Nothing but Star Wars, Star Wars todaaaaaay . . .
The more I think about Jedi as an organized religion, the more I can’t stop thinking about it.
Actually, I use the word “organized” loosely. It seems that being a Jedi is more like being a Mason, or maybe a Boy Scout, than it is like belonging to an actual, full-blown religion. According to the Temple of the Jedi Order:
A real Jedi may belong to any Church or no other Church as long as s/he takes a true oath to follow our Creed and Code which is published here for all to see.
Jediism, the Jedi Order continues, is not in itself a Tradition, but “acts like one for the sake of organization and providing the best experience for our members.”
Uh, okay. Anyway, that notwithstanding, they have acquired some of the apparatus of a religion, in that you can have a Jedi wedding, with an actual Jedi liturgy of sorts.
Of course, you can totally make it up.
The real cultural measure of a religion, however — I mean, aside from whatever truth claims it might happen to make — is how it explains, and commends its members to, death. So far I haven’t turned up evidence of any honest-to-Forceness real-life Jedi funerals, though there’s plenty of this out there, plus suggestions that a Jedi, if he isn’t vaporized or something in action, goes out like a Viking, on a funeral pyre.
Here, though they don’t claim religious status, the Trekkies have the edge.
At any rate, I’m thinking we could help these folks to settle on some basic liturgy. If you’ve got a central rite of worship, well, then you can work on those pesky wedding or funeral details as they arise.
Here’s a start:
V. The Force be with you.
R. And also with you.
V. Jedi knight
R. You are not yet.
V. I am your father.
Meanwhile, look for the upcoming Dan Brown novel, involving a secret cult within the Jedi Order, a signed photograph of James Earl Jones, and dark mysteries sleeping beneath the city of Duluth.