The Force is a supernatural energy field derived from all living things in the Star Wars galaxy which binds them together. A few individuals are sensitive to The Force and can make use of it, though they are also influenced by it.
Certain individuals are born with an affinity towards The Force and as such can use it a wide variety of ways. Likewise it exerts itself onto them as they use it.
The Light and Dark SidesEdit
A key aspect of The Force is the dichotomy between the Light Side and the Dark Side. The Light Side is linked with self control, altruism, a love for all life and a desire for harmony both internal and external. The Dark Side is linked with selfishness, passions left to run wild and a desire for power. The most well known users of the Light Side of the Force are the Jedi and the most well known users of the Dark Side are the Sith, though neither of which are the exclusive users of either one.
The Light is also entirely passive; it is a choice not to act but to observe, judge, endure, and heal. The Dark is active; it attacks, conquers, and desires. The Light is waning in strength for those who are lost or weak. Anger, desire, and hatred from The Dark simply flow more freely and give more ready power to those who haven't devoted themselves to acetic nonaction. With a complete and holistic study and devotion, however, The Light has a greater ability to guide and strengthen.
The Force is constantly in turmoil with itself between Light and Darkness, forever pushing towards an balance which it can never fully achieve. It is also notable that individuals who use the force can get caught up in the pull of either side. If one is Drawn to the Dark Side by anger or fear, it will amplify said quality in them. The same could be said about the light.
Since West End Game's Star Wars RPG, Force abilities have fallen into three primary disciplines: Control, Sense and Alter.
Control powers focus on controlling the user's body (and the body of others for more skilled users). It's largely buffs.
- (Jedi) Meditation (Trance): Sends the user into a deep sleep that boosts the speed they recover from wounds and fatigue while also using less food and air than normal waking or sleeping. On the downside, it's a really deep sleep, so the user will only be woken by physical stimulus, a code word that terminates the trance is heard or a pre-selected amount of time elapsing.
- Force Speed: Speeds the user up and/or greatly slows their perception of time. Combined with foresight it allows blocking blaster bolts. Combined with telekinesis it allows the user to make very large leaps.
As you'd expect, Sense holds all the divination powers. Also Telepathy.
- Foresight: The most common force power, and only one that is used unconsciously by untrained users. It gives the user glimpses into the future, which at the lowest level gives the very practical ability to react to things before they happen. At the highest level it gives visions of the long term future, though these visions tend to be pretty useless since they're vague and attempts to prevent them nearly always result in them coming true.
- Farsight: Allows the user to see things happening elsewhere.
Alter is the broadest category and holds powers that alter the world around the user. In practice this works out to anything not covered by the above two schools.
- Telekinesis: Control stuff with your mind! Easily the force power with the most variants. In addition to the many abilities to move specific things in specific ways, it's also the basis of some odd-ball powers like starting fires by agitating particles enough till a fire starts. Used on the user, it allows them to leap great distances. Used on the enemy, it can crush their vital organs, throw them into pits or throw heavy stuff at them. In virtually everything except the original WEG material, using telekinesis offensively (outside of force choke) is not considered a dark side act.
- Energy Projection: Most commonly encountered in Force Lightning, this power allows the user to fire off energy as an attack. Generally dark side when used against living things. A handful of sources feature a variant that pulls the energy of an opponent away from them, disabling them non-lethally and thus not a dark side power, but it's often considered Skub. Another non-dark variant occasionally seen in RPGs is a variant that only works on droids, but nobody really care about this (outside of maybe Clone Wars campaigns) because it's completely useless when fighting anything other than droids.
The most famous users of The Force in the Star Wars franchise is The Jedi Order, a semi-monastic order dedicated to keeping the peace in the galaxy.