The belief that all life is connected and that intense training can give one special powers. Though the Force was thought to flow through every living thing, it could only be harnessed by beings described as "Force-sensitive". This Force-sensitivity was correlated with, and sometimes attributed to, a high count of internal microorganisms called midi-chlorians that were found in a Force-sensitive's blood: the higher the count, the greater the being's potential Force ability, though there were some exceptions to this rule. Force-sensitive beings were able to tap into the Force to perform acts of great skill and agility as well as control and shape the world around them. Sometimes this ability was described as having a strong Force "aura".
The Living Force
The Living Force was a view on the Force , accepted by the majority of Jedi throughout ages. The Living Force was thought to be present in most living beings, surrounding and penetrating them, thus making all living things connected by it. The Jedi believing in the Living Force relied on their instincts and were attuned to other living beings around them. They were mindful of the future and the possible consequences of their actions, but remained focused on the present. The Living Force was viewed as having both the light and the dark side. The Jedi always had to be mindful of their actions to avoid the temptations of the dark side. Through following the Living Force, several Jedi were able to retain their identities after their physical death, becoming one with the Force and able to manifest themselves as Force ghosts. Proponents of the Living Force view, such as Qui-Gon Jinn, espoused a philosophy of "living in the moment," relied heavily on their instincts and concentrated more on sensitivity to living things, rather than fulfilling destiny, which was one of the main tenets of the Unifying Force philosophy.
The Light Side of the Force
The light side of the Force was concerned with the ideals of good, benevolence, and healing. Followers of the light side strove to live in harmony with the world around them, acting out of wisdom and logic rather than anger and hasty judgment. In order to achieve harmony with the light side of the Force, its practitioners would often meditate to clear themselves of emotion; particularly negative emotions such as aggression, fear, anger, and hatred, since these were thought to bring on acceptance of the dark side.
The largest group of proponents and teachers of the light side was the Jedi Order, who strove to maintain peace and justice throughout the galaxy. The values of the light side were culminated in the Jedi Code. The Jedi accepted the view on the two sides of the Force: the dark side and the light side. A follower of the light side tried to live in harmony with those around him. Mutual trust, respect, and the ability to form alliances gave the Jedi their distinct advantage over the Sith. In contrast, a follower of the dark side uses the dark side of the force, usually for himself. Use of the dark side of the Force was forbidden within the Jedi Order, and was strictly considered the domain of the Sith.
Traditional Jedi were keen to keep the Force "in balance". They attempted to achieve this by destroying the Sith and denying the dark side—essentially "keeping balance" by restoring the Force to its natural state, as they viewed the dark side as "corruption". This involved the purging of negative emotions such as aggression, anger, and hatred, since they could easily bring on acceptance of the dark side. In contrast, positive emotions such as compassion and courage nurtured the light side of the Force. The Jedi Code compared such feelings and provided insight into the ethical use of the Force.
Passion was considered dangerous, as it could lead to strong emotions that could unbalance the Jedi and lead them to the Dark Side. Love was, curiously enough, seen as something both Jedi and Sith avoided. While the Jedi espoused a broad, all-encompassing, self-sacrificing love for all beings, love for another being—romance, a possessive love by nature—was shunned in post-Ruusan order. Possession of all types was also shunned in the post-Ruusan Reformation era Jedi Order, the only exceptions being a Jedi's lightsaber and clothes. The Jedi viewed love as a danger best left untouched. While the passion that came with love could lead to hatred and anger—as Anakin Skywalker demonstrated in becoming a Sith because of his love for Padmé Amidala; it could also lead to pity, mercy, self-sacrifice and compassion, emotions the Sith did not see as beneficial, as demonstrated by Darth Vader in sacrificing himself to save his son from the Emperor at the end of his life, thus bringing balance to the Force.
The Dark Side of the Force
The dark side of the Force was considered by the Jedi to be the element aligned with fear, hatred, aggression, and malice toward all living things. Such emotions seemed to increase the strength and abilities of a user of the dark side, providing a path towards personal power and the destruction or control of all opposition. It was generally accepted that use of the dark side of the Force was extremely addictive. Dark side Jedi were known as Dark Jedi. Some light Jedi, such as Jaden Korr and Galen Marek, could use dark side powers.
The Dark Lord Darth Bane considered the Force to be finite and thus ideally for exclusive use by the Dark Lord. He eliminated the practice of having vast numbers of Sith at the same time, thereby aiming to concentrate the dark side of the Force into two individuals: a Sith Master and his or her apprentice. This tradition, or "Rule of Two," later underwent a small reformation by Dark Lady Lumiya, following the deaths of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader (the Sith Lords at the time) in 4 ABY. The Rule of Two was later rejected by Darth Krayt, who instituted the Rule of One, using "One" to refer to the Sith Order itself and encompassing many minions, acolytes/adepts and lords, led by only one Dark Lord of the Sith (or Dread Lord). Darth Krayt believed he gave the Sith and their power a purpose, unlike Darth Bane, who believed that power was its own purpose. The Rule of One called for cooperation and even some level of loyalty between the Sith. However, the Rule of One did not represent the Sith as a whole, and Krayt was even labeled a heretic by the holocrons of Darth Bane, Darth Nihilus and Darth Andeddu.
The Unifying Force
The concept of the Unifying Force found fewer supporters within the Jedi Order than the Living Force. The concept of the Unifying Force was that the Force is a single entity and has neither a light nor the dark side. The Unifying Force was viewed as a deity that neither had sides nor chose them, treating all beings equally. Followers of the Unifying Force always kept their eyes open for future possibilities. In the end, it resulted in them trying to fulfill a destiny rather than focusing on here and now, as the Living Force supporter would do.
Visions of the future were of particular significance to Unifying Force supporters. Yoda was one of the most adamant proponents of heeding visions of the future though never once acknowledged any of the other views common with the Unifying Force. Many of the Jedi held a similar philosophy, and focused on the flow of time as a whole, ignoring primary use of the Living Force. Voices for the latter espoused a philosophy of "live for the moment" and heavily relied on their instincts. This viewpoint might have allowed the Jedi Order to stave off the conflict that gave rise to the Galactic Empire, as its members lost themselves in looking forward rather than analyzing the unfolding events before them. Yoda later espoused beliefs closer to the philosophy of the Living Force when training Luke Skywalker on -.
Ironically for Unifying Force Jedi, Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, also supported this belief. He claimed that there was only one Force: the only difference worthy of note was that the Sith saw the Force as a means to an end while the Jedi saw it as an end in itself. This view was also supported by Vergere, who taught Jacen Solo that there was no light side or dark side of the Force, only the Unifying Force. Vergere also told Solo that "the Force was everything, and everything was the Force"; that the Force did not have sides and never took sides.
The Way of the Dark
The Way of the Dark, or simply the Dark, was a view of the Force taken up by Cronal and those that taught him. It was effectively the polar opposite of the Potentium, but taken a step further. This Way of the Dark belief did not just deny the existence of the Light side of the Force; it stated that the Force itself was simply a small extension of the Dark. This system stated that destruction was the universal constant that all things worked towards, going so far as to call it the "will of the universe". An initiate was taught that if one made destruction his primary goal, with whatever scheme he was taking part in being a secondary objective, then the Dark would effectively reward the initiate for the devastation caused by pushing the secondary objective to success.
As a prime example of this, Cronal cited that Palpatine was able to achieve success against the Jedi and the Republic because his primary motive was the destruction of both parties. However, once he had achieved these goals and set about consolidating his rule and building the Empire, his focus shifted from destruction to creation, in total opposition to universal processes. Thus when before he could not fail, now he could never succeed.
The Insidious Force
Darth Traya, a female Sith living during the Old Sith Wars, believed the Force to be akin to some sort of deceptively sinister, indifferent god. She pointed to the numerous wars fought by countless Force users, as proof that the Force cared nothing for the lives it consumed, so long as balance was achieved. This philosophy emphasized the belief that neither the light nor the dark side was truly superior to the other, and that if people were to be truly free, the Force had to be eliminated from the galaxy. This was generally a very unpopular theory with both the Sith and the Jedi, and this practice practically disappeared entirely with Traya's death.
Beliefs of the Aing-Tii
The Aing-Tii monks from the Kathol Rift viewed the Force in a way different, but similar to the view of the Jedi. Instead of the dark and the light sides of the Force, they viewed it as having many colors, much like a rainbow. They believed that the Force could manifest itself in different ways, which allowed a being to develop unique abilities, unknown to most of the Jedi and the Sith. They believed the force was much too complicated to be just light or dark. According to their beliefs, Force-users were not strictly good or evil, but instead had their place in a larger spectrum.
The Fallanassi called the Force the White Current and saw it like the river flowing through the galaxy and all living beings. A single person could not alter the current any more than a being could divert a river with one hand. Thus, the Fallanassi immersed themselves in the Current, letting it flow through them. This way they managed to shape its flow without imposing their will on it, which also opened them a way for unique Force abilities.
Sorcerers of Tund
The Sorcerers of Tund shared most of the Sith beliefs, which was not surprising, given the fact that their order was founded by sith mages. However, they viewed the force as the magical power and manipulated it mostly by arcane symbols and spells. The Jedi viewed the sorcerers as merely another Force sect, but would often try to "convert" the Sorcerers, attempting to convince them to use the Force without any of their trappings of magic and mysticism. However, they were unsuccessful, and eventually the Jedi contented themselves with making sure the Sorcerers did not descend into the dark side.
Abilities The Force Provides
- Enhanced Reflexes: Jedi and Sith have both displayed reflexes and reactions beyond that of a normal being in Star Wars, whether it is through their dodging and deflecting of blasters, fantastic flying skills or high speed lightsaber duels, it is evident in most things they do.
- Enhanced Motion: All force users have the ability to use the force to augment their bodily kinetics. Most frequently shown of which is the force jump whereby force users call upon the force to aid them in jumping unnaturally high. The maximum height a force user can jump correlates to their strength in the use of the force. Force-Users can also use Force Sprint, this enables them to move across large surfaces very quickly and is extremely useful in the battlefield. They can also enhance agility. Most obvious example of which is Grand Master Yoda who frequently leaps around during duels, despite his 900 years of age.
- Telepathy: All force users have the ability to influence other people's minds. This is a particularly helpful skill for getting into locked down places, being stealthy and covering your tracks. Most famous example of this is Ben Kenobi's "These are not the droids you are looking for". Despite being ability to influence decision making, they cannot however read minds or thoughts.
- Telekinesis: This is the most renowned of the Force abilities. All force users have the ability to do this, however the volume and size of what they lift is dependant upon their raw force potential and their training. Most Force users attempt at first to lift rocks or pebbles, advancing to ships such as an X-Wing (like Luke Skywalker did). The majority of Jedi will use telekinesis if they throw their lightsaber, or in Luke's case if they are directing a bomb into the Death Star, Greatest feats of telekinesis include Master Yoda lifting up a pillar that would've otherwise crushed Obi-Wan and Anakin.
- Force Lightning: This is used exclusively by the Sith and is their most renowned weapon (after the red lightsaber). This involves creating a series of lightning bolts from your hands and projecting them at anything. These can be highly powerful, and are used by Sith Masters due to the difficulty of creating them. They are impossible for a jedi knight to dodge, however some masters like Mace Windu and Yoda have displayed the ability to block Force lightning with lightsaber, or simply in Yoda's case with his bare hands.
- Precognition: The Force can provide highly skilled force users with a glimpse or sense of the future or what is coming.
- Force Healing: This is a useful tool for all force users, this allows the advanced of healing of all wounds, however due to the difficulty of it and the fatigue induced by it, most healing is normally left to Bacta Tanks
- Force Choke: Another famous move. This is used exclusively by Sith and Dark Jedi. This allows the wielder to cut of oxygen and levitate their victims, quickly killing them.
- Force Crush: This has been used very infrequently due to the fact that it is highly tiring. Most notably used by Master Mace Windu during his duel with General Grievous. He crushed the cyborg's internal organs particularly his lungs. Hence his wheezing cough throughout the third film.
- Force Storm: This creates a black hole/worm hole and is the hardest of all force moves and has been used by Darth Nihilus alone.
Order of the Jedi
The Jedi were much like the enforcers of the law, solving crimes, helping in wars and creating peace amongst the planets in different galaxies. The Jedi were very much respected, with the ability to create peace due to their wisdom and patience, and if ever needed, would be able to enforce the law physically thanks to their lightsabers and Force powers. However, due to the Jedi philosophies going against the natural flow of human life, some Jedi had turned to the dark side, and so the Sith were born. The line between Jedi and Sith (good and bad) were sometimes blurred, as the people thought that the Jedi did not make the best decisions, often leading to conflict and the destruction of planets.
Becoming a Jedi and Lifestyle
To become a Jedi, one must have a high enough midi-chlorian count and then be discovered by a Jedi Master. How the Jedi Master finds a potential Jedi is usually found by events that the Force creates, due to the Force being in every living form and therefore being connected to each other, no matter how direct or indirect. The Jedi Master will observe the Jedi-to-be and see if they have characteristics that are fit for a Jedi, such as commitment and an astute mind. The Jedi Master would also see if their emotions were in check, seeing as the Jedi thought that emotions such as anger and hate would lead to the dark side. The Jedi Code speaks of openness and no emotion:
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. (Added in "Star Wars: KotOR")
There is no death; there is the Force.
There was also a new Jedi Code after the fall of the Empire:
Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others.
Jedi respect all life, in any form.
Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.
Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.
Once a Jedi Master decided that the Jedi-potential person could be accepted in the ranks, their training began. They would start out as with the rank of "youngling", usually practicing with a remote, which was a small sphere that hovered just above the trainee's head. It would shoot small lasers that would sting, and the trainee would have to deflect it with their training lightsaber, which is a much weaker, non fatal version of a standard lightsaber used with the children as younglings. Once they had gained the rank of a Padawan, they were given the task of building their own lightsaber. They would have to find their own crystal however, and once they did, use their Force training to place and charge the cell. Even something as little as a misplaced crystal could blow up the lightsaber.
However, the main training of a Jedi was the Force. It is explained that the Force is an energy that runs through everyone. However, the Force in others is more prevalent and therefore can be trained as Jedi. The Jedi Masters always taught them to use the Force for good, such as healing, and if they needed to protect themselves, for defense, and never to be used with anger. Temptation of the dark side was always there, because it always seemed like the easier path to take. Some Jedi Knights would fall to the dark side and realize that they had taken a self-destructive path, but for many, it was too late. The journey back to the light side was difficult after being immersed so far in the Dark Side of the Force. Sometimes Dark Jedi could be saved, though most times it was not possible, and they would need to kill the Dark Jedi as a last resort.
The way of the Jedi was to help the weak, as opposed to the Sith, where the weak were to serve the strong. Since their lightsaber was such a strong symbol, they were to uphold the best behavior and have a great amount of responsibility. They were to have a clear mind and take care of things that were trivial, and they were required to have an open mind to all things, in order to learn how things work and come up with the best judgement from all they have learned. The Jedi were to wear a tunic and a cloak with a hood, boots and trousers, which were in shades of grey and brown/tan. This was in contrast to the what the Sith wore, which was black, and sometimes red. Due to the Jedi Code, they frowned upon emotions, attachments and materialism. They were to live a life of what seemed to be like poverty even though they had housing, food and clothing. They were never to love or even have sex, though there were certain instances, legal and illegal. One legal example was the Jedi Ki-Adi-Mundi, whose race suffered from low birth rates. From this, he was able to have a polygamous relationship and was a father to many children. An illegal relationship example would be Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. This drove Anakin to the dark side and he became Darth Vader, though he was brought back to the light side, thanks to his son Luke.
Sometimes the dark side of the force, classified as temptation, possession, and selfishness by the Jedi Order, is too strong of a draw to young and old force users a like. This eventually leads down a path to want the force powers to grow, this lust for power only spirals out of control leading to more want, and to greed. Once a force user begins down this path it is difficult to return and the force user breaks off from the Jedi Order becoming a "Dark Jedi". These Dark Jedi sometimes fall to the Sith's teaching but often some the force users go on their own paths.
Dark Jedi aren't always classified as Sith nor are they always former Jedi. Often time some non-Republic planets produce force users that escape the search of the Jedi and Sith alike. These force users sometimes follow in more ancient paths and becomes witches or assassins, dark forces adepts who aren't formally trained like the Jedi or Sith but who find a niche within the dark side of the force.
Rule of Two
The Rule of Two is a Sith doctrine which states that there can be only two Sith at any one time. A Master, who embodied power, and an apprentice, who craved it.
The most famous Dark Jedi ever is Darth Vader, his fall from the light side of the force and even the savior of the force, but his lust for power and to save the woman he loved condemned him to fall to the dark side of the force and become a Sith Lord. Count Dooku is one of only a handful of Jedi as well, to purposefully leave the Jedi order. His leaving led to a fall to the dark side and also joining the Sith. The most true Dark Jedi was perhaps Asajj Ventress who took orders directly from Count Dooku during the Clone Wars under the guise of eventually becoming his padawan. Little did she know that Dooku was himself the padawan and Ventress was simply a Dark Jedi used by the Sith to take on ruthless tasks during the war.
Gray Jedi was a term, sometimes used pejoratively, that described Jedi who were to operate independently and often outside the strictures of the High Council. The term itself dated back as far as the Old Sith Wars. During this time period, some Jedi themselves became associated with a certain variety of robe. In the following millennia, the term continued to increase in usage, most likely due to the increasing trend towards centralization of power in the Order, and the increased prominence of the Jedi High Council itself.
Around 130ABY, Imperial Knights who served under Emperor Roan Fel, were refereed as Gray Jedi.
The Potentium view of the Force, not to be confused with the Unifying Force, was strictly disapproved by the old Jedi Order. While similar to the Unifying Force, which suggested that there was only one Force that did not take sides, the Potentium view stated that the Force and the galaxy in general were inherently good. According to this belief, the so-called dark side was not made up of specific "parts" or "abilities" of the Force: as espoused by the Light Side, it existed inside the life form which used it, made from their emotions. By that standard, and unlike the Light Side, all Potentium followers could perform any action and use the Force in any way they saw fit, as long as the intention behind it was good. In contrast, the Old Jedi Order acknowledged the existence of Potentium, but made it clear that it was subverting of the Jedi teaching and a way to misguide people to the dark side, or a means to serve it. The living planet Zonama Sekot supported the Potentium theory of the Force as well.
The rankings are as follow:
- Jedi Youngling
- Jedi Padawan
- Jedi Knight
- Jedi Master
- Grand Master
A Jedi Youngling would train until the master would decree that he/she would have enough knowledge in the Force to be put up to Padawan. Once a Padawan, they would be taken under the wing of a Jedi Knight; to become a Jedi Master, a Jedi Knight would have to train a Padawan sufficiently until they themselves could become a Jedi Knight. Once a Jedi Knight successfully trains a Padawan, the Knight is to become a Master. Other ways to becoming a Master would be to complete a heroic act. The highest rank was the Grand Master, where they have shown the utmost of wisdom. An example includes Yoda.
There were also Jedi who had a specialized class if the Jedi Order felt that their skills could be used else where. For example, there were Jedi known to lead armies into war, and Jedi who were interested in politics. There are Jedi classes called the Jedi Guardian, who focused on skills, but had limited use in Force powers, and Jedi Counselors, who specialized in the Force, but had limited fighting skills. There were also Jedi Sentinels who had focused on a balanced practice on the Force and their fighting capabilities. There were also Jedi Healers, and Jedi who took interest in preserving and learning about the culture and history of the Jedi, in hopes of learning past mistakes and improving themselves in the future. There were Jedi investigators, who basically acted as detectives, such as petty arguments to murder cases, and a class, called the Jedi Shadow was to spy on the Sith and expose them in order to prevent any wars between the Jedi and Sith. The Jedi Shadow would obviously have to have a very strong will, in order to fend against the dark side attacks.
Order 66 was a directive given to the Clone Trooper Army directly from Chancellor Palpatine. The directive had been secretly put in place at some point during the creation of the Clone Army and could be considered the whole reason for the creation of the Clone Army in the first place.
The exact working of the order is unknown but its purpose was to designate the Jedi, once the ally of the Clone Troopers, an immediate threat and to be killed on sight. Many Jedi were individually assigned to brigades of clone troopers to command them in assaults and defense and so were already spread out too thin. The order was communicated directly through the internal headsets of every Clone trooper and was carried out without question.
Many Jedi were cut down within moments of the order's activation, b eing caught off guard and out numbered at close range. Some, like Aayla Secura and Plo Koon never saw the coming threat and were killed. Others, like Ki-Adi-Mundi were able to sense the threat from their own troops and were able to defend themselves for a time before being overwhelmed. Yoda was one Jedi who took down his attackers before they could act.
Great Jedi Purge
This started the Great Jedi Purge and the near extinction of the Jedi as a force for good in the galaxy. The disorganized Jedi were now split apart and with Anakin's raid on the Jedi Temple they had nowhere to return to. Those that remained tended towards anonymity, exile and contemplation. Darth Vader spent a great deal of time and resources hunting down the remaining Jedi both personally and via other means.
Galactic Basic is the most common language, uniting many species under a common tongue via a mixture of several alien dialects.