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the Star Wars Saga


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Darth Maul
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« Reply #90 on: July 22, 2007, 07:36:16 pm »

The Force

“May The Force Be With You.”

In the fictional Star Wars universe, The Force is a binding, magical and ubiquitous power that is the object of the Jedi and Sith monastic orders.


Definition

The Force as described by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi: "It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." Master Yoda states "Luminous beings are we," underscoring the presence of the Force within all living organisms. Some think of the Force as a sentient entity that may be capable of intelligent activities, pervading and infusing the material universe as a sort of panentheistic god, while others consider it merely a resource that can be manipulated and used. A common compromise is that it is an "energy tool" but one which forms a fundamental part of the universe. Fundamental to its nature are certain practical aspects such as its ability to cause change within the physical realm. An analogy is a sword with no handle—it can only be used by gripping the blade and therefore any attempt to strike someone would result in similar harm to the hand of the striker—the sword itself has no sentience or morality, but nevertheless exacts a price on those who use it unethically.

In the Expanded Universe, two aspects of the Force are 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 its elegance and beauty. 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 as it doesn't impose any restrictions on its use.

The Force has also been described as having two additional aspects: the Unifying Force and the Living Force. These aspects were not expounded upon in the prequels, 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 and compassion to living things. These two aspects are not considered canon by many fans, as they are not discussed in the films or film novelizations. The only mention of the term "Living Force" in the films is made by Qui-Gon Jinn in Episode I, and many people consider the word "living" to be a simple adjective describing the Force, just as the use of "almighty God" does not imply the existence of another God. It is clear, however, that Qui-Gon is speaking of the Force concerning the present.

It can only be harnessed by a minority of beings described as "Force-sensitive." (In the books Luke Skywalker states that all are 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 as well as control and shape the world around them. It allows them to 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 says in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, some Sith masters were able to use the Force to manipulate life and death.

The sides of the Force

Light Side of the Force (Orthodox Jedi code)


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.
Note: There are typically only four lines in this code. See Jedi for an explanation of the anomalous line on "harmony".


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 interested in him- or herself. 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.

One might compare the Jedi code to some of the principles of Buddhism. One of the main concepts of Buddhism is that in order to escape the suffering of life, one must cease their cravings or passions. Only by not craving or wanting anything can you be at peace. Buddhism promotes wisdom, and the doing of good. All of these are teachings that Jedi learn to follow.

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 combating the dark side, 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.

Passion is considered dangerous as it may lead to strong emotions that could unbalance the Jedi and lead them to the Dark Side. Love is, curiously enough, seen as something both Jedi and Sith avoid. While the Jedi espouse a broad, all-encompassing, self-sacrificing love for all beings, love for another being—romance, a possessive love by nature—is shunned. Possession of all types is shunned by the era of Episode I, save for the individuality of a Jedi's lightsaber. The Sith view love as a danger best left untouched. While the passion that comes with love could lead to hatred and anger—as the case of Anakin Skywalker represents—it could also lead to pity, self-sacrifice and compassion, emotions the Sith do not see as beneficial and led to Anakin's reversal at the end of his life. To summarize, the Sith tend to see Love as a weakness.

One might speculate that this indicates that love is the true binding factor between the light and the dark. Neither the Jedi nor the Sith accept the other because they are either side to the extreme.

The Jedi approach to emotions may be seen as one of the key reasons for their fall during the movies. Denying themselves the right to feel the emotions of the Dark Side and abstaining from passion and love, many Jedi often fall under the sway of them when finally exposed. Unfamiliar with such emotions, they fail to see how they can come to dominate the personality and eventually become the personality. The repression of the emotions merely causes the fall of a Jedi to be even more violent and complete.

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 prevent the conflict that gave rise to the Galactic Empire, as its members did not look forward into the future and began analyzing the unfolding events before them.

The organizational goal of the Jedi Order is to maintain peace and justice in the galaxy.

Jedi Master Mace Windu elaborates, "Jedi do not fight for peace; that is a slogan and is misleading as slogans naturally are. Jedi fight for civilization, as civilization creates peace." (Windu in diary in Shatterpoint)


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Darth Maul
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« Reply #91 on: July 22, 2007, 07:38:16 pm »



Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) using the Force, or more specifically, the Sith technique of Force Lightning.

Dark Side of the Force (Sith code)

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 free me.


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.

One might compare the Sith code to Existentialism, as many aspects such as the quest for passion and freedom, and the concept of defining one's own destiny, are shared by the two. Other similarities between the two beliefs include awareness of death (the Jedi do not believe in death, they believe there is only the Force) and the absence of peace due to the role emotions play in life. Existentialists focus on anger and despair as major emotions, and these have been shown as aspects that help define Sith lords such as Anakin Skywalker. However, the appeal to responsibility as tied as one with freedom, at least as appears in Sartre's writings, makes this comparison difficult, as dark siders clearly lose regard for others as they pursue their ends.

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 Dark Side can also strongly affect the user physically, as the intense emotion and rage required to fuel it usually corrupts the user's body; this is demonstrated by Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Darth Traya, Revan, a dark-sided Jedi Exile, and in extreme cases, Darth Sion.

The corruption also extends to the personality and soul of the Sith, as the emotions called upon eventually become the only emotions the Sith truly feel. Eventually the original purpose for using the Dark Side is forgotten as the emotions drive them to seek absolute power. The soul also suffers, as in death the emotions burn out and leave them empty. This is seen in Ajunta Pall, the first Dark Lord of the Sith who, even centuries after his death, lingered in his tomb, unable to join the Force because of the evil he caused and his inability to forgive himself.

The Sith also believe that instead of living alongside the Force, one must master it and use it as a tool. This is shown in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, on page 72:

"They (the Jedi) allowed the Force to direct them; Dooku (a Sith) directed the Force."

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. For the Sith, this in-fighting is a positive: it guarantees that the strongest (and thus most fit) will rule. However, every time a Dark Side Force has risen in the galaxy, it has collapsed from inevitable instability due to this practice. 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 of constant internecine warfare indicates that the Dark Side may in fact be weaker than the Light Side, since even by the Sith's own beliefs their inability to maintain power marks their rule as unworthy. This instability due to in-fighting is in line with George Lucas' characterization of the Dark Side as "cancer" and is likewise one way of arguing that evil is slightly 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," remained in practice throughout the Star Wars Extended Universe. One might argue that the corrupted Jerec was an exception, as he had seven apprentices/fellow Dark Jedi on his command when he sought the power of the Valley of the Jedi, but Jerec was not a Sith, but rather, a Dark Jedi.

The Dark Lords Sidious, Tyranus, and Vader had each trained some followers with dark side abilities and occasionally inducted a member deeply into Sith lore and powers, but none of these followers were given the full Sith rites and training; thus the "rule of two" was consistent during the era of Darth Sidious.

Fear

"Fear is the path to the dark side..."

All sentient creatures experience fear at some point in their lives; it is a defense mechanism designed to impel creatures away from danger. One feels fear when they believe they may lose something valuable to them. Fear for one's own life is the most common motivator, but the fear can be for the lives or friends of loved ones, or even something as trivial as the loss of a possession or opportunity.

One acts out of genuine fear when they abandon reason and logic in order to eliminate or escape a threat. Unreasoning fear is characterized by desperation and frantic attempts to escape the danger at any cost. People who use the most lethal weapon available (regardless of their proficiency with it), attack all-out without first determining the actual degree of danger, or abandon threatened allies to save their own lives are almost certainly acting out of fear. Their journey to the dark side has begun.

Anger

"...fear leads to anger..."

Like fear, anger is almost unavoidable for sentient beings. It is symptomatic of frustration- stress without a suitable means of release. Such tension results in violent behavior, aimed at relieving the frustration all at once. It can be brought on by a variety of factors, but most commonly relates to fear. The fear of the consequences of failure can create tremendous surges of anger in sentient beings.

Someone acting out of anger loses the ability to show mercy; the target of his anger must feel his wrath. One gripped by anger often takes unnecessary risks in order to punish or destroy the target of his ire. Victory is not good enough if the foe is still moving. The angry do not wish to address the situation when they are rational; she needs to vent her fury now, while her blood is boiling and her enemy is within reach. Such a person deliberately gives her anger free rein, and thus gives in to the dark side.

Hatred

"...anger leads to hatred..."

Stress can also result in a more subtle kind of anger: hatred. Hatred is a simmering resentment, the outward expression of which may start small but gradually escalates into full-scale acts of violence. Hatred festers inside someone until eventually they come to believe that the target of their hatred somehow has less right to exist than they do. In their own mind, they reduce their enemy to a nebulous menace, the source of all the things they despise and of all the ills that plague them. To their thinking, the target of her hatred consciously attempts to thwart them. But it is not a personal vendetta; their enemy clearly threatens all that they touch. The hateful person has a right and even a duty to destroy their enemy and, what's more, to undo all that their enemy has wrought.

Hatred is often identifiable by an accompanying sense of righteousness; the person feels that he is morally bound to eliminate the thing that he hates. For him, considerations and mitigating circumstances are not a factor. Lenience is not an option. Justice is his to administer, and he does so with the assurance that anyone can plainly see the correctness of his decision. But whether he is right or wrong, the very fact that he acts out of his belief and nothing else brings him one step closer to the dark side.

Suffering

"...hate leads to suffering."

Hatred often springs from a sensation of inferiority. What one cannot control, one frequently hates. But when a person has the power of life and death over the object of his hatred- a single individual, or even an entire galaxy- he can cause suffering. Mental, verbal, and physical abuse are his tools; through these methods, the person denigrates and depersonalizes his victims- making them no more significant than objects, to be used or destroyed as he likes.

Malice is the ultimate expression of hatred, because the object of such hate invariably suffers. A person who wishes to cause suffering has no sense of pity. He callously causes pain, injury, and anguish, because he knows no one has the power to stop him- he is in command. But he has graduated beyond the need to destroy what he hates; to him, keeping his victims alive but always in fear of death reminds them of his authority over them. As long as he can continue to exert control over them, they feed his contempt for them. But should they challenge him, they present a threat, and he must destroy them. Thus, he returns to fear, and trances his path to the dark side all over again.


[edit] 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 series, (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- the intention behind the ability is what matters. He further demonstrates this by employing Force Lightning in combat, an ability universally considered to be on the Dark side of the spectrum.

These thoughts are also shared with the Grey Jedi Kreia, when she tells the Jedi Exile, "One quickly learns that the Jedi Code does not give all the answers. To truly understand the Force one mustn't simply adhere to the Jedi Code". She also says that one cannot truly understand or comprehend the Force by following one of the two Jedi religions. Both the Jedi Exile and Revan (although he was exposed to many masters' opinions by seeking them out) may also share these thoughts, since Kreia trained them.

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 power of 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 Admiral Motti wrong about the Force's existence, when he used its power to telekinetically strangle the arrogant officer (see below), stating, "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

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Darth Maul
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« Reply #92 on: July 22, 2007, 07:42:38 pm »



Yoda, a Jedi Master strong with the Force holding a senatorial seating area aloft in Revenge of the Sith.

The abilities of Force users

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 Outcast, and Jedi Academy, the powers drain, lightning, and grip/choke are all dark side 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 neither dark nor light. Note, too, that in KOTOR, force absorb is a universal power. Of course, this is most likely simply the method used for video games to portray usage of the Force. The Force could likely be used in a different and unique way every time.

Adherence to the light side allows its user to transcend death and become "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, Darth Sidious claims in Episode III 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, Ajunta Pall, 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.


Longevity and athletic enhancement

“ Physically, the Count's age was rarely a handicap. Deft as he had become with the Force he wore his eighty-three standard years better than most humans half his age. He was still in superb physical shape, senses keen, health undiminished by even the memory of a cold. ”
—Count Dooku as described in the novel Dark Rendezvous
 

There is evidence to support that a Jedi or Sith's increased symbiosis with the Force grants them longer life spans and a reduction of the effects of aging. This reduction occurs not in terms of their physical appearance, but rather their athletic abilities. Key examples are Count Dooku, Yoda, and Darth Sidious who, despite their advanced years, were still capable of feats of dexterity that defied their age. Dooku, who was over 80 years old, was still capable of performing lightning fast lightsaber parries and ripostes, somersaults, roundhouse kicks and was able to run at full speed. Yoda, too, despite being circa 900 years of age, was extremely acrobatic when engaged in combat and drawing on the Force (although it is unknown what effect age has on Yoda's species, or what his species' life expectancy is). Qui-Gon Jinn was age sixty when he died in The Phantom Menace although he physically appeared to be in his early forties.

As for longevity, this comes from the lines of Grand Moff Tarkin in A New Hope who thought that Obi-Wan had died of old age. Vader reminded him not to underestimate the Force. Another indication of Force-induced longevity was given by Yoda only minutes prior to his death. When Luke Skywalker protested that Yoda couldn't die, the aged master proclaimed that he was strong with the Force, but not strong enough to prolong his life further.


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 feels a disturbance in The Force, when Anakin, enraged by the death of his mother, destroys an entire village of Sand People. Likewise, Yoda senses a disturbance in the Force when Anakin becomes a Sith and every time a Jedi is 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. Darth Vader states, "I haven't felt that since..." when he senses Obi-Wan Kenobi's presence.

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 the disturbance was less severe because most on the planet were not Force-sensitive.

Sometimes, other things are defined as disturbances. Life creates small disturbances, and Force adepts and people with a high midi-chlorian count even more so. Qui-Gon Jinn felt a disturbance—or a vergence, whatever that might mean in this context—in the Force when approaching Tatooine in The Phantom Menace, where Anakin Skywalker was. Dark side practitioners create strong, evil-feeling disturbances and the death and pain of those involved likely enhances the effect. When a powerful new Force user begins to manipulate the Force, it may be 'clumsy' enough to attract attention. 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.


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." It is a farewell greeting that wishes good luck and embodies the spirit of the all-pervading Force that exists in the universe. It is uttered throughout the series as an expression of bidding good luck to one embarking on a journey. A similar saying for the dark side of the Force, "May the Force serve you well," also exists but is rarely heard. This is believed to originate from the Sith belief that the Force exists only to serve those who control it, that you and you alone decide your fate, and that the force is a servant for that decision. For more information, see Star Wars on Wikiquote.

Outside of the films, "May the Force be with you" has achieved cult status and is symbolic of the Star Wars legacy. The quote appears at #8 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list, compiled by the American Film Institute in 2005 to showcase the all-time best lines in American cinema history.


The Living Force

The Living Force is thought to be in most living beings. It is what "makes you sensitive to other living things, makes you intuitive, and allows you to read other people's minds, et cetera" (The Making of Episode I). 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 allows Jedi Masters to retain their identity when they become one with the Force. Qui-Gon Jinn was said to be a master of the Living Force—with a philosophy that focused more on sensitivity to living things, being in the present rather than the future, and relying on one's instincts rather than visions. Obi-Wan Kenobi also had some proficiency with The Living Force as in A New Hope he could sense the deaths of the people on Alderaan when it was destroyed under orders of Grand Moff Tarkin.

The only known beings without the Living Force are the Yuuzhan Vong, the antagonists of The New Jedi Order 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, of which Zonama Sekot was a seed. It stripped the Yuuzhan Vong of the Force after they waged war on others. The planet later disappeared mysteriously and was presumed destroyed.


The Unifying Force

The Unifying Force is the other side of the Force (the other is the Living Force). It is the "greater, cosmic Force" that "has to do with destiny" (The Making of Episode I). The Old Order, including those in the Jedi Council, was more focused on the big picture of the future universe and fulfilling destiny rather than the compassion to other living beings. For example, the Jedi Council would not allow young Anakin Skywalker to train because he posed a threat to the future.


Force ghosts

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. It is widely believed however that Exar Kun is the first person to attain this ability.

In the Expanded Universe, some Sith have become Force ghosts as well, usually by bonding their malevolent spirits to some particular place or object. The only difference from the Jedi is that the Sith are forever bound to the maddening void between life and death. This likely relates to Ajunta Pall, who was able to manifest due to the part of his being he had imbued his sword with. The Sith may be able to eventually move on by releasing the dark emotions that are bound into the place or object, but must do so of their own accord.
It should be noted that according to the Episode 3 novel, the Sith are unable to maintain their identity in the Force after physical death due to the very nature of Sith membership. Also to be noted is that references from people close to Palpatine (Mara [Vision of the Future], Lumiya[Betrayal]) have pointed to Palpatine's "rebirth" to be a hoax due to cloning capabilities, and was not actually his "spirit". These three sources would discount the possibility of Palpatine's presence being maintained, especially if one were to infer that the Lumiya line was a continued reference to the EP3 novel. On further notes, it is unclear when Luke was said to have died (aside from the Jedi Academy Trilogy when he was not dead), and Anakin Skywalker was in "one form or another" brought back in Traitor, after his death. Whether Anakin was a ghost, or a hallucination made by a very battered brother, remains unknown.


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.

While not immune to the Force, Hutts are highly resistant, having an innate defense against Force-based mind manipulation.

Also, in Episode I, Watto informs Qui-Gon Jinn that Jedi mind tricks do not work on his kind, called Toydarians (this is probably due to their genetic relation to the Hutts).

Also, in Knights of the Old Republic, Force-resistant creatures called terentateks are warned against and encountered. Some Jedi suspect that they were created by the Sith to hunt down the Jedi. Periodically the Jedi held a Great Hunt in an attempt to hunt down and destroy all of the tarentateks. The monsters appear to be extremely long-lived and resilient.

In Splinter of the Mind's Eye, a gem known as the Kaiburr Crystal grants enhanced ability with the Force to a Force-sensitive user. Luke Skywalker uses the crystal to heal Leia after she is wounded in battle with Darth Vader.


Possible inspirations behind the Force

Ch'i (qi) powers in the Chinese wuxia genre give the wielder great skill in combat, premonitions, and the ability to strike foes without touching using an invisible force. The radio drama The Shadow featured an Asian-trained hero with nearly all of the same abilities as Jedi. The term "Jedi" was derived from jidaigeki (Japanese period dramas)[verification needed] as George Lucas was heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa. Isaac Asimov's Foundation series features several varieties of empaths and telepaths who can detect and influence human emotion. One such group, the Second Foundation, believes itself the guardians of the galaxy, and the Second Foundationers strive to prevent Galactic civilization's collapse into chaos. In this respect, the Second Foundationers resemble the Jedi Knights, although Asimov's paternalistic guardians are not telekinetic. Many years after he invented the Second Foundation, Asimov did introduce "mentalics" who could also manipulate physical objects; these play a large role in his novels Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth. Being an avowed humanist, Asimov did not indulge in light / dark moralizing, and he took pride in constructing villains who believed themselves just and heroes afflicted by their own dilemmas. (See the essays reprinted in Gold for Asimov's exposition of these views). Though the Solarians and the Gaians can manipulate objects and minds much like the Jedi, Asimov's mentalics are not divided into light and dark sides, nor do they have the power of prophecy. In Asimov's fiction, predicting the future requires either intuition or psychohistory. Asimov's influence on the Star Wars universe has been frequently noted, one example being the debt Coruscant owes to Asimov's Trantor. Further examples of stories akin to those found within Jedi "history" can be seen in the miracles of the Christian saints and the lives of some mystical Rabbis from the Middle Ages. Both saw individuals using an outside force to "manipulate" their environments and in a sense bend the laws of nature to suit their wills.

The idea of a Light Side and a Dark Side of the Force is quite possibly derived from Zoroastrianism.

There are also extremely strong similarities to Taoist concepts.

Dark Matter has also been compared to characteristics of The Force in the real world.




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« Reply #93 on: July 22, 2007, 07:47:51 pm »



Sebastian Shaw, left, as the original portrayer of the spirit of Anakin Skywalker



Hayden Christensen, left, as the spirit of Anakin Skywalker in the new 2004 editional DVD release

Hayden Christensen appears in only the 2004 DVD release of Return of the Jedi, in which he replaces actor Sebastian Shaw in the final scene of the movie. This version is considered the canonical version by Lucasfilm. Some fans were upset by the change and criticized it for being disrespectful to Sebastian Shaw, even undermining the film's cinematic historical value. Further fan criticism includes the claim that Luke would not have recognized his father as a young man, creating a continuity issue rather than solving one. On the other hand, Lucas has justified the change, explaining that Anakin died psychologically when he was a young man, his physical image dying along with him. The point may also be made that the appearance of the ghosts depended in part on Luke's psychic awareness due to his use of the Force, meaning that he could recognize his father's spirit by other means than simple visual appearance.
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« Reply #94 on: July 22, 2007, 07:50:51 pm »

Sebastian Shaw

Sebastian Lewis Shaw (May 29, 1905 – December 23, 1994) was an English film, television and stage actor.

Shaw was born in Holt, Norfolk, and educated at Gresham's School, where his father, Geoffrey Shaw, was a music master. He began performing in 1913, and graduated to leading roles on stage in the 1920s. His first season with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was in 1926 and he was a regular member of the company (by then the RSC) between 1966 and 1976, and again in 1985.

He made his first film appearance in the 1930 movie Caste, and subsequently appeared in over forty other productions. In 1983 he played Anakin Skywalker in the film Return of the Jedi. One of the controversies surrounding the 2004 DVD release of the film was that Shaw was replaced as the "ghost" of Anakin by Hayden Christensen, though Shaw is still the one shown as Anakin/Vader in the scene when Vader is unmasked, and is the only actor credited with the role in that film. In 2006, another DVD release featured the original version of Return of the Jedi, with Shaw restored as the ghost of Anakin Skywalker.

It was around the time of his appearance in Return of the Jedi that Shaw began a relationship with the mother of disc jockey John Peel; Peel commented on this in his autobiography, Margrave of the Marshes. Shaw had been married previously to stage actress Margaret Delamere from 1929 until her death in 1956. Shaw died on December 23, 1994 in Brighton, East Sussex, England.
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« Reply #95 on: July 23, 2007, 11:54:54 am »

What gets me is that Luke and Leigha never seem too inquisitive about their mother Padme Amidalla in 4,5,6.  The circumstances surrounding her death.

Also how could Palpatine just "dissolve" the Senate.  They voted him war powers not dictatorial ones.

For all the time Lucas spent on this he sure left a lot of loose ends.
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« Reply #96 on: July 24, 2007, 11:25:58 am »

Volitzer,

Of course, Luke never knew who his mother was, while Leia was well acquainted with her, being a Princess herself.

As for Palpatine dissolving the Senate, of course you must be joking.  Power is seized in increments at a time.  First, they voted him special powers, once he was attacked, he declared a state of emergency. Once one has control of the army, he can do anything.

Back in the 1820s, Andrew Jackson decided to forcefully relocate the Cherokee.  The Supreme Court ruled against him. Jackson simply said, "they have made their ruling, now let them enforce it."

The Cherokee were relocated anyway, with many dying along the way in the "Trail of Tears." 

This happened in America, a democracy.  Just like the Japanese were interred in WWII, and Muslims in secret CIA prisons right now.  For those who choose to ignore history, history will always repeat itself.
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« Reply #97 on: July 24, 2007, 03:21:34 pm »

Volitzer,

Of course, Luke never knew who his mother was, while Leia was well acquainted with her, being a Princess herself.

As for Palpatine dissolving the Senate, of course you must be joking.  Power is seized in increments at a time.  First, they voted him special powers, once he was attacked, he declared a state of emergency. Once one has control of the army, he can do anything.

The thing is that the Governors of the worlds should have had enough collective clout to send their own armies to quell Palpatine before crowning himself emperor.  If not that then at least how they funded the Rebellion.

Back in the 1820s, Andrew Jackson decided to forcefully relocate the Cherokee.  The Supreme Court ruled against him. Jackson simply said, "they have made their ruling, now let them enforce it."

Totally different there was no way colonists were going to enforce "Indian's Rights" back then.  If they declared martial law in DC the rest of the states would sure as hell fund a rebellion, today.

The Cherokee were relocated anyway, with many dying along the way in the "Trail of Tears." 

This happened in America, a democracy.  Just like the Japanese were interred in WWII, and Muslims in secret CIA prisons right now.  For those who choose to ignore history, history will always repeat itself.
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« Reply #98 on: July 31, 2007, 01:20:28 pm »

Volitzer,

As I said, power is seized in increments at a time, and the sides of good and evil are often confused.  You'll notice that the Jedis saw the threat and acted on it, and yet they acted alone.  The other worlds did not help, they did not recognize the threat, until, of course, it was too late.

Same thing as today. Many see the threat from the President's seizing of more power as a threat as well.  Others are perfectly comfortable with it and see those who don't share their point of view as "traitors."

There are very few tyrants where it is in universal agreement that they are tyrants.  Even Saddam Hussein, Mao Tseung and Joseph Stalin had their supporters.
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« Reply #99 on: October 20, 2007, 02:06:11 am »

Hell... Bush still has his.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #100 on: October 20, 2007, 02:10:46 am »

 Cool Cool Cool



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