Star Wars: The High Republic author Charles Soule recently explained how the Force will change in the upcoming initiative that begins with his novel Light of the Jedi.
In an interview with StarWars.com, Soule detailed that the team behind the New Republic wanted to explore how different Jedi “look at and think about the Force.”
Using Avar Kriss as an example, Soule explained, “And Avar Kriss in particular is one of the first characters we meet doing this and she experiences the Force as basically a song, a huge symphony of voices and instruments, assonance and dissonance and all these different things.”
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“Harmony and counter harmony and all of these different things that, really, any time you look around our world you see it. You may not hear it, but life is a symphony. And so that’s how she experiences the Force,” he added.
Soule then went on to explain how other characters experience the Force. He stated, “Other characters do different things with it. You have a very cool Padawan and Master team Bell Zettifar and Loden Greatstorm, and they each have their own way of experiencing the Force.”
This isn’t necessarily new information. Soule talked about this with other members of the High Republic team during a panel at New York Comic-Con.
During the panel Soule similarly detailed how Avar Kriss perceives the Force, “She perceives the Force as basically as music. She calls it the Song of the Force. And so for her, all the different Jedi have their own tones and instruments and it all comes together into this great symphony of dissonance and assonance and all these beautiful things that she is able to perceive the way the Force connects all things as music.”
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“But through the manuscripts we see that other Jedi also have their own way of relating to the Force. Because the Force is obviously an energy field that binds and connects all things as Yoda describes it, but that’s Yoda’s perception of it,” Soule added.
He then compared Kriss to the Wookie Jedi Burryaga, “Whereas Burryaga, who is a Wookie Jedi, he’s a Wookie Padawan that we also meet in Light of the Jedi, he sees the Force as a great forest because he’s obviously from Kashyyyk and he’s a forest being so he sees himself as one leaf on a great tree that’s part of a great forest that’s part of a great world that’s all just all interconnected.”
“So those are just a few, but we really have tried to lean into the idea that every Jedi has their own connection to the Force and that allows them to experience in their own way, which has really been great for the storytelling I think,” he concluded.
In the interview with StarWars.com, Soule goes on to state that The High Republic will fundamentally be changing the way the Force was previously seen and viewed by Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“And what you come to see is that Yoda’s description of the Force as sort of this luminous web of light that connects and binds all of us, or Obi-Wan’s description, the ways we’ve heard it described are only one way to look at something that is truly a very interesting and complex and diverse thing,” Soule says.
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He then justifies this description by comparing it to different religions, “Just like many philosophies on Earth and religions experience spirituality in different ways, the same is obviously going to be true of the Force. So we see that explored in the book.”
Not only will there be new ways of experiencing the Force, but Soule also details there will be brand new Force abilities, “They also have cool different lightsabers. We see them using different Force powers we haven’t really seen in a while or that are totally new. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are some really, really neat Jedi things in Light of the Jedi and across the whole High Republic initiative.”
Soule would then be asked how exploring a new era of Star Wars storytelling altered the way he understands the Force or how he conveys it to readers.
He responded, “I think that one of the things that I believe is true about the Force — to the extent that something can be true about a made-up construct — is that it’s hard. Using the Force is challenging and you have to find your way into it and you have to find a path to connect to it.”
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“And that’s why Jedi train literally their entire lives to use it and improve their connection to it. It’s something that you have to calibrate yourself to be able to tap into. It’s out there. You’re not changing the Force by tapping into it. You have to change yourself or find your own resonant frequency within yourself that allows you to tap into what the Force is,” he continues.
Soule then elaborates, “And it’s hard. You have to be super focused. You have to become the Force to use it properly. You have to tune yourself to it.”
He then compared it to writing a novel, “And I think that is very much like the experience of writing a novel. Because when you’re writing a book you have to completely envision a new world and then you have to inhabit that world and you have to make new people that live in that world and then you have to let those people do the things that they would do if that world were real.”
“And it’s very, very challenging. It’s an exhausting mental discipline that I love doing, but it’s really hard. And so that’s my version of tapping into the Force, I think, is trying to write a good book,” Soule concluded the answer.
Credit where credit’s due, Soule is spot on in his description of the Force being hard to master and being a challenge that can take a lifetime to master.
That is similar to how George Lucas described it back in 1981 during the Revenge of the Jedi Story Conference.
Lucas stated, “Yes, everybody can do it. It’s just the Jedi who take the time to do it.”
He then compared it to yoga, “Like yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing. Also like karate.”
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Lucas would also discuss the Force during a writers room meeting for The Clone Wars in 2010 where he stated, “The only way to overcome the Dark Side is through discipline. The Dark Side is pleasure. Biological and temporary and easy to achieve. The Light Side is joy, everlasting and difficult to achieve. A great challenge. Must overcome laziness, give up quick pleasures, and overcome fear which leads to hate.”
However, as for Soule’s claims about the Force being perceived differently, this appears to contradict how George Lucas described the origins of the Force in his interview with Charlie Rose back in 2015.
Lucas explained, “The Force basically came from distilling all the religious beliefs, spiritual beliefs, all around the world, all through time, finding the similarities, and then creating an easy to deal with metaphor for what religion is.”
“And the point was is that… I mean in the very beginning when you have people worshipping rocks and deer they called it life force, they called it the force. That’s what it was. And so where did the name came from? It came from basically life force of what the more primitive religions believed in,” he continued.
Lucas elaborated, “And then you go through all the other religions and they have the same thing. You know its all the same. Whether you believe in God, don’t believe in God, believe in religion, don’t believe in religion, the issue is that you either don’t believe there’s anything else out there which is a little, I think hard to live with at the same time.”
“I mean I believe something’s out there, I just don’t know what it is, I have no idea or what I dare to guess. But I do know the religions are based on it. Their human psychological needs that have been put together mostly to create a society,” he added.
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While it appears he gets a little sidetracked in the discussion, he does make it clear that he was taking from other religious and spiritual practices and condensing it into the Force, it doesn’t appear that the Force would be experienced by different people who believe in different religions or have different spiritual practices as Soule now explains how the Force will work.
What do you make of Soule’s comments? Do you think these changes to the Force are positive? Are you interested in seeing what happens with the Force in The High Republic?