By feeding into the Cosmic Force, the Living Force—the energy of all life—created and grew the Force, binding the galaxy together. The Force was the fundamental unity that underpinned all of creation which contained and held in balance dualities such as life and death and light and dark, while also transcending them. Beyond its dualities, the Force had two complementary aspects; the living and the cosmic Force were symbionts, the latter possessing a will that was communicated to all life through the midi-chlorians. The will of the Force desired peace and community—when life let go of fighting and came together as one.
Every lifeform possessed their own life force, also known as a spirit or Force-essence, which could be strengthened by Force-bonds and given to another being to restore their vitality at the temporary cost of one's strength. However, the cost also extended to one's life, as demonstrated by Garro and Rey, who chose to commit themselves to their destined path in the Force, devoting to the light by acting as a Jedi; wholly letting go of themselves to eliminate users of the addictive force of the dark side, thereby restoring balance and harmony between the living and the cosmic Force.
- 1 Life and the cosmos
- 1.1 Cosmic symbiosis
- 1.2 Exception in immortality; luminosity of sentients
- 1.3 Temporality; transcending the duality of past and future
- 1.4 Restoration through letting go
- 1.5 Manipulation of life
- 1.6 Nexus of power
- 1.7 Sentience
- 2 Behind the scenes
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Sources
- 5 Notes and references
Life and the cosmos[edit | edit source]
Cosmic symbiosis[edit | edit source]
- "All that surrounds 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 Living Force was the Force that resided in and was generated by all life. In death, a living being, regardless of Force-sensitivity, could perceive an interconnected tapestry of life and the galaxy that was connected by the Living Force through space-time as their life was fed into the Cosmic Force, which bound all things and communicated to living sentient beings through midi-chlorians, microscopic organisms found in the blood of living beings that formed a symbiotic relationship with their host; the foundation of life and what connects the Living and the Cosmic Force. Midi-chlorians cycled between the Wellspring of Life and living beings; when a life form was born, midi-chlorians joined it, sustaining its life. When a life form died, midi-chlorians returned to the heart of the galaxy. Thus, all is renewed.
The symbiosis of the living and the cosmic Force that formed an all-penetrating and transcending energy field that allowed life to thrive when not imbalanced by sentient interference was mirrored by the relationship between the Naboo and the Gungan populace on the planet Naboo, which was crucial to the defense of Naboo. The Force energies of sentients in a Force dyad relationship was also strengthened, allowing them to achieve feats such as Force healing. The Cosmic Force had a will that desired tranquility and community, wanting life to let go of conflict and come together as one.
Exception in immortality; luminosity of sentients[edit | edit source]
- "At death, in order for you to preserve your identity, you must know yourself, your true self, and then let go."
- ―Serenity teaches Yoda to let go
However, by achieving a greater understanding of the relationship between life and the Force, a few sentient beings attained the wisdom and knowledge necessary for one of the rarest skills a Force-sensitive could learn—immortality—the continued existence of one's will and consciousness after death. This state of transcendence was only achievable by those deemed worthy by the Force, and entailed the holding on of one's life from flowing into the Cosmic Force and becoming one with it. Remaining in the Living Force, a luminous sentient had confronted their hubris and faced their own darkness, learning to reject the dark side of the Force as well as ensuring it did not hold power over them, whilst also accepting that it was a part of them that could never be banished. A being must also humble oneself, and let go of good and evil as well as emotions to transition to a state of immortality.
Temporality; transcending the duality of past and future[edit | edit source]
- Kalani: "I have never attempted such a desperate strategy."
- Rex: "That's why we always won."
- Kalani: "Not always."
- Ezra Bridger: "Hey guys! Focus on the present."
- ―Kalani and Rex begin to argue before being stopped by Ezra Bridger[src]
Luminous beings existed where there was no future or past, and when they chose to appear to those of crude flesh, they became a manifestation of the Force, reconfiguring in the mortal realm where time was linear. Beyond the duality of past and future, the interconnected tapestry of life and the galaxy was the Cosmic and the Living Force. Between life and death, it was perceivable in a sentient's death or reaching-out into the Force, and the space-time–transcendent realm of the World Between Worlds functioned similarly to this interconnected tapestry; the Living Force transcended the dualistic temporal terms of future and past—there was always hope, and always growing darkness—such was the nature of the realm of Mortis, the site of an eternal conflict between the divine powers of light, darkness, and balance for dominance that was the fulcrum of the entire galaxy and the Force.
Thus, students of the Living Force, the Jedi—reputed protectors of light and the guardians of peace and life—focused on the present and trusted their instincts. This lesson was echoed by the Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger during the Galactic Civil War. Having reconciled over the Clone Wars and joined forces against their common foe, the Galactic Empire, Kalani and Rex began to argue while facing an Imperial assault, although they were interrupted by the Bridger, who told them to focus on the present.
Restoration through letting go[edit | edit source]
A Force user could let their own life energy pass into the body of another being in order to erase injuries and restore vitality. However, this process left the Force-wielder weakened, and its potential cost extended to the life of the Force user. A being's life force ran stronger when one was connected to another being through a Force-bond. For self-preservation, the Force-sensitive Syla Trasker followed her instincts and slipped a dolina ring seed onto her thumb, and was filled with the energy of the Living Force as a result. The life energy took the form of a burst of speed, which saved Trasker from the Imperial Inquisitorius. In letting go of his hoarded power back to his environments, Garro fulfilled the final lesson set by his mentor, Yoda, and restored life through his homeworld.
Manipulation of life[edit | edit source]
Theft of power to supplement the self[edit | edit source]
- "They are stealing the Force within us."
- ―Queen Julia tells Jar Jar Binks the Frangawl cultists' plan
However, life force could also be forcefully taken from a living being, and used to selfishly restore a Force user's own physical vitality. Otherwise sustained by cybernetics, Darth Sidious' broken body was restored with Force energies the Sith forcefully took from the dyad between Rey and Ben Solo.
Such a deed was echoed by the Frangawl Cultists on Bardotta, who were also masters of dark side techniques. Aiding the Nightsisters in using the Bardottan living sphere Force artifact, the Frangawl aimed to restore their Great Mother, Mother Talzin, to flesh. The Bardottan Sphere was designed to capture and store the Force essence from living beings, as well as to focus the energy into a Force wielder when certain mystical and gravitational effects were applied. When a Force-sensitive attuned to the containment sphere willed it to a semblance of mineral life, the artifact glowed with an internal light and was activated. As directed by the controlling Force-sensitive, the Bardottan Sphere then formed a link with a nearby living creature, cut off the target's connection to the Force, and drained the being of their Force energy. With members amongst them being Force-sensitives, the Frangawl cultists were thus chosen by Talzin as minions for the ritual that would restore her physical body with the Force of others. Although the Force orb would work on all living beings, the Frangawl minions targeted the sentient Bardottans, specifically Dagoyan Masters such as Joseph who sensed the harmony of the universe and connected to the Force passively. The Masters also formed the ruling Bahk-tov Council of Bardotta.
The Frangawl believed that the Shadow approaches with the completion of the Great Mother's ritual, and made preparations on Zardossa Stix for the Mother to draw the essence of the Bardottan and Dagoyan monarch, Queen Julia, and for the living Force to combine with Talzin's dark magic for the Nightsister to become the most powerful being in the galaxy. However, at the stone ziggurat of Zardossa Stix's Temple of Malmourral, Talzin was stopped by Jar Jar Binks and the "bombad" Jedi Mace Windu, and instead of absorbing the spirit of Julia and chanelling it into the Great Mother, the living sphere took that of a Frangawl cult leader, dropped to the stone ground, and shattered, creating an explosion of light that bathed the top of the ziggurat. The forlorn Talzin shrieked and sublimed, disappearing as a green mist.
Mother Talzin later attempted to drain the life force from Count Dooku to fully materialize once again. She successfully possessed the Sith Lord on Dathomir with the help of her son, Maul, although the ritual was personally interrupted by Darth Sidious and Grievous, the latter of whom slayed the Nightsister with his lightsabers.
Because of the nature of the Sphere of the Nightsisters, some theorized during the Imperial Era that it was cut off from the universe and instead reflected the Force away from itself, effectively becoming an anti-Force artifact and forming a "Force vacuum" within itself that naturally attracts the Force when active. Some Bardottans sought to utilize the binary nature of the Bardottan Sphere in both reflecting and absorbing the Force for benevolent purposes, also many failed to draw detailed plans for its use that met the approval of the Bahk-tov Council.
Preservation through drugs[edit | edit source]
In sacrificial rituals, the Force-sensitives amongst the Frangawl Cult used tools to extract the Living Force from their victims, and the extracted energy could be stored in Frangawl Force powder, a fine, crystalline powder that glowed a faint blue hue when charged with the Living Force. A single sacrifice typically yielded several doses of the powder. Similarly, the sparkling dust wielded by Frangawl cultists glowed a blue hue. The dust casted a spell upon the being which rendered them temporarily invisible.
Nexus of power[edit | edit source]
Natural nexuses of the Living Force were found throughout the galaxy. High concentrations of the Force in one location created a vergence which echoed of power, strength in the Force that could be sensed by living beings attuned to the currents of the Force. Such vergences were created by life living in a harmonious, if primordial, balance. The lush biosphere of the planet Dagobah made it one of the strongest vergences in the galaxy; the great quantities of life thriving in concert on the world created Dagobah's Living Force, which resonated to the extent of overwhelming Force-sensitives. With an unusually high concentration of the Living Force coursing across Dagobah, the planet allowed for even the most powerful Force users to camouflage themselves within its echoes. Verdant swamps and jungles on the world formed wellsprings of the Living Force—eddies, whirlpools, and springs in the cosmic flow of the Force that came and went with it. Sentients connecting to the flow of the Force at such wellsprings could deeped their understanding of the duality of life and death, as well as the nature of reality beyond what was possible in other locations.
However, sentience never developed on Dagobah, where there was simply the pure ebb and flow of life itself. The world was filled with native lifeforms such as the Force-sensitive jubba birds, as well as dense and dangerous fauna. Although the planet's fauna, weather patterns, and non-existence on standard astrogation charts made it an ideal place to hide, Yoda lived in exile there for a deeper purpose than to live a life of hardship or to hide from the fledgling Galactic Empire. Without distractions or any means of leaving the world to confront the Sith on his own, Yoda was allowed to ponder ancient Jedi texts, meditate on the deepest mysteries of the Force, and communicate with other Jedi such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ezra Bridger. Patiently waiting until he would be called to help the children of Anakin Skywalker to restore balance to the Force as well as the Jedi Order to maintain it, Yoda lived a modest existence, meditating and studying Dagobah's strength in the Living Force whilst also monitoring the Skywalker twins.
Sentience[edit | edit source]
Echoes in the Force[edit | edit source]
- "Moi moi, I love you!"
"You almost got us killed. Are you brainless?"
"The ability to speak does not make you intelligent."
- ―Jar Jar Binks and Qui-Gon Jinn
The energy of all life, the Living Force was particularly affected by sentient beings. Feeling emotions and capable of intelligence, sentients' actions echoed deeply in the Living Force throughout galactic history. Qui-Gon Jinn was a student of the Living Force, and stressed its importance to his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, telling him that being mindful of the Living Force required him to keep his concentration on the here and now, rather than letting anxieties about the future come at the expense of the present moment. Later, before the Jedi Council, Jinn stated that although Kenobi was headstrong and had "much to learn about the Living Force," the apprentice was ready for the trials and had little more he could learn from him. Despite Kenobi's instructions to his own Jedi-learner, Anakin Skywalker, to think before he acts just prior to the outbreak of the Clone Wars, the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn taught his apprentice to trust his own instincts during the war, and after the war's end, Kenobi instructed Skywalker's son, Luke, to trust his.
The Jedi Kanan Jarrus also took to a path of trusting in the Force, accepting its will—the re-emergence of Loth-wolves, sentient guardians of the light side on Lothal—and letting go of his innate desire to save his lover. Later in his training, Skywalker was told by Obi-Wan Kenobi to bury his feelings deep down, on the basis that they could be made to serve the Sith Emperor, Darth Sidious. Sidious manipulated Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, during the latter's time as Kenobi's apprentice, telling him that in time, he would trust his feelings, and then, he would be invincible. Skywalker later indulged in his anger and hate when he found his beloved mother tortured to death by Tusken Raiders, thereby falling to the dark side. Powerful emotions resonated in the Living Force, moving darkly around life forms that were about to kill another, the conflict of anger and hate fueling the dark side of the Force.
History[edit | edit source]
Harmony through native cultures[edit | edit source]
The sentient Gungans' cultural tendencies to live in connection with the natural world were consistent with an understanding of the Living Force. Additionally, both the native Gungans and the human colonists of the planet Naboo made use of the world's plasma riches, although the Gungans took only what was neccessary to construct underwater cities such as Otoh Gunga, whilst the Naboo mined much more than needed for a business venture with Damask Holdings under the tenure of Senator Palpatine. Nevertheless, the two were symbionts, their connection allowing each other to survive in spite of planetary challenges, such as the Invasion of Naboo. Naboo offered fruitful existences to those who lived in harmony with the planet; several chroniclers, including both Gungans and humans, advanced the theory that the ancient civilization that once lived on the world failed to respect this balance and were destroyed by their own greed, leaving ruins composed of large statue heads dotting the countryside.
Recurring conflict with symbiosis[edit | edit source]
With sentience, life forms continually came into conflict with the symbiosis of the living and the cosmic Force. However, those aligned with the methodology and state of being of the dark side of the Force, such as the Sith, were opposed by guardians of peace, such as the Jedi. The two groups were locked in constant wars beginning from their splintering in the Hundred-Year Darkness, at times also warring with other organizations such as the Zygerrian Slave Empire, the Ordu Aspectu, the Galactic Republic, and the Mandalorians.
Peace and purpose[edit | edit source]
Sentients who let go of their lives in peace and purpose, such as Luke Skywalker and Yoda, descendants of the teachings of Qui-Gon Jinn, transformed into Force spirits. As spirits, the luminous Jedi guided the living, ensuring that the next generation would grow beyond them and better the galaxy.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Conception[edit | edit source]
- "The Force basically came from—you know, distilling all of the religious beliefs, spiritual beliefs; go all around the world, all through time, finding the similarities and then creating an easy to deal with metaphor for what religion is. And the point is that in the very beginning, when you have people worshipping rocks and deer, they called it life force; they called it the Force; that's what it was—and so, where did the name come from? It came from, basically, life force—what the primitive religions believed in— […] Whether you believe in God, don't believe in God; believe in religion, don't believe in religion—the issue is that you either don't believe there's anything else out there, which is a little, I think, would be hard to live with. […] I believe something's out there, I just don't know what it is; I have no idea. […] I do know that religions are based on it. They're human psychological needs that have been put together mostly to create a society."
- ―George Lucas
The creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, took religious, spiritual, and political issues in the real-world and distilled human beliefs into the Force, using the Star Wars mythology as a form of psychological archaeology to explore the psychological motifs that underlie all of humanity. Human belief in a cosmic force, Lucas states, is a need that was put together mostly to create a society; a collective form of self-fulfilling self-defense that made communities, although isolated, share the same underpinning of life force.
Development[edit | edit source]
- "May the Force of others be with you."
- ―A phrase commonly used in the comic adaptation of the 1974 rough draft of Star Wars
The Living Force was first identified as the living component of the Force in the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, and the term "life force" was first introduced into Star Wars in Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 4, a comic written by Jeremy Barlow that adapts a cancelled episode on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a television series produced by George Lucas, that was scripted by Aïda Mashaka Croal and Matt Michnovetz.
The former Jedi-Bendu in the comic adaptation of the 1974 rough draft of Star Wars, The Star Wars, uses the phrase "May the Force of others be with you." The phrase was incorporated into the 2016 anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Since the Living Force appears in every piece of Star Wars media, this list only includes specific mentions or descriptions of the Living Force.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 12 (Databank A-Z: Cosians–Dagobah)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 13 (Databank A-Z: Poe Dameron–Delta 7-B)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 17 (Databank A-Z: Ewoks–Finn (FN-2187))
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 18 (Databank A-Z: First Order–Fyrnocks)
- Nexus of Power
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 29 (Databank A-Z: Jelucan–Lord Junn)
- The Star Wars Book
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Nexus of Power
- "Beru Whitesun Lars"—From a Certain Point of View
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voices"
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destiny"
- The Star Wars Book
- Shadow Fall
- Star Wars 30
- "Master and Apprentice"—From a Certain Point of View
- Star Wars Rebels – "A World Between Worlds"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Overlords"
- Star Wars Adventures: Shadow of Vader's Castle
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ghosts of Mortis"
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Last Battle"
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Disappeared, Part I"
- Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 4
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars Rebels – "Path of the Jedi"
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Assault"
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Altar of Mortis"
- Star Wars 9
- Doctor Aphra 6
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot"
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- The Star Wars 1