Study Guide

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Spirituality

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The Force is strong with Luke. That's what we're told. But what the heck is The Force? The short answer is that it's a spiritual path that leads to transcendence. You can use it for good, like Luke, Yoda, and Obi-Wan. Or you can use it for bad and shoot lightning out of your shriveled fingertips like The Emperor.

Looked at another way, The Force is a moral compass. For those who pursue the Dark Side, like Darth Vader, it's an aggressive, anger-fueled path to absolute power. And you know what they say about absolute power—it corrupts absolutely.

For the Jedi, on the other hand, The Force is an unwavering faith in the power of love and non-violence. In short, while Yoda and Obi-Wan nudge Luke in the right direction, Luke's spirituality is his ultimate guide to saving the galaxy. It's why he's willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good—and it's why, like a boss, he triumphs at the end of Return of the Jedi.

Questions About Spirituality

  1. How does being a Jedi-in-training influence Luke's sense of self? What about Darth Vader? How does the Dark Side impact his identity?
  2. Does Luke ever break the Jedi code of compassion and non-violence?
  3. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? How do your beliefs impact your actions? Who is your Yoda?

Chew on This

Return of the Jedi uses the mystery of The Force as a stand-in for religion.

The #1 rule of The Force is the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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