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Force, The

an energy that occurs naturally in the galaxy, it springs from all forms of life. It has two "sides," a good side and a Dark Side, although this is a great oversimplification of the Force's existence. The Jedi Knights believed that the Force had many sides, including a living element and a unifying element, and it binds all things together in a great web of existence. In this way, the Jedi saw the Force as its own end. The modern Sith, while acknowledging that they learned of the Force through the Dark Side teachings of the ancient Sith, simply saw the singular power of the Force, which to them was a means to an end. The Jedi Knights discovered that the Force was accessible to all living beings through the presence of midi-chlorians in their cells. The more midi-chlorians that inhabited a being's cells, the more the being was able to contact the Force. However, a high concentration of midi-chlorians did not guarantee a being control of the Force. Only through intense study and dedicated training could a being become proficient in harnessing the power of The Force. The Jedi Council discovered that younger beings had an easier time of learning the techniques required to touch and control the Force, and eventually developed a system that actively sought out and identified beings with high midi-chlorian counts at their birth. With, or sometimes without, the permission of the parents, the Jedi took children no more than one year old away for training. Children and older beings, who had already established a set pattern of mental and physical usage, often were unable to complete the necessary training, and were deemed too wasteful of Jedi resources. The Jedi Knights have historically been the most powerful users of The Force, having trained with and learned the three basic techniques: control (the manipulation of one's internal Force strength), sense (detection of the Force in the external world), and alter (manipulation of matter with the Force). These techniques, used by themselves or in combination, allow the Jedi to perform many different activities with the Force. The Sith, on the other hand, gained strength from the Force by focusing their emotional energies - especially strong emotions like anger and hatred - which gave the quick mastery but didn't take much discipline. During the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy, some twenty-five years after the Battle of Endor, the foundations on which the Jedi Knights based their knowledge of the Force were suddenly altered. There were several forms of life - primarily the ysalamiri of Myrkr - which could push back against the Force, but these creatures were assumed to live within the Force in some fashion. The Yuuzhan Vong, however, appeared as a void in the Force, neither projecting nor absorbing or repelling it. Many of the new Jedi Order struggled with the concept of a race of beings which seemed to lack any contact with the Force, since it was believed that the Force was contained within all forms of life, even if it was in trace amounts. Jacen Solo was one of the first Jedi to discover that the Force acted in many ways, without a true light or dark side, and that there were ways in which it could be attuned to at least recognize the alien invaders. The former Jedi Knight Vergere was instrumental in guiding Jacen to this realization, having spent more than thirty years in their presence. After the surrender of the Yuuzhan Vong at Coruscant some five years after their invasion began, Jedi Master Master Skywalker contemplated his new understanding of the Force. It was not a simple delineation between light and dark, but a more profound definition of the ways in which good and evil fight for control of an individual. Ultimately, he chose not to return the Jedi to their roles as an unbiased police force. Luke reasoned that the Jedi Knights of the Old Republic were once a meditative order that was drawn deeper and deeper into the machinations of the Republic when its Chancellors called for their help in mediating disputes. As this call for help escalated into the battle legions of the Clone Wars, the Jedi became less interested in the nature of the Force and more interested in separating good and evil into light and dark halves to the Force. The Jedi of the Old Republic, according to Skywalker, lost sight of the fact that the Force moved through an individual, not from them.
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