When asked their religious affiliation on the 2001 census forms, many Britons are writing in "Jedi Knight," government officials said Wednesday.
So many, in fact, that the government has been forced to give "Jedi Knight" its own category when compiling census results.
Jedi Knight was given its own code in processing the census forms because a large group of people entered it, an Office for National Statistics spokesman said on condition of anonymity. He added that the office was not saying that Jedi Knight is an official religion.
Jedi Knights are the warriors who battle evil through the ages in the "Star Wars" movies, in which Jedi is a force created by all living things.
Press Association, the British news agency, said an e-mail campaign had encouraged Britons to put "Jedi Knight" on their forms. It said it was unclear who was responsible for the campaign, which sought to convince up to 10,000 people.
Government officials said they don't know how many people wrote Jedi Knight in as a faith because the census results are still being counted and will not be published until next fall. But the numbers were large enough to cause some disruption.
The statistics office spokesman referred to the census entry as nonsense and said authorities said had urged people not to make such entries when filling out their forms.
Officials said data on the number of self-proclaimed Jedi Knights will not be included with information about more mainstream religions in the final census results, but that they would consider compiling the results if asked.
Sir Alec Guinness, a real knight who received the honor after his role in "The Bridge on the River Kwai," played the wise Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars."
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