The Force is a religion, an offensive and defensive tool, a metaphysical element, biologically determined, and a severely bad-ass thing to have an affinity with. The force is a foundational element of the Star Wars universe, and is the lynch-pin on nearly every single story told within it's canonical timeline.
A Jedi Knight
is one type of force-adept sentient in the Star Wars universe. They train from very early childhood (often taken from their families at ages younger than five-years-old) and live lives that are part monk, part diplomat, part soldier, and all awesome.
The Jedi Code forbids things like attachment to personal possessions or other people (specifically, attachments like love
). Before the Jedi Purge
(now commonly known as "Order 66") The Jedi were headquartered on Coruscant
, the center of the Galactic Republic
. There, they served as guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Practically speaking, this meant that Jedi were dispatched to deal with things like trade negotiations, border disputes, hostile situations like planets on the brink of war, and other diplomatically-related incidents.
Diplomatic envoy-type missions are only one way that Jedi have been used, however. They are also occasional detectives
, bodyguards, researchers
, and other jack-of-all-trades-type of all-around good guys (mostly). Basically, a couple Jedi Knights on your side is never a bad thing.
As force-adept people, Jedi have displayed a myriad of awesome abilities. They are known to be excellent swordsmen, wielding lightsabers
and cutting down dudes whenever necessary. Though their lightsaber is the most visible symbol of association with their order, many of the most badass things a Jedi is capable of doing have nothing to do with their "weapon."
Here is an incomplete list of things a Jedi can do using their mastery of The Force:
- Move objects with telekinesis
- Experience visions of the future
- Utilize faster-than-natural reaction time
- Hurl bolts of lightning like Raiden
- Manipulate others minds
- Perform superhuman acrobatic stunts
- Surround themselves in available atmosphere in the vacuum of space
- Communicate from beyond the grave after becoming "One with the force"
- "See" using extrasensory perception
- Absorb energy
In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Writer/Director/Visionary George Lucas
first introduced the idea of The Force as a biological attribute. The suggestion was made by Jedi upstart Qui-Gon Jinn
that Anakin Skywalker
had an extraordinarily high "midichlorian count" ("Over 20,000!" from young padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi
According to the movie's explanation, midichlorians are a symbiotic life form that exists inside every living thing, giving people a connection to the Force. Lucas apparently found it necessary to "science away" any religion
or mystery in his universe.
Fan reception to the idea was nearly entirely negative, however, and The Phantom Menace was both the first and last place that midichlorians were mentioned.
The Force and the Light Side/Dark Side dichotomy
The light side of the Force requires a large amount of patience, studying, effort, and comprehension to fully understand and use. Because of this, many Jedi that were not willing to dedicate that much time and instead dabbled in the dark side of the Force because it required less of all of those. The dark side is capable of drawing people in faster every time they dive deeper into it. It is this addictive nature that causes many would-be Jedi warriors to become Dark Jedi (or at least on the path to one) against their will.