The Force: Strong but not Subtle?

So we all know that the force can have a poweful effect on the weak-minded. Fine.

But yesterday I was contemplating how much simpler my life would be if I could change the batteries in my smoke detectors with The Force. Reach up, unclip the battery, send the new one up and BAM, no fuss no muss. What could be simpler?

But it occurs to me that we almost NEVER see any subtle physical manifestations of the force.

Yoda picks up the X-Wing
Vader throws large objects
Anakin floats a fruit
Everyone and their kid brother throws lightning

But all of those are gross manipulation of matter.

I was thinking that, even with The Force being strong in me, if I needed to get the smoke detector off the ceiling it would be a pain in the butt because I’d never seen anything like the ability to unscrew a screw or somesuch.


About the closest I can think of is Vader flipping a switch on Bespin. But it was a pretty big switch.

If you would have dropped the coin for a force-powered smoke detector, this problem would be solved.

Luke pulled his lightsaber to him on Hoth. That was pretty subtle. Yoda floats himself around on Coruscant, he’s pretty tiny (and it may have just been a hover cushion). X-Wing and Tie Fighter flying is vastly enhanced by using the force, and I’d imagine those movements are finely adjusted uses of the force.

Right before Yoda begins his light-sabre battle with Dooku, he Forces his sabre from his left hip to his right hand instead of actually reaching over and oulling it out of the holdster.

[major spoiler for Ep I]

Right before Qui-Gon is stabbed by Darth Maul in the climactic battle of Episode I, Obi-Wan, trapped behind the pink force-field, gasps, presumably because he realizes his mentor is about to meet his demise.


In Episode IV, when the Stormtroopers enter the room the droids are hiding out in, someone, presumably Obi-Wan, uses the Force to take out one of the Stormtroopers by forcing his head into the top of the doorway. :smiley:

The Emperor removed the manacles from Luke on the second Death Star. That was a subtle use of the force.

I’ve heard that in the Extended Universe, some Jedi use lightsabres without external switches. You activate it using the Force, giving you the long, long ago equivalent of a child-safe cap on medicine.

For that matter, construction of a lightsabre is said to require the Force for the most delicate manipulations, but it’s unclear whether the Force is making the manipulations directly, or if it just keeps you focussed enough for your own fingers to do the job.

This is the sort of thing I was after.

Grabbing a lightsaber and bringing it to you (that that little data ball Obi Wan has in the classroom in Ep 2) is pretty straightforward.

But flicking a clasp from a distance? That’s cool.

Could a sufficiently powerful force-user type without fingers? Enquiring minds want to know!

In the books I would say yes. In one book (I forgot which one) luke flies the M/F without any touching of the controls. He was flipping switches and making adjustments all by himself (doing the work of pilot and co-pilot).

I believe in one of the books someone flew an entire Star Destroyer by himself using the force.

It seems like I remember reading somewhere, it may even have been here, that using the Force for mundane things is a good way to get lured to the dark side.
On the other hand, in AotC, Obi Wan, as he is following Yoda out of the kids’ training class, reaches backwards and wills the little hologram marble thingy into his hand. That sounds pretty mundane to me, but Yoda didn’t seem to mind.

Didn’t one of the later novels had a bunch of Jedi students (including Leia and Han’s kids) throw a Star Destroyer into a star??? :eek: :smack:

One scene force use (or lack thereof) in Jedi has always bothered me. In the pit below Jabba’s throne room, Luke threw a rock into the control panel, lowering the gate on the creature’s neck. Why not use the force to either flip the switch or bring down the gate itself? His powers are vaguely defined, but both moves seem plausible and much cooler than simply making a lucky throw. Hardly the movie’s biggest flaw, it’s just a wierd choice IMO.

What about when Qui-Gon controls the outcome of the die roll in TPM? That is pretty damn subtle, unless I am completely misunderstanding the OP.

Maybe because for the effort you spend using the Force to do such simple tasks, you might as well just do it without the Force?

Plus, when Anakin is playing with his food, Obi-Wan would be pissed, because the Force shouldn’t be used to show off.

“It’s Mega-Maid, sir! She’s gone from suck to blow!”

Suck! Suck! Suck!

That’s a good one, too! And damned difficult.

Of course, maybe he just altered our perception of the rolls outcome.

Mind tricks don’t work on Watto because he is a Toydarian. Plus it is obvious what Qui-Gon in that scene.

That should read: Plus it is obvious what Qui-Gon is doing in that scene.