Essential Language From The Star Wars Universe

space opera

Star Wars is beloved for its epic space battles, quirky cast of intergalactic characters, and fierce lightsaber duels. But what about all the words? Jedi, lightsaber, and more are in the dictionary, and we're here to celebrate a few of the words that fuel the Star Wars universe!

First up: space opera. Star Wars is considered a space opera, a genre that blends science fiction with conventional dramatic elements. And, this is just the first of many word additions we can attribute to the legendary film franchise.

WATCH: Star Wars Meets the Dictionary

I am your father

I am your father might be the most quoted line in science-fiction history. It's easy to forget Darth Vader's stunning revelation in The Empire Strikes Back was seriously shocking to audiences back in 1980. These days, I am your father has been so heavily parodied and imitated that it's understandably lost some luster.

Turns out Darth Vader's menacing title actually alludes to his parentage of Luke Skywalker. According to Star Wars creator George Lucas, "Darth is a variation of dark. And, Vader is a variation of father. So, it's basically Dark Father." The words vader (Dutch) and vater (German) both mean "father" as well.


Lightsabers are the iconic weapon of choice for Jedi knights in Star Wars. That said, non-Jedi have been known to wield the flashy laser-swords, as well. During a climactic battle in The Force Awakens, former stormtrooper Finn manages to hold-off the ferocious Kylo Ren in a lightsaber duel.

Hardcore Star Wars fans might know these weapons conduct plasma and are powered by kyber crystals.

the Force

The Force acts as a universally binding energy in the Star Wars franchise. It's a potent metaphysical power that's constantly in threat of falling out of balance. Jedi and Sith use the Force to do cool stuff: choke each other, move objects around, and do acrobatic stunts.

The popular phrase May the force be with you also inspired Star Wars Day, which aptly lands on May the fourth of each year.

Jedi knights

Jedi knights are sworn protectors of the Force and the Jedi Order. Overall, they're pretty chill, almost like a new-age cult, more interested in theorizing and meditating than engaging in combat.

Apparently, the term Jedi is a nod to an early collection of science-fiction books published around 1917 known as The Martian Series. In an interview with The New York Times, George Lucas claimed he based the name Jedi on the made-up words Jed or Jeddak featured in the book series he loved growing up. And yes, we have an entry on!

Sith lords

Sith lords represent the dark side of the force. They're bad guys; easily identifiable by their red lightsabers and evil aspirations.

Yet, sith is simply an archaic version of the word since. To add some drama, some Star Wars fans reckon the foreboding name might be related to the Scottish Gaelic term Sìth, which refers to mischievous faeries.


Unlike most words on our list, this one isn't tricky to decode. Stormtroopers in Star Wars share eerie similarities with the Nazi shock-troopers who marched over Europe in the 1940s.

George Lucas has been candid about his inspiration for the evil Galactic Empire, at one point even referring to them as "Nazis" on the commentary track for The Empire Strikes Back.


Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of Star Wars fans like the word prequelAlthough some have embraced the controversial prequel films that George Lucas directed, many fans view them as inferior to the original trilogy. Critics savaged the Star Wars prequels for their lousy acting, convoluted plots, and heavy reliance on CGI sequences.


A trilogy is any dramatic work composed of three parts. While some film trilogies existed before Star Wars, creator George Lucas is credited with popularizing this format in the industry. Since the success of Star Wars, blockbuster film franchises like Spider-Man, The Matrix, and Lord of The Rings have released sequels in bunches of three.

The history of trilogies dates way back to ancient Greece. During the extravagant festival of Dionysia, playwrights and actors would put on performances to honor the god Dionysus. Usually, three interrelated plays were performed over the course of the festival in addition to one satyrical or comedic performance. The satyr would complete what's known as a Greek tetralogy.


No, we're not talking about that gigantic cannon mounted on the Death StarRather, canon refers to the extensive collection of fictional histories and stories that make up the greater Star Wars universe. For serious fans obsessed with every detail, official cartoon spin-offs, comic books, and novelizations all make up the canon. Of course, the primary source of the Star Wars canon is still the films themselves.

As you might imagine, there's an ongoing debate over what's officially considered canon within Star Wars fandom. George Lucas claims he mostly ignores the large amounts of licensed material produced under the brand. Still, certain fans remain desperate to absorb every scrap of canonical information about the intriguing Star Wars universe.