Fans Embrace Chirrut's 'Rogue One' Mantra

by Allie Gemmill
Walt Disney Pictures

There is no shortage of memorable Rogue One quotes that you can reel off to your friends, but I think there is one particular line that will become the most cited in the months to come. That line comes courtesy of blind warrior Chirrut, whose Rogue One mantra has become important to fans; it totally embodies the film's oft-repeated theme of hope. Major Rogue One SPOILERS. Rogue One fans have begun using the mantra "I am one with the Force. The Force is with me," in their social media discourse, primarily on Twitter. The repetition of the mantra on Twitter adds a layer of fan-derived importance to the mantra itself, creating a long-lasting pop culture appreciation of Rogue One that may likely remain once it's out of theaters. Whether it is the timing of the film's release — it arrived at the end of a very long, tiring year — or the total relatability of the mantra itself, fans are flocking to it like moths to a flame.

The film itself is fictional, but the mantra is just as a real as any that we could create in reality. The notion that words could have such a powerful effect on a character that it could end up keeping them safe is a profound notion to contemplate. Why wouldn't you want to use it whenever you are in need of a feeling of safety? That intersection between fandom and total belief occurs every time the mantra is invoked on social media and that in turns builds up the applicability and importance of the mantra to everyone who reads it.

Chirrut's mantra is meant to connect him deeper to the Force in times of crisis and mental preparation. He calmly repeats, "I am one with the Force. The Force is with me," until he feels confident enough to stride forward into the unknown; as a blind man, the unknown is quite literal. It's invigorating to witness that intense faith merge with confidence and manifest itself into a kind of superpower onscreen. As such, it's hard to feel anything less than empowered as a Rogue One viewer. You are left with the impression that even if the Force doesn't exist in real life, saying or typing it could have just as sustaining an effect.

My primary belief is that fans are repeating the mantra, because it can help soothe us all in what will soon be the wake of a truly terrible year. 2016 was rotten for a number of reasons: some of our favorite celebrities unexpectedly passed, the election and its results had profound and devastating results, and toxic divisions on topics like race and gender arose between people in ways we may never have expected. By using the mantra, a fan telegraphs that they are trying to steel or steady themselves in difficult times, much like Chirrut did in Rogue One.

There's no doubt in my mind that we will see more creative uses of "I am one with the Force. The Force is with me," in the coming months. It's varied applicability means that it has the potential to surface anywhere. Perhaps, like many of the most famous quotes from Star Wars, Chirrut's mantra with become an important piece of pop culture. Gosh, I really hope that happens.