More than 70,000 people in Australia have declared that they are
followers of the Jedi faith, the religion created by the Star Wars
A recent census found that one in 270 respondents - or 0.37% of the
population - say they believe in "the force", an energy field that
gives Jedi Knights like Luke Skywalker their power in the films.
Most of the 70,509 people who wrote Jedi on their census forms were
suspected to have done so in response to an e-mail encouraging all
Star Wars fans to get it recognised as an official religion.
Jedi Master Yoda: "You must feel the force around you"
But the majority do not seriously tell each other: "May the force
be with you", according to Australian Star Wars Appreciation Society
president Chris Brennan.
"When you look at it you probably have got about 5,000 people in
that 70,000 that were true hard-core people that would believe the
Jedi religion carte blanche," he told ABC Radio.
"Then you would have 50,000 fans that said 'oh yeah we'll just put
down Jedi for fun, we don't actually have a religion of our own'.
"Then you probably have 15,000 people who did it just to give the
government a bit of curry," he said.
An e-mail was sent around the world in 2001 saying that if 10,000
people declared they were Jedi, it would be recognised as an official
But the Australian Bureau of Statistics said it would be
categorised as "not defined".
Thousands of people in New Zealand and the UK also followed the
advice of the e-mail - with Jedi Knight even being included on the
list of religions by UK census authorities.
- Judaism Online