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Mind tricks refer to a spectrum of Force powers which influenced the thoughts of sentient creatures, most commonly used to coerce into agreement by suggestion through voice manipulation, or to cause one to reveal information. This allowed its practitioners to resolve matters in a non-violent way. It could also be used to appeal to a sensory impression for distraction or cause friendly fire among enemies. One sinister variation of the power was "Force Corruption", an ability that would force targets to the users side, while slowly draining their life.
Your mind powers will not work on me, boy.—Jabba Desilijic Tiure, in Huttese, to Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
The concept of Force persuasion was the use of the Force to exert influence. Some species with highly organized mental facilities were known to be inherently resistant to its effects, requiring more skill, among them Hutts, Toydarians, Yinchorri, Dashade, Falleen and possibly Snivvians. For example, Revan could persuade Motta the Hutt, but Luke Skywalker failed in his attempt to persuade Jabba the Hutt. Also during the Jedi Civil War, certain ranks of soldiers were trained to resist this technique. Known variants included affect mind and dominate mind, with dominate mind being a more advanced version of the former.
When using a Jedi mind trick, a Jedi often waved his or her hand to aid in the persuasion. The Jedi adopted a peculiar tone of voice along with a casual facial expression. The sentient being that was the object of the mind trick tended to adopt a casual tone of voice but a peculiar facial expression. He or she, should the trick succeed, then agreed to whatever was being told to them without being able to think for themselves. Moments later, they would feel puzzled about their new opinion, but usually didn't feel like changing it back.
Usage of the mind trick was a moral issue for the Jedi, violating as it did the individual's free will and conscience. Thus the Jedi were strictly proscribed from using it for personal gain (such as in betting or bargaining), reserving its use for when it would serve the greater good (greater good could also be sometimes a reason to overlook this restriction); the Sith and other Dark Jedi however, had no qualms about the usage of the ability.
Yarael Poof, himself, when instructing Jedi students, stressed that a user must be mindful when utilizing this ability that their target is nevertheless a living being with lives of their own, and extra precaution must be exercised as their command could potentially ruin their target's life. He provided this explanation in the Asli Krimsan Holocron:
Force fear was a dark side Force power and possibly a dark side variant on the Jedi mind trick, used around 4,000 BBY by Sith and Jedi with dark side tendencies. The wielder would strike directly at the deepest parts of the target's mind, causing an uncontrollable shaking fear that would wreak havoc with the target's capabilities. Through pure force of will alone, a user could cause them to lose their courage completely, and if left undefended, the effects could be severe, rapidly demoralizing the enemy with a feeling of hopelessness and regret. Depending on the victim, it would caused them to either cower defenselessly or flee from their opponent outright.
Force fear had two advanced variants, Force horror and Force insanity. Force horror enabled the Force user to cause multiple enemies to enter into a catatonic state of panic that was more severe and more difficult to defend than the basic Force fear. In similarity, Force insanity also enabled the Force user to affect multiple enemies at once, although to an even greater range than its predecessor. As the most advanced form of Force fear, its effect was much more devastating, with the victims possibly descending into an utter state of frenzied madness and deranged mania as their situation seemed to suddenly become hopeless.
Force projection was a mysterious Jedi ability, and was possibly a variation of Force illusion. It was a technique with which a Force user could create an inanimate apparition similar to themself, used to distract, confuse or lure enemies. Perhaps not strictly a mind-trick, the projected image was fully capable of intercepting incoming fire, and was visible to all around it, not just a selected target.
Also known as dominate mind or control mind, mind control was the dark side equivalent of the Jedi mind trick, though mind control was much more invasive, being a Sith power. It took complete control of the mind(s) of the victim(s) affected by the power. Higher levels of mastery allowed more people to be controlled, though its effect on members of certain species with an innate immunity to mind tricks (such as Hutts or Toydarians) is unconfirmed. Darth Maul utilized this power prior to the Trade Federation attack on Theed. Palpatine might have employed this ability to control The Senate during the latter days of the Old Republic. Other possible practitioners of this ability included Joruus C'baoth, Luke Skywalker, Luuke Skywalker (the clone of Luke created at the direction of C'baoth), and Kreia (a.k.a. Darth Traya).
Force illusion was a very powerful Force ability, a subset of the various mind trick powers. The user projected an image into the minds of beings within range, of anything from a pillar of fire to a horde of snarling monsters to a fleet of warships, depending on the range. The user could "see" the illusion as well, though it would be only partially there, semi-transparent like a hologram.
The key differences between a Force illusion and a hologram is that unlike a hologram, the illusion could be controlled mentally and was limited only by the imagination of the user. Even more importantly, a Force illusion did not merely affect the sight of a creature. Since it was projected directly into the brain of the creature, it appeared on all of the creature's senses, from hearing to smell to senses such as echolocation. Even viewing it through an electronic system such as a cybernetic eye or camera was of no use if the creature was within range of the illusion during its duration, the creature would "see" it with the system as if the illusion were actually there, though any playback after the illusion had ended would reveal nothing at all.
Though powerful and difficult to learn, it was not without its drawbacks. Chief among them was that it had absolutely no effect on any mind that wasn't organic, such as droids and other AI, and had a greatly reduced (or almost nonexistent) effect on Force users or Force-resistant species such as Hutts and Yuuzhan Vong. While Force illusions can make something out of nothing, they can't make nothing out of something (in other words, render someone invisible; for that aspect, Force Immersion would be used), though they could conceal anything within the illusion. In addition, the illusion offered no physical substance. Though it could be "felt", in most cases, any appendage that touched it would pass straight through, usually betraying its status. Of course, that detail has allowed for several dark side applications such as using an illusion to conceal a dangerous pitfall, or to torture their opponents with phantom pain. Finally, the sustained use of a Force illusion could be taxing, especially at the extreme ranges of the skill (thousands of kilometers, large enough to be used to affect capital ship combat).
Lumiya used Force illusion on mirrors in her bedroom, to make the reflected people look more attractive than they really were.
Yarael Poof, being described as a "cosummate illusionist," was also an adept at Force illusions, and was known to have used it during various occasions. Through the Force, Poof would determine an opponent's innate fears. Based on these fears, he would then project images of them to wholesale armies, prompting quick, deliberate ends to battles that would otherwise have erupted into bloodshed. In some ways, this was unlike the effects of Force fear, albeit a different method.
A known variant of Force illusion was masquerade. Masquerade enabled the user to project an image into a person's mind over the user, essentially masking the user's appearance.
Force corrupt or Force corruption was a dark side ability that could temporarily manipulate the minds of other sentient beings and make them serve one's own cause. During the Galactic Civil War, it was sometimes employed by the Force users of the Galactic Empire, possibly including Mara Jade and Palpatine himself, taking control of enemy soldiers and making them serve the cause of the Empire by attacking other enemy units.
Force corrupt is possibly a dark side variant of the Jedi mind trick, wherein the Force-user employs similar principles, but to influence the target for violent purposes rather than deceiving them.
Among the more advanced mind trick techniques was Force confusion, which could be used in combat to temporarily manipulate enemies to fight as an ally. It was especially useful when outnumbered, and was quicker to employ than affect mind in the heat of battle.
Examples of the mind trick in actionEdit
You weak-minded fool! He's using an old Jedi mind trick!—Jabba Desilijic Tiure, in Huttese, to Bib Fortuna, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- In 3,964 BBY, Padawan Zayne Carrick on Taris tried to use a mind trick on Marn Hierogryph but he complained that such tricks were useless on him.
- In 3,956 BBY, during his quest for the Star Forge, Revan could have possibly used this ability many times. Bastila warned him not to use it for personal gain such as bargaining for low prices.
- In 3,951 BBY, the Jedi Exile and Kreia may have also used the mind trick to make people forget that they were even there (in addition to the Exile also using the technique much in the way that Revan did).
- In 33 BBY, while in a cantina on Dorvalla, Darth Maul used a mind trick on a bartender so that she would "bring him his drink and leave him alone."
- In 32 BBY, while on Naboo, Qui-Gon Jinn used a mind trick to convince the leader of the Gungans, Boss Nass, to allow Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to depart in a Bongo with Jar Jar Binks.
- Later, on Tatooine, Jinn attempted to convince Watto, a Toydarian junk dealer, to allow him to use Republic credits to buy spare parts for Queen Amidala's royal starship. Watto asked Jinn if he thought he was "some kind of Jedi, waving his hand around like that." He claimed that, being Toydarian, "mind tricks don't work on me… only money."
- In 22 BBY on Coruscant, Obi-Wan Kenobi refused the offer of a slythmonger, Elan Sleazebaggano for Cilona-extract "death sticks," which were powerful narcotics. Kenobi convinced the slythmonger with a wave of his hand that he didn't want to sell him death sticks, and instead he wanted to "go home and rethink his life." A few days later, Padmé Amidala asked Anakin Skywalker if he was going to use the mind trick on her. He replied that it would only work on the weak-minded, implying that Padmé's mind was too strong—and Anakin knew it (or was otherwise just a pass that Anakin made on Padmé).
- Around 21.7 BBY, Jedi Master Yoda used the mind trick to make Captain Typho –responsible for Padmé Amidala's safety– recommend that they needed to save Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee on Ilum, which was a "slight deviation" from their route. Although Padmé clearly recognized the trick, she still happily ordered Typho to go to Ilum.
- In 22 BBY, Asajj Ventress used a mind trick on Captain Rex (who was playing along so that Ventress wouldn't kill him) to contact Anakin Skywalker.
- In 19 BBY, Palpatine, after his "kidnapping", used a mind trick on General Grievous, who didn't know the true nature of the Supreme Chancellor.
- Obi-Wan again used a mind trick to avoid any unnecessary entanglements, on the sinkhole world of Utapau. In order to procure transport needed to track down General Grievous, Obi-Wan used the Force to persuade a local Utai dragonmount-handler to assist him. The Utai allowed Kenobi to ride Boga, a loyal varactyl mount, to reach the tenth level of Pau City.
- Later when he returned to Coruscant, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda were greeted along with Senator Bail Organa by a guard; the guard said that he had taken the Jedi into his custody, but Obi-Wan Kenobi employed a mind trick and the guard then replied that it would be better if the Jedi stayed with the Senator.
- Possibly the most famous use of this power was in 0 BBY when Obi-Wan once more made use of the Jedi mind trick, this time to convince an Stormtrooper that himself and Luke Skywalker did not have the droids the the Empire was looking for, and that it would be best if they moved along. Obi-Wan also used it to distract some Imperial officers while he was disabling the tractor beam holding the Millennium Falcon captive onboard the first Death Star, although this was clearly not a direct mind trick. Perhaps it was more of a Force manipulation, as Obi-Wan Kenobi uses the same trick in 19 BBY, towards the end of the Clone Wars.
- Pilot BoShek used a mind trick, along with residue from the same action by Obi-Wan to escape from four Stormtroopers after "borrowing" a landspeeder.
- In 4 ABY, Luke Skywalker used the mind trick to convince Bib Fortuna to allow him an audience with Jabba the Hutt. Jabba later criticized Fortuna for falling for such a mind trick. Luke tried to use it on Jabba, who told Luke that his "mind powers will not work on him."
- In 6 ABY, Corran Horn unknowingly used the mind trick to hide from Stormtroopers during his escape from Lusankya.
- In 7 ABY, Horn, who was on an undercover mission, tried to use a mind trick intentionally on a stormtrooper on Thyferra to convince him that Corran could go about his business. For a moment, when the stormtrooper repeated Horn's statement about not having to go with him, Horn thought the trick was actually working. It failed miserably, and the only reaction he prompted from the stormtrooper was "You can go about your business? Your business is my business, void brain!" Horn was defeated by the stormtrooper and ended up having to spend a couple of days in a bacta tank.
- In 11 ABY, Horn projected an illusion of a huge New Republic task force, complete with Lusankya and Sun Crusher, into Leonia Tavira's brain.
- In 12 ABY, Kyle Katarn used the mind trick to get an Ugnaught worker to open a door for him and an Imperial officer to unlock a door.
- In 30 ABY, Kyp Durron used a mind trick on a member of the Peace Brigade while on a covert mission. He tricked the brigadier into deciding not to search his team's baggage, and also into telling the team to gather their belongings and leave.
- In 40 ABY, Leia Organa Solo used a mind trick on a lieutenant from the Galactic Alliance Second Fleet vessel Spinnerfish. She tricked him first into believing that Lando Calrissian (who was using the identity Bescat Offdurmin at the time) was not offering aid and comfort to the enemy, then that they had to get to Corellia because they were doing something vital to the Alliance and finally to give them the access codes provided by Intelligence that would allow them to fly in directly. Afterward, Lando commented "That wasn't really fair" and Leia responded that the lieutenant was "even more weak-minded" than she was used to and she didn't think he'd progress far in the army.
- In 40 ABY, Ben Skywalker used a mind trick on Gilthor Breen to persuade him that he had entered a turbolift. He projected an image of the turbolift doors closing and directed him to think about "the girl," a holodrama actress named Aliniaca Verr. He then snuck off to a refresher, "sweating through his garments, but Gilthor never looked his way." Notably, Ben accomplished this trick without the use of either a hand gesture or his voice.
- In 40 ABY, Mara Jade used a mind trick on two bystanders after fighting with Lumiya. She tricked the two bystanders into believing that the battle that they just witnessed between Mara and Lumiya was staged for holo program. The male bystander remarked that the blood on Mara's face looked real, tricked by Mara into believing that it was fake.
- In 137 ABY, Princess Marasiah Fel attempted to use a mind trick on Cade Skywalker in order to get aboard the Mynock with Astraal Vao and away from Darth Talon. Cade was not affected, but took them anyway after spotting the Sith. Cade later said to his companions, "Human thinks I'm some weak willed Koochu—tried a Jedi 'mind trick'."
Behind the scenesEdit
I'm amazed at how many people that works on. Is the whole galaxy made up of weak-minded fools?
Various games represent the Jedi mind trick as a means of slipping past opponents without being seen. In one instance it was named "Force persuasion", but accomplished the same thing, probably a name to apply only to this variant of use. A mind trick in the game is employed, and the character becomes invisible to (an) opponent(s). Some games allow you to use the mind trick to confuse and stun your opponents. Other instances in games employ the mind trick so as to cause your opponents to temporarily join your party by attacking other opponents.
The mind trick is known as both affect mind and the more powerful dominate mind in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. In Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, usage of mind-affecting Force abilities follows the movies more closely. Learning these abilities gives the player additional choices in conversations, which can be used to persuade NPCs to do something beneficial for the player - for example, pay a greater reward than the player would normally receive, offer a lower price for an item, share some secret information, extract information from the individual, or to manipulate them into doing or accepting various things.
In Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, if the player character has a mind trick level higher than 3 (impossible without cheats), he may directly control an enemy including Reborn, which are normally immune to the ability. On level 4, this power could affect anyone, even on the strongest minds like Desann or Tavion.
Force confusion is a useable power in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. It is available if the Jedi Exile attains a prestige class. Game files from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic indicate Jolee Bindo was meant to have the psychic static ability. Whether it was cut by choice or due to time constraints is unknown.
Force confusion is also present in the Star Wars: Episode III video game.
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive
- Star Wars: Power of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game: Champions of the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia