by Tania Teitzel (Director & Principal Speech Pathologist)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ….

I saw my very first movie in a theatre. It was 1977 at the Regal Theatre in Coolangatta and the film was Star Wars (later called A New Hope). The wonder and joy I experienced at that time has spurned my lifelong love and interest in all things space, science fiction and Star Wars.

From that moment on, I was captivated by the epic tale of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as they battled the forces of darkness in a galaxy ravaged by tyranny. Little did I know then that this cinematic masterpiece would not only shape my entertainment preferences but also influence my career path as a speech pathologist.

Enter Yoda in the next Star Wars movie (The Empire Strikes Back), the wise and enigmatic Jedi Master whose unique speech patterns have become legendary in the Star Wars universe. My fascination for grammar began and my path to a career in speech pathology was set. In the words of Yoda, “Much to learn, you still have.”

As I ventured into the field of speech therapy, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the struggles faced by the characters in Star Wars and those encountered by individuals grappling with communication difficulties. Just as Luke Skywalker embarked on a journey of self-discovery and growth under the guidance of Obi-Wan Kenobi, so too do my clients embark on their own journeys towards finding their voice and reclaiming their place in the world.

In the same way that the Force binds the Star Wars universe together, communication serves as the cornerstone of human connection. However, for some individuals, expressing thoughts and ideas can feel as daunting as facing Darth Vader himself. This is where the role of a speech pathologist becomes akin to that of a Jedi Master, guiding and supporting others towards communication confidence.

Join me on a journey of useful resources as we explore the intersection of speech therapy and Star Wars. I have found incorporating Star Wars into speech therapy to be both fun and engaging … for both the child and the speech pathologist!

Character Voices: Practice articulation and intonation by imitating the voices of various Star Wars characters. You can focus on specific sounds or speech patterns unique to each character.

Story Retelling: Use Star Wars scenes or storylines as prompts for students to practice retelling narratives. Encourage them to use descriptive language, sequence events correctly, and articulate their thoughts clearly. Use a pool noodle or toilet rolls to craft your very own light saber.

Figurative Language : Humour can be a great tool to work on multiple meaning words and figurative language. Clients need to use their metalinguistic skills to work out why a joke is so funny. Check out these Star Wars themed jokes such as Q: Why did the angry Jedi cross the road? A: To get to the Dark Side.

Available through

Writing Prompts: Provide writing prompts based on Star Wars scenarios, characters, or themes. This can help children practice organising their thoughts, structuring sentences, and expand their vocabulary. Teachers pay teachers have some great Would you Rather Star Wars themed prompts to use for a persuasive writing task (e.g. Would you rather be a Jedi Knight or a Sith Lord)

Role-Playing: Act out scenes from Star Wars using role-play. This can help children practice conversational skills, turn-taking, storytelling, problem solving and social communication. You can even assign roles based on child’s speech therapy goals (e.g. negotiation, perspective taking, problem solving, teamwork or assertive communication). You might like to use wise quotes from Star Wars to highlight learning opportunities (e.g. in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”)

Sequencing Activities: Use Star Wars-themed screenshots for sequencing cards to help children practice sequencing events in a story. They can arrange cards or sentences in the correct order to retell a scene or summarise a plot.

Articulation Games: Create a Star Wars-themed articulation game with characters or pictures where children have to correctly pronounce words containing their target sounds. For example, for /s/ sound practice, they could say, “May the Force be with you” or “Luke Skywalker.” Or for /th/ sound practice, they could talk about all the Sith Lords of the Sith Order such as Darth Vader, Darth Sidious (Palpatine), Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku), and Darth Maul.

Listening Comprehension: Play audio clips or show short video clips from Star Wars movies or cartoons then, ask comprehension questions related to the content. This can help children practice listening skills, answering questions and inferencing.

Create Comic Strips: Have students create their own Star Wars-themed comic strips. They can practice writing dialogue, using speech bubbles and sequencing events while incorporating their speech therapy targets.

Education on Communication Differences: Many Star Wars characters communicate differently. Their stories can be powerful anchors to aid understanding, empathy and self-awareness for people with communication difficulties. Whether is it Yoda with his unique grammar through to R2D2 who communicates in beeps and whistles or DJ in ‘The Last Jedi’ who stutters. More recently speech pathologists became excited to see Grogu or “Baby Yoda” in the Mandalorian use a reconstructed IG unit to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in what speech pathologists call AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication).

Use famous quotes & wisdom to inspire and motivate : Here are two of my favourites …

“Do. Or do not. There is no try” – Yoda

“You must unlearn what you have learned” – Yoda

Finally, one of the most powerful aspects of Star Wars is its emphasis on the importance of community and mentorship. Similarly, speech therapy thrives on collaboration between clients, families and therapists. Fostering an environment of sharing and encouragement. So, if you are a speech pathologist or client with a passion for Star Wars reach out and share any cool Star Wars things you come across!

May the force be with you, especially every May the 4th!