- "You've taken your first step into a larger world."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
A Force-sensitive, also known as a Forceful, was a being who was highly attuned to the flow of the Force. Force-sensitives could, with training, learn to sense and manipulate the Force.
The Jedi Order took Force-sensitive children at a young age to start training them to become Jedi. A notable exception to this was Anakin Skywalker who was taken to be trained when he was just under 10 years old. A midi-chlorian count through certain tests could determine how strong in the Force one was.
Trained Jedi could sense high levels of the Force in persons. The presence of Force-sensitives in a vicinity could also be sensed. For more accuracy, they performed midi-chlorian counts to detect Force-sensitivity in candidates. There were also several other testing technologies developed to hunt Force-sensitives during the Great Jedi Purge.
Species and objects
Species with high number of Force-sensitives included Humans, Kel Dors, Ithorians, Twi'leks, Zabraks, Nautolans, and even the rare and mysterious Duinuogwuins. Species producing low number of Force-sensitives included the Wookiees, Jawas, Hutts and Caamasi. The Neti, Red Sith and Miraluka were entirely composed of Force-sensitives. Gotals may all have possessed the ability to sense the Force, although they had little practical use for it. Jungle Felucians, as a species, were all Force-sensitive, but none were known to have become Jedi.
A creature (or object) did not necessarily need to be sentient to be able to possess Force sensitivity. Qui-Gon Jinn once gave Obi-Wan a stone from his homeworld's "River of Light" and it by unknown means appeared to be Force-sensitive as speculated by Obi-Wan.
Creatures such as the Vornskr and Ysalamiri of the planet Myrkr were other examples of non-sentient creatures who were considered Force-sensitive. An ancient mynock species was even rumored to have established a Force-sensitive run civilization relying on dark side energy.
Certain species, such Khommites and the Humans of Jabiim, openly feared or detested those who could be touched by the Force. This was especially true of the Yuuzhan Vong, who not only could not feel the Force, but were entirely unaffected by it. The Rakata had lost their sensitivity since the days of the Infinite Empire but held experiments to rekindle it in subsequent generations.
People could have been Force-sensitive by three known means. Either they inherited it by a Force-sensitive family member (which was often the case), acquired the sensitivity through random mutation or evolution, or, in rare cases, one could have been artificially imbued with sensitivity with the Force. Darth Plagueis, a master of midi-chlorian manipulation, lived during the century leading up to the Battle of Naboo. Obsessed with eternal life, Plagueis experimented with ways to cheat death and create new life from the midi-chlorians.
Plagueis' experiments in creating life may have succeeded. It was speculated that Plagueis initiated his plans before dying, and according to the Sith Lords, it was Plagueis who influenced the midi-chlorians to conceive Anakin Skywalker. Such was the case of the Reborn and Sith Cultist. Latent Force-sensitivity could have also been artificially activated or magnified; some members of Palpatine's Dark Side Elite benefited from this process.
Abilities of Force-sensitives
- "With that kind of luck they don't need any skill"
- ―Zu Pike about Luke Skywalker and company.
The Force, being far more powerful than any machine in the galaxy, had the ability to be used as a weapon by the Sith, or as a tool by the Jedi. In either case, the Force gave Force-sensitives the ability to perform actions that would have otherwise been considered impossible. For instance, Jedi Master Yoda had the ability, even at over 800 years old, to use the lightsaber combat form of Ataru, demanding incredible acrobatics and speed. This was in no small part due to his amazing power in the Force. Some Force powers included healing, psychokinesis, increased physical abilities, foresight, and various offensive techniques, such as the notorious Force lightning.
Force-sensitives were considered to have an unusual amount of luck, lucky guesses, and correct decisions; this was how droids could recognize Force-sensitives and enlist them for the New Jedi Order. Most untrained Force-sensitives still had raw Force associated talents, such as improved reaction time, physical strength, an affinity to animals, weather or certain other aspects of the Force. For example, due to his raw Force abilities, Anakin Skywalker was an accomplished pilot at the age of ten, despite a complete lack of formal training. Another example was Galen Marek who, at an even younger age, was able to pull Darth Vader's lightsaber out of his hand with telekinesis, without any Force training. Asajj Ventress was also able to force push a Weequay raider away from herself with no training as a child.
It was commonly considered near impossible to wield a lightsaber without a sense of the Force, This was, however, an exaggeration, as non-sensitives had successfully utilized lightsabers on numerous occasions. It did, however, require Force sensitivity and, except in rare cases such as Jaden Korr, some degree of training to successfully build one, and a Force-user generally would have been a more accomplished combatant.
Some Force-sensitives such as Streen were known to have drastic side effects for possessing Force sensitivity, although not having the knowledge to properly control it.
Force-sensitives throughout history
In the Old Republic era, Force-sensitives were typically discovered by the Jedi at a young age and enlisted for training as Jedi. Individuals discovered late enough to have developed family ties and friendships with others were not generally trained; an example of this was Alexi Garyn. This rule originated after the Exar Kun War but was not strictly enforced until after the Ruusan Reformation.
Qui-Gon Jinn discovered Anakin Skywalker through his prowess at Podracing. Anakin himself once believed as a boy that he had a "string of lucky guesses," when actually these guesses were early indicators of the Force. His mother Shmi Skywalker noticed these anomalies in her son as well, and described Anakin Skywalker as "special." Indeed he was, for Skywalker had no biological father.
Other potential Jedi had been discovered in roughly the same way - when there seemed to be an unusual amount of luck associated with an individual; in fact, when Luke Skywalker was looking for candidates for his Jedi Academy (later Jedi Praxeum) he told the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO to search for people with an unnatural amount of luck.
During the time of the Galactic Empire, Force-sensitives were known to be taken in to be trained as Inquisitors, Emperor's Hands, or otherwise. Most Force-sensitives discovered by the Empire however, were killed due to three possible factors: the threat of other powerful Force wielders was a fear of Palpatine's and as such most were simply eliminated on sight, discovered alien Force-sensitives were likely killed upon discovery as Human High Culture would suggest, or some were eliminated due to lack of sufficient power during vigorous "tests" performed by Imperials.
In some cases, such as those of Fionah Ti and Theron Shan, children of Jedi and other Force-sensitives were incapable of using the Force, a rare and unexplained phenomenon that occurred in random generations.
The terms Force-user and Force-sensitive were distinct in meaning. Force-sensitive denoted anyone with Force power, latent or active, while being called a Force-user implied that the individual had at least some understanding and control of their abilities and was able to use them to accomplish specific tasks. The latter was also used in a more specific sense as a general term for Force-trained individuals who did not belong to any of the two major Force traditions, the Jedi and the Sith. Another term for Force-user was Force Adept, for dark-siders sometimes Dark Side Adept (not to be confused with the Imperial title and organization proper).
Detecting the Force
The main form of detecting the Force through midi-chlorian count was lost to the Jedi because of the Empire's destruction of documents and the Great Jedi Purge. The head of the New Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker, discovered a different way to reveal Force-sensitivity. In Leia's quarters in the abandoned Emperor Palpatine's Imperial Palace on Coruscant, Luke and his twin sister Leia Organa Solo were doing some tests on the inner defenses of her brain. Luke was using the Force to access certain areas of the brain; as he accessed an area in the very back of the brain, he was rebuffed. They confirmed this to be a natural reflex of the Force-sensitive.
During the rebuilding of Coruscant after it was claimed by the New Republic, Wedge Antilles and the team he was leading discovered a chamber of Jedi-related artifacts possibly concealed by Emperor Palpatine. Items found there included a type of scanning device that could detect an aura of the Force around a person. R2-D2 was equipped with this scanner to aid Lando Calrissian in searching for Force-sensitives to join Luke's new Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4.
At some point in the future, the New Jedi Order would rediscover midi-chlorians and begin using blood tests to better find Force-sensitives.
Sometimes Jedi went into a trance and found a Force-sensitive by detecting the child through the Force itself. This technique was hard to master and spread the Jedi's Force abilities thin as the Jedi cannot fight or concentrate on anything else combined with concentrating on a large number of beings. The technique also requires time to use effectively, which may not be a good idea when things must be done as quickly as possible.
Besides Sith and Jedi traditions and Imperial dark side cadres, there were other organizations devoted to the Force. These often originated in another earlier tradition, but had left it after a schism or similar event. These could belong to either the light or dark side, or simply exist somewhere in between. Some of the better known examples of independent Force-user groups included the Ysanna, the Witches of Dathomir, the Aing-Tii Monks, the Baran Do, the Fallanassi, the Jensaarai, the Krath, the Sorcerers of Tund as well as many other Force-based organizations. Also, some Force-users did not adhere to any code or creed, but were self-taught or raised and trained by independent masters. There was also a family of Force-wielders known as "The Ones" on the planet Mortis.
Behind the scenes
Non canonical appearances
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Non-canonical appearance)
- Kowakian Monkey-Lizard (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- Hero's Guide
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 101
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game: Galactic Hunters
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Fate of the Jedi: Dramatis Personae
- Galaxy of Intrigue
- The Unknown Regions
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side