It all started, of course, with A New Hope, when General Jan Dodonna said it to his brave Rebel troops just before the Battle of Yavin. Han Solo then somewhat surprisingly said it to Luke shortly after Dodonna, just before Luke flew off to tackle the Death Star. Given Han had questioned the value of “hokey religion,” he used it as a sign of friendship and genuine goodwill to Luke – and we know how that all ended up…
In George Lucas' first draft of Star Wars, the concept of the Force was not fully formed. A character that never made it into the final version of the film called King Kayos said the blessing “May the Force of others be with you all.”
There was a lengthy development of the concept before it became what we know it to be today.
Amusingly, Obi-Wan Kenobi is sometimes credited with using the phrase first, but here are the quotes for when he uses it:
“The Force will be with you… always.”
“Luke, the Force will be with you.”
“Use the Force, Luke.”
“Remember, the Force will be with you always.”
There are plenty of other phrases when the Force is used too. But what is it based on?
The Force is mentioned several times in the Star Wars movies but there are three main ways that this phrase we are talking about you is said:
- “May the Force be with you” is used 16 times in the franchise.
- “May the Force be with us” is spoken twice.
- “The Force will be with you” is also used twice.
Here's the use per movie breakdown:
A New Hope
- General Dodonna said it to his troops.
- Han Solo says it to Luke just before the Battle of Yavin.
Number of times = Two.
The Empire Strikes Back
- When Luke is speaking with Lando and Chewie, he says “Chewie, I'll be waiting for your signal. Take care, you two. May the force be with you.”
Number of times = One.
Return of the Jedi
- It is not said in Return of the Jedi. Admiral Ackbar says before the Battle of Endor, “May the Force be with us.”
The Phantom Menace
- Qui-Gon Jinn says it to young Anakin just before the pod race starts.
- Mace Windu and Yoda exchange this pleasantry between them.
- Yoda says it another time.
Number of times = Four.
Attack of the Clones
- Anakin and Obi-Wan each make the exchange before Anakin leaves the planet Coruscant with Padmé.
- Mace says it to Obi-Wan.
- Obi-Wan gets as far as “may the” before his transmission is cut off. We don't count this.
Number of times = Three.
Revenge of the Sith
- Yoda says the line to Obi-Wan just before he travels to the Wookie home planet.
- Obi-Wan and Anakin say it to each other, the last time they speak as friends.
- Yoda and Obi-Wan wish each other luck by saying it to each other just before Yoda goes to take on Darth Sidious.
Number of times = Five.
The Force Awakens
- It is Commander Organa (Leia) who says the classic line to Rey at the end of The Force Awakens. This makes “May the Force be with you” the last line spoken in The Force Awakens. This line is not only one of good luck, it's Leia truly wishing that the Force is with Rey as she begins her journey to becoming a Jedi as she heads off to find Luke Skywalker.
Number of times = One.
So it looks like Obi-Wan says it the most on three occasions, while Yoda and Mace both say it twice.
- Jyno Erso says to her band of merry Rebels “May the Force be with us.”
- Special mention should go to Admiral Raddus who said “Rogue one, may the Force be with you.”
- K-2SO also tries to get the quote out but is told to shut up by Jyn and Cassian.
Number of times = Two.
The Last Jedi.
The Rise of Skywalker
The line is not spoken in The Rise of Skywalker.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
The line is not spoken in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Who First Said May the Force Be With You in Star Wars?
General Jan Dodonna said in A New Hope “Then man your ships. And may the Force be with you” and was thus the first to say the famous line. Dodonna was played by Alex McCrindle. The character appeared again in the Rogue One prequel, played by a different actor, Ian McElhinney.
Paul Rose Jr is the Editor in Chief of Wealth of Geeks & manages the Associated Press program for The Insiders network. He has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.