9 Star Wars Quotes That Offer Meaningful Life Lessons

Some of life’s most valuable lessons can come from places you might not expect, like Star Wars quotes, for instance. After all, who’s to say that George Lucas’ beloved space opera doesn’t have a thing or two to teach us?

Below, we’ll take you through a few famous Star Wars quotes (and some more obscure ones) to explore some of the profound meaning and wisdom behind them.

One more thing: before you go looking for it, I’ll tell you right now, “Do or do not, there is no try,” is not in here. It’s not. Okay, it might be one of the last ones toward the end. It isn’t, though.

1. “How do we blow it up? There’s always a way to do that.”

Said by: Han Solo

In: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

The Lesson: Learn from Your Mistakes and Move On

Star Wars fans (though unfortunately not Star Wars villains) quickly learn that sometimes a plan doesn’t work out. When that happens, the best path forward is usually to take the lesson and develop a new approach to solve the problem

Sinking resources into a plan that doesn’t work will rarely get you very far.

If your first giant expensive planet-destroying space laser gets blown up, that’s just the cost of doing business. Brush it off, notify the families of the roughly 1.5 million casualties, and cut your losses. Take the opportunity to learn and do better next time.

Whatever you do, don’t just build a second, third, and I can’t believe I have to say fourth, but fourth giant expensive planet-destroying space laser. Who keeps taking the job openings to operate these?!

star wars death star proton torpedo explosion scene gif

2. “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Said by: Pretty much every character at some point

In: Every main movie, and most of the other stuff too

The Lesson: Take Risks, But Trust Your Gut

It’s a fan-favorite bit of Star Wars trivia that this line appears at least once in every movie in the Skywalker Saga and many other places throughout Star Wars media. And at a lingering glance, this line shows us something about the many heroes who deliver it.

star wars luke and chewbacca I have a very bad feeling about this quote

Look what happens every time someone says the line:

  1. The character acknowledges a warning sign or risk ahead (the “bad feeling”).
  2. They proceed anyway because they know the importance of their mission.
  3. The bad feeling proves to have been accurate.
  4. Our heroes defeat the monster, win the battle, or overcome the bad guys and win the day.

The critical point here is that each of these characters feels fear. They acknowledge their fear and choose to proceed anyway. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will, and these heroes do not let fear hold them back.

3. “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”

Said by: Qui Gon Jinn

In: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The Lesson: What You Set Your Attention on Matters

For Star Wars life lessons and sage wisdom, look no further than the ultimate warrior monk himself, Qui Gon Jinn. In this line, while comforting a young Anakin Skywalker about the great big world out there, Qui Gon taps into a fundamental piece of personal growth advice.

How you view the world around you has a tremendous impact on your experience. Also, crucially, you have significant influence over that view. One area we see this phenomenon time and time again is positive thinking. 

Focusing on positive outcomes and navigating adverse circumstances plays a vital role in your happiness and satisfaction with life.
Those who opt for a positive, open-minded outlook on life reap significant rewards, while those who give in to negativity bias likewise bring that worldview into reality.

4. “We’re clones, sir. We’re meant to be expendable.” “Not to me.”

Said by: Clone sergeant ‘Sinker’ and Jedi Master Plo Koon, respectively

In: The Clone Wars 

The Lesson: Every Person Deserves Love and Respect

If you’re a fan of the Clone Wars animated series, you know that one of its glowing strengths is its ability to tell the unique human stories of its titular clones. Although they are genetically identical soldiers bred solely for war, dozens of these characters shine in the series with unique personalities, quirks, wants, desires, and fears. 

This line is one of many heartfelt moments the show delivers to remind you that no matter what you look like, what your background is, or what sort of life you have lived, you are as worthy of love and respect as everyone else.

Whatever reasons you hold in your head as to why you are less valuable than someone else, less remarkable, or less deserving of all that is good, those reasons are wrong. You are a unique soul with precious gifts to offer the world, and you matter.

5. “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

Said by: Obi-Wan Kenobi

In: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

The Lesson: Life Isn’t Binary

At a glance, the plot of a Star Wars story isn’t all that complex: good guys beat bad guys (usually by destroying some version of a Death Star, see #1 above), and we all go home for some blue milk.

Underlying this comfortable trope is one of the central themes of the series that it’s not that simple. Indeed, the binary good guys/bad guys dynamic is what causes most of the problems in the first place. 

Throughout the Star Wars universe, we see characters struggle with the idea that the Jedi order defines what is good, and if you’re not good, then you are evil. Luke Skywalker and his father, Anakin, Count Dooku, Ahsoka Tano — all of these people could have led vastly different paths in a world where morality had even slightly more nuance to it.

High Ground GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The prequels carry this theme heavily, showing Anakin’s growth from an eager boy to a gallant hero to a nigh-irredeemable Sith lord. Unfortunately, this path to the dark side is paved for him, and not just by Palpatine. A lifetime of moral hard-lining and ultimata make it inevitable. 

Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber (which appeared long after fans had come to expect blue for good and red for bad) is also a signal of this fallibility in the good/bad binary. It definitely has nothing to do with the fact that Samuel L Jackson insisted on getting a purple one.

6. “[Insert any piece of Star Wars content here] RUINED the series!”

Said by: Star Wars fans the world over

In: their living room after seeing any new movie in the series

The Lesson: You Can’t Please Everybody

When people ask me if I’m a Star Wars fan, I like to joke, “No, I actually like the movies.” Unfortunately, the Star Wars fandom as a unit has a reputation for being a teensy bit extremely hyper-critical of their beloved franchise. 

Individually, fans are great. Most of the Star Wars people I know are cool, fun nerds that love the series as much as I do. 

The community as a whole, though, can be harsh. Fans have a habit of critiquing every line, plot point, inconsistency, and goofy little space-critter du jour.

Star Wars Episode 6 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Yet, with each new installment and subsequent wave of backlash, Lucasfilm-Disney forges dauntlessly on. They continue to do their best, pour their love and energy into the series, and make buckets of money.

The point is that not everybody will be happy with everything you do, say, or create. So keep doing what you do best and putting your whole self into it. 

What you put forth into the world will eventually connect with everyone it needs to. So don’t allow a few people’s negativity to get in the way of all you have to offer the world.

7. “He’s no good to me dead.”

Said by: Boba Fett

In: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The Lesson:  Presentation Is Everything

Even though Boba Fett has only four lines in the whole original trilogy, and none of them are all that consequential, Boba has long stood out as many fans’ favorite character in the entire Star Wars Universe. Long before he had his own series or his many appearances in other Star Wars media, Boba Fett has always caught fans’ attention.

Why, though? Is it because he:

  • Always knows just what to say? I think we’ve established that no.
  • Contributes meaningfully to the story? Nope, he’s a single-use plot device.
  • Has super cool action scenes? Haha, no, the opposite. The first time we see him fight, he loses embarrassingly, falling to his presumptive death.

Technically, a 2020s audience will now know he survived his own death and had a great redemption arc, but in 1980, he died embarrassingly to the tune of several Wilhelm screams.

The reason that we all love Boba so much is that the man has swagger. He doesn’t need to speak because his presence in the room announces itself. He wears awesome armor, which tells stories of its own through impressive scarring. He bears enough cool sci-fi gadgets to handle any scenario, and he carries it all with that stern, mysterious grace. Not just anybody can talk back to Darth Vader and live to tell the tale. 

The image you present to the world carries weight, and his image is made of solid beskar.

8. “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.”

Said by: Kylo Ren

In: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

The Lesson: Don’t Get too Hung up on the Past

This Star Wars quote is likely a nod to director Rian Johnson’s bold and controversial (see #6 above) effort to take the series in new directions and bury old tropes in the eighth installment. The lesson is pretty straightforward. Adam Driver’s near-universally popular Kylo Ren gives it all the more gravitas.

We all have our share of the past that we carry with us. Some of it is wonderful and still brings light into our lives. Conversely, some of it has outlived its usefulness, or worse, causes harm like a scar that hasn’t healed.

We all need to practice the art of letting go of the things that are no longer serving us in life. Some of these will take more effort than others, but all will create more space for levity, joy, and new experiences as we move forward through our own sagas.

9. “It’s a trap!”

Said by: Admiral Ackbar

In: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

The Lesson: It Is, in Fact, a Trap.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Their battle station is fully operational. They knew we were coming. Take evasive action. IT’S A TRAP.

Its A Trap Movie GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

Star Wars Quotes Can Always Teach Us Something New

Thanks for hanging out. I hope you had some fun and maybe picked up a few fun Star Wars quotes and a bit of sci-fi wisdom for the road. And, I seriously don’t want to say this, but I’m pretty sure it’s required… *deep breath* may the — seriously, I’m doing this, it’s your last chance to get out now — may the force be with you.

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Hey, I’m Sam. I created Smarter and Harder to explore big ideas, both old and new, about building a better life. My mission is to evolve the conversation about personal growth and have fun doing it.

10 thoughts on “9 Star Wars Quotes That Offer Meaningful Life Lessons”

  1. “It’s a trap!” Is a quote that can often be applied to everyday life, haha. May the(belated) Fourth be with you.

    • Oh, all the time. I can’t tell you how I often I find myself caught up in a trap, and when that happens, there’s only one thing to be said about it 😀

      Thanks for reading, Jenna!

  2. Thank you for the literal falling over belly laugh! Read your list to my hubby at the end he said
    Wait… Banana Fett is on the list but “do or do not” didn’t make it?
    …this is a stupid list… we should never have shared Star Wars with millennials… I just don’t know about this guy.
    Then he started talking about his plan for the morning & suddenly said
    I mean wtf… is this a coutdown… is “it’s a trap supposed to be #1… I just don’t know.
    I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face & Sam… I needed that laugh today & since I’m not a #6 star wars fan I loved this list. You definitely got the full Lucasfilms-Disney reaction in our house tonight… guess I owe you buckets of $ now! 🤣

    • hahahaha I love everything about this. Glad you guys had so much fun with it. I tried to mix some of the more well-worn quotes in with a few that don’t usually get as much attention, so unfortunately do or do not, and a few others didn’t make the cut. But it’s obviously a trap, so that had to be there 🙂


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