Who Said It: Jesus or Jedi?

RELIGION

Elisabeth Henderson

6 Min Quiz

Image: Julin David Agudelo Trujillo / EyeEm/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Even those who don’t recognize Jesus as God recognize that he was a historical figure whose teachings have formed culture across the world. The Christian church, based on Jesus’ teachings, claims about 2.18 billion followers worldwide, according to the Pew Research Center. The Jedi have not had as long to make their mark on the world yet. The "Star Wars" saga was born in 1977, when "Star Wars: A New Hope" hit the big screen and entered viewers’ hearts and minds. While the Charity Commission “has ruled” that Jediism, the worship of the mythology of "Star Wars," is not a religion,” it actually has more followers than Rastafarianism or Jainism, the BBC reports.

Does Jediism count as a religion? Many of those who listen closely to the words of the Jedi find them to be profound and to have the power to shape lives. Jedi followers are bound in the “observance of the Force, a ubiquitous and metaphysical power that a Jedi believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe (Temple of the Jedi Order).

While most people raised in the USA likely have a strong idea of what Jesus’ teachings are all about, some of his actual sayings may surprise you. He wanted to turn systems of power upside down, much like Yoda inverts language norms. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to decipher whether a saying is Jesus or Jedi. Do you know your Jesus and Jedi enough to tell the difference? Scroll on, and may the Force be with you! 

“You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Jesus speaks these words in John 8:32. He is addressing people who, according to the author, have just believed in him and his ministry because of the words he has spoken. The way in which the truth sets you free has been interpreted in a great number of ways.

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“It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.“

Obi-Wan Kenobi first describes the Force to Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars: A New Hope." Before this line, he states, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power.” The description of the Force here could be substituted for mystical descriptions of the Holy Spirit.

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“Fear leads to anger ... anger leads to hate ... hate leads to suffering.”

This line was one of the first glimpses of “The Phantom Menace” and was first used in the trailer, according to StarWars.com. Earlier in this statement, Yoda asserts that “Fear is the path to the dark side.”

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“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Jesus makes this claim in his “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5:5. It’s part of the “Beatitudes” a series of blessings that upend systems of domination. Similarly, Jedis are expected to gain mastery by sacrifice, but in this question, it's definitely Jesus speaking.

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“All energy from the Living Force, from all things that have ever lived, feeds into the Cosmic Force, binding everything.”

In “The Phantom Menace,” the sprit of Qui-Gon Jinn explains to Yoda how he is able to survive without a body. JV Chamary writes in "Forbes Science" that this early way of defining the force actually mirrors scientists early 20th-century efforts to name “how organisms interact with one another and their environment.”

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“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Jesus makes this statement in John 8:12. It comes right after he convinced the Jewish teachers, the Pharisees, not to stone to death a woman caught in adultery. The religious path is not one of casting stones, but of following the light.

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“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child”

In the “Attack of the Clones,” a child in Yoda’s lightsaber class guesses the location of the missing planet, Kamino. Yoda renders his appreciation of the child’s intuition with this quotation. Of course, he ends it with “is,” but including that inversion would make it too obviously Yoda, rendering the answer too easy.

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“I’m one with the Force, and the Force will guide me.”

In “The Clone Wars,” Ganodi makes this claim while she struggles to find her crystal. OK, so the word Force is kind of a giveaway here, but what if you replace Force with Father, the concept of oneness gives the Jedi path a religious overtone.

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“The light has always been there ... It will guide you.”

Technically, Maz, in “The Force Awakens,” is not actually a Jedi. But she’s deeply aware of the Force and able to explain it to Rey. This quotation blends with Jesus’ description of himself as the light of life, and the light as a path to follow to God.

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“Every word in that sentence is wrong.”

This curt line comes from Luke Skywalker in “The Last Jedi.” Skywalker’s rebuff is in response to Rey’s faulty description of the Force as “a power that Jedi have that lets them control people and make things float,” which is how many people think of the Force. Here’s proof that those people are wrong.

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“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

Jesus spoke this line about letting go in the “Sermon on the Mount,” documented in Matthew 6:34. Earlier, he says that since God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, people should know God will do the same for them.

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“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.”

Jesus is speaking here in John 4:13-14 with the woman at the well. She has just done him a favor and drawn water for him, and he comes back with this response. His disciples were aghast to find him speaking to a woman, and a woman of a different cultural group at that. Jesus' message is a symbol that drinking the truths he came to teach will quench the spiritual thirst forever.

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“Let the little children come to me.”

Jesus rebukes his followers in Matthew 19:14 for trying to keep the children away from him. He says that children show us what the kingdom of God is like. You can almost hear Jesus echoing Yoda here — “Wonderful, the mind of a child.” The two teachers have in common a respect for children whose innocence demonstrates wisdom​ far beyond their years.

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“Adventure. Excitement. A _____ craves not these things.”

While this may sound like Christian asceticism, this quote comes from Yoda teaching Luke Skywalker in “The Empire Strikes Back.” He is just beginning to train the young man and trying to get across to him what the training will cost him.

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“There is something stronger than fear.”

Kanaan came to this realization in “Star Wars Rebels.” As he struggled with the Grand Inquisitor, he realized that his fear was no match for the Force. Jesus, likewise, disarms his disciples’ fear with simple questions, like “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”

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“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will save it.”

Jesus declares this cryptic statement in Matthew 8:35. This is one of many paradoxes found in Jesus’ teachings. This paradox goes along with the metaphorical image of a grain of wheat falling to the ground. The wheat has to die in order to bring the new life of a new plant. This is much like in order to gain the eternal life about which Jesus taught, our old ways of being must first "die."

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“It's the energy between all things, a tension, a balance that binds the universe together.“

After Luke Skywalker puts Rey in her place, in “The Last Jedi,” for her description of the Force as the power that lets Jedis move stuff around, he gives this more complex and eloquent definition of what it is. Of course, like kids playing with lightsabers, we knew this all along.

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“It’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.”

Jesus says this in Luke 5:31. Out of context, it seems obvious. But the context puts it in a different light: Jesus is speaking to a group of self-righteous people who question why he associated with sinners instead of with those who are considered righteous.

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“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.”

In John 16:33, Jesus gives his disciples these encouraging words. He is speaking to them shortly before his arrest and crucifixion. Considering what the disciples were about to go through, his acknowledgment that they would have “trouble” seems like a vast understatement.

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“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Darth Vader makes this statement to Admiral Motti in “A New Hope.” It’s always disturbing to have your faith rebuked by the villain. Jesus similarly rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith, often right before performing a miracle. Did Darth Vader perform a miracle after saying this?

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“The islands, birds. Death and decay ... that feeds new life. Warm, cold. Peace, violence.“

In “The Last Jedi,” Rey describes the Force using these images. As JV Chamary says in "Forbes Science," in this vision, “the Force is consistent with an ecosystem.” It’s one of the amazing things about Star Wars that the thought system of the saga parallels scientific theories.

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“When I left you, I was the learner. Now, I am the master.”

Darth Vader says this to Obi-Wan in “A New Hope.” “The circle,” he says, “is now complete.” This movement from servant to master is the inversion of Jesus’ dramatic action before his arrest. As he washes the disciples' feet, he tells them that the master must become the servant.

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“That is why you fail.”

In “The Empire Strikes Back,” Yoda lifts an X-wing from a swamp and Luke Skywalker is in a state of disbelief. Yoda diagnoses his disbelief as the reason for his difficulties. This is another place where Yoda and Jesus seem to echo one another, showing their disciples that, if they only believe, they could do the impossible.

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”To the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Toward the end of the “Sermon on the Mount,” in Matthew 7:8, Jesus assures his followers of this promise. It’s related to his promise, “Seek and ye shall find.” These comments have both encouraged and frustrated those in need for milennia.

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“I’d just as soon kiss a Wookie.”

OK, maybe that was too easy. This is spoken by Princess Leia responding to Han Solo’s advances in “The Empire Strikes Back.” But it’s fun to imagine a context in which Jesus would say this. Han and Princess Leia are revered as a perfect couple by many in Star Wars fandom.

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“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.”

Jesus says this while speaking to Nicodemus in John 3:8. He uses the metaphor of the wind to describe the way the spirit of God moves. This mystical understanding of the spirit of God comes shortly before John 3:16, which is often cited as a formula for being born again. The image of the spirit here, though, is much more elusive than formulaic.

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“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

This quote is repeated eight times over the course of the films, according to "Deseret News Entertainment." Luke Skywalker is first to utter this foreboding phrase in “A New Hope,​” as they grow closer to the Death Star. Not only the heroes utter these lines; in “The Clone Wars,” a battle droid takes the line.

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“You’re my only hope.”

Princess Leia pleads this quotation to Obi-Wan Kenobi in “A New Hope.” The image of Leia is projected into the room with Obi-Wan, Luke Skywalker and C-3PO. Princess Leia begs Obi-Wan Kenobi to join her in the struggle against The Empire.

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“I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”

When the disciples come to ask Jesus when they are going to get a bite to eat, in John 4:32, Jesus responds with this mystical quip. His food “was to do the will of the Father.” But the disciples were probably looking for something more like a burger.

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“Luminous beings are we ... not this crude matter.”

This line comes from Yoda’s teaching in “The Empire Strikes Back.” He compares the sacrificial nature of the Jedi with the greed of the Sith. Jedi’s are an ascetic group. Among other sacrifices, they’re not allowed to form attachments in relationships.

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“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

OK, so this is another softball. This is Obi-Wan speaking to a stormtrooper in “A New Hope.” But future Jesus may need to say this. Who knows? This phrase has entered into common speech to the extent that Urban Dictionary has an entry for it.

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“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

This line is Yoda’s final teaching to Luke Skywalker in “The Empire Strikes Back” before he raises the X-wing from the swamp. StarWars.com interprets this to be “a reminder to commit oneself to something completely, win or lose.“ How do you interpret it?

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“See that you say nothing to anyone.”

While this message seems counter-productive to “spreading the Gospel,” Jesus said this in Mark 1:44 to a man he had just healed of leprosy. In the early days of his ministry, Jesus often admonished people not to tell others about him because it was not quite the time to disclose everything about himself and his mission.

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“They may indeed see but not perceive and may indeed hear but not understand.”

In Mark 3:12, Jesus explains to his followers why he speaks in parables. Sometimes the parables — the often cryptic stories Jesus tells — seem intended to clarify the meaning of his teachings. But here Jesus says that their purpose is sometimes to obscure.

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“When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not.”

Yoda said this while talking to Luke Skywalker in “Return of the Jedi.” Yoda was not just exaggerating about his age. He’s actually supposed to be about 900 years old. A year after meeting with Luke Skywalker, Yoda finally died of old age.

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