Do or Do Not

Photo by Arnie Chou from Pexels


For many of you reading this title, you may recall it has a familiar ring to it. Some of you will identify the source because the film that featured the lines has been seen by millions of people since it was first released in 1980.


The Empire Strikes Back was a second in the initial series of the Star Wars movies that have captured the attention of viewers of varying ages and multiple generations since it was first released. If you know it well, you recall the movie begins scrolling with these words, “It is a dark time…” and continues a few lines later talking about a brave group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker.


Luke is young and passionate, self-confident, and eager, but his mentor, Ben Kenobi (better known as Obi-Wan), reminds him there is much he does not know to be a great warrior. He tells Luke he must travel and train with the greatest of trainers, Yoda, to become a true Jedi knight to face the evil Darth Vader. Luke seems skeptical but flies off to the planet in search of Yoda.


When Luke arrives to search for Yoda, nothing is as he expects. The planet is creepy at best and the expectation of what such a legendary Jedi knight would look like is shaken when Luke first meets Yoda. (A great way to remind us all not to be shaken by appearance or believe that is all there is to a person, or to a Jedi knight.)


Once the training commences Luke is not always convinced Yoda is as gifted as he truly is, nor does he recognize the wisdom and necessity of the training needed to use the power of a Jedi knight for good and not darkness.


One of the training tasks Yoda implements with Luke is asking him to lift something using only his mind and thoughts. It requires a lack of distraction and a great deal of belief that he can accomplish the task. Luke has some success but gets distracted when his space craft sinks into the water where it had first landed. Luke believes the spacecraft is lost, but consider the dialogue and the admonishment of Yoda in the situation:


“Luke: Oh, no! We’ll never get it out now!

Yoda: So certain, are you? Always with you, what cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?

Luke: Master, moving stones around is one thing, but this is… totally different!

Yoda: No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.

Luke: All right, I’ll give it a try.

Yoda: No! Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.

[Luke tries to use the Force to levitate his X-Wing out of the bog but fails in his attempt.]

Luke: I can’t. It’s too big.

Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. 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. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.

Luke: You want the impossible. [sees Yoda use the Force to levitate the X-wing out of the bog and gets flustered when he does it] I don’t… I don’t believe it!

Yoda: That is why you fail.”


You may wonder what that has to do with the usual themes I write. Consider what I have put in italics in the dialogue above.


It contains principles for all who would believe and are called to be warriors for the cause of Christ. (Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit have power far beyond the mythical “Force” of the Star Wars epic series we enjoy.)



We also face an unseen dark force determined to erode any light emanating from the Godhead and shining through us. We (like Luke) can sometimes get ahead of ourselves and not recognize the power available to us is great but can only be wielded wisely as a result of training with a master warrior. Or we can be foolish and minimize the skill and tactics of the dark evil’s attempts to upend us and persuade is to leave the light and go “to the dark side.”


The more subtle weakness that can result in defeat is one less recognized by most of us. Yoda’s message is key: “Do or do not. There is no try.” You see Yoda knows the first step is to make a determined choice to do or not do what must be done. To say we will ‘try” does not show a determined belief and commitment to “do or do not” and that alone will result in a lack of success in battle, discipline, or life itself.


Fictional tales often show us a valuable lesson in life.


We too may see life around us not unlike the words scrolling at the beginning of the film – a dark time – and if we are to be light in the darkness and warriors for the good, our commitment must be sure and our belief unwavering.


“Do or do not. There is no try.”


Photo by Mathew Thomas from Pexels





23 thoughts on “Do or Do Not

  1. I love the voice of Yoda singing through this piece, Pam. Our family has spent a good many hours being entertained (and enlightened?) by the Star Wars saga.
    Blessings to you in all your doing.

    1. It’s great fun to know our families have shared this entertainment epic saga series. Will you go to see the new release in December?

  2. Pam, believe it or not, I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies. I know. Crazy, right? I keep saying I need to sit down and watch them all in some kind of marathon and then friends tell me that some of them don’t really relate to each other in that way. Anyway… someday, I will sit down one long weekend with a HUGE bowl of popcorn and watch them all.

    I love the way you draw the spiritual out of this. 🙂

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    1. Another newer friend of mine has seen none of these either. I am not a big sci-fi fan, but from the first one released (actually Episode 4) I was captured by the stories of good against evil and the power of the unseen Force.

      I am less familiar with the later and newest episodes since the original cast is no longer playing.

      Thanks for your kind words. I think the Lord will often allow us to see spiritual truth in something that is not spiritual.

      Have a blessed week!🍁

  3. Oh, I love these thoughts that come as we look at the allegories that are part of this fictional tale. The line that jumped out at me today, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” I hold on to so many thoughts that I think are necessary, but our God brings me the deepest truths in His own Word. There is no “trying” to understand, but to do is to take Him at HIS Word, to believe what He says. Thank you Pam for sharing this! Blessings to you today.

    1. Thank you, Bettie!

      That’s a great line and your comments are so true and powerful! So much of our walk with Him begins with unlearning the lies we believed for too long!

      Have a blessed day as October races toward the end!🍁

  4. ‘Fictional tales often show us a valuable lesson in life.’

    Maybe that’s why so many of us enjoy curling up with a great big book … especially on dreary days like today.

    Pam, thank you, friend, for this gentle reminder …

    1. Ah, yes, Linda, I think you are exactly right! Books are great companions with more stories hidden in each one to discover on dreary days or any day we are blessed to have time to indulge in the adventures they offer.

      The last two days here have been beautiful, but colder rainy days are ahead with the possibility of a few flakes of snow in the air a bit closer to Lake Erie than here by the weekend.🍁

  5. Great post Pam! God has taught me much through this scene when I have watched this series & now another lesson added!
    I agree with your following statement, “Fictional tales often show us a valuable lesson in life.” 😀

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! It’s fun to hear that scene has spoken to you before and that we both see the gifts tucked into so many fictional tales!


  6. Great post. That scene, and that quote in particular is my favorite of all the Star Wars movies and I use it a lot.
    Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party and have a wonderful week.

  7. I really appreciated this fresh dialogue in your writing space, Pam. I am encouraged every time I pop in to read your words. Today I pray God is meeting you right where this day finds you. I pray for abundant joy in your heart and that he will continue to make you a vessel of his love and truth. Your endurance and determination to follow and honor him, despite life’s hardest valleys, is an inspiration to me. Thank you for doing what you do!

    1. Thanks so much for these kind words and considerable encouragement. You have been a blessing to me in this prayer and grace.💝

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