The old Jedi Order took students from infancy in order to control their emotional attachments, which they saw as gateways to the dark side. This is why they were so reluctant to take on Anakin as a Jedi. I think it gave the wrong impression that learning how to use the Force took years, when that really isn’t the entirely the case. It has more to do with belief, and one’s ability to “let go of your conscious self”.
It also surprises me a little that people haven’t considered as much that the Force itself has changed between the trilogies. The Force isn’t a static ability, it’s dynamic and connected to life itself, making it in a way alive.
Episode 7 is literally called The Force Awakens. What does that mean? Is it not possible that this awakening is not partially responsible for the feats we’ve seen across the board in the new films, like Kylo Ren freezing blaster bolts, Rey’s fast-growing abilities, their subsequent Force-Skype sessions, Leia pulling herself back to the ship, Luke’s Force projection, even broom boy’s subtle Force pull?
You could even argue this began with Luke in the OT, the first real student of the Force since the Jedi Purge. He really only had a few weeks at most of official training with Yoda, but in Return of the Jedi, only a year later with no additional training under Yoda, he is on the verge of officially becoming a Jedi.
It raises some questions about the nature of the Force. Does the overall use of the Force have an affect on its potential in existing Force-users? Does the Force have a will of its own to choose who it acts through? Did training Jedi from infancy have a side-effect of limiting their relationship with the Force in ways that didn’t exist for those who discovered it at adulthood? Is the Force just like an ocean, where the tide can rise and fall?
I personally think these questions about the Force should really never be answered fully, and should remain mysterious, simple-yet-complicated, and sometimes contradictory, much like the Tao that inspired it, and also as a concept of a universal religion-symbol that George meant it to be, since religions are also endlessly debated upon.
I think the important theme we are meant to take from the Force is the ideas of faith and belief, the crux of all religions, and the internal power we can get from faith in our own lives, religious or not. Luke struggles with the Force in the OT because of his doubt in the Force and his own personal self-doubt.
Rey on the other hand grew up with the legend of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi, and not long after learning about the reality of the them, she slowly learns that she’s also connected to this Force and begins her own journey of self-discovery and self-actualization.
With broom boy, moments before his Force use, he is being told the story of Luke Skywalker’s grand stand against the evil First Order, with wonder in his eyes. He believes in the Jedi, in the Force, and that subtle moment, something he might not have even realized he did, is a representation of what the power of faith and hope can have in the world and in ourselves.
Anyway, just my two cents. Not trying to argue, just sharing my perspective.
It’s all good dude, I love discussing this stuff. And I acknowledge that I’m the one being a ‘conservative’ fan here. Since the Force is a pretty nebulous concept, it makes sense that we’d all get a different sense of what it might be.
Lucas is notorious for changing his mind as he goes along, but for me the Force sits where he stated during the writing sessions for RoTJ circa 1981 - that the Force is basically ‘space yoga’ that anyone can do as long as they apply themselves. Luke’s journey (again IMO) is that of someone seeking a black belt and the mindfulness of a Bodhisattva. I didn’t agree with Han’s TFA claim that it was ‘a magical power’. I see it as an undiscovered science - something as ‘real’ as gravity or quantum physics that very disciplined souls can utilise.
But that’s just me. I don’t like the idea of Force genetics. I didn’t mind the idea of Jedi-ness running in the family in some vague way, but Midichlorians make it sound like you can attain enlightenment if you have the right blood type. That just kills it for me. The idea of a sentient Force that chooses its own saviours and balances itself through certain people doesn’t ring ‘true’ for me. All that stuff Snoke said about ‘awakenings’ and ‘the light rising to meet the dark’ I interpreted as a kind of anthropomorphic ‘cart before the horse’ summation of how certain characters were tapping into the Force after all this time. Again, I don’t like the idea of a ‘living Force’. I see the Force as an energy that changes according to use, not just because it ‘wants’ to.
I think it’s a bit dicey, in story terms, to make the powers easily attainable. In ep 4 the Force was all but forgotten. Han Solo had travelled far and wide and never seen anything to validate the idea. It makes sense in the context of the OT that attaining these powers requires serious discipline/focus and is only done by a dedicated few. Yes, there’s the supposed ‘quick and easy path’, but I don’t think that refers to just getting powers on a whim. I do like the idea of Rey as something of a ‘feral Jedi’ - someone who unknowingly taps into their own potential by virtue of doing it tough - but she has no limits and suffers no consequences whatsoever. Her lifting an entire mountainside with little effort and zero training invalidates Luke’s journey - as does Broom Boy to an extent. Was Luke just a terrible study then? Is levitation a piece of cake after all? Is the galaxy peppered with precocious kids that are Force-choking their parents and levitating their teachers because they don’t want to do their homework or eat their veges? No, it makes more sense that Jedi potential would manifest in subtle ways as it did with the Skywalkers - good reflexes, keen instincts etc. You could assess a kid at that level, turn them down for whatever reason, and be secure in the knowledge that they’re not suddenly going to start lifting mountains and Force-choking anyone who crosses them! It would require training.
But again, that’s just how I see it. Thanks for the awesome reply - it gave me a lot to ponder. Meditate on this I will…