- "For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire."
- — Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Jedi Order was a monastic peacekeeping organization with a long, involved history. Throughout the Galaxy the Jedi were the most famous of the various organizations that relied on the Force for their power.
Origins and Brief History of the Order
Since the beginning and most likely before the Galactic Republic, scientists had been studying the Force and its connection to midi-chlorians, most notably the Paladins of the Chatos Academy, The Followers of Palawa and the Order of Dai Bendu, on planets like Ondos and Had Abbadon. The Jedi Order itself, however, began on Tython, where the brightest and best philosophers, priests, and warriors came together long ago to discuss their discoveries involving the enigmatic, mystical positive energy called the Ashla. Those who wanted to use the Bogan, the negative energy of the Force for their personal gain ignited a century long conflict called the Force Wars, from the ashes of which arose the Jedi Order. Some of these Jedi left Tython to defend the Galaxy, and became known as the Jedi Knights.
Initially the Jedi were a contemplative order, but over time they began to take a more direct and active role in galactic affairs. The Jedi followed the "light" side of the Force, using their power for unselfish and beneficial acts. In the ensuing millennia, the history of the Jedi was intertwined with both the Republic they served and the Sith they fought.
The order suffered many Schisms—the first was the Great Schism, which produced Xendor's Legions of Lettow, but the most consequential was the subsequent Hundred-Year Darkness in 7,000 BBY, where the Dark Jedi, once again defeated, were banished from known space.
They arrived on Korriban, the home of the Sith people, a primitive but Force-sensitive species. The Dark Jedi impressed the Sith with displays of Force power, and became the rulers of the planet and formed the Sith Empire. Over time, the Dark Jedi intermarried with the Sith, and the two identities merged. The term ‘Sith’ would later come to refer not only to the Sith species but also to the Dark Jedi who followed the codes of these ancient Jedi.
Sometime over the next one thousand years, the Republic granted the Jedi land over a Force nexus: a sacred mountain on Coruscant. The Jedi eventually centralized themselves here, founding the Jedi Temple in 4,019 BBY, which would stand for four thousand years.
Timeline of major events in Jedi history
Main article: History of the Jedi Order
- c. 25,000 BBY — The Old Jedi Order is founded.
- c. 24,500 BBY – 24,400 BBY — The Great Schism
- 7,000 BBY — The Hundred-Year Darkness
- 5,000 BBY — The Great Hyperspace War
- 4,015 BBY — 3,951 BBY - Old Sith Wars
- 2,000 BBY – 1,000 BBY — New Sith Wars
- 1,000 BBY — Ruusan Reformation strips the Jedi of their military titles.
- 32 BBY — The Sith resurface
- 22 BBY – 19 BBY — the Clone Wars are fought, and many Jedi die or turn to the dark side.
- 19 BBY — the beginning of the Great Jedi Purge
- 4 ABY — Luke Skywalker becomes the first of the new Jedi.
- 11 ABY — Luke builds his Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4.
- 25 ABY – 30 ABY — The Yuuzhan Vong War.
- 5,000 ABY – The Order is finally restored to it's golden age glory before the Great Jedi Purge under the leadership of Eneti Ronan and other well known Jedi Masters.
Path of a Jedi
- There is no emotion, there is peace.
- There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
- There is no passion, there is serenity.
- There is no chaos, there is harmony.
- There is no death, there is the Force.
- —The Jedi Code (Based on the meditations of Odan-Urr)
Becoming a Jedi required the most profound commitment and astute mind. The life of a Jedi was one of sacrifice. Those who showed an aptitude for the Force were taken directly from birth (or soon afterward) to train in the Jedi Temple headquarters on Coruscant. From the beginning of their training a Jedi was expected to adhere to a strict Code that included concepts such as rational thought, patience, and benevolence. Emotions such as hate, anger, and fear were thought to be destructive and lead to the dark side, so such things were banned from Jedi practice.
Young Jedi were initially instructed in groups by a venerable, experienced Jedi Master, learning the ways of the Jedi and the powers of the Force. When an individual student achieved satisfactory understanding of the Jedi way, they were usually taken under the wing of another Jedi member and instructed individually to complete their training. The way of the Jedi was a life-long path, and a Jedi usually remained part of the Order their entire life - learning more about the Order and the Force and following the will of the Jedi Council.
Way of life
- "Violence is not the Jedi way."
- — Cin Drallig
In keeping with the tenets of modesty and humility, the Jedi traditionally wore simple and comfortable long, flowing robes, including tunics, pants, and a cloak—usually in varied shades of white and brown. The left side of the dress is always turned on the right part of the torso. The Jedi also wore utility belts, where they carried specialized field gear for their missions, and leather boots. The Jedi colors formed a stark contrast to the antithetical Sith, who were draped primarily in black.
The traditional Jedi weapon was the lightsaber, which, in the hands of a skilled wielder, could be deadly in combat, even against opponents armed with ranged weapons. Often a Jedi was tasked with constructing their own lightsaber as part of their training, by collecting and assembling special crystals that provided a lightsaber with its power.
Jedi of the Old Republic were forbidden to hold strong attachments, as they were believed to lead to the emotions of the dark side. For this reason, Jedi were not allowed to marry, though they were not required to be chaste. At least one special case was recorded in this arrangement: the Jedi Ki-Adi-Mundi who, due to low Cerean birth-rates, was permitted to have a polygamous marriage, and fathered seven daughters. Although some have been known to leave the Order such as Jolee Bindo.
During the Jedi Civil War era, many Cerean Jedi used specially-forged Kasha lightsaber crystals as a meditational tool; by incorporating such crystals into their training regimens, they helped to clear the wielder's mind of distractions, even during tense physical combat.
Ancient Jedi did practice marriage and were known to have families of their own. Revan shared a romantic affection with Bastila Shan. There were even cases of families consisting entirely of Jedi, such as that of Andur Sunrider. The children of Jedi families were often quite gifted in the Force, for they inherited a large number of midichlorians from both of their parents.
One of the main foci of the Jedi order was the study of the Force: an "energy field" that emanated from every living thing. The Jedi sought to understand the Force so that they could use its power to protect and aid the people that they served. The Jedi believed that the Force could be harnessed through careful study and contemplation to benefit the user and the world around them. As they studied the light side of the Force, the Jedi encouraged their members only to use the Force for healing and defense - never in anger or fear. Unfortunately, several of the Jedi order disagreed with this view, arguing that other, darker uses of the Force should be allowed. This disagreement was one of the main issues the Jedi faced in their constant battle with the Sith.
The dark side of the Force brought with it a great temptation for many Jedi., to many the dark side seemed a quicker and easier path. Pursuit of the dark side, however, was a self-destructive endeavor, and many Jedi who tasted dark powers found it harder and harder to turn away. Though some Jedi could be redeemed back to the path of the light, many fell and became Dark Jedi, some of whom were members of the Sith Order. For this reason, practice of dark Force powers was expressly forbidden by the Jedi Council.
Eventually the Jedi formed a central political entity called the Jedi Council. The High Council was a gathering of great minds that acted as a governing body for the Order, as well as an advisory board for the Old Republic Senate. The Jedi Council could only have 12 members at a time.
Among other tasks, the Jedi eventually became responsible for law enforcement and peacekeeping in the Galactic Republic. Many Jedi held different opinions on peacekeeping; whilst some favoured diplomacy at all costs, others advocated a more direct approach, with the majority striking a balance between the two extremes.
The Jedi Council of 4,000 BBY refused to enter the Mandalorian Wars until they felt the "threat had been assessed", taking a more passive stance on the issue. Later, perhaps due to the Order's near extinction as a result of that decision, the Jedi that rebuilt took a slightly more aggressive stance. During the Clone Wars, in the twilight years of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi acted as Generals, soldiers and military advisors in the conflict.
The Three Pillars of Jedi Strength
The strength of the Jedi Code and organization rested on three core tenets.
When used correctly, these allowed a Jedi to solve any problem and overcome any obstacle, helping to make the Galaxy a better place.
As the Jedi instructed their members in the ways of the Jedi Code and the Force, each member progressed through four basic levels of rank.
- Jedi Initiate (or Youngling) - a Force-sensitive child. At a very young age, children were removed from their families and assigned to the Jedi Temple for training. Younglings were taught in communal groups known as clans. Skywalker removed the age restriction, giving anybody a chance to become a Jedi. Initiates may not carry lightsabers and only use them during training sessions or serious missions. Respect may vary
- Jedi Padawan - an apprentice who began serious tutelage under a single Jedi Knight or Jedi Master. In order to graduate to Padawan status, an Initiate was required to be chosen by a Knight or Master and taken as their sole pupil. If a youngling was not chosen to be a Padawan by 13 years of age, the youngling was placed into another, lesser role in the Jedi Service Corps. Depending on where the student's talents lay, this might be the Agricultural Corps, the Medical Corps, or the Exploration Corps. Padawans typically wore a long braid of hair behind their right ear. When a Padawan was elevated to Knighthood the braid was cut during the knighting ceremony. Some exceptions of late acceptances to Padawan training were made, most notably in the case of Anakin Skywalker. Respect may vary.
- Jedi Knight - a disciplined Padawan could become a fully trained Jedi once they completed "the trials.". Deeply respected
- Jedi Master - a Jedi Knight who showed great understanding of the Force and managed to instruct a Padawan and train them successfully to the level of a Jedi Knight. This title could also be achieved through the performance of extraordinary deeds. Self-proclamation of the Jedi Master title was rare and frowned upon by the Jedi Council. The most respected of the Order
- Jedi Grand Master was the title given to the acknowledged leader of the entire order. Yoda held this title in the final years of the Republic and, after the rebirth of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker held the title in the days of the Galactic Alliance, following the Yuuzhan Vong War. Lack of respect will result in ex-communication from the Force.
- Jedi Archeon was the highest notable rank in the entire order. Many are not worthy for such a title
A Jedi Knight or Jedi Master could have only one apprentice at a time, and the Padawan had to be promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight before another apprentice could be chosen.
- "Dark Side" and "The Dark Side" redirect here. For other uses, see Dark Side (disambiguation).
The Force is described by Obi-Wan Kenobi as "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." The Force is life, and life is the Force. Some think of the Force as a sentient entity that may be capable of intelligent thought—almost as if it were a sort of God—while others simply consider it something that can be manipulated and used as though it were a tool.
In the original trilogy, there were two aspects of the Force given emphasis: the light side and the dark side. These are concerned with the moral compass of the Force in its various manifestations. The light side of the Force is the facet of that energy field aligned with good, benevolence, and healing. The dark side of the Force is the element aligned with fear, hatred, aggression, and malevolence; this side of the Force seems more powerful, though it is just more tempting to those that can touch upon the power. In the prequel trilogy, the Force was also described with two additional aspects: the Unifying Force and the Living Force. These aspects were not largely expanded upon in the films, but in the Expanded Universe they are defined by prominent Jedi philosophies. The Unifying Force essentially embraces space and time in its entirety. The Living Force deals with the directly ongoing niches present in the Force.
It can only be harnessed by a minority of beings described as "Force-sensitive." These have been defined as either having a high count of microorganisms called midi-chlorians—the more midi-chlorians, the greater the person's Force ability—or having a strong Force "aura." It is probable that these traits are connected. Force-adepts are able to tap into the Force to perform acts of great skill and agility and control its various embodying powers (see below).
The Force appears to be connected to, or responsible for, the destinies of living beings. As Chancellor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) says in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, some Sith masters were able to use the Force to manipulate life and death.
Although fictional, the Force does contain many similarities to existing philosophical and religious principles. The concept may be indebted to the Odic force of Baron Carl Reichenbach. Many have related it to the concepts of Qi (also "chi" or "ki"; China, Japan, and Korea), Prana (India), Mana (Polynesia) and other similar traditions focused around the idea of a spiritual energy that exist within the universe. With Taoism, the primary focus for Star Wars originates in the idea of Yin and Yang—the two diametrically opposed Forces of the universe. Everything from good and evil (as metaphysical concepts) to hot and cold temperatures are considered as being part of this, and it is from here we see the most prominent comparison to the light and dark sides of the Force in Star Wars. But, it must also be noted that it is even more similar to Taoist philosophy with less of a dichotomy and more of a necessary balance (seen in the philosophy of the balancing of the Force). The Jedi way of serenity and peace is very much like the virtues preached in the five pillars of Islam. This is also reflected in the Jedi Temple which consists of five spires, or pillars.
Some have also drawn parallels between The Living Force and the use of Qi in Chinese martial arts. In the more internal arts (such as Tai Chi, Hsing-Yi, Pa-Kua and Qigong), the maintenance and use of Qi is a key part of training. Such Qi is sometimes referred to as Empty Force, meaning that it is not seen, but its effect can be felt with time and training. Some of the abilities seen in the Star Wars movies are reported to have been attained by high-level Kung-Fu Masters.
The sides of the Force
Orthodox Jedi philosophy
- There is no emotion; there is peace.
- There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
- There is no passion; there is serenity.
- There is no chaos; there is harmony.
- There is no death; there is the Force.
The Jedi and others refer to two sides of the Force, a dark side and a light side. This echoes the concept of Yin Yang in Eastern philosophy, but is not a straight translation, as the emotional dark side is denoted as a Force of evil by the Jedi. The dark side is not made up of specific "parts" or "abilities" of the Force: the dark and light sides of the Force exist inside of the life form which uses it, made from their emotions. George Lucas compared the light and dark sides to the processes of symbiosis and cancer. A follower of the light side tries to live in harmony with those around him. Mutual trust, respect, and the ability to form alliances give the Jedi their distinct advantage over the Sith. In contrast, a follower of the dark side is only out for themselves. To strike down a living creature with the Force out of anger, fear or another emotion is of the dark side. To refrain and clear one's self of these emotions is of the light side. Use of the dark side of the Force is forbidden within the Jedi Order, and is strictly considered the domain of the Sith.
The Force plays a major part in the Jedi use of a lightsaber in that their heightened awareness keeps them from accidentally injuring themselves while using the weapon in combat, as the blade has no relative weight, making it difficult to judge its position. Similarly, the Force allows a Jedi to use his/her lightsaber to deflect incoming blaster bolts. The Force also comes into play during the construction of a lightsaber, both in assembling its intricate innards, and the initial charging of the power cell.
Traditional Jedi are keen to keep the Force "in balance". They attempt to achieve this by destroying the Sith and denying the dark side--essentially "keeping balance" by denying balance, as they view dark side as "corruption". This involves the purging of negative emotions such as aggression, anger, and hatred, since they can easily bring on acceptance of the dark side. In contrast, positive emotions such as compassion and courage nurture the light side of the Force. The Jedi Code compares such feelings and provides insight into the ethical use of the Force.
It seems most Jedi are proponents for The Unified Force, wherein they focus on the past, present, and future as a whole (however, visions of the future are of particular significance in the conservative Jedi mindset), ignoring primary use of The Living Force. Voices for the latter espouse a philosophy of "live for the moment" and heavily rely on their instincts. This viewpoint might have allowed the Jedi Order to stave off the conflict that gave rise to the Galactic Empire, as its members lost themselves in looking forward rather than analyzing the unfolding events before them.
The organizational goal of the Jedi Order is to maintain peace and justice in the galaxy.
- Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
- Through passion, I gain strength.
- Through strength, I gain power.
- Through power, I gain victory.
- Through victory, my chains are broken.
- The Force shall set me free.
The dark side of the Force is innately tied to the distinctly negative ethical paradigm of the Sith. It is largely based on emotions and passion rather than peace and serenity which are preached by the light side of the Force. The dark side of the Force comes from the hate, anger, fear, aggression, vengeance, and malice in all living things. In the Star Wars movies, the practitioners of the dark side are Darth Sidious and his successive apprentices Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Vader.
The Jedi believe that emotions such as fear, uncertainty, doubt, anger, suffering, and attachment to the "inevitable" self-destruction, lead to the dark side. The Sith philosophy, on the other hand, is to use such emotions to fuel one's own will to power, ego, and selfishness. The inevitably destructive havoc caused by the actions of a dark side practitioner are excused as serving a greater purpose under this philosophy.
The negative emotions increase the strength and abilities of a dark side practitioner. As a result, the dark side of the Force is extremely addictive: every time one calls on its power, one becomes more and more attached to it. Darth Vader desired to use this to his advantage during his time trying to turn his son, Luke Skywalker, to the dark side. If he could convince the young Jedi hopeful to call on the dark side enough times, the boy would find it more difficult to resist in the future.
The Sith also believe that instead of living alongside the Force, one must master it and use it as a tool.
Overall, dark side relationships and organizations are inherently unstable. For instance, the pupil-master relationship of the Jedi is perverted under the Sith, as both the apprentice and the master naturally plot against one other, and one will eventually kill the other. Every time a dark side Force has risen in the galaxy, it has collapsed from within due to its own unstable nature. The Empire is no exception. When Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader discovered that Luke Skywalker was Vader's son, both wanted to turn Luke to the dark side. Vader wanted his son to help him kill Palpatine and rule the galaxy together, but Palpatine wanted Luke to take Vader's place as his apprentice. This phenomenon is probably the closest one can come to suggesting that the dark side is in fact weaker than the light side, as it is likewise one way of arguing that evil is weaker than good in Abrahamic religions; it was no doubt seized upon by proponents of the Potentium theory of the Force (see below).
Darth Bane considered the Force to be finite, and thus best restricted (ideally) to the use of a single Sith Lord. After the Battle of Ruusan, he eliminated the practice of having vast numbers of Sith at the same time and concentrated the dark side of the Force into two individuals: a Sith Master and Apprentice. This tradition, or "rule of two," is still in practice with the current Sith Order, which underwent a small reformation by Dark Lady Lumiya after the deaths of Vader and Palpatine at Endor.
The Dark Lords Sidious, Vader, and Tyranus had each trained some followers with dark side abilities, but none of these followers were given Sith rites, thus The Rule Of Two was essentially kept in effect during the era of Darth Sidious.
Potentium and unitary views of the Force
The Potentium view of the Force, considered heresy by Old Republic Jedi, holds that the Force, and the galaxy in general, was inherently good, and that there was no evil side to the Force. Also Luke states in "The Unifying Force" that "the force doesn't flow from us but through us" which strongly suggests that the Force creates life and not the other way around. This view gained greater acceptance under the New Republic, mostly due to the influence of Vergere, a surviving Jedi from the days of the Old Republic.
Palpatine (Darth Sidious) tells Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith that one must study the entire Force, including the dark side, in order to truly understand it. In the Expanded Universe, he later states there is only one Force: the only difference worthy of note is that the Sith see the Force as a means to an end; the Jedi see it as an end in itself.
This is echoed by what Vergere teaches Jacen Solo in the New Jedi Order, (part of the Expanded Universe of Star Wars). She tells him that there is no light side nor dark side of the Force—only The Unifying Force, and that the "dark side" is actually a reflection of the intentions of the wielder.
Kyle Katarn also seems to embrace the Potentium view of the Force, or something similar, when he instructs his padawans Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin in the computer game Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Here, he tells them that no particular Force ability is inherently good or evil. It is how it is used that counts.
Belief in the Force waned after the fall of The Old Republic and the destruction of the Jedi, to the point that most of the galaxy's inhabitants viewed Force users as sorcerers and magicians. Many did not even believe that the Force existed.
Two such examples occur in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Smuggler Han Solo scornfully explains to Luke Skywalker that he had "flown from one side of this galaxy to the other" and seen nothing to make him believe there was "one all-powerful Force controlling everything," contemptuously adding that no "mystical energy field" controlled his destiny.
The second example of this viewpoint was voiced, quite loudly, by Admiral Motti aboard the Death Star. When Darth Vader explained that The Death Star's ability to destroy a planet was insignificant compared to the Force, Admiral Motti, who did not believe in the Force, proceeded to brazenly mock the Sith Lord's "sad devotion to that ancient religion." Vader swiftly proved the admiral wrong about the Force's existence, when he used its power to telekinetically strangle the arrogant officer (see below).
Organized Force traditions
The Jedi and Sith Orders teach the Force as described above, but there are other traditions which teach different philosophies and uses of the Force, or powers similar to the Force.
- The Aing-Tii Monks
- The Ancient Order of the Whills
- The Baadu
- The Baran Do
- The Believers of Cularin
- The Bladeborn
- The Chatos Academy paladins
- The Disciples of Ragnos
- The Ee Worms
- The Ewok shamans
- The Fallannassi
- The Followers of Palawa
- The Gand Findsmen
- The Gesaril
- The Golden Sun
- The Guardians of Breath
- The Heresiarchs
- The Jal Shey
- The Jarvashqiine shamans
- The Jedi Order
- The Jensaarai
- The Kiffar Guardians
- The Kilian Rangers
- The Korrunai believers of pelekotan
- The Krath
- The Legions of Lettow
- The Matuki
- The Order of Dai Bendu
- The Order of Shasa
- The Peranus Order
- The Potentium heretics
- The Prophets of the Dark Side
- The Scitrok Warriors
- The Seyugi Dervishes
- The Sith Order
- The Shimuran Monks
- The Sorcerers of Tund
- The Ta-Ree
- The Theran Listeners
- The Tyia
- The Witches of Dathomir
- The Wyrd
- The Ysanna
- The Zeison Sha
Note: Only the Jedi and Sith Orders are mentioned in the films. The rest appear in the Expanded Universe.
The abilities of Force users
See also: Force Powers
Manifestations of the Force, which are mentally-based abilities and tapped through the practitioner's willpower, include telepathy, psychokinesis, prescience, enhanced physical and metaphysical perception as well as the abilities to bend the will of the weak-minded and improve one's own physical ability. The Force can also be used to allow an adept's body to be guided by the Force itself: such action enabled Luke Skywalker to launch a proton torpedo into an extremely difficult target on the Death Star in the Battle of Yavin. Through this ability one can cease to react to his or her surroundings and predict the future, such as the next blow in a duel. As a consequence of these skills, the Force has occasionally been associated with the real-life concepts of Taoism and parapsychology.
In addition to the above powers, Force-users are also capable of attacks through the Force by producing "Force lightning" from their hands, which inflicts terrible pain on its victims and can be lethal. Because of the philosophical beliefs of the Jedi, they rarely use this ability, so much that it's virtually exclusive to the Sith and other powerful dark Force-users. The Sith powers usually are powers that would be more offensive; while light side powers are usually more defensive. In the games Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi Academy, and Jedi Outcast, the powers drain, lightning, and grip/choke are all darkside powers, while absorb, heal, and protection are lightside powers. Then there are universal, or 'core' powers such as push, pull, speed, and jump that are niether dark nor light.Note: In KOTOR, force absorb is a universal power. Of course, this is a video game tactic to let you use force powers: most likely in the movies the force can be used differently every time: You could topple a pillar, or pick up a pencil.
Adherence to the light side allows its user to transcend death and become a "One with the Force", allowing the deceased to exist as an energy being who can interact with other Force sensitive individuals. According to Kenobi, in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire book, this can only continue for a while before the Jedi must "move on" to a spirit realm. The Jedi were unaware of the possibility of speaking from beyond until a time during the Clone Wars, when Qui-Gon Jinn revealed to Yoda what must be done to accomplish this, though Qui-Gon described this state as "eternal," in contrast to what was said in Zahn's novel. Yoda soon passed this teaching on to Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, it is claimed that the Sith Darth Plagueis discovered a method to use the dark side to prevent death in the first place.
In the Expanded Universe, some Jedi and Sith have learned the skill of transferring one's spirit to another body. In the Dark Empire comic, Palpatine used this in order to transfer his spirit to a fresh clone body, and later, Callista transferred herself to the body of a dying friend so that she could stay alive. Unfortunately, in the process of doing this, she lost her ability to touch the Force, though later it was discovered she could still touch the Dark Side. The spirits of Sith Lords Marka Ragnos, Freedon Nadd, and Exar Kun have also appeared. It is thought that the means of a Sith to become an active ghost are different, and less natural, than those of the Jedi.
Disturbances in the Force
When Alderaan was destroyed in A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi sensed "a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced…" On learning of Anakin Skywalker's son being alive and leading a group of Rebels in The Empire Strikes Back, the Emperor says to Vader while communicating with him using a hologram that "There is a great disturbance in the Force." In Attack of the Clones, Yoda felt a disurbance in The Force, when Anakin, enraged by the death of his mother, destroys an entire village of Sand People. Likewise, Yoda sensed a disturbance in the Force almost every time a Jedi was killed as a result of Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. The Force exists in all life, and when great amounts of life pass away, a disturbance is created, running through the Force like a scream which only a Force adept can hear.
The Jedi Apprentice Corran Horn, during the events of I, Jedi, felt the death of an entire world as a superweapon was used to make a planet's sun go nova. He said that anyone who thought of the experience as a 'disturbance' could also think of Hutts as 'cuddly'. What he felt was innumerable points of view of the last seconds of the planet's inhabitants--and sensory data such as screams, emotions upon death, and smells (mostly that of flesh roasting). It is likely Obi-wan experienced something similar when the planet Alderaan was destroyed, but was more mentally resilient.
Sometimes, other things are defined as disturbances. Life creates small disturbances, and Force adepts and people with a high midi-clorian count even more so. Qui-Gon Jinn felt a disturbance—or a convergence—in the Force when approaching Tatooine in The Phantom Menace, where Anakin Skywalker was. Dark side practitioners create strong, evil-feeling disturbances. In Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, Luke Skywalker sensed the existence of the maddened Force adept clone Joruus C'Baoth as a ripple in the Force. Likewise, Luke and Kyle Katarn both sensed disturbances in the Force created by the Sith cult of Marka Ragnos in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
The phrase "I have a bad feeling about this" is repeated a great deal, even by non-Force-adept characters, which may point to a universal connection with the Force. However, this is usually a tension-relief or comic-relief moment; few times is this said before some dramatically bad event.
Jedi live in a symbiotic relationship with the Force. All living things are connected to the Force, so when large amounts of life simply end, a Jedi can feel this ripple through the Force.
May the Force be with you
The light side of the Force is associated with a phrase used by some characters in (and fans of) the films: "May the Force be with you." Unoften used is the dark side of the force saying "May the Force serve you well." For more information, see Notable lines in the Star Wars series.
The Living Force
The Living Force is in most living beings. Jedi can sense Living Force in life-forms. Sick or dying organisms have little Living Force, while healthy ones usually have the quantity of their midi-chlorian count. The connection to The Living Force apparently also allow Jedi Masters to retain their identity when they become one with the Force. The only known beings without the Living Force are the Yuuzhan Vong, the antagonists of The New Jedi Order novel series. They exist without the Force and it cannot be used on them (still it can be manipulated around them). The Yuuzhan Vong once existed with the Force but were stripped of it by their home planet, which was a living planet much like Zonama Sekot. It stripped the Yuuzhan Vong of the Force after they waged war on others. The planet later disappeared mysteriously and was presumed destroyed.
In the Star Wars galaxy, the Force is tied into concepts of an afterlife. In Episode VI, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and a redeemed Anakin Skywalker appear to Luke in the form of spirits after their deaths. In Episode III, it is revealed that Yoda learned how to retain one's identity within the Force after death, and thus influence the living, from the spirit Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon, in turn, had learned this technique from a Shaman of the Ancient Order of the Whills.
In the Expanded Universe, some Sith have become Force ghosts as well, usually by bonding their maleveolent spirits to some particular place or object.
Force-users known to have maintained their identities beyond death, in one form or another, are listed here.
- Aidan Bok
- Ajunta Pall
- Anakin Skywalker
- Andur Sunrider
- Dice Ibegon
- Empatojayos Brand
- Exar Kun
- Freedon Nadd
- Halagad Ventor
- Lak Sivrak
- Marka Ragnos
- Morgan Katarn
- Naga Sadow
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Qu Rahn
- Qui-Gon Jinn
- Ulic Qel-Droma
- Vodo Siosk-Baas
Unusual Force occurrences in nature
The ysalamiri are a species of tree-dwelling slug-like creatues that are immune to effects of the Force. The creatures exude a "bubble" which "pushes back" Force energy, making them useful tools for individuals (such as Grand Admiral Thrawn) requiring a means to nullify a Jedi's abilities. They originated on the world of Myrkr. They evolved this trait to survive being hunted by the predatory Vornskyrs, pack animals that hunt by tracking down live prey by using the Force.
A creature with a similar peculiarity is the taozin, a large, gelatinous predator. Though not widely known, at least one of these creatures was alive deep in the undercity of Coruscant approximately ten years before the Clone Wars.