- "I feel the Force."
"But you cannot control it."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Force-sensitives, also known as Force-users, Force wielders, or Force Adepts, were sentient and non-sentient lifeforms that possessed a strong connection to the mystical energy field known as the Force. Though the term applied to anyone who was sensitive to the spiritual energy, those who harnessed powers given by the dark side of the Force were known as dark side adepts. The progeny of Force-sensitives could inherit their progenitor's power, as was the case in the Skywalker family. Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, passed his strength to his children, the twins Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, who, in turn, passed it to her son Ben Solo.
Throughout galactic history various religious orders have trained Force-sensitives to control their abilities, such as the Jedi Order and the Sith. During the Imperial Era, Force-sensitives were hunted by a team of Jedi hunters known as the Inquisitorius. A Jedi holocron containing the list of all known Force-sensitive younglings throughout the galaxy was sought by the Second Sister and Padawan Cal Kestis. With the destruction of the Sith Lords Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker trained a generation of Force-sensitive students in hopes of restoring the Jedi. His efforts were destroyed until he and Leia Organa trained Rey, who inherited Skywalker's mantle as the last Jedi after his passing away.
- "For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship."
- ―Yoda, to Luke Skywalker
The Force was a mysterious energy field that resided in all lifeforms, sentient and non-sentient alike, binding the galaxy together along with the universe as a whole. While the Force resided in all living things, only some were strong enough to feel its power. They were classified as Force-sensitives, Force-users or Force Adepts. These general terms applied to practitioners of the dark side of the Force, such as the Sith and the Inquisitorius, although they were also referred to more specifically as "dark side adepts." Unlike regular beings, Force-sensitives could harness the power of the Force, giving them extraordinary abilities.
Force-sensitives could be found in numerous species, ranging from humans and humanoids, to various non-human aliens. The few known members of Yoda's species were Force-sensitive, including Grogu, Jedi Master Yaddle and Grand Master Yoda himself. Midi-chlorians indicated the strength of an individual's connection to the Force. They were microscopic organisms that resided in the cells of all lifeforms and the more that a Force-sensitive was born with, the stronger they could grow with the Force. Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One born of a mother but no father, had more midi-chlorians than any Force-sensitive of his era, surpassing all Jedi and even Yoda at over twenty-thousand. Though the Sith Lord Darth Vader possessed great power, his reconstruction left him more machine than man, leaving him in a weakened condition as the Force passed through living things.
A Force-sensitive's offspring could be born with the same power. The twins Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa were second-generation Force-sensitives through their father, Anakin Skywalker. Ben Solo was Organa's son and therefore a third-generation Force-sensitive in the Skywalker family. Due to the potential of his bloodline, Solo was born with raw strength and the potential for limitless power. Apart from the Skywalkers, Rey inherited the power of her paternal grandfather, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Without training, knowledge or faith, a Force-sensitive's connection to the Force would remain dormant. The Force did not awaken within Rey until the nineteenth year in her life. Though untrained in its ways, Rey's Force ability was comparable to that of Kylo Ren, formerly Ben Solo, and their unique Force-bond allowed her to absorb some of his Jedi training, giving Rey the ability to perform a few techniques such as telekinesis and mind trick.
- "What is this place?"
"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."
- ―Yoda and Serenity
The origins of the Force date back to a mystical world believed to be the homeworld of the midi-chlorians. It was through the midi-chlorians that the energy of the Living Force fed into the Cosmic Force, which had a will of its own. In addition, the midi-chlorians existed in a symbiotic relationship with all lifeforms, particularly Force-sensitives who could harness the powers of the Force through the micro-organisms residing in their cells. A quintet of ancient entities, known as the Force Priestesses, dwelled on the unnamed world where the midi-chlorians were born. They embodied the link between the Living Force present in all lifeforms and the larger, timeless Cosmic Force.
Though the Force existed throughout the universe, there were "vergences" or nexus points of power that amplified the energy field and its effects. One such vergence was the legendary realm of Mortis, home to the Ones—the Daughter, who embodied the light side of the Force, the Son, who embodied the dark side of the Force, and the Father, who represented the balance between them.
Fall of the Zeffo
- "It appears many, yet not all the Zeffo could wield the Force! They called it the "Life Wind" and those who wielded it, sages."
- ―Eno Cordova
Long before the time of the Jedi and Sith, the ancient Zeffo civilization revered the Force or "Life Wind." While not every member of this race was strongly connected to the Force, the ones who were Force-sensitive became known as sages. The earliest Zeffo site was the Tomb of Eilram; built on the Zeffo homeworld, it was once a proving ground for Force-sensitive Zeffo, but was converted to honor their remains, Sage Eilram in particular. Above all, it was built to honor the Life Wind. The same world was also the site of the Tomb of Miktrull; Sage Miktrull was a legendary Force wielder who was said to be all powerful. He was venerated as such and his tomb was more of a temple to his pride.
When the Zeffo began exploring the greater galaxy beyond their home system, they left behind monuments dedicated to the Life Wind on several worlds in the Outer Rim Territories. Bogano was one such planet; the Zeffo established their presence on this world by constructing the Vault, the interior of which was filled with pilgrims' offerings to the Life Wind. After the Zeffo established contact with the Wookiees of Kashyyyk, they stored an Astrium—a key that allowed Force-sensitives to perceive the mysteries of the vault on Bogano—at the pinnacle of the sacred Origin Tree.
The Zeffo possessed knowledge of the dark side of the Force as well. Sage Kujet was a ruthless authoritarian who harnessed the power of the dark side. The world of Dathomir became the site of his palace, the Tomb of Kujet. Kujet's legacy was defined by his destruction of the Astriums and the lives of any who opposed his reign as sage. This included members of his own species, who rebelled against Kujet in hopes of ending his reign.
The Zeffo sages eventually foresaw the destruction of their civilization and the extinction of their species. They were convinced that their end was the result of their own creed, believing they had sacrificed balance for greater power and control. After the Zeffo fell to ultimate ruin, the history of their civilization was all but forgotten by the time of modern galactic civilization.
Age of the Jedi
- "The Force is unusually strong with him. That much is clear."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn, on Anakin Skywalker
In its heyday, the Jedi Order protected the Galactic Republic as the guardians of peace and justice. Guided by the Jedi Code, a philosophy centered on peace and calmness, and using the light side of the Force for knowledge and defense, the Jedi rejected the dark side and the emotions that channeled its power. As such, the Jedi emphasized the necessity for detachment and avoiding emotional attachments. It was the mission of the Jedi seekers to locate Force-sensitive infants and to bring them to the Jedi temples, where they learned the ways of the Force alongside other Jedi younglings.
The Code was not embraced by all of the ancient Jedi, however. The Order was eventually divided by a schism that led to the creation of the Sith—fallen Jedi who turned from the light, forming a dark-side cult that sought to unlock great powers and dominate those weaker than themselves. What began as a philosophical dispute gave way to open war between the Jedi and Sith, upending galactic civilization and rendering entire star systems devoid of life. After millennia of conflict, the Jedi triumphed over the Sith and ushered the galaxy into a new age known as the Great Peace, becoming peacekeepers and negotiators for the Galactic Republic in lieu of a standing military. The Jedi greatly expanded their activity throughout the galaxy during the High Republic Era, identifying Force-sensitive younglings and bringing them to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
However, the Jedi Order's efforts to recruit Force-sensitive Bardottan children was opposed by another group of Force mystics, the Dagoyan Order, who saw the Jedi's actions as an affront to the sovereignty of their homeworld of Bardotta. Though the Jedi returned the children to their families, the incident led to centuries of anti-Jedi sentiment. Like their Jedi counterparts, the Dagoyan Masters possessed a strong connection to the Force, although their link to the energy field was more passive than that of the Jedi and Sith. Rising to power in the Bardottan government, the Dagoyan Order became fully entrenched in their native culture and outlawed the Frangawl Cult for their devotion to the dark side of the Force.
Rising to power in the last remaining years of the Republic, a Force-sensitive politician rose to power in the ranks of the Galactic Senate. His connection to the Force a closely guarded secret, Sheev Palpatine was elected to the office of Supreme Chancellor as a result of the crisis on his homeworld, the Invasion of Naboo. Also unbeknownst to his colleagues, the former senator from Naboo was in fact the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, heir to the reformed Sith founded by Darth Bane. As Sidious plotted the Sith's return to power, Anakin Skywalker was discovered by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Intrigued by the child's raw power with the Force, Jinn found that Skywalker had a higher concentration of midi-chlorians in his cells than any other lifeform, including Grand Master Yoda. In addition, the information that Skywalker was conceived without a father led Jinn to suspect that this Force-sensitive boy was created through the midi-chlorians. Jinn ultimately brought Skywalker to the Jedi Temple, having concluded that the young slave from Tatooine was the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy, destined to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith.
The Jedi Order kept records of all known Force-sensitive infants that had yet to be taken to the Temple for training. During the Clone Wars, several infants were abducted and brought to Mustafar on the orders of Darth Sidious, who foresaw an army of dark side adepts serving as extensions of his will. Before they could be subjected to experimentation, the children were rescued by Skywalker, who had risen to the rank of Jedi Knight, and his Padawan Ahsoka Tano.
By the end of the conflict, the Jedi were vanquished through Sidious' machinations to take over the Republic, installing himself on a throne as Galactic Emperor. He had also lured Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, transforming the Jedi Order's Chosen One into a Sith apprentice called Darth Vader. The newly anointed Sith Lord marched on the Temple to kill his former brothers in the Force, including the Force-sensitive younglings who represented the future of the Order.
Reign of the Sith
- "The Emperor has foreseen a new threat rising against him: the children of the Force. They must not become Jedi."
- ―Darth Vader
Though its founder, Emperor Palpatine, was secretly Force-sensitive, the newly formed Galactic Empire went to great lengths suppressing the memory of the Jedi and knowledge of the Force. Imperial propaganda had spread disinformation about the fallen Order, claiming the Jedi were charlatans and the Force a primitive superstition. While the Empire consolidated its rule over the galaxy, the Inquisitorius—Great Jedi Purge survivors who turned to the dark side of the Force—hunted both Jedi exiles and Force-sensitive children.
The few remaining Jedi were determined to rebuild the Order; during the early years of the Empire's reign, former Padawan Ferren Barr began training one of his disciples, the Force-sensitive Verla, in the Jedi arts. Although he was unable to complete Verla's training before his demise at the hands of Darth Vader on Mon Cala, Barr instructed his apprentice to seek out other survivors, believing the Order would eventually return through a new generation of Jedi that included Verla.
The former Jedi Cere Junda had the same idea; the Order's resurrection was dependent on the training of new apprentices. After rescuing Padawan Cal Kestis on Bracca, the two Jedi fugitives embarked on a secret mission to rebuild the Jedi Order. To complete this objective, they sought a holocron that once belonged to Junda's master, Eno Cordova. This holocron contained a list of all known Force-sensitive infants in the galaxy, given to Cordova by Jocasta Nu as a fail-safe in the event of the Order's prophesized destruction. Though Kestis eventually retrieved the holocron, overcoming various obstacles in his path, including Junda's fallen apprentice, the Inquisitor once known as Trilla Suduri, he had foreseen that his efforts to rebuild the Order would end in the abduction and torture of his acolytes. After surviving a confrontation with Darth Vader, Kestis chose to keep the children's identities secret by destroying the holocron, leaving their fate in the hands of the Force.
Though Kestis and Junda abandoned their plan to train a new generation of Jedi, another Jedi fugitive, Kanan Jarrus, took an apprentice of his own despite his incomplete training. While operating as an anti-Imperial insurgent on Lothal, the Jedi-turned-rebel encountered Ezra Bridger, a young orphan and small-time thief who possessed a strong connection to the Force. Though Bridger agreed to learn the ways of the Force from Jarrus, their partnership proved difficult for a master who never finished his own training and a headstrong apprentice with authority issues. However, as time passed the two were able to work more effectively, allowing Bridger to hone his Force abilities and use his power more responsibly with Jarrus' guidance.
Unbeknownst to Vader, Padmé Amidala, the late wife of his former self, gave birth to the twin siblings Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. They were both strong in the Force, having inherited their father's Force ability. In order to protect them from the Sith, Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda had the twins separated, with Skywalker sent to his relatives on Tatooine while his sister was raised as a princess by the royal house of Alderaan. Though barely trained by the time of the Battle of Yavin, Skywalker showed immense potential. With the Force guiding his actions, he destroyed the planet-killing superweapon, the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station, shaking the Empire's rule to its foundations and bringing a newfound sense of hope to the fledgling Rebellion.
The Sith Lords endeavored to turn Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, knowing that he could destroy everything they had built if he completed his training as a Jedi. Vader sought to succeed his master by becoming Emperor with his son at his side, while Sidious saw an opportunity to gain a younger and stronger apprentice. Their efforts culminated in a final showdown between father and son during the Battle of Endor, where Skywalker triumphed but refused to strike Vader down. Luke's defiance toward the Emperor awakened Vader's former self, Anakin Skywalker, who cast his dark master down a reactor shaft in order to save his son. In doing so, he killed the Emperor at the cost of his own life, yet by destroying the Sith he also fulfilled his destiny as the Chosen One.
A new generation
- "For many years, there was balance, and then I saw… Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him; I could pass on my strengths. Han was…Han about it, but… Leia trusted me with her son. I took him, and a dozen students, and began a training temple."
- ―Luke Skywalker
With the Sith vanquished, the Empire shattered and the Force in balance, Luke Skywalker spent years pondering his next move, unsure about whether to rebuild the Jedi Order. The Force offered no guidance on this matter, and so Skywalker traveled across the galaxy searching for answers as a Jedi and for himself. His decision to ultimately pass on his knowledge was due to the most personal of reasons—his nephew Ben Solo. Skywalker recognized that his sister's son was extraordinarily strong with the Force, but also in desperate need of a teacher due to his volatile nature.
However, the Jedi Order fell back into ruin after Solo fell to the dark side, like his grandfather before him. Adopting the identity of Kylo Ren, the former Jedi became the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke while Skywalker withdrew into exile on Ahch-To, determined to see the Jedi tradition end with his eventual death as the last Jedi. But the will of the Force, which had remained dormant ever since Anakin restored the balance, awakened once more when a scavenger from Jakku, known as Rey, discovered her latent abilities as a Force-sensitive. Unbeknownst to both herself and Ren, they were a dyad in the Force—two beings who shared a unique Force-bond uniting them across space and time.