The Force has always been a bit of a mystery in what it can and can’t do. It lives inside everything, binds us all, and allows the Jedi to do some pretty horrible things. But the Force has also been known to do a lot of crazy stuff that rarely sees the light side of day, especially for those whose only experience with this magical space voodoo comes from the big screen.
After the release of the original films, there was a crapload of books, comics, and other paraphernalia that expanded upon what George Lucas had originally created and, eventually, Jar Jarred. Known appropriately as the Expanded Universe, these stories were basically crack for early Star Wars fans. Then Disney came along and forced all this beloved material right out the window, renaming it Star Wars Legends.
Fortunately, some of this content has made its way back into the now official Mickey Mouse-sanctioned canon, like Admiral Thrawn and Knights of the Old Republic. Though one of the franchise’s most important aspects has yet to be fully revived from the carbonite of canondomless. So until that day when the entirety of the Force is with us and there’s 1,857 different toy lines flaunting it, we’ll just have to settle for lists like these.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know The Force Could Do.
15. Drain Others of the Force
Force energy can be siphoned from one being and transferred to another. Known as a Force Drain, this offensive tactic uses the Dark Side and not only levels-up those who wield it, but has the ungainly side effect of severing the Force from whatever poor life form falls prey, often resulting in an agonizing death. Kind of like what would happen if you drank out of the wrong Holy Grail cup.
Darth Traya, one of the most skilled in its ways, claimed the Force Drain could not be taught, but gained only through instinct. Thus, only the most masterful Sith could draw upon this finishing move. The particularly gluttonous ones, like Lord Vitiate and Darth Sidious, even gained immortality by depleting the life Force from an entire planet’s inhabitants. No one used this power more devastatingly than the Force Wound known as Darth Nihilus, though. He literally fed upon the Force. So much so that it consumed his entire physical body until he was left nothing but an ethereal black hole in a mask, sucking in the spirt of all those around him, wiping out planets like we eat Dorritos and nearly driving the Jedi to extinction. In Nihilus’ case, the unrestrained use of Force Drain led to an addiction that nearly brought about his demise, which just goes to show even too much Force can be a bad thing. That is unless it’s coated in nacho cheese flavoring.
14. Generate a Force Forcefield
Also known as a Force Barrier, this one’s pretty self explanatory. A Jedi, or pretty much anyone else feeling Forcey, can use this defensive power to surround themselves and others in a protective mental field. This maneuver comes in particularly useful when deflecting blaster fire, a bunch of rocks suddenly fall from above, someone tries to throw a ship at you, or when C-3PO starts getting too handsy.
The Force Barrier has shown up on several occasions, mostly in comics. Like the time Obi-Wan and a fellow Padawan fended off a swarm of carnivorous alien fireflies from eating their faces. In that instance, they used a slight variation called Force Blow, which sounds like a far raunchier power than it is. During season 2 of The Clone Wars television series, Master Yoda used the technique to shield a group of people from being consumed by a cloud of poisonous fart gas. And of course, never one to be left out, it ranks as one of the many powers Darth Vader has up his Sithy sleeves.
13. Provide Force Immunity
Similar to the previous power, Force Immunity, often called a Force Shield or Force Resistance, protects its user from unwanton advances. Whereas the Force-field is best used on physical objects, Force Immunity helps safeguard against attacks of the mental variety. It has the ability to exert resilience against Force abilities, like chokes, pushes, and having your mind violated.
This skill is one of the first lessons taught to Jedi younglings in order to help negate the effects of the Dark Side. You too can join in on the fun. Just imagine an impenetrable fortress surrounding your mind built of stone, steel, and large phone books. At the center is a walled keep defended by Chuck Norris. Rest assured, the Dark Side ain’t getting in there.
Though its never outright stated, this is most likely the same technique used by Rey when she overcame Kylo Ren’s whiney interrogation of her during The Force Awakens. Either that or she just realized sticking a hand in someone’s face doesn’t actually do anything.
12. Fireball Belch
The power of pyrokinesis is more befitting of the X-Men than a Jedi. But when you can do things like see into the future and return from the dead as a ghost, why not also shoot fire out of your hands? A Force-user could manipulate and generate fire by forcefully rubbing together surrounding air molecules. This included controlling an existing flame to do pretty much whatever they pleased. It was also put to good use when Leia called up the Force to light several candles.
Creating Force Fire is actually one of the rare instances where everyone — Jedi, Sith, princesses and the like — get in on the fun. Which brings us to Thok the Gamorrean (also know as the pig warrior at Jabba’s crib in Return of the Jedi). Well, it turns out that Thok was strong in the Force, which he first put on display in the fighting game Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi. What does a large pig-faced pudgy goon do with the divine spirit of the universe, you ask? Burp out fireballs, of course. This impressive talent, which he shared with his brother Gorc, was confirmed as legit in Barely Tolerable: Alien Henchmen of the Empire. Though we gotta believe they weren’t the only ones to magically belch Yoshi-esqu fire, because you know Yoda let out a few of these during all that free time on Dagobah.
11. Electric Judgement
Electric Judgement, known also by its equally as cool pseudonym Emerald Fire, is the Jedi version of shooting electricity from your fingers. But instead of the blue streaks commonly seen emanating from the digits of Darth Sidious or Count Dooku, these bolts typically present a pleasing green or yellow energy when electrocuting someone.
The deadly nature of this attack makes Electric Judgement a controversial and rarely used power. The intrinsic association of Jedi Force Lightning with anger and aggression led many in the High Council to frown upon its use. The only member of the Order to ever really explore its possibilities was the one who discovered it, Plo Koon. Grand Master Luke Skywalker also occasionally dabbled in staticky finger magic from time to time to a lesser degree. Beyond these few instances, little is known about Electric Judgment’s full potential, other than the fact that it would for an awesome ’80s band name.
10. Essence Transfer
The Force can be a fickle mistress. Sometimes it’s light, sometimes it’s dark. It’s also just as likely to take a life as it is to save it. We already hinted at the ability to achieve immortality using Force Drain, and everyone knows Old Palp’s story about Darth Plagueis and his ability to manipulate midichlorians to prevent death. Well, there’s a third perpetual player in town with a different twist on the everlasting game.
Essence Transfer is a Dark Side power that displaces a person’s consciousness into another body, or in some cases, inanimate objects. Ancient Sith tapped into this technique to possess anyone who stumbled upon their tombs postmortem, allowing them to continue their reigns of terror. The main caveat was that invading a consciousness is an incredibly tricky business, and often, the host’s mind would reject the attempt. Several millennia later, Darth Sidious overcame this problem by creating an army of mindless clones to imprint upon, leapfrogging from one to the next as each decayed over time. Of course, if for some reason the transfer didn’t work, the darksider’s aura would be trapped in the chaotic Netherworld of the Force (aka Hell), doomed to wander as a disembodied spirit driven into everlasting madness.
9. Hyperspace Travel
Given every other implausible thing the Force can do, why not also hurl people into alternate dimensions of streaky-lighted space-time? In fact, we have the Force to thank for the very first trip ever to hyperspace. The Rakatan were an early galactic race that terrorized the galaxy with their advanced weaponry and stupid looking amphibious faces. Much of their evil success was in no small part due to their use of Dark Side-fueled technologies. Because somewhere along the way, they learned how to harness the power of the Dark Side into energy efficient batteries. Darth Vader would be so proud.
Amongst other achievements, the Rakatan are credited with inventing the earliest form of an interstellar hyperdrive. This otherworldly device was powered by the Force and enabled them to traverse hyperspace by being drawn to far off places with significant Force signatures. Though this limited where they could go with their vastly unpredictable hyperdrives, it was the best thing going at the time, and it allowed them to easily conquer known space for thousands of years. It also opened the door for future, less-magical technological advancements. So in other words, without the Force and its influence on space travel, Han would never have been able to make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. (Which he actually didn’t do, by the way.)
8. Heal Wounds and Raise the Dead
A Jedi could save a life by reaching out with their minds and entering inside of a victim to soothingly touch their bodily Force. Sure this sounds disturbing, but it was equally as useful. Known as a Force Heal, this technique could accelerate the natural healing process, knitting bones, mending flesh, and almost instantaneously returning the severest of wounds back to normal. Even fatal damage to internal organs like the heart and lungs could be repaired via this method. Its only limitation was regenerating matter out of nothing, which means Luke unfortunately won’t be growing back his hand anytime soon.
Force Healing made an appearance in the movies when Obi Wan restored Luke after he got cold clocked by a Tusken Raider in A New Hope. (Which begs the question of why Kenobi didn’t try to save Qui Gon post-impaling.) There was actually a whole field of Jedi Healers who made their careers out of curing the sick and wounded. For obvious reasons, the Light Side did a better job of achieving positive results, while the Dark Side’s conflicting nature mostly resulted in temporary solutions. Such was the case when Darth Vader applied the technique on himself, but found it impossible to keep his injuries in check. In a rare instance, Darth Sion was able to permanently heal his many wounds to the point that he gained immortality by focusing the Force to eternally contain his shattered body in place. Perhaps even more impressive was the enhanced powers of Vader’s non-canonical descendant Cade Skywalker, who using a form of healing known as Dark Transfer that could bring someone back from the dead.
Telekinesis is the power we most commonly associate with the Force. Pushing, pulling, lifting, lunging, squatting, and chocking things at the speed of thought — this is how we are used to seeing it in action. But being able to feed Natalie Portman pear slices isn’t all this skill is good for. With the right amount of concentration the Force can also be telekinetically used to get your fly on. (Depending on your definition of flight.)
By manipulating the force of gravity, a Jedi or Sith can suspend themselves in mid-air, hover in place, and soar around as they see fit. One time, the Jedi Crian Maru and Sith Kaox Krul even dueled it out while levitating Matrix-style. And then there’s the maneuver Darth Vader pulled in the novel Lords of the Sith, where he ejected himself into space and propelled through its vacuum. Many more over the years, including Dooku, Luke, and the Dark Jedi known as Maw, were also known to channel the Force to fly. Though in Maw’s case, he did so after having his entire lower body severed, so he was just a legless torso floating about. Which sounds terrifying. Point is, Force-users can fly.
And here you thought Kit Fisto was just a really good swordsman. Nope, amongst everything else, the Force plays a major part in a Jedi’s use of a lightsaber as well. In fact, the reason why they are so good at dueling, blaster deflecting, and throwing their laser sticks around like batons is because they use the Force to guide their weapons preemptively. This is also why you never see them mistakenly cut their own arms off.
The Force provides the necessary dexterity to wield lightsabers effectively. That’s not to say a non-Force user, like Finn, couldn’t use one. It just means their likelihood of decapitating themselves is high. The Force also plays a role in the construction of the lightsaber itself, helping to properly align the kyber crystals, and it’s the reason why the Jedi can improbably guide their blades to just the right place at the right time to make all those blaster-happy Stromtroopers look like idiots. Some of the other pretty cool combat techniques it fosters are throwing lightsabers like boomerangs and, in the remarkable case of Darth Traya, telekinetically fighting with three floating lightsabers simultaneously, each with a will of their of own. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age, brought to you by the Force.
5. Force Scream
Remember that scene at the end of Revenge of the Sith when Darth Sidious drops the bomb that Padmé is dead and Darth Vader replies with a resounding, “Noooooooooooo!” Well, that’s not just any scream he’s unleashing. That’s a Force Scream.
Aside from being able to dish out unintentionally hilarious prolonged no’s, the Force Scream amplifies hatred to the point of triggering shockwaves that ripple through the Force, causing massive amounts of damage. It’s made several appearances in the Expanded Universe and even shows up again later in the films during Darth Vader’s second bout of “no-ing” in Lucas’ re-edit of Return of the Jedi. Though you shouldn’t be too hard on Vader for sounding like a disgruntled old man watching the neighbor’s dog pee on his lawn, as the Force Scream is an involuntary exertion. Attributed almost entirely to the Dark Side, it is akin to an uncontrollable howl fueled by a strong sensation of frustration, rage, and grief. In other words, that’s one hundred percent, Grade A Force coming out of those Sith mouths, manifested as sound.
To that point, a Reddit user made the case that Vader didn’t actually say “no”, rather, that’s just how his mask interpreted the untranslatable, horrifically soul-crushing noise of the Force Scream. Which in no way makes his reaction any less ridiculous.
4. Dopplegänger Creation
The art of illusion is closely tied to the Force. Limited only by their imaginations, a talented Force user could conjure any number of ethereal projections from pillars of fire to a horde of snarling Rancors, or even a decapitated Ewok head if the heart so desired. What’s more, these ghostly constructs could even interact with the physical world. (All of which makes the Jedi the Green Lanterns of the Star Wars galaxy, only without the silly ring.)
There were many variations on the technique, but the coolest by far was using the Force to replicate oneself. Known as Similfuturus, or pulling a dopplegänger out of your oversized sleeve, the Jedi and Sith could create any number of perfect duplicates indistinguishable from themselves. These clones were even able to act independently and use the Force on their own. Force Phantoms were a derivative of this move, where the user could astrally project copies of other things as well, such as making an entire army appear out of one droid. This is reminiscent of Ghost Rider’s superpowers to clone himself into an infantry of fiery vengeance seekers. The takeaway being that the Jedi are basically intergalactic superheroes…so long as you like your superheroes with a healthy dose of genocide.
One of the most mindblowing things the Force can do is turn people invisible. We’re not talking about using the Force to mask one’s Force propensities, like Supreme Chancellor Palpatine did to shield his Sithy presence from Yoda and the rest of the High Council. We’re talking about straight up pulling a Harry Potter or Frodo, only without the fancy fabrics.
By photo-kinetically manipulating light and sound waves to bend around the practitioner, someone incredibly attuned with the Force can, for all intents and purposes, make themselves disappear. Also known as Force Cloak or Force Camouflage, this was a rare talent shown by a select few Jedi, including Anakin, who later used it as Darth Vader. Unfortunately, not only is this feat so extremely taxing that its nearly impossible to effectively maintain, but its secret methods have been lost to history, so the chances of seeing it in action any time soon are unlikely.
2. Allow Breathing Without Oxygen
Breathing is overrated, especially when you’re a Jedi. That’s because the Force is all the airy goodness they need to survive. Using some very masterful breath control, a trained Force user could numb their body’s instinct to shut down in the absence of oxygen. In such cases, they could then use the Force to preserve the trace amounts of air in their lungs. How long one could hold their breath in this manner is a mystery, but some were known to go hours (even days) without so much as a tiny inhale.
This power had plenty of practical uses, such as swimming underwater, exploring alien environments with toxic atmospheres, and surviving gas attacks. Early on in The Phantom Menace, Obi Wan and Qui Gon used this technique to overcome the Trade Federation’s attempt to poison them. We also mentioned briefly above about the time Darth Vader went flying through space like a boss. The reason his lungs didn’t explode like a poorly constructed Death Star was because of his talents in Force Breathing. In fact, some practitioners mused that it was easier to hang around in space than try to survive the likes of a poisonous gas attack, since in the latter case, oxygen was just inches away, while in space, the body was far less tempted to take a swig.
1. Turn Someone Into An Animal
For all those lucky enough to have watched 1985’s Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, you are probably familiar with the awesome power of Charal the Witch-Queen to metaForceosize into a raven. That’s right folks, the Force can turn people into animals. In Charal’s case, she was using a mystical Force-imbued ring to tap into the animal world’s spirit essence, but you don’t need a Talisman of Transformation on hand to pull this trick off. Just some good ole fashioned mighty morphin’ mind trickery.
Force metamorphosis is the ability to shapeshift into a creature, object or person. Not to be confused with Essence Transfer, this move takes the Force to next level crazy by actually transforming the physical form. Since this power defies the laws of nature, it is a technique no self-respecting Jedi would ever use, and was mostly conjured by the alternate Force-using Nightsisters of Dathomir. During Season 3 of The Clone Wars, however, a family of exceptional, godlike Force wielders known as the Ones were also seen turning into everything from griffins, bat beasts, and even Anakin Skywalker’s late mother Shmi to mess with his head.
We think the Jedi should consider rethinking their policy on letting members change how they look. At least in the case of this guy.
Are you a Jedi? How about a Sith Lord? In which case, we’d love to hear all about any other cool things the Force can do. Be sure to let us know in the comments.