Star Wars and Spencer W. Kimball

66 Primary Sources

Jan 2, 1831

In the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith receives revelation teaching that the prepared shall not fear.

May 16, 1843

Joseph teaches that all spirit is matter.

Aug 15, 1844

Joseph states that the first principles of the gospel are to know for a certainty the character of God.

Feb 1847

Brigham writes of a dream in which Joseph appeared to him and told him to keep the Spirit of the Lord.


Brigham explains that whether we are given to good or evil in life, we will enter the spirit world with that same disposition.

May 25, 1977

In Star Wars (1977), Obi-Wan Kenobi describes the Force as an all-pervading energy field.

May 25, 1977

In Star Wars (1977), after the destruction of a planet, the character Obi-Wan Kenobi feels a "disturbance in the Force," knowing something terrible has happened despite being physically far away from the event.

Sep 17, 1978

The first episode of Battlestar Galactica opens with a meeting of the "Quorum of Twelve."

Sep 24, 1978

In Battlestar Galactica, the characters Apollo and Serina are married in a ceremony called the sealing "which is not only for now, but for all the eternities."

Sep 24, 1978

The Battlestar Galactica character Adama references a planet named Kobol, an anagram of Kolob.

May 21, 1980

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda teaches that size matters not.

May 21, 1980

In The Empire Strikes Back, the character Yoda describes the force as an all-pervading energy field.

May 21, 1980

IMDB lists the full cast and crew for The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

May 21, 1980

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda teaches "luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."

Jun 1, 1980

A New York Times article describes Star Wars' May 1980 limited release strategy to drive ticket sales.

Jun 9, 1980

"People" feature on Yoda notes Stuart Freeborn based Yoda's eyes on those of Albert Einstein.

Nov 1980

Teresa Nielsen Hayden in Telos #3 notes that a portrait on the wall is "Prez Kimball, looking very much like a pink and earless Yoda."

May 6, 1983

In an appeal as part of a court battle over potential copyright infringement, lawyers go back and forth on elements Battlestar Galactica may have borrowed from Star Wars.

Oct 1988

Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that the Lord measures a person's heart, rather than any physical characteristic.

Oct 1991

Thomas S. Monson observed in a General Conference talk that "in our daily experiences with children, we discover they are most perceptive and often utter profound truths."


In his biography of George Lucas, John Baxter describes George Lucas's friend and producer, Gary Kurtz, as being raised Mormon.

May 19, 1999

Yoda teaches that "fear is the path to the Dark Side."

May 16, 2002

Yoda teaches that "truly wonderful the mind of a child is."

Nov 11, 2002

Gary Kurtz, in an IGN interview, states that he never carried a weapon while in Vietnam because he was a "conscientious objector."


Stuart Freeborn details his inspirations for the sculpt of Yoda, saying he modelled Yoda on himself and Albert Einstein.

May 2005

Beliefnet article notes some of the references to Mormonism found in Battlestar Galactica.

Dec 8, 2006

By Common Consent blog post about Latter-day Saint culture references the Kimball/Yoda myth.

Jul 23, 2009

Peggy Fletcher Stack for the Salt Lake Tribune includes Kimball/Yoda in a list of LDS myths.

Sep 21, 2009

Carrie Fisher refers to Gary Kurtz as a Quaker.

Aug 11, 2011

Joel Shenk, a Mennonite pastor, says that people often confuse Mormons, Mennonites, and the Amish.

Sep 16, 2012

Speaking to Hayden Christensen, George Lucas states that he created Yoda after deciding that Luke needed a physical, embodied mentor after the death of Obi-Wan.


The Gospel of Matthew reports Jesus saying, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."


The Lord explains to Samuel that "man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."


Isaiah describes Christ as having "no form nor comeliness."

Feb 6, 2013

BBC obituary for Stuart Freeborn states that he based Yoda on Albert Einstein, as well as his own features.

Feb 7, 2013

In an obituary for Stuart Freeborn, Irvin Kershner notes that Freeborn "quite literally put himself into Yoda, as the Jedi master's inquisitive and mischievous elfin features had more than a passing resemblance to Freeborn himself," as well as LucasFilm noting that Yoda's looks were partly inspired by Albert Einstein.

Nov 17, 2014

Obituary for Glen Larson notes that writer Harlan Ellison referred to him as "Glen Larceny."

Nov 21, 2014

Jim Bennett's obituary for Glen Larson describes Battlestar Galactica as not Glen Larson's most successful series but his most personal.

Nov 21, 2014

In an obituary for Glen Larson, Jim Bennett describes some of the elements of Battlestar Galactica that were inspired by Latter-day Saint theology and organization.

Nov 7, 2015

Salon article describes the influence that Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces had on George Lucas and Star Wars.

Dec 13, 2015

Slate article describes various influences, sources, and analogues for Star Wars, including war films, Kurosawa films, westerns, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and other inspirations.

Dec 17, 2015 article notes some historical inspirations for Star Wars, especially Nazi Germany.

Dec 17, 2015

Google Trends data shows Utah residents the most interested in Star Wars in the week leading up to 2015's The Force Awakens.

Dec 21, 2015

Matthew Bowman in a Washington Post Op Ed mentions the Kimbal/Yoda myth and compares the two figures.

Dec 21, 2015

Larry D. Curtis for 2KUTV reports that two Utah theaters opened Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the top ten nationally.

Dec 23, 2015

Freeman Stevenson references the Kimball/Yoda myth in Deseret News article.

Jan 4, 2016

BBC article discusses the influence that Kurosawa's film The Hidden Fortress had on George Lucas and Star Wars.

Jan 12, 2016

Allan F. Packer, a General Authority Seventy, references Luke Skywalker in a BYU Devotional.

Apr 2016

Dieter F. Uchtdorf mentions Chewbacca in his April 2016 General Conference talk.

Jul 25, 2016

Famous Mormons includes Gary Kurtz.

Aug 16, 2016

In a BYU devotional, Jeffrey R. Holland discussed the centrality of the conflict between good and evil to our time and religion.


Officially endorsed Star Wars encyclopedia describes the basic nature of "the force."

Apr 2017

Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught in General Conference that "People who are fearful . . . often feel helpless and resentful, even angry. Over time these feelings lead to mistrust, defiance, even rebellion."

Apr 2017

Gary B. Sabin uses "Star Wars venacular, 'a disturbance in the force,'" to describe being out of sync with God's will.

Jun 17, 2017

Jon Waterhouse writes article for showcasing some early Yoda concept art by Joe Johnston.

Feb 2, 2018

Frank Oz describes to Neil deGrasse Tyson part of the process of coming up with the Yoda voice.


Pablo Hidalgo et al. in The Star Wars Book describes the differences between the "light side" and the "dark side" of the Force.


Pablo Hidalgo et al. in The Star Wars Book describes "force ghosts" and their powers.

Jun 24, 2020

Spencer W. Kimball's great grandson references the Yoda myth and describes similarities between Yoda and Kimball.

Oct 5, 2020

The Tabernacle Choir's website includes a short write up and video link to their performance of John Williams's "Duel of the Fates."

Aug 29, 2021

Mormonwiki claims Gary Kurtz was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Oct 19, 2021

LDS Living article claims Gary Kurtz was a practicing Latter-day Saint.

Oct 19, 2021

LDS Living article discusses the legend of Yoda being based on Spencer W. Kimball, states they are "passably similar in appearance and mannerism."

Oct 20, 2021

Screen Rant article discusses some of the similarties between Star Wars and Dune.

Feb 8, 2022

Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy, in a BYU Devotional, references Star Wars as a movie in which the good guys win in the end.


The Church website's summary of Spencer W. Kimball's presidency includes his ordination and death dates.