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Star Wars Prequels Movies

Quantifying How Much the Force Is Used In Star Wars (bloomberg.com) 188

An anonymous reader writes: Bloomberg has posted a data visualization for a very important subject: how much, how often, and to what effect The Force is used in Star Wars movies. As you may expect, we see the light side of the Force used much more often than the dark side. Luke Skywalker spends about 11 minutes using the Force, but pre-Vader Anakin clocks in at under 3 minutes of Force time — less, even, than Palpatine. It also turns out that Jedi really love Force Leaping, while the dark side has a monopoly on making lightning and choking people. It's kind of silly, but also kind of cool. Bloomberg even posted their methodology: "To arrive at a figure for total on-screen Force time, we decided to measure cumulatively, by scene. That means when multiple people use the Force simultaneously, we counted the time only once. Light-side and dark-side times are the cumulative durations that characters associated with each side are depicted using the Force. When multiple characters associated with the same side at the same time use the Force, that time is also counted only once. When light-side and dark-side characters use the Force at the same time, the durations are scored separately. Each recorded duration is rounded to the nearest second, and no use of the Force was assigned less than one second in duration." (That's just a fraction of it.)
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Quantifying How Much the Force Is Used In Star Wars

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  • You forgot JarJar! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @05:01PM (#51264665) Journal

    Bah, they forgot all the times Darth JarJar used the dark side of the force, from the force jumps to using a combat droid attached to his leg as an aimed weapon.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2016 @05:23PM (#51264907)

      In addition to his acrobatics, don't forget all the times that DarthDarth Binks waves his hands around while convincing people to work for him.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Yep, see this missing scene [youtube.com] as a proof.

  • But that still doesn't explain why Geordi wasn't able to make the TARDIS land on Miranda.

    • Perhaps it was a dissertation for an ma?

    • No, no, all they did was count up the seconds. From the title of the article I was expecting to see force usage estimated in newtons or at least calories. THAT would have been too much time on their hands.

    • by gfxguy ( 98788 )

      Agreed, but isn't it an interesting subject to bring up for Star Wars nerds?

      So I have to ask, doesn't it count when, for example, Anakin jumps out of his cruiser and falls to other ones - I mean, you can't do that shit without the force.

  • by ttucker ( 2884057 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @05:12PM (#51264785)

    How does the Jedi force reconcile notions on the conservation of energy? Is a Jedi knight a perpetual motion machine?

  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @05:14PM (#51264819) Homepage Journal
    One great thing I learned in the latest SW movie is that you don't even need any training to use the Force! Just select a Stormtrooper and say slowly and firmly a command. If it doesn't work the first time, just close your eyes and breathe out and try again. Voila! It will work! And then after that you can use that same new found power to kill a guy who has been trained to use the Force. I don't know why Luke would even bother to try to train Jedi in the Force. You can pick it up in 15 minutes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In the flashback scene, the girl was clearly a Jedi trainee as a small child. She didn't spontaneously use the Force, she used half-forgotten lessons.

      • Interesting! I must have missed that part. I'll need to watch it again. But obviously training is overrated. If you can kill one of the major Dark Force guys using half-forgotten lessons it must not be very difficult to master. Maybe just a short course is all that is needed.
        • Re:One great thing (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @05:47PM (#51265127)

          Interesting! I must have missed that part. I'll need to watch it again. But obviously training is overrated. If you can kill one of the major Dark Force guys using half-forgotten lessons it must not be very difficult to master. Maybe just a short course is all that is needed.

          Luke used to bullseye womprats in Beggar's Canyon back home, and they're not much bigger than two meters, which apparently is amazing marksmanship, and that was possibly before he had even heard of the Force. And he was able to hold his own against Vader for a while at the end of Empire, despite the fact that his formal training on Dagobah lasted.. maybe a week, tops? And he had no formal training before the amazingly acrobatic fight with Jabba's gang in Jedi.

          So it would appear that, yes, at least for certain people, proficiency in using the Force is more a matter of natural talent, and knowing what's possible with it, rather than a result of repetitive drilling. Which, frankly, is kind of what one might expect when you're dealing with a mystical and ineffable power that pervades the very fabric of reality.

        • in the movies defense it doesn't really say she had forgotten anything. We don't know anything about her past or what she knows, but she never says anything to imply that she doesn't know. She is uncommunicative about why she doesn't want to leave jakku, but it's not because of amnesia. Her vision upon touching the lightsaber is a revelation to the viewer, but maybe nothing she doesn't already know. in fact it could be seen as a vision of things she is very aware of and possibly trying to distance herself
        • She didn't kill Kylo Ren. Anyway, he was a big baby and a major force only in his own mind. He had one really good trick he was an expert at (stopping a blaster bolt), but other than that he was only good in relation to those with no power at all. Yoda or Vader or Palpatine or Mace Windu would have bent him over their respective knees and given him the spanking of his life, without any effort at all.

          • He had one really good trick he was an expert at (stopping a blaster bolt)

            Unless of course it's fired by Chewbacca, in front of him, when he has his lightsaber ignited.

        • Watch the movie more closely.

          Kylo Ren took a hit from the bowcaster thingy that had no problem taking out multiple armored stormtroopers. He chased down Finn and Rey. Finn fought him, and IIRC managed to wound Ren further. Rey did the "here, lightsaber" thing better than Ren did, which is interesting, but Force users probably have different raw strength, and then beat a tired and seriously wounded man. Since Finn is a trained stormtrooper, and Rey clearly had picked up combat skills, that's not surpr

      • just like american ninja! This is the thing that keeps me going in life. One day i'll remember all the training i received as a child and subsequently forgot.
      • She didn't spontaneously use the Force, she used half-forgotten lessons.

        Was that the problem the Jedi were having previously? Instead of going through decades of training to even be a candidate for the 'trials', what the Jedi masters should have been doing all along was wiping their Padawans memory's so they could effectively use the force though half-forgotten lessons. Forgotten lessons are key to using the force!

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @05:23PM (#51264901)

      That is of course, assuming you are strong in the force to begin with and just had a huge demonstration on how the force is used to get into someones mind...

      Why do you not think she would be able to use force persuasion immediately after she successfully resisting Kylo's mind assault? It would have opened up new pathways into understanding how something could work, kind of like riding a bicycle successfully suddenly clicks with you...

      What's sad is that every one of the supposed "plot holes" like this one you picked are in fact not holes at all if you simply take ten seconds to think about what happened in the movie up to that point.

      To see someone tear apart mot of the other similarly small-minded supposed "holes", read this [facebook.com].

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        What's sad is that every one of the supposed "plot holes" like this one you picked are in fact not holes at all if you simply take ten seconds to think about what happened in the movie up to that point.

        Ok .. but why the fuck doesn't the First Order have security cameras in their prisons and/or guards outside of locked doors, and how does Ren have such perfect pretty boy hair after he takes off his mask (or does the dark side also deal in vanity? Hmmm .. maybe that explains Justin Bieber?)

        • Ok .. but why the fuck doesn't the First Order have security cameras in their prisons and/or guards outside of locked doors.

          Don't need to lock (or close) the door if someone is strapped down, and you wouldn't want to if you had them strapped near a bunch of equipment as she was.

          how does Ren have such perfect pretty boy hair after he takes off his mask

          That is the only part that left me wondering - how of all the Star Wars products that have been "unleashed", including mascara - I cannot believe there's not a

        • It's the same reason why the entirety of Star Wars is an OSHA nightmare (bottomless pits everywhere; no guardails): who the fuck cares, it's a movie!

        • but why the fuck doesn't the First Order have security cameras in their prisons

          Especially when they showed a shitty freighter with security cameras all over it earlier in the movie.

      • Why do you not think she would be able to use force persuasion immediately after she successfully resisting Kylo's mind assault?

        Because they're two separate things? And probably how to mentally accomplish them using the force are quite different. Besides, seeing someone do something with ease doesn't mean that you can even come close to do it. If that's how life worked we'd all be pro ball players.

        • Besides, seeing someone do something with ease doesn't mean that you can even come close to do it.

          Again, watch the movie.

          She DID DO IT. She was able to see into Kylo Ren's mind instead of him seeing into hers, which is why it's not a hard leap to think of her controlling a weaker mind, like someone who has had too many martinis and close calls with explosions.

          It's not much of a leap to me to think of his attempt at going into her mind opening a latent part of Rey's brain and suddenly giving her new powers

          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            Not to mention, "A New Hope" has farmboy Luke who had only even just heard of the force briefly beforehand, who despite his boasting about how good of a pilot he was had just before the movie began crashed his T16 in Beggar's Canyon, fly through vast numbers of turbolasers, evade the Dark Lord of the Sith in the empire's most advanced fighter craft, and then land a shot that the actual experienced pilots he was with considered impossible... without his flight computer. Explicitly via using the force, doing

            • by lgw ( 121541 )

              Meh, I never really bought either of them. If movies have taught me one thing: you don't get better at combat without a training montage. You gotta have a montage!

              • by gnupun ( 752725 )

                you don't get better at combat without a training montage

                The cardinal rule of movies is: the hero/heroine always wins towards the end of the movie, no matter how slim the chance of winning. In real life, Rey would get slaughtered by the dark side because of her lack of training, even if she were an uber jedi. But audiences want a happy ending, so there.

          • She DID DO IT.

            That's what peoples beef is with that part. After watching six movies where they talked about years of training, and mastery, and even the masters not using the light side of the force much; The Force Awakens just lets Rey do whatever because it's really convenient to make her the super-est super hero ever. It's glaringly inconsistent.

            • After watching six movies where they talked about years of training, and mastery, and even the masters not using the light side of the force much

              But the movies (ALL of the movies) showed that under duress, or with a lot of innate ability, great leaps in ability would happen quickly, not slowly. The Jedi were just vasty cautious about teaching people but not all the jedi they trained had the levels of ability that Luke, Rey, or Anakin did.

              You may think what Rey did was convenient and too super-heroish but i

      • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @08:20PM (#51266215)

        What's sad is that every one of the supposed "plot holes" like this one you picked are in fact not holes at all if you simply take ten seconds to think about what happened in the movie up to that point.

        *spoiler alerts -- not that you'd be this far in the thread if you were trying to avoid them*

        No, that movie is full of holes. Ray and a turncoat stormtrooper, both with basically no significant relevant training defeating Kylo at a lightsabre duel was LUDICROUS. Don't give me that shit that he was expertly trained in "energy baton fighting"... like a different obviously more experienced stormtrooper was. That he'd get within half a mile of landing a solid shot on Ren was still absurd.

        See that's the issue right there. In IV-VI we only had Vader as an example of what a force user in his prime was like --- and he set the bar as: un-FUCKING-touchable. And you got the same sense that Ben and later Yoda while both old were still potent, if either of them was walking around Mos-eisley at night, they'd still be just fine. A random mugger wasn't going to get the best of them, they weren't going to die as bystanders in a drive by shooting, etc. Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters, and sith lords... they don't get hit be 'regular folks'; Han can't put a blaster round into Vader. (Bespin). Even Luke can't even land a good hit on Vader in Empire despite training with Yoda.

        But hey... a green storm trooper with no real combat experience, and some presumed basic training in energy baton fighting ... he can land a solid blow on Ren. And then Ray, who might be alright with a quaterstaff ends up with a sabre in her hand, she gets the job done.

        That's one place the first trilogy went off the rails too. It starts out good... QuiGon and Ben start out pretty untouhcable; clearly weren't overly concerned about going in as a duo onto the trade federation ship; and clearly the trade federation leaders were extremely concerned about their chances of walking away alive from the encounter despite having a droid army with them.

        But by the middle of the trilogy we are seeing full on jedi, even jedi MASTERS being taken out left and right by droids and stormtroopers. It was just so utterly disappointing.

        Vader, again, was pretty much untouchable. And yeah, Ren wasn't up to Vader's level, we got that. But, I mean, if you want to explain it by saying Kylo was completely and totally ineffective and impotent idiot sith wannabe sure... but if that's the case the plot hole was making him the primary villain. Because there's no way he'd be in a position of such power if he was that easy to defeat. Somebody actually competent would be.

        R2D2 waking up was deus ex machina at its finest. Sure YOU can explain it a variety of ways if YOU want to make excuses for the movie, but the movie doesn't give us anything at all.

        Ray using the force to control a storm trooper was likewise absurd; suggesting she picked it up after 2 tries after being probed for information by Ren is not reasonable.

        kind of like riding a bicycle successfully suddenly clicks with you...

        Right, like we saw Luke deflect those remote drone bolts during sabre practice... fail, fail, fail, fail, click he got it. Right? The difference between that and this however is monumental. In THAT scene, the context was that Bben was TEACHING, and the way it cut to the scene made it indeterminate how long Luke had been practicing up to that point, or what else he'd been taught so far... but the reasonable presumption was "more than nothing".

        The Ray scene, by contrast, she picks up force suggestion after basically experiencing a different force power used on her.

        To return to your bicycle analogy it; It would be kind of like clicking how to ride a unicycle after someone crashes into you on a skateboard. Call her "naturally" inclined if you like, but that's shitty story writing no matter how you slice it. (aka a PLOT HOLE). And that's just scratching the surface... there's so many more.

        • Your points are mostly well addressed in the link I provided, you REALLY NEED TO WATCH THE MOVIE.

          And your inability to even properly spell Rey once also really undermines what you are trying to say.

          You are utterly, utterly wrong about the writing being shitty, you've just converted it in your mind into something shitty because you DIDN"T REALLY WATCH IT.

          • by vux984 ( 928602 )

            Your points are mostly well addressed in the link I provided

            No. They REALLY were not. Some of the points that article made were perfectly fine, but no... items i raised were NOT addressed by the article. Or ... they were addressed, but poorly.

            For example, the article claims that Finn had his ass handed to him. Yes. He did. But he also got in a good hit, which just doesn't stand to scrutiny.

            As for mispelling Rey; sorry, its because I only watched the movie; and hadn't been reading about it, until today.

            (And yeah some of those points in that article were silly... the

            • I forget if the material at the link addressed it, but don't forget Kylo was also heavily wounded.... and remember also that he is not fully trained. Not to mention he had just killed his father so between all of those factors and his varying emotional stability it's easy to understand why he would not bring his saber A game... and who else before then would he have even faced?

              That's why especially I can't taker seriously any complaint about his saber fight because there were so many factors working agains

        • "In IV-VI we only had Vader as an example of what a force user in his prime was like --- and he set the bar as: un-FUCKING-touchable."

          That's exactly the point: Yoda, Kenoby, Anakin/Vader... were all trained for long years, war veterans and at the peak of the Jedi power. On the other hand, Luke (at IV-V) and even moreso Ren were just posers in comparation. Jedis are obviously hinted on (an occidentalized view of) samurais: you can't compare a Sekigahara's veteran to a pre-Meiji Restoration samurai who bare

    • Why not? That's all Luke did with the blaster remote.

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      If it doesn't work the first time, just close your eyes and breathe out and try again.

      That *is* training. About 30 seconds' worth. Which is plenty, considering Luke was ready to defeat Darth Vader and Emperor Palpitine combined after a combined total of, what, about 4 or 5 minutes.

  • The Dark Side clouded everything in the prequels, according to Yoda. It brings to mind vulgar images of what Sidious and Maul were doing in the back room in the lead up to the trade disputes.

  • It seems obvious to me but doing this by screen time is silly- how about in terms of force in physical force terms? I would assume that levitating an x-wing fighter requires more force than hurling a pipe or choking someone. Lighting could be converted into joules etc...
    • Are you judging the use of the force based off of the size of the object? I think Yoda would not approve.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Actually, the minimum energy needed to levitate the X-wing is surprisingly little. Energy is only technically required to raise it up - an object at a constant height in a gravitational well doesn't fundamentally require energy to remain there. Using Randall's XKCD assumptions about the scenario, Yoda exerts 19,2 kW of power over 3,6 seconds, or 0,0192 kWh.

      Vader ripping apart metal on cloud city might qualify as vastly higher power expenditures, although only briefly, so again not vast amounts of energy.

  • by painandgreed ( 692585 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @05:43PM (#51265091)

    while the dark side has a monopoly on making lightning and choking people.

    Actually, didn't Luke force choke on of Jabba's guards at the beginning of RotJ? Then again, I've also read articles talking about how he was probably a darkside force user at that point on some head cannon webpage.

    • Before I saw episode VII, I surmised that Kylo Ren was actually Luke. It made an interesting story twist, and it also fit in well with the Anakin story: Anakin started out as a little kid, and joined the Jedi. As he grew, he was temped by the dark side, and finally converted to Darth Vader. Vader was evil until the very end when he died, and Luke saved him.

      It's not so hard to believe that the same thing could happen to Luke.
    • yes, and that's the interpretation i've always gone with. in RoJ, luke is on the cusp of succumbing to the dark side. he dresses in black. he is part machine. His lightsaber is green, not blue, not red. He's walked the line since his "failure in the cave"

      The movies aren't really that subtle about it. They've established these symbols over and over. Darth Vader and the Emperor spit it right out and say they can feel the conflict within him.
    • Upon actually reading TFA, it does list Luke and force choking somebody. Obviously somebody, let's blame the editor, has a strange definition of "monopoly".
  • Where's the accounting for Anakin using the force to win the pod race? Because it wasn't covered with extra voice overs, we don't count it? How about the force working without a human guidance? How else do you explain the timing in the motivator blowing in the other droid so Luke must end up with R2, who is one of the most force-attuned robots in the universe?

    And the force was strong with Han. He shoots to save Lando while blind in EP6. And the flight skills of him is force-touched.

    If I were making t
    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      Anakin brings about balance. But there never was balance.

      For a thousand years (or maybe generations), the Jedi had completely driven the Sith underground, gratuitously violated the civil rights of the civilian population, controlled information, and meddled in politics at the highest possible level.

      Seriously, what did you think 'restoring balance' was going to look like?

    • The thing we were promised in Ep1 that never happened? Anakin brings about balance. But there never was balance.

      Given the Sith opted for the "rule of two" -- that there would only ever be a master to wield the power and an apprentice to crave it -- perhaps killing off all Jedi until only Yoda and Obi-wan existed did, in a way, bring balance.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Sith apprentices had apprentices. At least canon lists Darth Tyrannus as having an apprentice while still serving Darth Sidious. Yoda's words meant that if one Sith is operating in the open, there must be another. Also note, Yoda isn't an expert in the Dark Side, he has trouble seeing the force around them, and has trouble with English. The quote could be more a guideline than a Sith rule. The Sith never define their rules. Only the Jedi are so OCD and arrogant to think that everything must have rules
        • In the books the rule of two was indeed an actual thing and was, for the most part, followed and was relatively in place during the time of the prequels. There's a whole book devoted to the creation of the rule.

          Until recently this was considered canon, though currently it's anything goes as the new movie decided they aren't going to follow the old Expanded universe.

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            Yeah, "canon" doesn't mean shit when the maker is JJ. Though, when he violates it, he likes to complain the complainers were wrong. And there were more than 2 Sith at various times in the canon.

            And how do we know that there aren't multiple Sith cells? 2, 3, 10000 pairs of Sith? Each cell of Sith is 2, but unrelated and not working together. All it takes to be Sith is to declare "I'm a Sith Lord". They aren't like Jedi where you have to take tests to graduate OT levels, and there are tests to measure
    • And the force was strong with Han.

      No it wasn't. That was kind of the point of a Han in Star Wars. A guy able to pull off cool\lucky feats without the use of the force.

    • How about the force working without a human guidance? How else do you explain the timing in the motivator blowing in the other droid so Luke must end up with R2, who is one of the most force-attuned robots in the universe?

      With all the sequel stuff on the internet in the last couple of weeks, it has been revealed that R2 was filmed sabotaging R5-D4, but that part ended up getting cut out of the film.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Makes sense, R2 used the force to wait for the right moment to have the sabotage land him in the hands of a Skywalker. R2D2 was one of the stronger users of the force. Protecting Luke, always being at the center of attention, and coming out of it usually OK.
  • Also the darkside hides from the light side. All that hiding has to be some sort of force use. Seems to me the measurement process is missing the passive sensing abilities, like the ability to feel a planet full of people die without even looking for it.

    If you are going to measure the use of force you need units and a strength measure.

    How much force is that in midi-choloridian-seconds? And how do you convert that to Newtons (kg*m/s^s)

  • So based on this, the Light side ludicrously outnumbers the Dark side in all measures including number of people using the force, number of times it was used, and number of ways it was used.

    So if you want to bring balance to the force wouldn't you start doing so by eliminating Jedi? i.e Darth Vader was the chosen one?

    • The balance in the Force isn't between the Light Side and the Dark Side. The balance is between order and chaos, creation and destruction, life and death. Those on the Light Side dedicate themselves to maintaining that balance. The Sith don't care about balance; they just want the power to reshape the world to their own will, regardless of the consequences.

      Note in particular that the Light Side doesn't consist only in establishing order, creating masterpieces, and preserving the lives of individuals. If any

  • The Force Awakens seems to me to be the one thus far where the force is applied disproportionately. When this page is updated with those numbers, it should stick out like a sore thumb.
  • About that whole... "choking people" [youtube.com] thing. Turns out, not so much!
  • Did Palpatine use mind tricks to ascend to power and/or to turn Anakin, or was he just that devious?

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