Reprinted with permission of Charisma News Service.
"Star Wars" devotees know that the Force is with them, but now they want to turn it into a spiritual movement. According to the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), followers of the fictitious Jedi philosophy from the blockbuster movies are campaigning to have it recognized as an official religion.
Last month, an e-mail urged 8,000 New Zealanders to write "Jedi" as their faith on census forms. The Web site of the Jedi Creed, which mixes aspects of New Age thought and martial arts mysticism, proclaims: "Faith in a Force that exists in all things. We are one with it. We can't run away from it simply because it exists within ourselves."
Kenny Baker, who portrayed R2-D2 in the films, said "Star Wars" fans have a reputation for being highly fanatical. Baker, who travels the world attending "Star Wars" conventions, said the fans' imaginations are unlimited when it comes to satisfying their fascination. "They're real eccentrics," Baker told the BBC. "They do things like ask you to sign their arm and then go off and get your signature tattooed. They are on a different planet. Definitely not of this world."
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas, however, has shown no interest in turning the Jedi philosophy into a religion, even after "The Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola suggested the notion, the BBC said. "I remember [Francis] saying: 'With religion, you really have power.' I told him: 'Forget it. I don't have any interest in power,'" Lucas has said.