WHO ARE THE CALIFORNIA JEDI?
We are a non-profit, non-sectarian group of Star Wars fans who choose to practice the Jedi Path as a way of life. California Jedi is only one chapter in a worldwide community of Jedi. “Utilizing the truth in fiction”, California Jedi strives to follow a path inspired by the fictional Jedi in Star Wars in our real lives for the betterment of our communities and the world around us.
REAL LIFE JEDI?
Often called Jediists or Jedi Realists, Jedi see the fictional Jedi as a template for how to live a productive, healthy, and virtuous life. We seek to emulate the Jedi Order as presented in the fictional Star Wars universe by embracing the Jedi’s virtues, using them in our day-to-day-lives. We direct our actions and intentions in a direction that serves humanity. We work toward self-development and train in all areas of life: mental, physical, spiritual, without adhering to a specific organized faith through it. All faiths are welcome.
Jedi Realists strive to achieve balance in all areas of life, through martial arts and physical exercise, meditation, reflection, reading, and discussion in groups and between mentors and students.
We respect and defend life in all its forms, approach life with courage and honesty in order to find wisdom, humbly perform charity work for our community, and engage in rigorous self-reflection. Jedi Realists practice compassion, viewing the world critically and objectively, with a willingness to challenge conventional thinking.
IS JEDI REALISM A RELIGION?
Not inherently, no. We welcome people of all faiths or none at all to join us on our Path. There are groups of people in the US and abroad that practice their path as a religion (often called Jediists), but the Jedi path does not involve a religious commitment of any kind. It is a philosophical and spiritual path, not a religious one.
WHAT ABOUT COSTUMES? DO I NEED ONE?
No you do not. Although many Jedi choose to dress up as our fictional counterparts for certain events, either to create publicity (at public events or for charity) or to celebrate special community occasions (such as Jedi Gatherings or knighting ceremonies), having a costume is entirely optional. For most of our events we wear our everyday clothes.
HOW ABOUT A LIGHTSABER?
In the mythos created by George Lucas, the lightsaber is the unique symbol of the Jedi. It is a badge of membership in the Jedi Order, and a Jedi’s prized possession. Many Jedi Realists own a lightsaber replica as a nod to that symbol. However, as lightsabers are not real, they are not required.
SHOULD I HAVE A JEDI NAME?
The Jedi path originated in online forums, and people’s screen names became associated with their Jedi Path. Many people still use or create a Jedi name for themselves as a nod to that tradition, or to create continuity between their online and offline presence. Some Jedi choose to use only their real names. Both are excellent choices.
If you decide to join our group, we can help you decide on a name if you would like one, but will encourage you to find whatever name fits you best. Names of existing Star Wars characters are discouraged. Your name should be representative of who you are becoming, not who you imagine yourself to be.
ARE YOU ALL JEDI KNIGHTS OR MASTERS?
No. Just as in the fictional Star Wars universe, a Jedi must earn his or her rank. Knighthood in California Jedi exists to celebrate years of commitment and to make people who are great resources to new members more visible and accessible. However regardless of rank, all California Jedi are first and foremost Jedi, and therefore equals. To learn more about Knighthood, see our Knighthood Standards page.
CAN YOU DO REAL JEDI MIND TRICKS, OR LIFT THINGS WITH YOUR MIND?
DOES IT COST MONEY?
The California Jedi currently do not charge dues, but may in the future. If you come to events that we attend (Jedi Gatherings, comic book or science fiction conventions, paintball, laser tag, dinner out as a group) you will be expected to pay your own way. The annual California Jedi Gathering has a fee to cover your share of housing and food.
IS THIS PART OF A LARGER GROUP?
Yes. There are many chapters of Jedi across the country, and internationally. We meet with them online and in person at JEDI GATHERINGS, held annually in the summertime.
JEDI REALISM AND THE MARTIAL ARTS
Most Jedi Realists study martial arts in one form or another. From yoga and tai chi to karate, aikido, and jiu-jitsu, we apply ourselves to these physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines as a way to become stronger and better Jedi. If you are already a martial arts student somewhere, terrific! If you are a teacher, that’s terrific as well. However, unlike the fictional Jedi, we are (thankfully) not state-sanctioned warriors. Although some Jedi take a martial path, the Jedi Path is inherently non-violent, and focused on peaceful conflict resolution.
May the Force be with you,
Kai-An Tatok/Katherine Mock
Organizer of California Jedi