A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, Jedi and Sith alike manipulated an energy field created by all living beings that binds the universe together, otherwise known as The Force. While recognizable powers such as telekinesis were utilized by all force-users, others were specific to either the light or the dark side of the Force. The Jedi might go as far as taking advantage of the weak-minded, for example, but shooting blue lighting out of their fingers was a step too far.
While everyone knows you can use the force to choke someone out, hit a one-in-a-million shot into the exhaust port of a Death Star or sense the presence of someone special, other powers are less renowned. Then there are some that just don’t make sense.
Following the debut of the first trilogy, all manner of novels and comics explored the galaxy created by George Lucas. Star Wars nerds, like ourselves, bought all kinds of books like Tales from Jabba’s Palace or The Star Wars Dictionary. In the litany of material produced, the Force was taken in all kinds of directions-some of them completely absurd.
When Disney purchased the franchise, most of the existing material and the concepts within them were rendered more-or-less obsolete. Many of the force powers removed, were done for a good reason. Others that were introduced should have never made it past the chopping block. Let’s take a look at some force-powers you might not know, and others that make no sense whatsoever.
20 You Didn't Know: Force Orb
The animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars expands greatly on the Star Wars canon, filling in the three year gap between Episodes 2 and 3, (more or less the entire Clone Wars) while also introducing new powers available to those force-users out there in the galaxy. One such power is the ability to create a bubble of air, otherwise known as a Force Orb, which certainly comes in handy on aquatic worlds like Mon Calamari.
The Clone Wars was a complicated affair that made a big mess of the Galactic Republic and sometimes pitted species from the same planet against each other. On Admiral Ackbar’s homeworld, the Quarrens rebelled against the Mon Calamari for a brief moment, supported by the Separatists. This of course led the Jedi Order to get involved and next thing you know Anakin Skywalker, Padme and Jar Jar Binks were mixed up in the whole affair, otherwise known as the Battle of Mon Cala.
When Padme’s helmet was cracked by Commander Riff Tamson, Anakin and Jedi Master Kit Fisto created a Force Orb around her head, in order to ensure she didn’t drown. Of course, Jar Jar’s saliva worked just as well. Still, good to know Jedi don’t need scuba gear.
19 Doesn't Make Sense: Time Drifting
Before Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise in 2012, all kinds of crazy storylines were out there in novels, comics, and games. Everything from Chewbacca's end to an invasion from another galaxy. Added to this, a number of new Force powers were introduced. However, most of them made no sense whatsoever and it’s a good thing Disney scrapped them.
Though the concept of time travel was eventually explored via the World between worlds episode in Star Wars Rebels, a number of non-canonical material previously released delved into the idea.
Novels like The New Jedi Order series and the role-playing game The DarkStryder Campaign mention a power known as time-drifting, whereby a skilled Force-user could travel forward or backwards in time by moving along the ‘threads of the Force.’
While in Star Wars Rebels time appears as linear, fixed, and seemingly unchangeable, the non-canon time drifting force-power is centred on the premise that the flow of time could, in essence, be altered. As such, time-drifters could affect the future if they encountered individuals in the past. Without entering into a diatribe about the myriad of complications that scenario elicits. Let’s just say it’s best they left that kind of time-travelling to Star Trek. Two Spocks is ridiculous enough.
18 You Didn't Know: Hypertunnel
In addition to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated television series Star Wars Rebels also contributes to the expanding canon of the Star Wars universe. The show begins five years before the events of A New Hope and features a host of characters including a Jedi that survived Order 66, a Twi’lek pilot, a Mandalorian, and a young Lothal orphan. Rebels makes some significant contributions to Star Wars canon, cleverly drawing both upon the films as well as the popular series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which preceded it.
One of the most profound developments in Rebels is the plotline concerning the Loth-wolves and the so-called ‘world between worlds’. The mystical canine creatures of the planet Lothal were not only able to speak, they also possessed a deep connection to the Force. So much so they were able to transport themselves and anyone they were carrying from one place to another.
When the Emperor attempted to enter the ‘world between worlds’ and henceforth control the galaxy, the protagonists of Star Wars Rebels travelled via the help of Loth-wolves to the Lothal Temple in order to stop the evil Sith lord. With the stakes so high, it’s lucky the Loth-wolves were there in time to transport the heroes via the hyper tunnels and save the day. Those wolves sure would have been handy in a lot of other situations both before and after. But hey, they helped out when it counted most.
17 Doesn't Make Sense: Sensing Force Alignment
In a massively consequential event seen in The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker creeps into the bedroom of then-pupil Kylo Ren, holds his hand out towards him and senses that Ben Solo has completely turned to the dark side. He momentarily loses his judgment and contemplates killing Ben. However, decides not to. Then the whole thing blows up in his face and things get bad.
Of course, the idea that you can somehow sense the dark side in an individual makes no sense whatsoever.
Given that Emperor Palpatine was standing right in front of the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy for years and not one of them could tell he was a Sith. Non-canon novels like Darth Plagueis address this by introducing the Force power called force-clouding.
According to the novel, the reason the entire Jedi Council was unaware a Sith lord was rubbing shoulders with them for over a decade was that Darth Sidious aka Emperor Palpatine was ‘clouding’ his dark side alignment by using the Force to conceal his true nature. Of course these novels, and thus Force-clouding, were relegated to non-canon status when Disney purchased the franchise.
Since Force-clouding is not a thing and you can sense someone’s Force alignment by putting your hand out in front of them, how did the Jedi High Council not see a Sith standing right in front of them? Or if they couldn’t sense the dark side, how could Luke? Sense, it makes not.
16 You Didn't Know: Stonepower
Added to the vast number of books relegated to non-canon status after Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars, a plethora of comic book series were also deemed irrelevant and otherwise labeled ‘legend’. It’s a good thing too, otherwise the new films would have to adapt and make sense of some seriously convoluted storylines like Emperor Palpatine’s resurrection and Luke turning to the dark side.
Safe to say, the ensuing void of official Star Wars comics was quickly filled when Marvel Comics was tapped to develop new comic book series. Consequently, a total of over 90 issues have been released from Star Wars: 1-26 to Darth Vader 1-25, Chewbacca 1-5 to Leia 1-5 to Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, you name it. Some take place before Attack of the Clones, others take place in between the original trilogy films and still others are set after the events of Return of the Jedi. The result is the enrichment of the Star Wars universe and some new additions to the list of things you can do with the Force.
Star Wars 27, for example, introduces Stonepower, an aspect of the force that grants those who aren’t Force-sensitive abilities like telekinesis. Of course, this can only be done within the presence of a blue stone, which itself is imbued with the power of the Force. I’d want one, if I needed one…
15 Doesn't Make Sense: Anakin's Force Spirit
Some people liked it when Anakin was chumming it up with Yoda and Obi-Wan, enjoying the party in the Ewok village as a Force spirit at the end of Return of the Jedi. Others, like myself, hated it.
Let’s just forget that Ani took out almost all the Jedi, was privy to the destruction of an entire planet and helped a Sith lord conquer and oppress the galaxy? Why, because he tossed the old man into the bottom of a space station that was about to blow up anyway? I don’t buy it, but even if I did, it still wouldn’t make any sense and here’s why:
The ability to become one with the Force and therefore exist as a bluish semi-translucent Force spirit is not one that can be learned in the Jedi handbook. The ethereal Force Priestesses who resided on the Wellspring of Life were the keepers of the secret to transforming into a spirit, and they shared it with only one person: Qui-Gon Jinn. He shared it with Yoda who shared it with Obi-Wan, and that’s it. Anakin couldn’t have learned it while he was Vader because no Force Priestess would have taught a Sith the secret and if he learned it before he turned to the dark side, I’d like to know when. He spent most the time as a ‘held-back’ Padawn or fighting in the Clone Wars while having a secret forbidden romance. Nothing like picnics on Naboo to pass the time.
14 You Didn't Know: Shatterpoint
Though books like Heir to the Empire and Tales from Mos Eisley were dropped from official canon when Disney bought Star Wars, it wasn’t long before new novels were released to replace them. Many of these titles serve to fill the 30-year gap left between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, a significant and consequential period of time. It is within novels like the Aftermath trilogy and Bloodline that we learn of the Battle of Jakku, the peace treaty signed between the Galactic Empire and the New Republic, and the rise of the First Order.
In the prelude of the novel Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, Emperor Palpatine speaks with Fleet Admiral Rax both about the Contingency, as well as Shatterpoint.
In essence, Shatterpoint is a force ability that grants the user a heightened sense of the significance of events to come, as well as an awareness of the presence of those who will play a great role in shaping such events.
For example, Emperor Palpatine sensed someone on board the shuttle Tydirium was a Shatterpoint, and thus would have a great affect on the course of fate. Suffice to say, the old bat wasn’t wrong.
13 Doesn't Make Sense: Force Chat
In one of the laziest devices to come out in recent years, the writer of The Last Jedi figured the best way for Rey and Kylo to interact with each other and express their differing points of view was to have them literally talk to each other from across the galaxy. But even if you are willing to go along with the idea, there’s still a number of flaws in the newly-introduced force power.
Most notably, it’s no small feat to pull off a ‘Force chat’. Kylo mentions this when he wonders who is responsible for the Force-bond, which he notes would kill Rey if she even tried to accomplish it. Indeed, a Force-bond is special thing, usually developed over time between a Master and Padawan. For instance, Yoda developed a Force-bond with his apprentice Count Dooku before he turned to the dark side.
Assuming it was Supreme Leader Snoke who bridged the minds of Kylo Ren and Rey, and assuming he was in fact sliced in half and therefore killed, how on earth does the Force chat continue at the end of the film? You know, when Rey and Kylo see each other before she escapes on the Millenium Falcon? Did their power just grow exponentially over the course of a few hours or does this mean Snoke isn’t dead?
12 You Didn't Know: Pyschometry
Featured in both The Clone Wars series as well as the novel Dark Disciple, Jedi Master Quinlan Vos was known for being exceptional at Pyschometry, a power whereby a force-user could sense events connected to objects. It made him an excellent tracker, understandably.
In the early days of the Clone Wars, Vos developed a reputation for being reckless, especially given the Jedi Council was uneasy about the use of pyschometry altogether. The Council feared the use of the power might inadvertently arouse unwanted emotions or memories associated with an object. For example, if a Jedi used the force power on, say, a Sith weapon, it might expose them to the dark side of the force.
Despite the Council’s concern, Quinlan Vos continued to utilize pyschometry to track those he wished to pursue, most notably Ziro the Hutt. The ability let him ascertain Ziro had been in Gardulla’s palace, as Vos could sense Ziro’s memories by touching a glass the crimelord had used. Vos used the power numerous times afterwards and, as the Council had feared, ended up turning to the dark side after using pyschometry on a not-so-good lightsaber. Granted, there’s a bit more too it than that, and old Vos wasn’t dark side for long, but regardless it’s reason enough to listen to what Yoda says every now and again.
11 Doesn't Make Sense: Manipulating Weather From Beyond The Grave
Look, becoming a Force spirit is fair game (as long as you're on the light side). Talking to someone as a Force spirit is fine. But manipulating weather as a Force spirit is taking it too far.
In a scene of The Last Jedi that, for all intents and purposes is rather charming, Yoda and Luke stand outside the first Jedi temple, which ostensibly holds the sacred Jedi texts (though we later learn Rey nabbed them for safe keeping). Luke once again decides to do something then changes his mind, but Yoda jumps in and takes matters into his own hands. With his signature laugh, the Grand Master unleashes a bolt of lightning from the sky and low-and-behold the tree-temple bursts into flames.
The Force Priestesses never mentioned anything other than spirits communing with the living, and they were the ones who taught the Jedi how to use the force-power to begin with.
But let’s say for arguments sake Yoda learned something the Priestesses didn’t know. Why then, wouldn’t Yoda utilize this incredible power to say, save the galaxy? A well-aimed bolt of lighting could do a lot to solve some of the galaxy’s worst problems. I guess Yoda had better things to do, like hang out with Luke on a remote planet and talk about the good old days. Once a hermit, always a hermit.
10 You Didn't Know: Bleeding
Most of us are aware that lightsabers are made from kyber crystals, but less well-known is the fact that the crystals themselves are aligned with the light side of the Force and are even thought to possess a manner of consciousness near to sentience. The crystals were found in relative abundance in the Crystal Caves on the planet Ilum, but were rare elsewhere in the galaxy even before the Empire went about scooping them all up to build their planet-killing laserbeam.
It is said that the crystals would emit ‘music’ to the ancient Jedi, guiding them towards a crystal that best suited the individual. Only after it was chosen by a Jedi would the crystal change color-most commonly blue or green, though purple and yellow were also possible.
Given kyber crystals’ alignment to the light side of the Force, in order for a Sith to harness one, it was necessary for them to bend the crystal to their will in a process known as ‘bleeding’. By using the force to pour their hate, anger and pain into the crystal, the Sith would alter its colour into crimson and henceforth be able to construct their own bloodshine lightsabers. So we’ve got blue, green, red, yellow, black, white and purple. What’s next? Seriously though I’m drawing a blank.
9 Doesn't Make Sense: Corpse Vision
A host of novels and materials were published following the release of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, many of the chronicling the adventures of Obi-Wan and Anakin before and during the Clone Wars. Given the gap between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones is roughly ten years and the Clone Wars themselves are three years long, there was a lot of ground to cover. Of course, all of these novels became non-canon when Disney acquired Star Wars.
In the tenth book of the Jedi Quest series of young reader novels by Jude Watson called The Final Showdown, Anakin and Obi-Wan embark on a mission to thwart the plans of one Granta Omega. Obi and Ani not only traverse the burial grounds of ancient Sith known as the Valley of the Dark Lords, they also face mind-tricking illusions known as corpse visions aka the spirits of dead Sith lords.
Canon or not, there is no such thing as a dark side Force spirit. Only the Force Priestesses from the Wellspring of Life knew how to become a Force spirit and they taught Qui-Gon Jinn only, who then taught Yoda. The knowledge itself is open exclusively to followers of the light side and even then only three Jedi are known to have mastered it (plus Qui-Gon could do voice only). A dark illusion is one thing, but a corpse vision? No wonder it’s non-canon.
8 You Didn't Know: Sith Alchemy
In his heyday, old Emperor Palpatine was up to some pretty wild stuff. Stuff like Sith alchemy for example. Both in the Clone Wars and Rebels series, Darth Sidious uses Sith alchemy to do a whole host of nasty things, like creating fiery energy to attack his enemies and trying to get himself into the ‘world between worlds’. But that’s not all that Sith alchemy can offer, especially when it goes terribly wrong.
The canonical mobile strategy game Star Wars: Commander explores the Emperor’s twisted plot to attain immortality-a scheme that went horribly wrong.
Project Blackwing, as it was called, combined Sith alchemy with science in an attempt to find the secret to immortality by reviving dead tissue.
Instead, the project unleashed a virus known as the Blackwing virus, which infected stormtroopers at the research facility on Dandoran and effectively turned them into zombies. These undead troopers could quickly learn how to shoot blasters and pilot ships, could withstand damage that would normally be fatal, and could operate together as one entity. Obviously not what the Emperor intended. Though I’m sure the thought of weaponizing the disease crossed his wrinkled mind.
Presumably, the facility was destroyed along with the virus, but there are all kinds of rumors out there…
7 Doesn't Make Sense: Force Choke On The Phone
Using the force to choke people to death was one of Vader’s signature moves. He especially liked to do it when people insulted the force or tried to apologize for their mistakes. The so-called Force choke, otherwise known as Force grip, wasn’t reserved for Sith lords either. In some cases the Jedi might even use the technique when the situation demanded it. For instance, Luke choked out a couple Gamorrean guards in Jabba’s Palace during the events of Return of the Jedi.
I’m not arguing that using telekinetic powers to strangle an opponent doesn’t make sense, let’s be clear. What I take issue with is the idea that this Force power can be used while communicating via transmission. Sure, this is established in Empire Strikes Back when Vader chokes out then-Admiral Ozzel outside of Hoth. But if you can choke someone to death in that manner, the possibilities are unreasonably endless.
Why not just call Mustafar and strangle all the leaders of the Seperatist movement? They would have answered a call from their masters. Why not call Yoda, the High Council and the Jedi Temple for that matter instead of showing up with a legion of clone troopers so everyone could see the surveillance video of the massacre? To think, if Anakin had only just called Mustafar he never would’ve been burnt in the lava and maybe Padmé could have lived. Perhaps long-distance transmissions are expensive.
6 You Didn't Know: Dark Illusion
Creating Force illusions is no easy feat, especially when you want to directly target someone in specific. But a Sith lord with a particular affinity for Sith alchemy, one Darth Sidious aka the Emperor, was all about it. Of course, he had to get all the right things together to perform the ancient Sith ritual and create what is known as a Dark Illusion.
First, it was important that there be a Force-bond involved. In short, a Force-bond was a connection between two force-users, usually developed between a Master and apprentice. In the case of Emperor Palpatine’s dark illusion, Darth Tyranus, aka Count Dooku, had a Force-bond with his former master Yoda. Therefore, it was possible for the Emperor to use a dark illusion against Yoda during the Clone Wars.
Naturally, Darth Tyranus and Darth Sidious still needed some blood, a cauldron of sorts, some Force lightning and an incantation in ancient Balc but that’s to be expected. Palpatine pulled off the dark illusion and visited Yoda on the planet of Moraband, the homeworld of the Sith, where he appeared as long-dead Jedi Sifo-Dyas and attempted to break the will of the Jedi Master. Yoda, unsurprisingly, was unbroken and instead was able to pass the trial put to him by the ethereal Force Priestesses and thwart the Emperor’s plans. That was a good day for Yoda.
5 Doesn't Make Sense: Force Projection
The new Star Wars films and animated series have added a lot to the list of Force powers. Most of them, I’m okay with. Force-stasis, aka when Kylo Ren freezes people or blaster fire; sure I can get with that. Mind-probing, why not? Surviving in outer space? Maybe Leia created a Force Orb for herself. But the iconic moment in The Last Jedi when Luke Skywalker appears as a projection of himself? There’s only so far I’m willing to go.
We’re all supposed to go along with the idea that somehow Luke was able to project an image of himself (a younger self at that) across the galaxy to a specific place in order to thwart Kylo Ren’s plans to annihilate the last surviving members of the Resistance. This image somehow could physically interact with Leia, but also didn’t suffer damage when pierced by a lightsaber.
Somehow Kylo didn’t notice that Luke was brandishing a destroyed lightsaber, or that he looked significantly younger. Somehow Luke’s projection was able to see Kylo’s attacks and dodge them effectively. And for some reason the amount of effort needed to create the illusion was so great that pulling it off literally killed Luke.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense to fly down with Chewie, lift up all the stones and rescue everyone without dying in the process? I guess Luke would have had to leave that cushy island and he had it pretty good there.
4 You Didn't Know: Taming Beasts
There’s a lot of neat things you can do with the Force and moving rocks is just the beginning. Given the Force’s connection to all living beings, it’s no wonder a well-trained Jedi can, among other things, mentally connect with wild creatures.
This ability is first introduced in Episode 2: Attack of the Clones when Anakin tames and rides a reek in the Patranaki arena on Geonosis. Let’s just say it came in handy.
But the so-called Chosen One isn’t the only Force-user to tame a beast. Obi-Wan uses the Force to control a pack of gutkurrs on Ryloth and Ezra Bridger connects with a fyrnock among other creatures. From the comics to the films, to the animated series and novels, the ability to tame beasts with the use of the Force is prevalent in Star Wars canon, though the technique does have its drawbacks.
For one, a practitioner risks being exposed to the dark side, since in order to tame a powerful creature, one must open themselves to the power of the Force. Secondly, not all creatures can be tamed, even with the Force. Ezra Bridger learned this the hard way in the animated series Rebels when he failed to connect with a spider-like krykna. Maybe that’s why Luke never tried it on the rancor.
3 Doesn't Make Sense: Lightsaber Flashbacks
When Rey visits Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana in The Force Awakens, she is somehow drawn to a basement cellar housing Luke Skywalker’s long lost lightsaber. Once she touches it, Rey is immediately thrust into a series of intense visions portraying past events like the slaughter of Luke's Jedi pupils and her abandonment on Jakku.
First of all, the last time anyone saw Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber (technically the one Obi-wan gave him on Tatooine and therefore technically Anakin’s old lightstaber) was on Bespin. When Vader chopped Luke’s hand off the weapon flew off into a seemingly bottomless pit, so how it got into the hands of Maz Kanata is another debate altogether.
Let’s assume that is, indeed, Anakin’s old blue lightsaber. That still does nothing to explain why Rey would suddenly go on a vision quest through events past, some of which she played no part in. Psychometry allows for a Force-user to witness events associated with an object, but there’s no way that lightsaber was with Rey on Jakku when she was a child. Once again, the writers of the new films figured the best way to fill in the gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens was to use flashbacks, something that previous Star Wars films had stayed away from. For all their endless flaws, at least Episodes 1-3 didn’t resort to senseless flashbacks.
2 You Didn't Know: Morichro
No one knows what species Jedi Master Yoda belongs to. What we do know is that whatever species it is, they have expressive ears and three-fingered hands, they’re small and green, and they tend to talk in strange, backward ways. If you weren’t paying close attention, you might think Yoda is the only one of his kind, but if you look closely at Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (that’s a tough sell I know) you’ll see that’s not the case.
When Qui-Gon Jinn addressed the Jedi High Council and spoke of the return of the Sith, Jedi Master Yaddle was present. She looks a lot like Yoda, only with auburn hair and green-gold eyes. Like Yoda, Yaddle is very old (she was born over 500 years before the Battle of Yavin) and very powerful.
So powerful Yaddle was one of the few Force-users who could use the technique known as morichro, a Force power that slows the bodily functions of an opponent-even to the point of death.
Clearly, this power was bordering on the dark side, so understandably the Jedi didn’t permit most of its members to use morichro. But given Yaddle’s wisdom and power, she was allowed to use the Force power. If she ever did, who could know? Unless a standalone Yaddle film is in the works…
1 Doesn't Make Sense: Midi-clorian Manipulation
When Qui-Gon Jinn asked Anakin Skywalker’s mother who the Chosen One’s father was, the galaxy held its breath. Shmi’s answer was, well, pretty wild. Apparently, the child was conceived by the midi-clorians and hence it was a ‘virgin birth’. Like I said, pretty wild stuff. Even wilder is a further explanation of this occurrence found in the non-canon novel Darth Plagueis by James Luceno.
The novel tells the tale of Darth Sidious’ mentor, a Sith lord who became obsessed with immortality and practiced all manner of Sith sorcery and alchemy. Along with his attempts to prolong his life, Darth Plagueis also mastered the art of midi-chlorian manipulation. So much so, he created a Forceful being known as Anakin Skywalker.
Though it may make more sense of the conception of Anakin Skywalker, the idea that a Force-user could create life using midi-clorian manipulation is bit too far out, even for a galaxy far, far away. Though the novel does offer a lot, its relegation to non-canon status was probably a good call. Though the character Darth Plagueis is still canon, the powers and actions associated with the Sith lord are now simply ‘legend’. Let’s be honest, no one wants to delve into how Ani was born anyway.