Skip to Content
May 4 Be With You is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.

Do Jedi Really Exist in Real Life?

Do Jedi Really Exist in Real Life?

Metaphysical and religious thought exists among the Jedi living in the Star Wars Universe. And that religious ideology has come to our galaxy. People have found purpose in embracing the Jedi way of life, so much that official organizations have sprung up teaching Jediism’s principles. 

Jedi exist in real life, to the point that many in the early 2000s and 2010s identified as Jedi on census records. Jediism is real, and its teachings are based on those of the Jedi Order as seen in Star Wars. 

George Lucas likened the Jedi to Buddhists. But he also derived their teachings and belief systems from varying Eastern religions. 

Do Jedi Really Exist in Real Life?

While Star Wars’ roots lay in science fiction, Jedi exist in real life. They are a group of devotees committed to taking the ways and belief system of the Jedi Order and transferring it to the real world. 

People cosplay star wars characters

SHARE the post with your friends! Share on Facebook

It started in 2001, when citizens of the UK claimed “Jedi” as their chosen religion. Other nations that saw the Jedi phenomenon unfold included Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Serbia, and Turkey. Of course, it wasn’t long until the United States followed suit. 

As the Jedi expanded, groups arose, such as the:

  1. Jedi Church
  2. Church of Jediism
  3. Temple of the Jedi Order

Real-life Jedi practice the same lifestyle to their fictional counterparts to varying degrees. Their core practices include opposing torture, practicing sanctity, supporting laws based on reason, separation of religion and state, social equality, and freedom of conscience. 

While they do not worship deities, they believe in the Force, which just as in the Star Wars franchise, contains a light and dark side, and that it exists in all living things. 

Meet The Real Jedi Who Devote Their Lives to The Force [INSIGHTS]

How Many Jedi are There in Real Life?

In 2001, the number rested at 400,000 in England and Wales and  14,000 in Scotland. However, this number halved to just 176,632 in 2011. 

One reason for the smaller numbers involved was that many in 2001 penned “Jedi” as a joke, a mock religion, or a protest. Therefore, the 2011 census recorded a more accurate number of Jedi on the British Isles. 

Other numbers as of 2011 were as follows:

  1. Canada: 9,000
  2. Croatia: 303
  3. Czech Republic: 15,070
  4. Serbia: 640
  5. Australia: 65,000 (48,000 as of 2016)

Group of people wearing as Jedi

In 2022, the number of Jedi is inconclusive. This is because many countries, including those listed above, have either refused to count Jedi toward their official census, or have asked them to list ‘No Religion,’ ‘Unaffiliated,” or choose not to answer. 

Is There Such a Thing as a Jedi Religion – Jediism?

To know if Jediism is a religion, we must ask ourselves, What is religion?

Per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, religion is either a) the state of religion, or b) the service and worship of God or the supernatural and a commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance. 

Obiwan and Quigon Jinn with lightsaber

What do we know about the Jedi in Star Wars?

We know their core practices involve meditation to deepen their connection with the Force, which resides inside all living things to some degree. The Jedi show commitment and devotion to their connection, carrying religious correlations. 

Temple of the Jedi Order

Taken from the Temple of the Jedi, those who practice Jediism take part in the following: 

  1. Belief in the Force: This corresponds to the supernatural. 
  2. Positive influence on spiritual growth. 

If you look at any mainstream religion, like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, or a mixture thereof, they all share common ground. 

Different symbol of religions

The only difference is that Jediism takes its motivations from intellectual property. However, from just a quick scrolling of the Temple of the Jedi’s Order’s page, it’s easy to find even more correlations between it and established religions that have existed since ancient times. 

Here are a few snippets from the Jedi Creed:

  1. “Where there is hatred, I shall bring love.”
  2. “Where there is doubt, faith.”
  3. “Where there is darkness, light.” 

There are more snippets at the above link, but it’s clear just from viewing the above lines, Jediism falls in line with any other religion. Jediism isn’t complete without the Jedi Code, which further teaches peace, knowledge, serenity, and of course, mastering death. 

Religion or Philosophy?

While the framework exists for Jediism to be considered a legitimate religion, going as far as to receive IRS tax exemption status in the United States as of 2015, some who practice the faith prefer it as philosophy over religion. 

They see it as a way to inhibit personal development, or to adopt a positive way of life. Akin to Paganism, there is also no centralized text, deviating slightly from the presence of the Sacred Jedi Texts in the saga. 

However, guidelines and different teaching angles exist for various groups. Therefore, there is neither a right nor wrong way to teach the faith. 

Is Jediism a Religion?

What Religion is Closest to Jediism?

George Lucas stated Jedi were like Buddhist monks, and he has identified as a “Buddhist Methodist.” 

However, Lucas mixed several Eastern philosophies into Star Wars, including  Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Lucas also cited Joseph Campbell when he created the metaphysical and religious themes in Star Wars. 

Since Jediism’s belief system corresponds with those seen in the Star Wars franchise, it’s safe to say no one religion is closest to Jediism, but instead, a mixture. 

SHARE the post with your friends! Share on Facebook