What is the Force? Star Wars fans have been pondering this question for decades. Within the Star Wars canon, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s nebulous definition of the Force has proved the most influential— an “energy field created by all living things” that “surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.”
Like all great mystical entities of myth and legend, the Force is eternally illusive— constantly evading the parameters imposed upon it by those who claim to know its power most intimately.
As beautifully demonstrated in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Force extends far beyond the confines of the dogmatic Jedi/Sith, dark side/light side binary— harnessed for both good and ill by an incredibly diverse body of unique and powerful Force users.
Even for the most seasoned of fans, it can be easy to forget just how many permutations and schools of Force knowledge have existed in the Star Wars universe.
Between the old Expanded Universe and the rapidly expanding new Canon, there are countless examples of wild Force-users with powers that neither Jedi or Sith have even dared to attempt, let alone master.
Don’t believe us? Here are the 15 Non-Jedi In Star Wars With Crazy Force Powers.
Kylo Ren may be a Sith fanboy, but he’s not a Sith— and his Force powers extend accordingly beyond what we’ve seen in previous dark-side wielders.
In his introductory scene from The Force Awakens, we see him stop a laser blast in mid-air, and leave it frozen in suspension for several minutes while Kylo interrogates Poe Dameron and gives orders to First Order stormtroopers.
We’ve seen Sith dodge and absorb laser blasts before, but freezing one in mid-air was a brand new trick.
Over the course of The Force Awakens and into The Last Jedi, we see Kylo exhibit further impressive Force powers as yet untapped by the Sith or the Jedi.
His mind-meld with Rey may have been instigated by Snoke, but it was certainly a power that Kylo expanded and used for his own purposes. His ability to co-opt minds for information is also unparalleled among Force users.
The new Star Wars movies may be doing a lot of work in expanding and diversifying the Force, but the animated sector of the franchise has been adding to the Force oeuvre for years now. Most recently, Star Wars Rebels has been re-grounding the Force in the broad mystical concepts from which it derives.
So often when we think about the Force, we think about it in terms of Force abilities as practice by the Jedi and the Sith. With the Loth Wolves— arguably the most Force-sensitive animal creatures we've ever seen in Star Wars— series creator Dave Filoni reminds that the Force is (in a very visceral sense) moving through all life.
The Wolves’ unique biology, telepathic abilities, and power to move in and out of reality all give the Force new, yet integral dimensions.
The Nightsisters of Dathomir have a strange set of powers that’s usually classified under the name “Dathomir Magic,” which is fitting, considering that the Nightsisters don’t think of their abilities as Force abilities at all.
The Nightsisters don't even think of their magic as "using the Force," but rather, operate primarily under the idea that they’re casting spells.
They also think in terms of summoning spirits than calling to a completely unembodied Force or life essence.
Both concepts are certainly in play when the Nightsisters use Dathomir Magic in dance rituals to enhance strength or heal someone from tormenting afflictions.
With the Nightsisters, it’s almost hard to say whether it’s their Force powers that are crazy, or simply the way in which they summon and ritualize them.
On the surface, Ahsoka Tano isn’t a particularly unique Force-user. Her story arch is arguably a central narrative of both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, if not a prominent Framework. However, are her Force powers particularly strong or unique after she abandoned the Jedi order?
Ahsoka’s most distinguishing Force powers are her lightsaber abilities. They manifest in Ahsoka when she’s still very young, suggesting her adeptness at lightsaber combat is a special Forced-enhanced ability rather than a learned skill.
Also, lest we forget, Ahsoka exhibits other Force powers we rarely see in the Jedi, if ever. Her Force jumps and acrobatics are literally leaps and bounds more extreme than anything we ever saw in the movies (even the Force-jump and flip-happy prequels).
She’s also the only Force-user to take a “bled” Sith lightsaber and use the force to turn it back to its light side color.
The Mortis Gods— personified in The Clone Wars as the Father, the Son, and the Daughter— might be the most unique Force-users in the Star Wars universe. In fact, they may be a literal embodiments of the Force itself.
The Mortis Gods are named after the “planet” Mortis— an ethereal realm of surreal environments and externalized visions. They are what’s known as Force-wielders (beings of unprecedented Force sensitivity, with no fixed form) as opposed to mortal Force-users.
They are able to manipulate the life-force to change their form, and even take the form of other individuals.
It’s difficult to say whether the Mortis Gods are literal beings or simply hallucinogenic manifestations of the Force. If they do exist outside the parameters of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka’s shared visions in the Mortis episodes of The Clone Wars, then they’re the closest thing we have to a conscious embodiment of the cosmic Force.
The old Expanded Universe is full of strange Force-sensitive beings, both pre and post-dating the central Skywalker saga. One of the most intriguing are the Aing-Tii, a precarious, secluded alien species of mostly Force-sensitive monks.
The home planet of the Aing-Tii was shrouded in secrecy, which arguably led to the way the the alien race’s Force powers developed. The Aing-Tii revered the Force as a precious gift from their gods, and avoided using it directly as a result.
However, there’s no question that the Aing-Tii used their Force sensitivity to successfully navigate the perilous Kathol Rift. Because the Aing-Tii believed their dangerous journeys through the rift were “errands from the gods,” they were able to harness their Force powers in a precise, tempered, and deeply spiritual manner.
Say what you will of Leia’s Force-flying scene in The Last Jedi, it was a game-changer. We already knew that Leia was Force-sensitive (she is a Skywalker, after all), but using the Force to not only survive, but move through outer space is a whole other ball game.
The effects that brought this scene to life may have hurt the look and feel of the finished product, but the act itself demonstrates a Force power unlike anything we had ever seen before, or could ever have predicted.
Before Leia’s Last Jedi space float, most fans had assumed that her Force powers were almost exclusively cerebral, making her adept at strategy and emotional telepathy.
Those are clearly also Force powers that Leia possesses, but her ability to alter her physical environment in such a unique way arguably makes her one of the most powerful Force-users of all time.
Similarly to Ahsoka Tano, Maris Brood was a Jedi Padawan who moved away from the Jedi order for less dogmatic pastures. However, she became much more aligned with the dark side than Ahsoka ever would or could have.
Where other characters on this list have one or two crazy Force powers, Brood has a whole arsenal of them. She’s adept at everything from telekinesis and melee attacks to animal mind control.
Brood’s most distinctive power is Force cloak. As one of the rarest Force powers in the Star Wars universe, Force cloak involves manipulating light and sound to make the practitioner virtually invisible.
Brood most famously used this power to in combat with Starkiller of the Force Unleashed video game. With Force cloak, Brood was able to inflict several devastating melee attacks on Starkiller.
Rokur Gepta is a villian from The Lando Calrissian Adventures, a 1983 trilogy of Legends novels. Gepta was the last Sorcerer of Tund, possessing dark Force powers consistent with the tradition.
Gepta was an expert at illusions and telepathic assault.
Most notably, he used these powers on Lando Calrissian. In the first book of the Lando Adventures series, Gepta recruited Lando to track down the Mindharp, essentially a Star Wars analog to the Ark of the Covenant.
He failed to retrieve the Mindharp, blamed Lando, and subsequently tortured the famous gambler with illusion and mind control.
Getpa’s abrasive use of mind manipulation was unprecedented at the time of his introduction to the Star Wars universe, and we wouldn’t see the likes of it again until Kylo Ren and Snoke entered the scene decades later.
Bendu is one of the weirdest Force-sensitive beings in the new Star Wars canon. Similarly to the Mortis Gods, Bendu seems to be in touch with the both the physical elements and supernatural essence of his home planet, Atollon, and embodies both light and dark sides of the Force.
In addition to the intuitive powers associated with Force masters like Yoda and Emperor Palpatine, Bendu has the ability to manipulate the elements, and seems to be able to travel between the physical and ethereal realms at will.
His size and overwhelming presence also make him an effective, if not overpowering teacher. Plus, he’s voiced by Tom Baker, the beloved fourth Doctor himself, which should totally also count as a Force power.
Here’s hoping we get another Bendu-like character someday, perhaps voiced by David Tennant.
It’s a shame that we lost Dark Horse’s Star Wars: Legacy comic to Legends status, because it’s one of the most fascinating additions to the old Expanded Universe.
Set 100 years after the original trilogy, Legacy follows the adventures of Cade Skywalker, a direct descendant of Luke who abandoned his Jedi upbringing and became a bounty hunter.
Much of Cade’s story arch deals with him embracing the Force and coming to terms with his elect Jedi heritage, but his and Force powers remain far outside the bounds of the Jedi tradition.
Cade’s most unique (not to mention most insane) Force power is the “dark transfer,” an ability to resurrect someone from near death. Dark transfer can also be used to take lifeforce away from enemies, leaving them in a state of potentially reversible death.
Galen Marek is the central protagonist of The Force Unleashed, a weird late 2000s video game series now classified as Legends material. Codenamed Starkiller, Marek was the secret apprentice of Darth Vader. After killing Marek’s Jedi parents, Vader sought to exploit Marek’s Force-sensitivity for his own purposes.
Marek is one of the most powerful Force-sensitive beings in all of Star Wars. He often uses telekinesis in lightsaber combat, directing his lightsaber seek out and strike down enemies.
With Force pushes and pulls, he’s able to trap and destroy TIE fighters, and even brought down an imperial star destroyer on one occasion. It was probably wise of Disney to exclude The Force Unleashed from canon, as Malek’s presence might conceivably have overpowered every other Force user of his time.
As another religious group of non-Jedi Force users from the Legends timeline, the Matukai are characterized by the way in which they channel the Force through their bodies. E
Essentially, they’re Force-sensitive Samurai who practice meditation to cultivate superhuman martial arts skills. They also preferred bladed weapons over lightsabers, further distinguishing their fighting style from that of the Jedi.
However, combat skill is just the tip of the iceberg for the Matukai.
Through careful meditation, they are also able to enhance their physicality and make their bodies stronger in certain areas.
This practice also strengthened their “spirits,” or Force energy. In revitalizing the internal life-force through physical augmentation, the Matukai redefined the way the Force moves through physical beings, blurring the lines between body and soul.
Snoke’s role in the The Last Jedi's narrative may have disappointed certain fans who wanted to know the Supreme Leader's backstory, but his unique dark-Force powers were magnificently on display throughout the movie.
Snoke is not a Sith, nor does he have any direct connection to the Sith tradition. As a result, his Force powers lie eerily outside the limits of Sith dogma.
In addition to the most powerful Force chokes and throws ever exhibited by a Force user, Snoke is a master of mind manipulation. He was able to mind probe Rey and Kylo Ren, forcing them to connect through the force and meld telepathically.
His Force lightning also seems to be more powerful than what we’ve previously seen from even the most powerful Sith masters.
The Force Priestesses, as seen in The Clone Wars, are a controversial presence in the pantheon of non-Jedi Force users. They live on the Wellspring of Life, which is also home to the midi-chlorians.
Most Star Wars fans would rather forget that midi-chlorians ever existed than engage with them in any way, shape, or form, but the Force Priestesses sort of redeem the whole concept of midi-chlorians through their strange power.
The priestesses are actually one shape-shifter divided into five beings with the faces of serenity, anger, sadness, confusion, and joy.
They not only represent, but physically epitomize the connection between the “living Force” and the “cosmic Force.”
In so doing, they connect living beings with the broader universe, binding them in a relationship that's intrinsic to the true nature of the Force as a whole.
Can you think of any other non-Jedis with amazing Force powers in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments!