The Star Wars universe is packed with wisdom. From the littlest creatures in the galaxy to some of the most powerful characters of all time, so many in the epic franchise have shared nuggets of wisdom that can be helpful as you navigate your real life.
Over the 40-plus years of the Star Wars franchise’s existence, so many lines have stuck with us for one reason or another. There’s Darth Vader’s “I am your father” revelation to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia insulting Han Solo as a scruffy-looking nerf herder, and of course Chewbacca’s famous growl.
But there are also the lines in Star Wars that mean something more, those that feel a bit more important because of the way they touch us at our cores and make us think about how we live our lives.
We’ve compiled some of the best Star Wars quotes that double as life lessons, from Yoda, the fountain of wisdom, to the beacon of evil itself, Darth Sidious.
1. “No! Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
When Luke Skywalker tells Yoda that he’ll try to lift his X-wing out of a Dagobah bog using the Force alone, Yoda says this line back to him. If you start by saying you’ll do something rather than just try, you’re removing the possibility for failure from the situation. Yoda reminds us all that it’s important not to put limits on ourselves prematurely and to believe in our capabilities.
2. “There’s always a bigger fish.”
— Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Qui-Gon Jinn says this line when a gigantic sando aqua monster eats a huge opee sea killer attacking their bongo ship in the oceans of Naboo. It’s a simple quip, but it’s important to remember that there’s always something more in life, and there’s always someone bigger than you. You may think something is the absolute best or biggest thing in the world, but there are no absolutes.
3. “Power! Unlimited power!”
— Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
As Palpatine attacks Mace Windu with Force lightning, he screams out these words. In any moment where you need a boost of confidence or a little more power to get through something tough, whether it’s a conversation you don’t want to have or you’re going for a personal record in the weight room, shout out these words and remember that your powers have no limits.
4. “It’s not my fault.”
— Han Solo, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Don’t let anyone blame you for things you have no control over, and more importantly, don’t blame yourself for those things. Han Solo was doing his best to pilot the Millennium Falcon in the shadow of a Star Destroyer, but he recognized that everything going wrong just wasn’t a burden he had to bear.
5. “There are things that you cannot solve by jumping in an X-wing and blowing something up.”
— Leia Organa, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Brute force isn’t always the best option for getting out of a sticky situation, as Leia reminds Poe Dameron in The Last Jedi. You can’t always charge head-first into something, especially a space battle; sometimes it’s best to think about an alternative solution and mix things up in a difficult moment.
6. “Excuse me sir, but that R2-D2 is in prime condition, a real bargain.”
— C-3PO, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
What C-3PO is doing here is hyping up his pal R2-D2, reminding not only the droid of its own worth, but sharing that knowledge with others. Be like C-3PO and hype up your friends.
7. “It’s over, Anakin, I have the high ground.”
— Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
In the climactic battle of the prequel trilogy between Obi-Wan and his pupil Anakin, Obi-Wan recognizes that Anakin has no chance of winning the fight. He has both the physically advantageous and the moral high ground in this situation. It’s important to recognize where you stand in any given situation, and, if you don’t have the high ground, consider standing down.
8. “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse, and rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere.”
— Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Anakin just makes a really good point in this scene, when he’s talking to Padmé Amidala about his home planet, Tatooine. Sand is very annoying. The worst part about going to a beach is the sand.
9. “I would like to see the baby.”
— The Client, The Mandalorian
In The Mandalorian, the mysterious client asks to see the baby, a.k.a. The Child, a.k.a. Baby Yoda. The client isn’t messing around. The client knows what he wants and he asks for it directly. Whether you are trying to see a baby or do literally anything else, be like the client and be direct with your communication.
10. “That’s not how the Force works!”
— Han Solo, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Han Solo says this line to a starry-eyed Finn after Finn suggests they use the Force to shut down the shields of the Star Killer Base. When tackling any problem, it’s important that you don’t jump into it with blind faith alone. Think, come up with a plan, and be realistic with how you’re going to handle the task at hand.
11. “We’re not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them.”
— Poe Dameron, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
Ahead of the climactic battle of the entire film series, Poe puts the fear of not having enough people to take on the First Order behind him, saying that if those who support their efforts see them taking the lead, they will follow and fight beside them. We may not see acts of good for a good cause happening around us every day, but seeing people take action can be inspiring and remind us that we’re not alone. Take action, do good, and people will be inspired to stand alongside you.
12. “Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?”
— Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Speaking of following people, Obi-Wan suggests in this scene that those who follow fools are even more foolish than the fools themselves. Just because you’re following someone who ends up being a fool doesn’t absolve you of not thinking your actions through. You are complicit in the foolery. So watch where you’re going and mind who you’re following.
13. “Hey, hey!”
— Babu Frik, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
This quote from the tiny mechanic Babu Frik is less about the words and more about the delivery. When pilots and fighters are coming to aid in the fight against the First Order, Babu Frik pops up alongside Zorii Bliss in her ship with the most enthusiastic greeting you’ve ever heard. This little goblin is so excited to see his new friends; just totally stoked. We should all strive to be this pumped when we see our friends and family and let them know just how much we enjoy seeing them.
14. “Be careful not to choke on your aspirations.”
— Darth Vader, Rogue One
Darth Vader certainly knows what this is like. He aspired to gain power above all else and look what happened. When setting your sights on lofty goals, be mindful of the sacrifices you may have to make to get there. If it isn’t worth it, consider a new path.
15. “Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”
— Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Obi-Wan is such a fountain of wisdom. This line, which he delivers as a Force ghost in Return of the Jedi, is basically the key to humanity. Truth is not absolute, and truths that we find ourselves holding onto may not be truth for someone else because they have lived a different life. Alternatively, something that we think is true may actually turn out to be entirely false. Remember that you never have all the information and that truth is subjective: Others’ viewpoints have some level of validity that depends on their own experience.