Throughout the Star Wars saga, there have been a bunch of conflicting references to the Force. In the original 1977 movie, Obi-Wan told Luke that the Force was a spiritual idea and that it lived in everybody, but could be controlled only by a select few people. However, the prequel trilogy then introduced the concept of “midi-chlorians,” which supposedly exist in certain people’s DNA to give them an innate Force ability and a Force-sensitive bloodline.
To better understand the supernatural ability that keeps the Jedi and the Sith in a constant struggle, here are some of the most iconic, interesting and enlightening quotes about the Force.
10 “I Have No Doubt This Boy Is The Offspring Of Anakin Skywalker...The Force Is Strong With Him.”
The Emperor refers to Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader as though they’re two separate people. In terms of the audience, this prevents us from being able to guess that big reveal that Vader is Luke’s father – quite possibly the greatest plot twist of all time – but it also works in terms of character.
The Emperor capitalized on Anakin’s Dark Side impulses to turn him into a killing machine, which he would use like a puppet to take over the galaxy. When the Emperor first discovered the threat of Luke, he told Vader, “I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker... the Force is strong with him.”
9 “The Ability To Destroy A Planet Is Insignificant Next To The Power Of The Force.”
When Admiral Motti brags about the Death Star’s capabilities, Darth Vader ominously tells him, “The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” Motti doesn’t believe in the Force, however.
He makes a fateful mistake when he says, “Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebels’ hidden fortr--” and then he’s cut off by Vader Force-choking him. This is when Vader utters the immortal words, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
8 “I Fear Something Terrible Has Happened.”
In the original Star Wars movie, as Obi-Wan describes the disturbance in the Force that he’s been feeling, we get the first ever glimpse (in release order, not chronological order) into what it’s like to feel the balance of the Force.
He explains, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force...as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.” We hear a lot about the Force, but this is one of the only times where we’re told what the Force actually feels like – and it doesn’t sound very fun.
7 “Crazy Thing Is...It’s True. The Force, The Jedi. All Of It. It’s All True.”
When Han Solo first mentions the events of the original trilogy to Rey, she’s awestruck. As far as she knew, it was all a bunch of hearsay that was made up to inspire people. Flabbergasted, Rey says, “The Jedi were real?” Han confirms to her that the legends she’s been hearing throughout her life are, in fact, true stories:
“I used to wonder about that myself. Thought it was a bunch of mumbo jumbo. A magical power holding together good and evil, the dark side and the light. Crazy thing is...it’s true. The Force, the Jedi. All of it. It’s all true.”
6 “Remember, A Jedi’s Strength Flows From The Force. But Beware: Anger, Fear, Aggression – The Dark Side, Are They.”
In Return of the Jedi, when Luke returns to Dagobah to see Yoda, the wise old Jedi who trained him in the ways of the Force, he finds that he’s on his deathbed. At the age of around 900 years old, Yoda is finally kicking the bucket. Right before he goes, though, he imparts to Luke some very sage advice about how to use the Force.
He says, “Remember, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware: Anger, fear, aggression – the Dark Side, are they.” He wants to make sure that Luke keeps his emotions in check and doesn’t slip into the Dark Side.
5 “It Is An Energy Field Created By All Living Things.”
This is the line that every Star Wars fan refers back to when the question of midi-chlorians is brought up. The Phantom Menace retconned this Obi-Wan quote by claiming that Force users have midi-chlorians in their blood. However, fans still like to think Obi-Wan was right when he told Luke, “Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”
That doesn’t sound like it’s in people’s bloodstreams. It makes it more like a religious deity, which is more in line with the themes of the saga (and the established canon of the original trilogy).
4 “Don’t Underestimate The Force.”
When Obi-Wan first arrives on the Death Star, Darth Vader can sense him. He feels a Force presence that he hasn’t felt until the last time he was near his Jedi Master – and we would later find out in George Lucas’ prequel trilogy that it was a pretty memorable time, since he ended up losing his arms and legs and being put in the Darth Vader suit in the first place.
He’s a little freaked out that Obi-Wan might be near, which is understandable. Grand Moff Tarkin tries to calm him down, but Vader tells him, “Don’t underestimate the Force.”
3 “My Mentor Taught Me Everything About The Force... Even The Nature Of The Dark Side.”
There’s a scene in Episode III in which Palpatine sits with Anakin and tells him about the guy who taught him the ways of the Force: Darth Plagueis. This means that Plagueis is definitely in Star Wars canon and not shoved under the “Legends” banner that Disney used to discredit the whole Expanded Universe after they bought Lucasfilm.
It’s a pivotal scene in the movie, because it’s the most important step in Anakin’s journey to the Dark Side of the Force. It is this conversation that sways a wayward Jedi Padawan down the dark path that leads him to become Darth Vader.
2 “You Must Feel The Force Around You; Here, Between You, Me, The Tree, The Rock, Everywhere, Yes.”
Many fans agree that The Empire Strikes Back is the best movie in the Star Wars saga. During the second act, we’re introduced to Yoda, who tells us a lot more about the Force than we knew before as he trains Luke:
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well, you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”
1 “Remember, The Force Will Be With You, Always.”
Han Solo declares early in the first Star Wars movie that he doesn’t believe in the Force. He tells a faithful Luke, “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.”
Of course, by the end of the movie, he would see that evidence, since Luke used the Force to plant the photon blast in the air shaft on the top of the Death Star that would blow it up (thanks to a last-minute pep talk from Obi-Wan’s Force ghost).