Common to occur between Jedi Masters and their apprentices, a Force bond, also known as Force chain or Jedi kinship, was a link through which two Force-sensitives could influence each other. It allowed the communication of feelings, thoughts and images across distances and granted greater coordination in battle. Through such connections the Force easily flowed, sometimes allowing one's will to bolster the strengths of the other, or possibly to draw upon their strengths.
Force bonding refers to the innate Force ability to form connections in the Force. The degree to which that was possible varied depending on the Force-sensitivity of the people involved, meaning that the stronger they were in the Force, the stronger the connection would be. While most life had a marginal ability to form connections, some were said to have a special predisposition to it. Such was the case, for example, with the young Quinlan Vos and Aayla Secura, whose Force bond was virtually instantaneous upon their first meeting.
Force bonding was said to also be something that manifested itself in such techniques as Jedi Battle meditation, the ability to demoralize or inspire the minds of others, or in the practice of feeding upon the Force. It was rumored that Revan studied Force Bonding deeply during his many apprenticeships before leaving for the Mandalorian Wars, and according to HK-47, he speculated that many Jedi did not fully form such connections because of their discipline, because they were forbidden to open their lives to the passions around them, and therefore few of them even realized the extent to which it was possible. Darth Nihilus supposedly took this practice to unmatched levels, able to touch all life on one planet, to form and consume connections with countless people at once. During the Battle of Rakata Prime, enhanced by the power of the Star Forge, Bastila's Battle meditation could touch the minds of the two enormous star fleets commanded by Admirals Varko and Forn Dodonna.
Teaching and learning through the bond
Some wielders of the Force could use connections to communicate knowledge. For instance, such was the case with Darth Revan and the Rakata of Lehon, when he used the Force to rip the Rakata language from their mind and make them understand Basic so they could help him find the Star Forge. Also Bastila Shan used her own bond with Revan to draw out his lost memories and lead the Jedi to the Star Forge, though in doing so she was also affected by his dark taint. Kreia often taught Meetra Surik across great distances, using Telepathy. Their bond allowed Surik to understand just as much as if her Master were before her. Surik herself, who was seemingly a very quick learner, really used her own bonding ability to feel what she wanted to learn in the person that held the knowledge. She did such a thing as the Jedi Masters she went in search of attempted to teach her forms of lightsaber combat and Force combat, amazing them with the speed at which she learned.
- "Atris cautioned us against your tactics, fearing that your allies would create a distraction."
- ―Handmaiden Sister to Meetra Surik
Some wielders of the Force were known to have a talent with bonding, to form strong connections easier than most, even to those who could feel the Force only faintly. Meetra Surik was gifted in this sense, even as she learned the ways of the Jedi at the enclave on Dantooine she excited considerable interest for that matter amongst the Council in charge of the training facility. She had an unusual, innate ability to easily form Force bonds with others, especially with those who were themselves strong in the Force. Although she remained largely unaware of her gift, it troubled some of the Jedi Masters because it allowed her to powerfully influence those around her. Vrook Lamar was particularly disapproving of Surik, and even prone to take action against her, but his point of view did not convince higher-ranking Council member Vandar Tokare who did not believe her to be dangerous. When she returned to Republic space, after years of seclusion, and was made to feel the Force again, her bonding had gotten stronger, hungrier, and she quickly drew other Force-sensitives to her company. She led by example of something to uphold, or something to fight against, and they echoed her, either fighting or surrendering their fights, and followed her without hesitation. Knowing about her talents, Jedi Master Atris went as far as warning her handmaidens when Surik first came to the Telosian Jedi Academy, fearing that her companions would fight for her. While the Council concluded Surik was dominating them with teachings of the Sith, companions such as Mical and Visas Marr argued that it was their ignorance and isolation that made them see doom where they saw a hope for all life, and that her talents did not stem from the Force, but from her being herself, a natural leader.
Making a bond
- "It is the bond that develops between apprentice and master when one truly understands another. It is developed over time through understanding of each other."
- ―Master Vrook
The formation of Force bonds between a Jedi Master and a Padawan typically occurred slowly over time, requiring them to grow together and understand each other. More powerful bonds were known to occur between relatives, exerting great influence. Jedi traditionally separated children from their parents, so that one's development as a Jedi in the use of the Force would not be adversely affected. It was also said that moments of death, or near-death, might cause such bonds. That was the case of Bastila Shan and Revan who developed their bond when she used the Force to preserve his life following Malak's betrayal, two years after the beginning of the Jedi Civil War. It was also the case between the Force-sensitive child Aayla Secura and the stripling padawan Quinlan Vos when the latter saved the former from a Hutt's rampaging wampa guard. Furthermore, connections were known to occur when one was made to open to the Force, or imbued by a powerful wielder of the Force. On Peragus, in 3951 BBY Kreia taught Meetra Surik to hear the Force again after a decade of deafness, causing them to develop their bond. In this instance the bond was intended to occur, and took much less time to take root due to Surik's special predisposition.
Millennia later, Gorc and Pic were transformed by Blackhole into mutated Sithspawn. Though born as separate species with separate lives, Gorc and Pic became symbiotically linked through the Force. The process created a Force bond which enhanced their ability to fight as a team and they soon became known as the "Brothers of the Sith". When Kyle Katarn killed Gorc, Pic felt as if half of him had died and he lost all his combat discipline. Jem Ysanna and Luke Skywalker also shared a Force bond.
Breaking a bond
- "A bond between two living beings is not something easily broken. It is not a choice… it is like breaking a feeling. Like turning away from the Force. To break a bond, your feelings would have to change, or one of you would have to die—but even then, the bond wouldn't go away, it would simply… it would simply be empty, a wound."
- ―Master Zez-Kai Ell
In 3951 BBY Meetra Surik formed a bond with Kreia whose strength seemed difficult to believe to most of the Jedi Masters of the High Council, especially for the fact that the bond had supposedly twined their lives, the death of one being lethal to the other. As she traveled to Onderon, Dantooine and Nar Shaddaa, she inquired Jedi Masters Kavar, Vrook Lamar and Zez-Kai Ell of any possible way to remove the bond, but none of them could provide her with a satisfactory answer. Few within the Jedi Order were more knowledgeable than Master Ell on such matters, and none of them had a significant number of students to speak of as he did. Ell asserted that if she could not alter the kinship out of which the bond was born, the only way to break it was to turn away from the Force, as Surik did on Malachor V. So basically it all came down to creating a wound in the Force, which was what Kreia wanted in the first place, as opposed to the chance of something to happen that would affect Kreia's hold over Surik, which of course is what eventually happened when Kreia fell to the dark side.
Behind the scenes
Meetra Surik's survival of Kreia's death, seen by some fans of KotOR II as a plot hole, was initially supposed to be explained by Jedi Master Lonna Vash until her lines, as well as the rest of the droid planet M4-78, were cut from the game due to deadline constraints. The generally accepted explanation is that Kreia simply lied to the Exile in order to manipulate her, or that the final confrontation between the two broke the bond and was intended to do so.
In KotOR I, the Force bond between Revan and Bastila is, like Bastila's Battle meditation, merely a plot device which has no implementation in the game mechanics. However, in KotOR II the bond between the Jedi Exile and Kreia is represented by a special Force power, Force Chain. When Kreia is in the Exile's party, positive Force powers cast on one of them affect the other. However, they do not share any negative effects, be it direct damage or Force powers.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- The Old Republic: Revan (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Revan audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- The Old Republic: Deceived
- The Old Republic: Deceived audiobook
- Red Harvest
- Red Harvest audiobook
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- The Old Republic: Annihilation
- The Old Republic: Annihilation audiobook
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction audiobook
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two (Mentioned only)
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis
- Darth Plagueis audiobook
- Star Wars: Republic: Rite of Passage
- Outbound Flight (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voices" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (Retcon)
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight
- Star Wars: Dark Empire II (First appearance)
- Survivor's Quest
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- Legacy of the Force: Tempest
- Legacy of the Force: Exile
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Revelation (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen audiobook
- Tales of the Jedi Companion
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Fate of the Jedi: Dramatis Personae
Notes and references
- Visible Force powers are only a gameplay element.
- The Sith Lords: Conversations with Mical.
- Star Wars: Republic: Rite of Passage
- The Sith Lords: Conversations with Kreia.
- The Sith Lords: Conversations with Zez-Kai Ell.
- The Sith Lords: Conversations with HK-47.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Conversations with the One.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Conversation with Bastila Shan in the Temple of the Ancients.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- The Sith Lords: Conversation with the battered protocol droid on Dantooine.
- The Sith Lords: Conversation with the Jedi High Council in the ruins of the Jedi Enclave.
- The Sith Lords: Final conversation with Kreia.