The Force, also known as the Ashla to the Lasats, It to the dianoga Omi, and the Third Sight to the Chiss, was an energy field that connected everything in the universe. The Force was generated by all living entities, and therefore, resided in all lifeforms. It was especially powerful in a select group of individuals who were born with a high concentration of midi-chlorians—microscopic, sentient lifeforms that shared a symbiotic relationship with the Force—in their blood. These people were deemed Force-sensitive, making them capable of harnessing the various powers of the Force. Unlike organic beings, droids and other artificial constructs existed outside of the Force. As such, they possessed no connection to the energy field that was created and sustained by life. Apart from its scientific aspect, the Force was the basis of various religious organizations such as the Church of the Force, the Guardians of the Whills, and most notably the Jedi Order and the Sith Order. In addition, the Lasats believed that the Force was the "spirit" of the galaxy.
The Force as a recorded concept existed for well over twenty-five thousand years. There were multiple aspects of the Force. The Living Force was fueled by the energies of all lifeforms and, in turn, fed into the Cosmic Force—the Force that bound everything together and communicated through the midi-chlorians. A certain aspect of the Force was referred to as stonepower; its power was derived from a blue stone imbued with the Living Force. The Jedi Order followed a code of selflessness and service to others; therefore, they adhered to the light side of the Force. Their adversaries, the Sith, coveted strength and power through the dark side of the Force. Their opposing philosophies led to millennia of conflict between the two orders, and ultimately resulted in the extinction of the Sith and the near annihilation of the Jedi.
- "In darkness, cold.
In light, cold.
The old sun brings no heat.
But there is heat in breath and life.
In life, there is the Force.
In the Force, there is life.
And the Force is eternal."
- ―Sunset Prayer of the Guardians of the Whills
The Living Force represented the energies of all lifeforms, and those energies were fed into the Cosmic Force that bound the galaxy together and communicated to individuals through the midi-chlorians. Though only certain individuals were Force-sensitive, the Force resided within all living things and could be extracted. Because of this, Force-sensitives could feel a "disturbance in the Force" whenever there was a great loss of life. Droids, however, being mechanical creations, and thus possessing no midi-chlorians, could never sense the Force.
The ability to use the Force could run in a family line. The twins Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker, children of the powerful Anakin Skywalker, were both Force-sensitive. Organa would later bear a Force-sensitive child, Ben, with Han Solo, who was not Force-sensitive. Despite this, most Force-sensitives—who were born during the age of the Jedi Order—came from those who could not use the Force due to the Jedi Code's stance against attachment and relationships. It was possible for siblings born to normal parents to not share a talent for Force sensitivity. Such was the case with Zare and Dhara Leonis. While Dhara from an early age could always sense her brother's presence, Zare never had this talent, or indeed, any special abilities that could be attributed to the Force.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "That's the Force. […] Wow, it must be really strong with you."
"I've never felt any—Ow!"
- ―Luke Skywalker and Rey
Usage of the Force granted a number of useful powers, such as the ability to sense impending attacks; to push, lift, and otherwise manipulate physical objects; to influence the minds of others; to sedate or induce sleep; and even see the future or maintain one's consciousness after death. A powerful Force-sensitive individual could conjure lightning from their hands and fingers. The Jedi taught younglings that the Force could be used for many purposes, including protection, persuasion, wisdom, the manipulation of matter and the performance of great physical feats.
Origins and early studiesEdit
- "All that surround us is the foundation of life, the birthplace of what your science calls midi-chlorians, the foundation of what connects the Living Force and the Cosmic Force. When a living thing dies, all is renewed. Life passes away from the Living Force into the Cosmic Force and becomes one with it. One powers the other. One is renewed by the other."
The Force existed as a recorded concept in the galaxy for well over twenty-five thousand years prior to the era of the Galactic Civil War, with disparate schools of study evolving in parallel on countless planets. The midi-chlorians, which connected the Living Force to the Cosmic Force and allowed a Force-sensitive individual to feel the will of the Force, originated on the Wellspring of Life.
Over time, the Jedi Order became the most well-known organization that practiced the ways of the Force, although the galaxy hosted many other religions, orthodoxies, and observances even among those who did not exhibit control or manipulation of the energy field—such as the Guardians of the Whills, who held the Jedi in high esteem.
The Hundred-Year DarknessEdit
- "Once we were brothers in the Force. But from the Hundred-Year Darkness were born the Sith."
- ―A Jedi
Thousands of years before the Clone Wars, the unity of the Jedi Order was fractured by a rogue Jedi who came to believe that the true power of the Force could only be reached through passion rather than the calmness of the Jedi way. The Jedi High Council at the time balked at this new direction and the fallen Jedi was banished from the Order. Nevertheless, a group of renegade Jedi followed the rogue into exile, resulting in a schism that gave way to the Hundred-Year Darkness and the rise of the Sith Order.
As a result of the schism between the Jedi and the Sith, the Force came to be seen as divided between their two philosophies: the Jedi's selfless commitment to serving and defending others came to be regarded as the light side of the Force, whereas the Sith's use of emotion and violence became known as the dark side of the Force.
The Force at warEdit
- "At last the Jedi are no more."
"Not if anything to say about it, I have."
- ―Darth Sidious and Yoda
As the schism between the Jedi and Sith grew, their open hostility eventually turned to open war for both control of the galaxy and to impose their own philosophy with regards to the Force. During the days of the Old Republic, the Sith and Jedi fought countless wars to destroy one another. Great battles were fought between the two warring orders and various ways of using the Force were discovered but later lost. The Sith also took to sacrificing Jedi in ancient chambers on their homeworld of Moraband, places which would remain forever tainted with the darkness of the events that happened in there. The Sith also used these arts to create monsters, such as Sith snakes, which remained on Moraband until the days of the Clone Wars.
The wars between the Sith and the Jedi raged for centuries and several worlds of the galaxy were broken by their conflict, such as Moraband, which the Sith were eventually forced to abandon, and Malachor, the site of an enormous battle that left the planet scorched with no survivors on either side. The Sith tombs in the Valley of the Dark Lords were also marked with the darkness of the deeds of those who had been buried there. Both the Jedi and the Sith used lightsabers as their main weapons. These devices were powered by kyber crystals, special crystals with a strong connection to the Force. In addition to their study of the dark side, the Sith also took to building superweapons of power sufficient to destroy an entire planet. They would sometimes use giant kyber crystals to power these weapons. As such, gaining control of the source of the kyber crystals (which had a strong connection to the Force) was vital to both sides of the conflict.
Eventually, in the waning days of the Old Republic, the Sith had practically destroyed themselves through infighting and the Jedi finally emerged victorious. A new galactic government, the Galactic Republic, emerged from the ruins of the previous regime and, with the Jedi as their guardians and advisors, expanded throughout the galaxy while beginning an age of peace and prosperity which would last for a thousand years.
However, despite the Jedi's victory and the fact that the Force was now dominated by their light side philosophy, the Sith had secretly survived. Darth Bane emerged as the sole surviving Sith Lord and, realizing that the Sith's defeat had come from their infighting and greed, created a new guiding principle for their Order known as the Rule of Two: instead of several, there would now only be two Sith Lords; a Master, who possessed the power, and an apprentice, who craved it. As such, the infighting of the past would no longer occur and the Sith could regain their power in secret until the time was right for them to have their revenge on the Jedi and reclaim the rule of the galaxy. Although the Jedi eventually discovered that Bane had survived, they believed that, upon his death, the Sith were truly extinct.
During the latter years of the Republic, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn discovered the prophesied Chosen One in the form of a human child named Anakin Skywalker, whose potential in the Force surpassed all known Jedi including Grand Master Yoda. His raw strength in the Force—honed by Jedi training and wartime experiences—made Skywalker one of the most powerful Jedi Knights by the time of the Clone Wars. At the height of the war, however, Skywalker was seduced by the dark side of the Force through the machinations of Darth Sidious. As a result, he betrayed the Jedi and helped the newly-formed Galactic Empire hunt them to near extinction as Darth Vader.
Purge and prophecyEdit
- "You are the Chosen One. You have brought balance to this world. Stay on this path, and you will do it again for the galaxy. But beware…your…heart…"
- ―The Father, to Anakin Skywalker
The Jedi Order was all but annihilated during the era of the Galactic Empire. Although a few Jedi escaped the initial purge, the survivors dispersed into hiding while Sidious consolidated his reign as Galactic Emperor. The Empire made an effort to thoroughly erase the memory of the Jedi from the minds of the general population. The Church of the Force operated as an underground movement, preserving faith in the supernatural, but belief in the Force waned and was doubted by skeptics such as Han Solo. Members of the Empire's military hierarchy regarded the Force as the basis of an ancient religion that had no place in the New Order. Although Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin was a veteran of the Clone Wars, and had therefore witnessed the Jedi's use of the Force, he simply believed that the order was extinct and Vader was merely the last of the Jedi religion.
Ultimately, the prophecy of the Chosen One was fulfilled when Vader killed Sidious in order to protect his son, Luke Skywalker, who followed the Jedi path like his father before him. Having fulfilled his destiny at the cost of his life, Anakin Skywalker died and became one with the Force. Through his final actions, the Sith were destroyed and balance was restored to the Force, with Luke emerging as the last of the Jedi in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor.
Legacy of the ForceEdit
- "Darkness rises, and light to meet it."
Although the Jedi prophecy foretold that the Chosen One would herald the destruction of the Sith, it never predicted the end of the dark side of the Force. With balance restored to the Force, Luke Skywalker gradually endeavored to rebuild the order that had been decimated by his father and the Emperor. Recruiting over a dozen students to train in the ways of the Force, he became the Jedi Master to a new generation of Jedi. One of Skywalker's acolytes was his nephew, Ben Solo, in whom he saw the raw strength of the Force. Skywalker hoped that by passing his knowledge to Solo, the order would once again thrive and he would not die as the last Jedi.
However, Solo's inherent strength was noticed by another powerful practitioner of the Force—Supreme Leader Snoke, ruler of the First Order. Although Snoke was not a Sith Lord, he was strong with the dark side of the Force. Intrigued by the potential that Solo inherited from his grandfather, Darth Vader, he induced the young Jedi to embrace the dark side. Skywalker sensed the darkness rising in his apprentice's heart and nearly gave into the temptation of killing Solo before his future as a dark warrior came to pass. As a result, Solo felt betrayed by his master and proceeded to destroy his order by burning the Jedi training temple and killing half of the apprentices before leaving with the rest. Skywalker survived the massacre, which he felt responsible for, and went into self-imposed exile out of shame for his part in Solo's fall.
Having rejected both his family and the legacy of the Jedi, Solo renounced his birth name and adopted the identity of Kylo Ren—apprentice to the Supreme Leader, warlord and champion of the First Order, and master of the Knights of Ren. But in gaining the former Ben Solo as a disciple, Snoke was concerned that his apprentice's equal in the light would rise as Ren grew stronger in the darkness. Believing Skywalker would be the light's champion, the Supreme Leader hoped that Ren would grow powerful enough to kill his uncle, and therefore, complete the purge that his grandfather began. Snoke had been wrong, however. The one who rose to meet Ren's darkness with light was not Skywalker, but a scavenger from Jakku named Rey. Her encounter with Ren awakened her long dormant connection to the Force which, combined with Ren's inner conflict, allowed the untrained scavenger to triumph over the dark warrior during the Battle of Starkiller Base.
Ren recovered from his defeat but was castigated by his master for becoming unbalanced and losing to an opponent with no prior experience in lightsaber combat. As he worked to regain his master's faith, Ren discovered that a Force-bond had been formed between himself and Rey, allowing them to commune with each other across the galaxy. The bond became increasingly powerful as their connections grew more frequent, giving Rey insights into Ren's inner turmoil and pain. After touching hands through the Force, Rey confronted Ren in person with the intention of turning him back to the light. Her arrival provided Ren with the opportunity to assassinate Snoke and claim his throne. He wanted to rule the galaxy with Rey, but she rejected his offer and returned to her allies in the Resistance. During the Battle of Crait, the new Supreme Leader was confronted by his former master. Skywalker projected his appearance on Crait from his actual location on Ahch-To and although the effort led to his death, his stand against the First Order served to inspire hope across the galaxy.
Behind the scenesEdit
The leitmotif of the Force is called Binary Sunset. In The Clone Wars, a deep rumble was typically used as the sound effect for the dark side of the Force. In Star Wars Rebels, a high-pitched tone likened to a wind is used as the sound effect for the light side of the Force.
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope
- LEGO Star Wars Movie Short: Snowball Sight
- LEGO Star Wars Movie Short: Wampa Woes
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
Notes and referencesEdit
- The Force on Wikipedia