I grew up watching and learning a lot from the Star Wars trilogy. I have to say that it shaped a lot of my values and world views today, and definitely has been beneficial.
Star Wars derives a lot of its philosophies and spiritual messages from various world religions and cultures.
The Vader mask for example was inspired from the Japanese Samurai mask.
The way Yoda speaks is similar to the classical Arabic language, which is the language of the Quran.
The concept of Jedi Knights is a mere window to spark interest in the concept of spirituality, faith, honor, and duty. It’s definitely worth reading other sources about this topic but for now, I’d like to explore some thoughts from the actual Star Wars movies.
Here’s a list of 9 lessons from Jedi Knights we can all learn from:
1. Do or do not there is no try
I used to say things like I will try my best. But the truth is there is no such thing as trying as this quote states. If we look at it from the perspective that when you’re doing something, you’re already doing it and you can only do your best.
Trying is sort of saying that we do not wish to commit to an action that we’ve started. Even if it doesn’t end well, we did something. When one does something, he must set his heart to complete the task.
2. Only a Sith deals with absolute
I have met people who love to deal in absolute and there’s just no balance in their actions. For example, I’ve heard of people claiming that we shouldn’t celebrate Martin Luther King because he wasn’t the most faithful man towards his wife.
Yes, it is not respectable at all for a man to act unfaithfully, but the battle he fought against oppression towards the African American community is still a commendable one and is still very relevant today.
We can’t expect people to be absolutely evil or good. Most of the time we’re in the gray and we need to start seeing the world as just that.
People expect us to choose to be either all good, or all evil. Honestly who can claim to be entirely one or the other? We have our moments but hey, it’s what we do after the mistakes that counts.
3. Always in motion the future is
There is no certainty of what the future may hold. Be mindful of it, but always keep our concentration on the present.
Know that our future is never set, and it constantly fluxes between our decisions. Those who prepare for it today may be able to get some ideas of what the future holds but know that the outcome is never really in our hands.
4. That is why you fail
‘I don’t believe it’ -Luke-
‘That is why you fail’ -Yoda-
This conversation took place as Luke witnessed Yoda moving the X-wing fighter. He couldn’t believe his eyes and this is exactly why he failed as Yoda explained.
A lot of our failures and success usually derives from our believes and habits. So, believe in yourself and thus, you shall succeed, in shaa Allah!
5. Luminous beings are we..not this crude matter
“The universe is in you”
I am complimenting this other amazing Yoda quote with a quote from the amazing poet, Rumi. We are not crude matters. If the soul that operates the crude matter disappears than it either works on instinct or becomes worm food.
There’s a whole universe in ourselves that we can use to light up the world around us. We need to start seeing ourselves as what we really are and only then, can we live as we are truly meant to live.
Our body is something that has been given to our soul as a responsibility, not the other way around. Once we acknowledge ourselves as a being that’s just passing by this world, we will carry ourselves very differently.
6. Wars not make one great
Today, the idea of greatness in wars is being idealized probably more than in any time of history. People do it in the name of religion, peace, national interest, as a façade to justify why they kill and loot without a cause other than for their own greed.
I recently read in the Quran that if we were to do something that God has not instructed us to do in his name then, we are clearly lost.
Now, whatever name or purpose we use war for, we really ought not to get caught up with thinking that it will make us great.
It is in the peaceful warriors that we truly find strength and character. The Prophet Muhammad was a reluctant warrior himself like the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars.
None of the Jedi’s wanted to be generals but the conflict was growing too far out in the galaxy that they had not a choice.
The best way for us to emulate this peaceful warrior concept is perhaps by looking at the monks in Shaolin that use martial arts as a defense and not attack.
They’ve dedicated their lives to summon the spirit within themselves to live a purposeful live.
The word Kung Fu means to practice something and to master its skills. It takes years before anyone can even see the results of them mastering a certain skill.
7. Never tell me the odds!
Okay, so a Jedi Knight didn’t say this line from the movie, but hey it has the same Jedi fighting spirit! Han Solo’s odds of succeeding were low but he went on and fought anyway.
This is the same spirit you see him carrying throughout the trilogy. He never backed down from a fight no matter what.
We should realize that “If God wanted to let harm happen to a soul, it will happen even if the rest of humanity was against him. And no harm will come to a person if God wanted it so, even if the rest of humanity wanted to inflict harm to him.”
This is the attitude of someone who doesn’t let the odds get to him or her. Nobody makes the decision except for God himself.
Han may not have claimed to be a believer of the Force but he acted in such a way that could be put in regards of a believer. Your fear is in the highest being only and nothing of its creation.
8. There’s always a bigger fish
This line was from Qui Gonn Jinn in episode 1. A subtle line when their underwater ship was almost devoured by a giant fish that was devoured by another fish.
This addresses the question of our ego, and how we should keep it under wraps.
It’s good for us to keep in mind that there’s always somebody better than us. Never try to be better than others unless it is in character.
According to Quranic literature, Iblis (the Devil) was made of smokeless fire and thought himself better than Adam who’s made from the earth. This was his big fall, not because he didn’t have faith but it was more because he was arrogant, and envious. Hatred grew in him out of his fear that his position of being the most faithful of God’s servant would be jeopardized because of this new creation.
Fear is the path to the Dark Side…..
9. No more training do you require
I have this habit of going around asking a million people the same questions hoping to get a different answer to what I have to do at times.
The truth is we know the right thing to do already. It’s all a matter of putting the knowledge we’ve acquired to use.
For Luke, to complete his training meant that he had to confront Vader and only in succeeding this will he become a Jedi Knight.
Now for each of us it varies, How do we become our very own Jedi Knight? To me, it could be from exercising 1 hour every day, waking up at 5 am daily or reading for 20 minutes a day! I know these are things I should be doing for I’ve read articles and books on their benefits countless times. So at this stage, I don’t really need another book to read but I have to put them to practice!
Also remember that part of being a Jedi Knight means that you continuously learn and innovate. Mace Windu, one of the most powerful Jedi created a 7th form of Lightsaber combat form when there was initially only 6 that exists.
After all the training he had, he still felt that more could be done. He didn’t require anymore training but he was constantly exploring what his limits were.