What is the nature of ‘The Force’ in the Star Wars films? Are there higher dimensional abilities depicted by characters in The Last Jedi? Are the Jedi ideas and use of The Force something that is ultimately destructive, not useful? These questions – and more – begin to be explored…
It is known that there are up to 12 dimensions of existence or consciousness. Tom Kenyon speaks of the 9th and 10th dimensions. We speak of dimensions of consciousness, and consciousness by its nature, communicates its presence, its self. Dimensions however, are not spiritual nor religious in and of themselves. They are simply realms (loka in Sanskrit) of existence and consciousness.
The Jedi Order mostly consists of polymaths: teachers, philosophers, scientists, engineers, physicians, diplomats and warriors. The Jedi value knowledge and wisdom, and serve others through acts of charity, citizenship, and volunteering; this ideology is a recurring theme in the Star Wars universe. Their traditional weapon is the light sabre, a device which generates a blade-like plasma powered by a kyber crystal.
The Jedi Code
The Jedi Code was a set of rules that governed the behaviour of the Jedi Order. It taught its followers to not give in to feelings of anger toward other life-forms, which would help them resist fear and prevent them from falling to the dark side of the Force.
- There is no emotion, there is peace.
- There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
- There is no passion, there is serenity.
- There is no chaos, there is harmony.
- There is no death, there is the Force
If we look to depictions of the Force in the latest Star Wars offering, we find that Princess Leia Organa uses the Force to preserve her body; Kylo Ren and Rey have an internal connection across galaxies (explained as the work of the Sith Lord); and (deceased) Master Yoda appears and destroys sacred texts of the Jedi Knights with a lightning strike, beckoned with a simple finger. Which dimensions do these events occur in? Whilst the movie depicts this as an audio visual 3-dimensional experience, from where does Master Yoda come? Which dimension is that? Is the Force – simply limited to 3rd dimensional life and consciousness or is the Force something that belongs to all dimensions? Is there something behind this force that the characters manipulate, another, greater, larger Force embedded in the Cosmic Will?
The Force is a metaphysical and ubiquitous power in the Star Wars mileau. In the story, the Jedi utilise the “light side” of the Force, while the Sith/First Order exploit what is known as the “dark side”. The Force is said to have aspects of several world religions, and the phrase “May the Force be with you” has become part of the popular Star Wars lingo.
Obi-Wan Kenobi describes the Force as “an energy field created by all living things”. While there appears to be no developed religious symbolism in the Star Wars movies around the Force, it is appealed to often by characters, who sometimes say, “The Force is with us“. Admiral Holdo takes her final leave of General Leia Organa, and they both say together, “May the Force be with you Always”. There is no philosophical development nor exploration of the Force as a subject in and of itself, and it is repeatedly presented as a binary either/or energy form, and does not have any unexplored dimensions. There is no grey area with the Force.
On the other hand, deceased people can appear with what is called a force body. Here, in this screenshot from Return of the Jedi (1983) featuring Anakin Skywalker, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who are all deceased. Some call these ghosts. To what dimension do these light-forms (who can communicate and cause storms, etc.) belong?
The Last Jedi
The last scene from the earlier film The Force Awakens has Rey presenting Luke Skywalker with his light sabre. When we return to this scene in The Last Jedi, Skywalker takes the light-sabre proffered, examines it and tosses it over his shoulder, causing confusion for Rey. Luke has abandoned the Force and his Jedi ways so the last thing he wants is his light sabre.
A question has to be asked. When Luke drops his light-sabre, is this a symbolic action of “passing the torch on”? Is this “Skywalker out” just like President Obama dropping the microphone? Fast forward to the final scene with Rey speaking with Leia: “We have everything we need” she tells Rey. Leia’s language is one of hope, the Empire, the return of righteousness and justice to the galaxies. In 40 years from the first Star Wars movie, we have come from “A New Hope” to the remnant of “The Last Jedi”. Is there something to be discovered about the Force, which individuals have the Force and in what strength?
Rey has come for instruction in understanding and harnessing the forces within her. “Something has awakened” she tells Galactic-Legendary-Guru-Preceptor Luke Skywalker. We learn that Luke Skywalker’s home is a “sacred island”, “requires respect” and has “keepers of the code” who have been keeping the sacred Jedi religion texts safe since time out of memory.
Rey has come to learn the principles of Jedi philosophy, understanding and guidance, and the galactic teachings of the Jedi. She turns to the only one who can teach her, “The Last Jedi”, for all the Jedi temples and classrooms have been destroyed and obliterated by the First Order.
In passing on his ideological articulation of Jedi and failure, Rey learns that Luke has abandoned the Jedi and refuses to use the Force.
Luke agrees to give three lessons. First lesson is that the Force is the balance that binds everything in the Universe – it is not of a binary nature – it is inclusive of opposites – hence the existence of both light and dark, and the dark side of the Force. Luke goes on to explain that the Force is not exclusive property of the Jedi.
In the next lesson, Luke teaches Rey that the Jedi were a failure due hubris, pride, exclusiveness, and their self identity. Luke says, “I failed because I was Luke Skywalker” – forced/expected/demanded to live up to a self-identity he had not taken on for himself. Hence, the ego, pride, hubris of the Jedi caste. In Hinduism, this is called ahamkara, the tyranny of the ego, that which says, “I, Me, Mine!”.
Looking through the lens of the perennial philosophy, Luke says “I failed because I was I”; he failed because he was an identity, an mask, a role, a legend – in fact he names this, “the legendary Luke Skywalker” … he had not the opportunity to discover himself and his oneness with the Force and all that exists.
The Mirror of Rey
Luke is afraid of Rey’s capacity to feel, to have emotions and her capacity for exploration of the fullness of the Force; she is open to all that the Force presents. Luke has fear that he cannot deal with this and urges Rey not to explore the dark side. When Rey does enter the dark hole, she encounters countless mirror images of herself. This is all her lives, all her minds, all her presences reflected back to her. Everything, every life is happening now; this is illustrated when Rey snaps her fingers and the snap echoes. The echoes reflect the contents of her mind, the inherent mental tendency that she has possessed for many lifetimes.
When she asks to see her parents, two figures advance behind the opaque wall; they merge, and begin to intimate the form of Kylo Ren; when Rey can see clearly, she sees her own self. This illustrates that creation is reaction, reflection, resound. The world mirrors ourselves back to us even though we have illusions about ourselves and our ancestry. The fact that there is only one energy, one form in all the Universes is illustrated by Kylo Ren appearing in the mirror, albeit briefly. Deep self-inquiry reflects us back to our own selves. We need to get past the mask of maya, illusion.
There is another dimension to this shape and form of Kylo Ren in the mirror. In this scene, the intimation of Kylo Ren behind the opaque wall also suggests that Kylo Ren and all he represents is both part of what is within (there is darkness within the mind-body-spirit that has to be integrated) and and the illusions that exist without: Kylo Ren stands for illusion, manipulation, untruth and captive to his unresolved feelings and emotions.
Rey has self understanding and self-acceptance. She is much more in touch with reality (sans illusions) than either of Luke Skywalker (has a legendary Achilles heel) and Kylo Ren (totally driven by his inner conflict and desires. This does not lead to true humanness. Behold his rage at the light-body of Luke Skywalker.)
Light, Light, Light
The journey motif in The Last Jedi takes several forms. There is first the journey to light-speed where critical events take place: the First Order track the Resistance through light speed. We see General Leia Organa – travelling at light speed – reflecting on the behaviour of her rogue commander, Poe, and the cost of war with the loss of all bombers in the Resistance Fleet; the Millennium Falcon takes the remnant of the Resistance to the Outer Rim at the finale, at light speed.
Some have spoken of the so-called “force body” of Luke Skywalker at the showdown at the abandoned Resistance base on the planet Crait. We suggest this is a “light body” which can resemble in hologram form, the physical 3-D body of the human. A light body is available at all times to all who exist; access to the light body is given by access to higher dimensions. It is from these higher dimensions (7th dimension and up) that the light bodies of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda manifest in the 3-D world, as Yoda does on Ahch-To’s sacred island, where Luke Skywalker lives.
That both deceased and living persons can present themselves in light bodies is good reason to pause and examine the nature of reality, the nature of consciousness and the fact that consciousness does not cease when one leaves off the body and “leaves the planet” as it were. The Dalai Lama – for example – tells that death is simply removing one’s spirit or essence from the coat-hanger that is the body, and taking another coat-hanger and taking on another experience, another birth. Looking closely at the final scene where Luke merges with the Light, we see his robes flapping away, carried along by the breeze. Luke has dropped his body, and gives Kylo Ren the run-round: “See you around, kid“.
Kylo Ren is clearly ignorant of the higher nature of the Force, which manifests as light, within. Kylo Ren simply manipulates the Force external to himself as an energy around all things. He has not reached to the light within.
A lot of manipulation goes on in this movie about the mind, the dimensions, space and connections between minds. It is known now that there are higher communication capacity and skills available to the human – so-called “psychic” skills. These skills are in fact junk-DNA being re-activated by the progress of Ascension on Earth to the higher dimensions. Ascension is raising consciousness and existence to the higher 4th, 5th and 6th Dimensions. In the higher dimensions, it is possible to present oneself as a hologram – a light body – to others. The lower 4th dimension – where we might say the consciousness of Kylo Ren exists – is the realm of the astral, the disembodied spirits of the kind that do not seek the Source of the All and are firmly wedded, nay, embedded with their earthly conscious minds, the realm of dreams and nightmares, a tapestry of negativity and darknesses. Manipulating external forces and energies, as we see Kylo Ren doing.
The Supreme Leader, Snoke claims that he facilitated the mind-connection between Kylo-Ren and Rey. The film reveals the following mind-connections
- Kylo Ren – to his mother, Leia Organa (where he spares her life);
- Luke – to his sister, Leia Organa (where he calls her out of her coma);
- Leia – to Luke (where she senses his departure into the light);
- Rey – to Luke (where she senses his departure into the light)
and after the passing of Supreme Leader Snoke,
- Kylo Ren is able to connect to Rey on Ahch-To, where she raises a Light-Pistol and fires at him, a sensation he physically feels;
- Kylo Ren is able to connect to Rey as she boards the Millennium Falcon and visibly reacts when she closes the ramp;
The connection is a connection of mind to mind, consciousness to consciousness – illustrated by Kylo Ren saying, “I can’t see your surroundings”.
The movie, The Last Jedi is a journey from darkness to light; At Canto Bight, one of the children who helped Finn and Rose escape takes a broom using the Force and gazes into space as he sees the streak of the Millennium Falcon crossing the sky at light speed.