“May the force be with you”, said St. Paul

Andrew got a me a beautiful behind-the-scenes book on Star Wars (because my friends love me). The author points to an interesting origin for the phrase, “May the force be with you.”

From an early age, Lucas had been interested in the fact that all over the world religions and peoples had created different ideas of God and the spirit. “The ‘Force of others’ is what all basic religions are based on, especially the Eastern religions,” he says, “which is, essentially, that there is a force, God, whatever you want to call it.” It is the common denominator, a source of strength, and at this point in his writing process only the good guys seem to be aware of it. (In Star Was; The Annotated Screenplays, Laurent Bouzereau points out that the expression is a variation on the Christian phrase May the Lord be with you and your spirit –in Latin, Dominus vobiscum et cum spiritu tuo, which was often written by Saint Paul at the end of his letters.)

I don’t know if “often written” is true. The exact phrase as recited here doesn’t appear in the Vulgate. A similar phrase appears at the end of Galatians (“gratia Domini nostri Iesu Christi cum spiritu vestro fratres amen.” 6:18) but the closest I found was at the end of 1 Timothy (“Dominus Iesus cum spiritu tuo gratia nobiscum amen.” 4:22)

Still, it’s kind of fun. :-)

J.W. Rinzler, The Making of Starwars: The Definitive Story Behind The the original film. (New York: Del Rey, 2007). 18.