May the 4th Be With You: Star Words

Rejoice, Star Wars fans! May the 4th is National Star Wars Day! The epic film series launched plenty of words—like Jedi and Wookiee—but it also made use of existing words, giving them a new spin, and a new force, if you will. Our Star Wars lexicon will serve you well in any galaxy.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. clone
    a person who is almost identical to another
    She earned this position by becoming one of the first Galactic senators to publicly object to Emperor Palpatine’s rise to power during the Clone Wars.Time (Dec 12, 2016)
    Do you love yourself? If you said yes, then you should become a genetic engineer and make yourself a clone. A clone is a genetic copy of someone: clones look exactly the same, much like identical twins. The stormtroopers in the first three Star Wars movies (and those execrable prequels) were clones. In fact, they were a clone army. Hey, if you can’t recruit an army of jackbooted thugs, why not grow them in a petri dish?
  2. force
    a powerful effect or influence
    “The force is strong with this one.” – Darth Vader
    As the old joke goes, the force in Star Wars is like duct tape: it has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together. In our universe, the force is a broad term for various types of strength and power. An anvil falling from a great height has a lot of force. Employees are called the workforce, and if you have a lot of them, you can get more done. When countries go to war, they’ve decided to use force instead of diplomacy. Forces get stuff done.
  3. galaxy
    a collection of star systems
    Is he a Jedi teleported from the distant past and galaxies far far away?New York Times (Feb 19, 2017)
    How many people have learned this word from the famous opening crawl of Star Wars? “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” Galaxy is part of a sequence of increasingly larger cosmic stuff we’re part of: planet, solar system, galaxy, universe. A galaxy contains a whole bunch of solar systems, each of which has a sun and some planets.
  4. imperial
    relating to or associated with an empire
    Like Darth Vader preparing to unleash a Force choke on a garrulous Imperial officer, we view such frivolities with icy scorn.The Guardian (Mar 8, 2017)
    Another Star Wars word refer to empires: imperial. In addition to referring to an actual empire, things and people described as imperial are majestic, commanding, or high-and-mighty.
  5. rebellion
    organized opposition to authority
    Nearly four decades later, she was still playing Leia, only now as a general of the rebellion in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”Salon (Dec 27, 2016)
  6. destiny
    a course of events that will inevitably happen in the future
    He admired Luke Skywalker for finding within himself “the resources of character to meet his destiny.”Salon (Aug 22, 2016)
    In the original trilogy, Darth Vader tried to convince his son Luke that the farm boy’s destiny was to rule the galaxy with pop. Someone’s destiny is their fate. If something is destined to happen, then it has to happen.
  7. empire
    the domain ruled by an emperor or empress
    The empire in “Star Wars” gets a bad rap.New York Times (Jan 11, 2017)
    The bad guys in Star Wars are the empire—the galactic empire. This isn’t a sloppy word choice, since the leader of the empire is an emperor—excuse me, THE Emperor. With his repressive regime and freaky lightning shooting out of his fingertips, the Emperor is not a contender for the Star Wars equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. Empire was originally a borrowing from French and refers a realm or territory with an absolute ruler: an empire is the opposite of a democracy.
  8. apprentice
    someone who works for an expert to learn a trade
  9. phantom
    a ghostly appearing figure
    Well, almost the first: Lucas, lest we forget, introduced the servile TC-14 for an early scene in The Phantom Menace.The Guardian (Feb 20, 2017)
  10. menace
    something that is a source of danger
    On Global News, a Star Wars fan snarkily joked that “someone probably showed him Phantom Menace.”Salon (Apr 11, 2016)
  11. alliance
    the state of being confederated
    Then again, there appear to be more bug-eyed lobster men than women among the highest ranks of the Rebel Alliance.The Guardian (Feb 20, 2017)
    The good guys in Star Wars are part of the Rebel Alliance. An alliance brings together different people and factions, like the Allied Powers in World War II. An ally is a friend you can count on. Alliance gained popularity thanks to reality TV shows where characters make alliances: secret pacts designed to ensure their survival and crush other contestants. When you’re in an alliance, you have friends—and usually enemies too. That’s why you needed the friends in the first place.
  12. millennium
    a span of 1000 years
    There are a lot of callbacks to the cantina scene and the Millennium Falcon being a piece of junk.Time (Dec 13, 2016)
  13. deceive
    cause someone to believe an untruth
    “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
  14. disturbing
    causing distress or worry or anxiety
    “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” – Darth Vader
  15. mission
    an operation that is assigned by a higher headquarters
    “I’m a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan.” – Princess Leia

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