star wars the last jedi trailer 18 kylo ren

“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” – Obi Wan Kenobi.

Ever since you watched your first Star Wars movie, whether it was A New Hope or The Force Awakens, you’ve known about the Force. It’s an almost living energy source that can be used to create balance or chaos, one that many in the galaxy can manipulate and maybe even control. But did you know it isn’t just the Jedi and the Sith who’ve utilized the Force in the vast history of the Star Wars galaxy? In fact, throughout the history of this universe, including the no-longer-canon expanded universe, there’ve been around 90 different organizations which either use or worship the Force.

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting and important non-Jedi and non-Sith users of this mysterious and magical energy.

AingTiiMonks

Aing-Tii

A group of large lizard-like alien monks, the Aing-Tii hailed from a part of the galaxy near Kathol Rift and many on their planet were Force sensitive. The Aing-Tii have one of the most interesting interpretations of the Force, never seeing it as a binary system of light and dark but more similar to a rainbow, a spectrum of colors and experiences. The Aing-Tii were also stout abolitionists. Though they were usually insular and private, they would leave their planet to fight slavers as they rightly believed slavery to be a great evil. Young Jacen Solo (who no longer exists in the new canon) also studied under the alien race and, though it wasn’t discovered until years later, many (including Luke Skywalker) believe this played a part in his fall to the Dark Side.

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Dagoyan Order of Bardotta

Our first group of Force users who are still part of contemporary Star Wars canon, Dagoyan traditions hold an interesting place in Star Wars mythology, as it was widely practiced by lay people who hoped to make a unique personal connection with the Force. It was also rare, as the Dagoyans never used the Force to make a physical impact on the world, rather preferring to study it and use it for personal enlightenment. The organization was more of a mystical arts group as many of the order served their planet as creators and sculptors. After a lifetime of Force meditation, some were given the title of Dagoyan Master. Their dedication and distinct way of interacting with the Force left even Yoda impressed: “A strong connection to the Force, the Dagoyan Masters have. Yet unlike the Jedi or Sith they are. Warriors they are not. Intuition, knowledge, the harmony of the universe is what they sense.”

FOrce-Weilders

Force Wielders

Another canon group, The Force Wielders are a legendary group of sentient beings who changed form at will. They were incredibly strong with the Force and would use it take on the shape of any life form, living or dead. The most famous and recognizable of the Force Wielders were the family known collectively as The Ones, who were introduced in the Clone Wars animated show. An intriguing group, the trio were intrinsically connected with the Father figure, maintaining balance between his two children who represented the light and the dark.

Force_Priestesses

Force Priestesses

Another contemporary canon example of non-Jedi Force users are the Force Priestesses, aliens who lived on the Wellspring of Life, home of the much-derided midichlorians. A fascinating addition to Star Wars universe, the Priestesses play the role of a personified connection between the “Living Force” that people use and the “Cosmic Force,” which impacts the larger universe. Once again, these five shapeshifters were introduced in The Clone Wars and are one of the only organizations who know the secret to becoming a Force Spirit.

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Knights of Ren

The newest contemporary canon addition is Kylo Ren and his yet-unexplored Knights of Ren. We know very little about the group except that they worked outside of the structures set by Jedi and Sith and are led by Han and Leia’s son, Ben. It’ll be interesting to discover more about the group, as they could be similar to the Imperial Knights in that they were trained in the ways of Jedi – because of Kylo’s training with Luke – but were likely more dedicated to their own master and his goals than to the Force itself.

Mandalorian Knights

Mandalorian Knights

During the days of the Old Republic, a secretive group of Jedi Masters defied the Jedi council and went to battle the Mandalorians under the leadership of Revan. This group eventually split off after sabotaging the Republic, believing them to be too steeped in corruption to ever be saved. This splinter group became known as the Mandalorian Knights. Led by Dorjander Kace, the group originally believed that they should be fighting against the Mandalorians, but they ended up becoming sympathetic to their cause, pledging allegiance to their leader and leaving the Jedi Order once and for all.

Nightsisters

Nightsisters of Dathomir

Another fantastic addition from The Clone Wars, the Nightsisters of Dathomir have quickly become a vital part of Star Wars mythology. A radical all-female group of magical Force users, the sisters hailed from Dathomir, a planet drenched in Dark energies. Acting like Force witches, the sisters tapped into the the depths of their dark planet to siphon off the energies to multiply their powers and allow them to perform their arcane magic. The group rarely left their home planet due to its massive power, but one of their most famous members is Asajj Ventress the Bounty Hunter, who played a large part in the Clone Wars. The Nightsisters of Dathomir also played a role in the attempted takedown of Count Dooku, manipulating Darth Maul’s brother Savage Opress to kill his Master. Sadly for the sisters, this led to a massacre on their planet, leaving only Asajj and one other survivor.

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Is a New Order on the Way?

The prevalence of these groups in expanded universe and modern canon could tell us a lot about the future of the Star Wars franchise. It all leans heavily into the idea of a new order. We know that Luke is tired of the Jedi and thinks they need to “end.” We also know that Rey is desperately trying to find her place in the world after realizing she’s so strong with the Force. Kylo Ren has long struggled with his battle between the Light and the Dark and he could begin to start looking for a different path as well. Does this mean that The Last Jedi could see Rey and Kylo team up to create an entirely new (non) Jedi order?

If that is the case, we could also potentially see some other non Jedi characters join the pair. It’s long been suspected by Star Wars comics fans that Poe Dameron might be Force sensitive since he grew up with a Force tree in his backyard. The Force sensitive plant was gifted to Poe’s mother by Luke Skywalker after the pair saved the trees on a mission together. Could Poe be a part of the new Force path that Rey and (maybe) Kylo will forge together? And if Poe joins them, then why not Finn too? The only Stormtrooper who’s ever been strong enough to break free from the First Order and escape, his strength of will and the fact he wielded Luke’s lightsaber against Kylo and survived hint that Finn might also be someone who can utilize the Force in his own special way.

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