The Force is strange in the first trailer for American Jedi, a documentary by Laurent Malaquais about some of the people who choose to practice Jedism, a religion based on the lives and teachings of Star Wars’ Jedi knights.
The film focuses on a few of the practicing Jedi. Some are exactly the oddballs you’d expect to be serious practitioners of a religion based on the Star Wars movies—such as Opie McCloud, a devout member who is trying to maintain his Jedi code of honor after his wife cheated on him. But then you’ve got others who’ve turned to the faith for love, acceptance, and companionship. For example, there’s Perris, a former member of the armed forces who found solace in Jedism after being sexually assaulted while serving her country.
These, and a few other personal testimonials, are interspersed with people outside of the religion providing commentary on the faith (including at least one member of a bonafide religion), as well as practitioners who stress Jedism’s accepting nature and the discipline required to behave like Star Wars’ iconic stoic wizards. Here’s the trailer:
In 2001, Jedism was the most popular alternative religion in the United Kingdom. It turns out most of the practitioners were only joking, but Jedism made its way across the pond and found a home amongst some very serious acolytes. American Jedi will be released digitally in November.