‘The Last Jedi’? In Real Life, Jedi Can Be a Religion

While searching the New York Times for a religious based article in the news, I wanted to pick a topic a little more lighthearted than what has been going on in lieu of the election. Apparently, Temple of the Jedi Order is a real-life religion, though not granted religious status in England and Wales, approximately 2,000 people in England have been taking this religion seriously since its explosion into mainstream media in 2001. A quote I found interesting from Andy Young, a practicing Jedi in England wrote “[w]e are absolutely looking to achieve the outcomes of any other religion, a better life, and a better death.” The author of this article, Christopher D. Shea, takes us though some FAQ’s of the religion. To start, Shea teaches us how to join the temple, explaining the process which starts off by creating an online account, once this happens, the Jedi in training takes courses in value of myth and world religions, once the program is completed, the user starts to work one-on-one with a mentor. When Mr. Young was asked by Shea about the correlation between the Star Wars franchise and the religion, Mr. Young put it as “the diving board to a diver”, he further explained that the movies created a gateway for people who have otherwise shied away from religion and are now coming together for something that truthfully calls to them. While reading this article, I questioned whether or not this might have simply been a phase for many aspiring Jedi who were Star Wars aficionados and shortly after Mr. Young answered my question, ““We do have a lot of people coming in who want to learn how to move objects psychologically or whatever, they tend to not really hang around too long.”