The Jedi Q

Compiled by DT Strain, 2006.


There are groups of Star Wars fans who take inspiration from the fictional Jedi of these films in their own philosophic lives. While they don’t expect to be wielding lightsabers and cruising the galaxy, they note the many real-world philosophies that have influenced Lucas’ portrayal of the Jedi. These fans call themselves “Jedi Realists” and see the Jedi identifier as useful to them as they explore a wide variety of those real life philosophies and religions which seem to be “Jedi-like” in nature. While I don't consider myself a 'Jedi Realist' per se, I sympathize with their willingness to learn about a wide variety of real life philosophies, and enjoy supporting them with occasional posts on their forums. I am, however, a big Star Wars fan.

The Jedi Q is a collection of quotes from the Star Wars films designed to assist and guide Jedi Realists as they consider the world’s philosophies and religions, and compare them to the fictional concept of Jedi philosophy. It has been compiled by carefully combing through all six films. The quotes are from the completed film versions as found on the Special Edition wide-screen DVD releases: Episode I (2001 DVD release), Episode II (2002 release), Episode III (2005 release), and Episodes IV-VI (2004 release).

In Christianity, a current theory of biblical scholars is that Mark and another gospel which we don't have (called "Q"), were the two source documents for the books of Matthew and Luke, which sought to reconcile the two. Mark and Q would then be the most proto-original source material on the teachings of Jesus.

In the reconstruction of the Gospel Q, scholars looked at what was in the other books and tried to backtrack which materials likely came from Q, compiling them together. It is believed that, unlike Mark, Q was not a narrative, but rather a collection of sayings (it is called the "Gospel sayings Q").

When you read the reconstruction of the Christian Gospel Q, it has a lot of skips and gaps (...) where further information is unknown. In other words, they sought to only present what was known, not "fill in the gaps" or elaborate. It is this work which has inspired the name of the “Jedi Q”.

In the case of the “Jedi Q”, I first assume the fictional Jedi of the Star Wars films would have had a fully robust philosophy, only a small part of which we saw on screen. Then, like archaeologists, Jedi Realists can use Jedi Q to attempt to reconstruct what that philosophy could have been. As with reconstructing a broken vase where one only has some of the pieces, one first has to figure out what pieces one has and where they go before filling in the gaps.

In the following I have taken every quotation spoken about the Force, the Jedi, or other philosophic points spoken by the characters. The quotes are those which center on the Jedi lifestyle and philosophy, even if spoken by other characters.

You'll notice many omissions which may be surprising. This is because quotes that refer only to fictional-world Jedi and plot points of the film have been left out (such as "he is the chosen one" and the business about midi-chlorians, for example). The document features only exact quotes, with a minimum of gap-filling, interpretation, or elaboration. A few exceptions are with some notes where there might be question as to the reason for inclusion of the quote.

The quotes are presented sequentially, in fictional-universe chronological order. I have also made an effort to simplify where the concept or philosophy was made over a number of exchanges, so as not to present a conversation format. For example, Yoda tells Qui-Gon that he already has an apprentice and can't take another, then Mace Windu adds that it's against the code. Because this being against the code is the critical information for our purposes, I quoted only Mace and added what he was referring to in brackets.

There have also been omissions when exact repetitions appear from the same person in the same film, such as when Obi-Wan tells Anakin in Episode II to be mindful of his thoughts, and later tells him the same thing, adding, “they betray you”. In such a case only the latter instance was included.

Lastly, I have not just included anything said by any Jedi, regardless of its subject matter. For example, one might be able to infer some sort of philosophic outlook by Qui-Gon saying, "These Federation types are cowards. The negotiations will be short" but there is really nothing in there that is directly stating a general philosophy, so it was omitted as a mere plot-related quote.

Jedi Realists might consider this collection as an inspirational starting point, or a “core canon” on the Force and the Jedi. An “expanded canon” might be another document others may choose to build, which would follow the same methods and structure as this one, but include quotes from the Star Wars novels and other “Expanded Universe” sources.

See also: Jedi Q by Category


Don’t center on your anxieties... Keep your concentration here and now where it belongs.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

...I should be mindful of the future.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

[Be mindful of the future] but not at the expense of the moment. Be mindful of the Living Force...
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

You and the Naboo form a symbiant circle. What happens to one of you will affect the other.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

There’s always a bigger fish.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

Don’t worry, the Force will guide us.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

...Maxi big the Force.
-- Jar Jar Binks

I wish that were so [that no one can kill a Jedi].
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

Greed can be a powerful ally.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

He can see things before they happen. That’s why he appears to have such quick reflexes. It’s a Jedi trait.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

Concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think. Use your instincts.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

May the Force be with you.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn (and many others)

Whenever you gamble... eventually you lose.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

Nothing happens by accident.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

Training to become a Jedi is not an easy challenge, and even if you succeed, it’s a hard life.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

You can’t stop the change, any more than you can stop the suns from setting.
-- Schmi Skywalker

Don’t look back.
-- Schmi Skywalker

Hard to see the dark side is.
-- Yoda

I shall do what I must...
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

Be mindful of your feelings.
-- Mace Windu

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.
-- Yoda

The code forbids it [taking on a second apprentice while already having one].
-- Mace Windu

Always remember, your focus determines your reality.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

...I can only protect you. I can’t fight a war for you.
-- Qui-Gon Jinn

Always two [Sith] there are; no more, no less... a Master and an Apprentice.
-- Yoda


The dark side clouds everything...
-- Yoda

Dreams pass in time.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Be mindful of your thoughts... they betray you.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

...[politicians] are not to be trusted.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

It is my experience that Senators focus only on pleasing those who fund their campaigns, and they’re in no means scared of forgetting the niceties of democracy in order to get those funds.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

[note: 2:4 and 2:5 are questionable as to their relevance to Jedi philosophy. They may only represent Obi-Wan Kenobi’s personal views. They were included, however, because they deal with the general topic of politics and power, of which the Jedi would no doubt have positions on.]

Patience. Use the Force. Think.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

[Arrogance is] a flaw more and more common among Jedi. Too sure of themselves they are. Even the older, more experienced ones.
-- Yoda

Attachment is forbidden [to a Jedi]. Possession is forbidden. Compassion... is central to a Jedi’s life.
-- Anakin Skywalker

[note: In 2:8, Anakin’s caveat on compassion, “which I would define as unconditional love” was removed because it was something Anakin specifically said was his own personal definition, as opposed to the Jedi Order’s. The rest of the quote seems to be addressing Jedi philosophy.]

Reach out. Sense the Force around you. Use your feelings you must.
-- Yoda

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.
-- Yoda

Do not assume anything... clear your mind must be.
-- Yoda

Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways [the ways of those who join the dark side] now.
-- Yoda


...Sith Lords are our specialty.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

...Twice the pride, double the fall.
-- Darth Tyranus

...[killing an unarmed prisoner] is not the Jedi way.
-- Anakin Skywalker

Careful you must be when sensing the future... the fear of loss is a path to the dark side.
-- Yoda

Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not.
-- Yoda

Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is... Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
-- Yoda

All who gain power are afraid to lose it...
-- Darth Sidious

The Jedi use their power for good.
-- Anakin Skywalker

The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inwards, only about themselves... The Jedi are selfless. They only care about others.
-- Anakin Skywalker

My allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Your arrogance blinds you...
-- Darth Sidious

...faith in the dark side of the Force [is misplaced].
-- Yoda


For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

You must do what you feel is right, of course.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
-- Darth Vader

The Force can have a strong influence on the weak minded.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

[The Force] partially [controls your actions], but it also obeys your commands.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

...let go of your conscious self and act on instinct.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Your eyes can deceive you; don’t trust them... Stretch out with your feelings.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

In my experience there’s no such thing as luck.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

...there are alternatives to fighting.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows it?
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Use the Force... Let go...
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Remember, the Force will be with you always.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi


War does not make one great.
-- Yoda

A Jedi must have the deepest commitment... the most serious mind.
-- Yoda

Adventure... excitement... a Jedi craves not these things.
-- Yoda

A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force.
-- Yoda

...beware the dark side: anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow; quick to join you in a fight. But once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will.
-- Yoda

[note: Yoda seems to believe in the above that the dark side will “forever” dominate one’s destiny without hope of redemption. While we might use Yoda’s words as a prime example of Jedi philosophy in most cases, one might note here that this particular point was refuted in the overall hopeful message of the Star Wars films. Other than that, the surrounding elements concerning the dark side in the above quote are likely to be valid.]

No [the dark side is not stronger]; quicker, easier, more seductive.
-- Yoda

You will know [the good side from the bad] when you are calm, at peace, passive.
-- Yoda

A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense; never for attack.
-- Yoda

There is no why.
-- Yoda

[The large and the small are] no different; only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.
-- Yoda

Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
-- Yoda

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you? And well you should not, for my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it; makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.
-- Yoda

Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere...
-- Yoda

That [because you don’t believe] is why you fail.
-- Yoda

Through the Force, things you will see; other places: the future, the past, old friends long gone.
-- Yoda

Control, control! You must learn control!
-- Yoda

Always in motion is the future.
-- Yoda

...if you choose the quick and easy path... you will become an agent of evil.
-- Yoda

...don’t give in to hate. That leads to the dark side.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.
-- Yoda


Soon will I rest, yes. Forever sleep. Earned it I have.
-- Yoda

Strong am I with the Force, but not that strong [to not die]. Twilight is upon me and soon, night must fall. That is the way of things, the way of the Force.
-- Yoda

...you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

You cannot escape your destiny.
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Bury your feelings deep down... they do you credit, but they could be made to serve [evil].
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

[note: 6:4 and 6:5 refer in some way to a specific matter on which Obi-Wan was eventually proven wrong. This may or may not modify the truth of the core message contained in these two quotes.]

You don’t know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master.
-- Darth Vader

[note: This being designed as a guide to Jedi philosophy, Sith expounding on their beliefs in the superiority of the dark side have been rejected and excluded from this collection as inaccurate. However 6:6 has been included because of the ironic juxtaposition of the two sentences, the first alleging the ultimate power of the dark side and the second confessing powerlessness from a self proclaimed dark side user.]

...let go of your hate.
-- Luke Skywalker

Your overconfidence is your weakness.
-- Luke Skywalker

Your thoughts betray you.
-- Luke Skywalker (and later Darth Vader)

I’ll never turn to the dark side... I am a Jedi...
-- Luke Skywalker

You already have [saved me].
-- Anakin Skywalker