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It’s among the most iconic lines in a film littered with brain-etchingly memorable quotes, and our pal Dan Zehr dives into this commonly used GFFA phrase, looking at the deeper meaning as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has (arguably) one of the most iconic pieces of dialogue in the Star Wars franchise, and it’s delivered by Jedi Master Yoda. His new student, the talented but impatient Luke Skywalker, needs to get his X-wing out of the murky swamp on Dagobah in order to save his friends. Yoda prompts him to use the Force to retrieve the starship, and Luke says to his teacher, somewhat reluctantly, “All right. I’ll give it a try.”

Yoda’s response: “No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” All Luke sees is this massive ship, which seems like it would be much harder to lift than moving a few rocks around. So Luke tries. And fails. But what happened? And maybe more importantly, why is Luke not supposed to try? Isn’t that counterintuitive to what a good instructor, let alone the most respected one in the galaxy, should tell a student? Something is missing.

Star Wars The Black Series Han Solo (Carbonite) 6-Inch-Scale The Empire Strikes Back 40TH Anniversary Collectible Figure with Stand (Amazon Exclusive)
  • HAN SOLO (CARBONITE): Before attempting to trap Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader tested the carbon-freezing process on Han Solo. The smuggler survived, and was later freed by Princess Leia in Jabba the Hutt’s palace
  • 40TH ANNIVERSARY FIGURE: Celebrate 40 years of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back with this Han Solo (Carbonite) The Black Series action figure featuring 1980s-inspired design
  • VINTAGE-INSPIRED PACKAGING: Star Wars The Black Series Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40TH Anniversary 6-inch-scale classic Star Wars figures feature packaging with original Kenner branding (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)
  • PREMIUM DETAILING: Star Wars fans and collectors can display this Han Solo (Carbonite) figure, featuring premium deco, in their action figure and vehicle collection
  • LOOK FOR OTHER FIGURES FROM A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY: Look for movie- and entertainment-inspired Star Wars The Black Series figures to build a Star Wars galaxy (Each sold separately. Subject to availability)