Star Wars fans stung by Jedi email

Despite proving that the Internet is a genuinely unifying 'force', email stunt will not work

Star Wars fans in the UK have been stung by an email suggesting that the forthcoming UK Census would recognise "Jedi" as a religion if enough people put it on their form.

The Office of National Statistics confirmed on Thursday that the stunt, which had raised hopes among Star Wars fanatics across the country that they would be recognised as Jedi Knights, will not work.

Star Wars enthusiasts were asked in the email to enter "Jedi" into the box asking their religion.

"If there are enough people who put down a religion that isn't mentioned on the census form it becomes a fully recognised and legal religion," the email reads. "Send this on to all your friends and tell them to put down "Jedi" on their census form. And remember... if you are a member of the Jedi religion then you are by default a 'Jedi Knight'."

Unfortunately, according to a spokesman at the Office of National Statistics, this simply isn't true.

"There won't be any coding for 'Jedi'," he said. "So it won't be called a religion even if 10,000 people do it."

However, this shouldn't discourage Star Wars fans from naming their religion as Jedi. "We're encouraging people to take [the census] seriously, but we can't stop them putting Jedi," he says.

A similar stunt was attempted last month in New Zealand, where fans of the Star Wars films were told they needed 8,000 people to make Jedi a religion.

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