows in Australia

Sir Alec Guinness as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi

Jedi is the faith espoused in the Star Wars films

More than 70,000 people in Australia have declared that they are followers of the Jedi faith, the religion created by the Star Wars films. A recent census found that one in 270 respondents – or 0.37% of the population – say they believe in “the force”, an energy field that gives Jedi Knights like Luke Skywalker their power in the films.

Most of the 70,509 people who wrote Jedi on their census forms were suspected to have done so in response to an e-mail encouraging all Star Wars fans to get it recognised as an official religion.

Yoda, Jedi master

Jedi Master Yoda: “You must feel the force around you”

But the majority do not seriously tell each other: “May the force be with you”, according to Australian Star Wars Appreciation Society president Chris Brennan.

“When you look at it you probably have got about 5,000 people in that 70,000 that were true hard-core people that would believe the Jedi religion carte blanche,” he told ABC Radio.

“Then you would have 50,000 fans that said ‘oh yeah we’ll just put down Jedi for fun, we don’t actually have a religion of our own’.

“Then you probably have 15,000 people who did it just to give the government a bit of curry,” he said.

‘Not defined’

An e-mail was sent around the world in 2001 saying that if 10,000 people declared they were Jedi, it would be recognised as an official religion.

But the Australian Bureau of Statistics said it would be categorised as “not defined”.

Thousands of people in New Zealand and the UK also followed the advice of the e-mail – with Jedi Knight even being included on the list of religions by UK census authorities.

See also:

09 Oct 01 | UKJedi makes the census list

11 Apr 01 | EntertainmentJedi e-mail revealed as hoax

06 Mar 01 | EntertainmentThe gospel according to Luke (Skywalker)

17 May 99 | EntertainmentA novice’s guide to Star Wars

Internet links:

Star Wars

How Jedi Are You?

The Jedi creed

Star Wars Appreciation Society of Australia

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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