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"The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded."
Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

A mind trick was an ability of the Force that allowed the practitioner to influence the thoughts of the affected, generally to the user's advantage.[4] When using the mind trick, the practitioner generally adopted a suggestive tone of voice and used a distinctive gesture, waving their hand in front of the target's face.[3]

The mind trick was said to work only on the weak-minded[3], and there were certain species, including Toydarians[2] and Hutts[4] that were either highly resistant or immune to it. However, the mind trick could be used by a group of Jedi simultaneously to exert a greater collective influence on those who would normally be able to resist a single Jedi's attempt alone, as demonstrated by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Anakin Skywalker upon the bounty hunter Cad Bane[6].

HistoryEdit

«You weak-minded fool! He's using an old Jedi mind trick!»
Jabba the Hutt to Bib Fortuna[src]
Mindtrick

Obi-Wan Kenobi used the Jedi mind trick on his last trip to Mos Eisley

Qui-Gon Jinn used a mind trick to convince Boss Nass to give him a bongo for transport to Theed,[2] though it was unclear to what degree it was necessary, as Nass knew that the route to the surface was littered with sea creatures and he was happy to be rid of the accident-prone Jar Jar Binks.[7]

Later, when he was stranded on Tatooine, he attempted to use a mind trick on Watto in order to get him accept Republic credits for the purchase of a T-14 hyperdrive, but Watto told him that he was a Toydarian and that mind tricks didn't work on him, only money.[2]

While on a mission to Carnelion IV some years later Obi-Wan Kenobi used a mind trick to persuade a hostile local woman named Pran that there was no need for weapons in their conversation. The mind trick succeeded and Pran began to obey when they were interrupted by an attack by a third party.[8]

Years later when Kenobi was on Coruscant seeking an assassin that had targeted Padmé Amidala, he was approached by an individual in a bar that sought to sell him death sticks. Kenobi used the mind trick both to convince him that he didn't want to sell him death sticks and that he wanted to go home and rethink his life. Not long after this, when Anakin Skywalker and Amidala were on Naboo, Amidala suggested that Skywalker might use the mind trick on her after he had trouble getting her to open up about her past, but Skywalker replied that they only work on the weak-minded.[9]

During the Clone Wars, when Kenobi and Skywalker were captured by the Ohnaka Gang, Kenobi used a mind trick to convince a guard to let them out and go out drinking, though he and Skywalker were ultimately re-captured anyway.[10]

The Mandalorian Security Forces were trained to resist mind tricks by playing along. Ahsoka Tano thought she could use a mind trick one of the guards to see the Duchess Satine who was being held hostage, but learned that he was acting and that the guards were trained to resist what Prime Minister Almec called "archaic magic".[11]

Later during the war, Skywalker used a mind trick to convince the bounty hunter Shahan Alama to check for pursuers.[12]

Jedi Master Mace Windu attempted a mind trick on a Dagoyan to allow him access to the Queen's chambers on Bardotta, but was told "That will not work on a Dagoyan."[13]

When Kenobi and Luke Skywalker traveled to Mos Eisley to seek passage to Alderaan, Kenobi used a mind trick to convince a suspicious stormtrooper both that he did not need to see Skywalker's identification and that the droids (R2-D2 and C-3PO) that were accompanying them weren't the droids that they were searching for. After he and Skywalker were clear of the checkpoint, Skywalker expressed surprise at how easily they had escaped and Kenobi explained that "The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded."[3]

When Skywalker was on Rodia to acquire weapons for the Rebel Alliance, he encountered an obnoxious Rodian who refused to take him to his contact, Taneetch Soonta. He attempted a mind trick to get the Rodian to be more cooperative, but to no effect. He tried again, adding the hand gesture that Kenobi had used, but the attempt again failed. He then gave up the attempt as pointless, realizing he didn't have enough knowledge for the trick to work, but the problem was resolved when the Rodian received a comm message instructing him to cooperate.[14]

When Skywalker visited Jabba's Palace to rescue Han Solo, Leia Organa and Lando Calrissian, he used a mind trick on Bib Fortuna to convince him to bring him before Jabba the Hutt. Jabba criticized Fortuna as a "weak-minded fool," and Luke attempted to use a mind trick on Jabba to get him to release the hostages, but the trick did not work.[4]

Despite having no formal training in the use of the Force, the scavenger Rey attempted a mind trick on a First Order stormtrooper guard when she was imprisoned in a cell in Starkiller Base. She attempted to convince the guard to remove her restraints and leave the cell open so that she could escape. Her first attempt at the mind trick was unsuccessful, only provoking the guard to approach her with the threat of tightening the restraints. When she repeated her instructions, however, the stormtrooper acquiesced and as he left, she convinced him to drop his blaster as well. Having been shackled at the time, Rey accomplished the feat without the use of any distracting gesture.[5] Rey was inspired to use the mind trick following her successful resistance of Kylo Ren's mind probe, in which she turned his own power against him, briefly experiencing his own memories. Following this, she intuited that if she had the ability to resist the mental powers of someone powerful like Ren, then it might be easy to influence to the mind of someone like a stormtrooper who had no training or power in resisting such influences. She then reached out with both her words and thoughts.[15]

Behind the scenesEdit

The Jedi mind trick first appeared in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, but was not identified by name at the time and was first described as "Jedi mind trick" in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. The mind trick was widely featured in Expanded Universe, later re-branded as Star Wars Legends, in which it had a number of useful variants, such as the ability to project illusions, but these cannot be considered canon. Kenobi's original usage of the mind trick, "These aren't the droids you're looking for," became a phrase in popular culture and has served as the inspiration for at least two songs.[16] [17]

AppearancesEdit

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