- "Do you know what binds all those lights together?"
"Don't have to be a Jedi to know the answer to that. The Force"
"In a way. But I've come to see it differently, over time. Look again."
"Us. The Force is all of us."
- ―Lor San Tekka and Poe Dameron
The Living Force was the energy of all life. By feeding into the Cosmic Force, the Living Force 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 symbiotic midi-chlorians, which connected the living with the cosmic Force. The will of the Force desired peace and community—when life let go of fighting and came together as one. At death, a life form returned to the embrace of the Cosmic Force, renewing the cycle of the two aspects of the Force.
Through the Force, all life was connected. Every lifeform possessed their own life force, also known as a spirit, life essence, Force-essence, or vitality, each with its own echo in the Force, forming a symphony of life and death; however, individual Force-sensitives perceived the energy field in various unique ways. The presence of a lifeform could be sensed in the form of a song in a greater symphony to one, while being a leaf on a large tree or the light of a fire to another. The life force of one could be strengthened when in a Force-bond with another. Such bonds in the Force could be in turn strengthened by an abundance of non-sentient lifeforms or past shared experiences, as was the case between Elzar Mann and Avar Kriss, the latter of whom was able to focus and enhance the connections between those attuned to the Force. A being's life force could be 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.
Anakin Skywalker, a fatherless vergence in the Force, fulfilled his destiny by bringing balance to the Living and the Cosmic Force, thereby fulfilling the Jedi prophecy of the Chosen One of the Force—a prophecy that Qui-Gon Jinn, the to-be mentor of Skywalker and a student of the Living Force who achieved immortality by learning from the Force Priestesses to let go—believed was the will of the Force. While the Sith wrestled for Skywalker's fate, and therefore the fate of the galaxy itself, by slaying Jinn and capitalizing on the human's inability to let go of his loved ones, with Skywalker striking a deal with the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, and betraying the Galactic Republic by falling to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader, enforcer of Sidious' new Galactic Empire. Vader served his Sith Master and the dark side until he was confronted by the son of Skywalker, Luke, and moved by the aspirant Jedi's letting go of his own life. Taking the place of Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader no more, saved his son from death as the son saved the father from the dark side, destroying Sidious and redeeming himself in an act of self-sacrifice, restoring balance to the 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 Life in balance
- 1.5 Perception of life
- 1.6 Connection
- 1.7 Restoration through letting go
- 1.8 Manipulation of life
- 1.9 Nexus of power
- 1.10 Sentience
- 2 Behind the scenes
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Sources
- 5 Notes and references
Life and the cosmos
- "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 fell through the tunnel leading away from the physical realm and feeding into the Cosmic Force, which bound all things and communicated to living sentient beings through midi-chlorians, microscopic organisms found in every cell of all living things that formed a symbiotic relationship with their host; the foundation of life and what connects the Living and the Cosmic Force. Midi-chlorians originated from the Wellspring of Life, and living beings were sustained by the symbiotes throughout their life. When a life form died, its energy passed away into the Cosmic Force. 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 Naboo people believed that the life force of the dead is returned to the planet once the body of the deceased is cremated as dictated by their funeral customs. 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
- "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.
By the time of Rey's training on Ahch-To, only a few Jedi found the way for their spirit to transcend its physical form. Qui-Gon Jinn was the first of these Jedi, having learnt from the ancient Force Priestesses, who observed and studied all those who were strong in the Force. Later, seeing that Yoda was to teach one who would save the universe from great imbalance and respecting the destiny that was set out for the Jedi Grandmaster by the Force, the Priestesses taught Yoda immortality after deeming him worthy of the gift.
Temporality; transcending the duality of past and future
- 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, nameless, without a body, and truly one with the Force having let go completely, and when they chose to appear to those of crude flesh, the spirits became a part of the Living Force once more, 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—altruistic devotees to and protectors of the light as well as the guardians of peace and justice in 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.
Life in balance
- "The tree that won't bend will snap with the wind."
"Ever present, the dark side is. And a threat, always. Bend to it, we must not."
"Of course not, Master Yoda. The dark side consumes. And there is no balance to be found in such path. And what is our purpose if not balance?"
- ―Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Yoda discuss balance, and that they must take peaceful alternatives to violence against darkness to protect life
The Force was balanced when life coexisted in harmony. However, as the dark side—a way of wielding the Force's potential—was a part of sentients that could never be banished, the ever present darkness always threatened to rise up against the natural, harmonious way of life. The Jedi existed to protect peace and justice, although there was a widespread misconception that they were simply powerful, lightsaber-wielding soldiers of the Galactic Republic. Instead, the Jedi only used their powers for knowledge and defense of the galaxy and the Force, aiming for balance as it saved the totality of life from threats of the ever present and power-hungry dark side. When the Sith conquered the galaxy and oppressed its citizens, the Jedi rose to remove the Sith from power, thereby restoring balance to the Force.
When Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn was sent to find a peaceful solution for the conflict on Bri'n, the Jedi guardian was forced to rescue Th'er, the priestess of wood, from the hostile and unrelenting Metal Clan. As Th'er was brought to the Republic capital world of Coruscant for safety, the priestess asked the Jedi to instead strike down every member of the Metal Clan, thereby ending the conflict and ensuring her safety. However, Jinn refused because it violated the Jedi way, and was concerned by her use of the words "Jedi warrior" to describe him. After leaving the priestess on Coruscant, Jinn surrendered himself to the will of the Force, and was led to a world abundant with life. There, he found a spreading darkness and hiked to its heart. A dark monument stood in the center of darkness, where Jinn entered a vision and was attacked by entities shrouded in darkness. Because of his insistence on standing his ground against the darkness, Jinn was forced to defend himself with lightsaber, striking down the dark apparitions. In doing so, the Jedi became corrupted by violence, and was literally consumed by the darkness he swore to destroy.
As he was bound in place by dark tendrils, Jinn awoke from his vision to find that the light made its way into the darkness, thereby achieving balance. However, the Jedi noted that the light did so through a means beyond conflict, and realized that violence sowed the seeds of the dark side. Having learnt his lesson from the Force, Jinn returned to Coruscant and spoke with the priestess of wood, convincing her that much could be gained on that city of metal, such as recruiting off-world allies to her cause and finding a way to peacefully coexist with the Metal Clan, thereby achieving balance.
Perception of life
The Force could be perceived in a variety of different, unique ways by individual Force-sensitives. Where the human Avar Kriss saw the Force as a symphony and the presence of individual lifeforms a song, the Wookiee Burryaga Agaburry found himself as a leaf upon a large tree. Bell Zettifar saw other individual lifeforms as lights of a fire, and where Zettifar danced with fire, his master, Loden Greatstorm, danced with the Force as a wind. To Elzar Mann, the Force was a bottomless sea with infinite water, where Douglas Sunvale felt the Force as a set of gears made of an endless variety of elements.
Darth Sidious saw the Force as a chaotic ocean, encompassing life and death, past and future; everything and nothing. Unlike the Jedi, Sidious did not believe in the existence of symbiosis, instead viewing the Force as a ceaseless battle for control over both the shadow and the light. The Sith sought to emerge victorious on the basis that it was the only way to bend the Force to one's will. Sidious also thought that the Jedi had wasted themselves in dedicating to the foolish, primitive ideals of connection, symbiosis, and flow. While the Jedi were deeply concerned with life, they experienced very little of it.
While the Elders of the Path preached that the Force was not to be felt nor used, Zeen Mrala, a young member of the religious group, felt the Force within herself. As the power she felt was huge and wild like an ocean, Mrala remained fearful of her capabilities, attempting to contain the Force within herself. However, when disaster struck and a large piece of debris crashed towards herself and her city's Jedi rescuers, Zeen Mrala's Force potential was realized, allowing the Force-sensitive to hold the piece of debris in place through the Force.
- "Whenever you feel alone…whenever darkness closes in…hear our signal and know that the Force is with you. Know that we are with you. This is our promise. This is our covenant. For light and life…For light and life!"
- ―Master Avar Kriss, marshal of Starlight Beacon, speaks at the latter's joint Jedi–Republic dedication ceremony
A being's life force ran stronger when one was connected to another being through a Force-bond. In the High Republic Era, when the Republic was led by Chancellor Lina Soh, who popularized the phrase "We are all the Republic," bonds between sentients could be strengthened by Jedi Master Avar Kriss, who uniquely perceived the Force as a symphony of life and death, always hearing what she referred to as "the Song". Kriss' own connection to the Force was also strengthened by the presence of life, the abundance of which on Hetzal Prime allowed her to boost the bonds between Jedi across the galaxy during the Great Hyperspace Disaster. While using her ability, Kriss was able to perceive in the Force symphony the individual life songs of Jedi in places faraway, such as that of Grandmaster Yoda, which she deemed beautiful due to its ancient and wise voice. Due to Kriss' efforts, the Jedi's echoes in the Force collectively focused on moving a volatile canister of liquid tibanna away from a star in the Hetzal system, thereby saving Hetzal from certain doom and enacting the will of the Force.
Avar Kriss shared a bond in the Force with Elzar Mann, having grown up as younglings, working well together. The two had shared moments as Padawans, and while such things were tolerated, understood, and even common in the Jedi Order, they had to be let go once becoming an adult. By the time Mann was selected to become a Jedi Master, he and Kriss had not discussed their moments for a long time despite them remaining close to each other's minds, particularly when the two were together. After the hyperspace disaster in the Hetzal system, the two were tasked by Chancellor Soh to stop the Emergences that threatened to wreck havoc and death throughout the galaxy, thus meeting with the San Tekka clan family of hyperspace explorers at their estate in Naboo's lake country to discuss the secrets of hyperspace. While there, Kriss gave Mann a look that the latter saw was of such depth that it felt like the Force, impossible to fully understand. As Mann drowned in the sea of feelings, he stated that they were Jedi, prompting Kriss to confirm the fact and look away, letting go of his hand that was in hers. As they continued to walk through the San Tekka compound, Mann was no longer drowning, although some part of him wished otherwise.
Over the course of his travels and experiences, historian Lor San Tekka came to see that what bound the galaxy together was not only the Force—a powerful energy field created by living beings that bound life together—but people. After his travels alongside San Tekka, the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron also realized that "the Force is all of us." Before they parted ways, the historian expressed his approval of Dameron's finding.
The Cosmic Force desired the harmony of life, which formed the basis of the Wookiee way of life. Life Day, a traditionally Wookiee holiday that celebrated the Wookiee tenets and values of family, joy, and harmony, was thus a celebration of the Force; life in balance. Qui-Gon Jinn taught Obi-Wan Kenobi such during the latter's apprenticeship to him during a Life Day celebration on the Wookiee world of Kashyyyk.
Individual connections to surroundings
- "Just remember, riding a living thing is different from riding a ship or speeder. The Force binds you together. You can use that."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn teaches Obi-Wan Kenobi to ride a varactyl
As was harmony between families and tribes, harmony with one's surroundings was a part of Wookiee culture, and, as Qui-Gon Jinn taught Obi-Wan Kenobi, was also celebrated on Life Day. Under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi also learnt to ride a varactyl by making use of his natural connection to the living beast, focusing on the mount until he felt its soul, thereby bonding with the creature. 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.
The kyber crystal, a naturally-occurring stone attuned to the Force that focused and amplified energy, was said to choose its user, forging a deep connection between it and the one who found it. The crystal formed the heart of every lightsaber, a tool of the Jedi and a weapon of the Sith. After finding a bright blood-red kyber crystal within an ancient Sith lightspear and purging the crystal of the rage and pain instilled into it by the lightspear's original owner, the Jedi Jora Malli found herself tightly bound to the crystal. Malli thus took the crystal as the core of her lightsaber, which had a blade that shone a bright white. Similarly, the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano heard a calling from the twin red kyber crystals of the Sixth Brother's lightsaber, leading Tano to liberate the crystals from their pain under the dark side and purifying them into white crystals that would serve as the hearts of her new blades.
- "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, sensing the destruction of Alderaan
Significant shifts in the Force could be perceived by Force-sensitives. The destruction of the Death Star, caused by Luke Skywalker's act of letting go, resulted in a spike in the Force, signalling a new hope for the galaxy. In addition to key moments of destiny and potential changes for the collective whole of life, disturbances in the Force were also caused by mass-death. Both the fall of Jedi in the first moments of the Great Jedi Purge and the the Disaster of Alderaan shocked those attuned to the Force's life currents.
Ahsoka Tano was unable to feel her fellow Jedi in the Force in the aftermath of the execution of Order 66. Where she could once reach out and sense the presence of others such as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Tano could only feel an all-encompassing darkness. After failing to bring up Ben Solo and to rebuild the Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker severed himself from the Force in his incorrect thinking that the existence of Jedi was detrimental to the galaxy.
Restoration through letting go
- "A Jedi must humble himself before he can ever become powerful."
- ―Luke Skywalker reads from "The Journals of Ben Kenobi"
A crucial part of Jedi training was to focus on letting go, an art considered the most beautiful form of mastery by the Force spirit Qui-Gon Jinn. Jinn's apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, learnt likewise in his death. Shortly prior, as they stopped for the night in their journey to Mos Eisley on the planet Tatooine at the nearby city of Bestine, Kenobi taught Luke Skywalker Jedi meditation, instructing the orphaned moisture farmer to focus on whatever emotions that were uppermost in his mind and be mindful of his feelings and how they affected him. He was then to let go of his emotions one by one, aiming to make himself an empty vessel. Kenobi told Skywalker that it was the only way for the Force to fill him with peace and serenity. The Jedi Master also told the farmer to focus on the here and now.
The Jedi Order's Medical Corps and the Circle of Jedi Healers counted Jedi healers within their ranks. The healers often possessed the ability of Force healing; Jedi healer Torban Buck taught Padawans first aid aboard the Padawan Academic Cruiser Star Hopper, and Jedi Councilor Stass Allie's passed on her expertise in healing to other Jedi such as Barriss Offee.
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. 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
Theft of power to supplement the self
- "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
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
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. Jedi temples were often built at Force vergences, which 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.
Echoes in the Force
- "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. While other Jedi perceived Qui-Gon Jinn as rash and impulsive because of his focus on the Living Force and living in the moment, Jinn was often proven correct in his instincts. After returning from Naboo, Jinn stated before the Jedi Council 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. Kenobi also echoed the teachings of Qui-Gon Jinn, telling Luke to keep his concentration on the here and now, where it belonged, instead of centering on anxieties.
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.
Harmony through native cultures
The Force could only be truly known when one surrendered to the ebb and flow of life. 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 necessary 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
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
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
- "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.
A group of five anthroposophy student-scholars of the Waldorf Institute in Michigan took part in a three-day-long think-tank discussion with scriptwriter and film editor Marcia Lucas on rewriting the story treatment of the first Star Wars film, which had entered its third draft. In particular, the Waldorf students—who sat down with Marcia Lucas by virtue of Waldorf's Dr. Werner Glass having taught Marcia in anthroposophy—were tasked with providing a Waldorf perspective, fleshing out the treatment's characters through mythological archetypes as well as its story development to create a modern, universal fairy-tale. Such archetypes came from Carl Jung's version of the colective unconscious or the subconscious, as well as the collective dreams of humans that were believed to have come from the spitirual world. The meeting took place in the early 1970s, during the Christmas season, and George Lucas' treatments have been rejected "two or three times," though there remained a contract for Lucas' proposed film. It was during this meeting that, per Sino-Tibetan culture, Douglas Gabriel proposed that the name "Luke Starkiller" be replaced with "Luke Skywalker," and that what would become Darth Vader be made Luke's father. One of the Waldorf scholars, Gabriel also proposed a spiritual component of Star Wars related to the Living Force.
As he was to become a Jedi, Luke's weapon, a gun, was replaced with an aura that took anything shot at Luke and fired it, with equal force, back to its origin. Gabriel described the aura as one's "electric spine," with the Jedi having to develop that electric force. While such an idea later evolved into the lightsaber, George Lucas brought up the idea of midi-chlorians, which were located in the blood and directly connected to the Force and the prana, or life energy. Such a concept, Gabriel said, was also found in Etherization of the Blood, a work of Rudolf Steiner, who founded anthroposophy and Waldorf education. Gabriel elaborated during the meeting that the main focus to becoming a Jedi should be to understand how to retain one's breath and transmute elements so that they become light, thus forming a shield so that one cannot be harmed.
- "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.
Since the Living Force appears in every piece of Star Wars media, this list only includes specific mentions or descriptions of the Living Force.
- (First identified as life essence)
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- 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 (First identified as Force-essence)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 29 (Databank A-Z: Jelucan–Lord Junn)
- Star Wars Made Easy
- Collapse of the Republic
- The Star Wars Book
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia - Join the Battle!