Of all the activities you can do Karate is on of the most self-esteem building. You will learn and improve and through achievement and also conquering difficulty including passing rigorous gradings you will build self-esteem. In the process, you will develop your character again building self-esteem. Learning self-defence builds your confidence enormously as you feel less intimidated by others even when it is not a self-defence situation. But more intrinsically than that learning how to protect yourself is a statement about yourself to yourself that you are worth defending. This lift in self-esteem combined with more practical lessons on becoming a better person makes karate a great vehicle for spiritual development.
Training to become a Jedi takes the utmost dedication (or so Master Yoda says). Karate is no different while the more superficial self-defence skills are our primary focus as a beginner or intermediate students, as we advance we gain a higher appreciation for spiritual and character development, self-mastery and some of the more subtle skills sets that can make a tremendous difference in effectiveness. For the most part, there are no shortcuts, nor can these high levels be achieved by dabbling.
We can not promise it will be easy we can only promise it will be worth it.
So is the karate the closest thing to becoming a real life Jedi? Short of becoming a Shaolin monk, it is probably as close as we will get, there are certainly many parallels that make the study of karate not only incredibly worthwhile but also in the end pretty Jedi.