According to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Force "is an energy field created by all living things [that] surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together." This exact definition is repeated throughout the Star Wars franchise by Luke and Yoda in the films, and Ahsoka in The Mandalorian, but beyond that (and a few Force-centric episodes of The Clone Wars and Rebels), fans of the world's greatest space opera weren't given much to go on in terms of the Force's parameters in both scope and power.
Of course, this is by design so Lucasfilm and creative luminaries can have a massive sandbox to play in, but it doesn't mean that fans of the galaxy far, far, away aren't going to speculate to their hearts' content.
This is a collection of detailed fan theories about the Force in Star Wars. Vote up the fan theories that make you think!
The Force Is A ValleyPhoto: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
From Redditor u/Oddmic146:
Here's how the Force works. The Force is a valley. The galaxy is part of that valley. The dark side is the river that runs through it, and the light side is the river bank.
The valley would decay and die without the river. But when the river overruns the riverbank, it floods and destroys the valley. The riverbank needs must be strong so as to not permit the river from overflowing. It will never destroy the river, no matter how strong. It'll only protect the valley.
So while the Jedi can be a stand in for the light and the riverbank, the Sith are not the river. Rather, they are trying to destroy the riverbank so that it may flood the river.
The Sith are not the dark side. The Sith are using the dark side to pervert the valley. Darkness, like the river, is not intrinsically bad. In fact, it's even necessary for the valley's health. But using the darkness to overflow the river and destroy the valley is evil.
That's why bringing balance to the Force requires their destruction.3714One with the Force?
The Actual 'Living Force' Did Not Align With The Jedi Council's Perception And Use Of 'The Force' As We Know ItPhoto: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace / 20th Century Fox
From Redditor u/alterpsyche:
The biggest cause of dispute between Qui-Gon and The Council was that The Council made their decisions through looking into the future. That is why they initialy did not want Anakin to become Jedi, because they could not foresee all consequences.
Qui-Gon on the other hand made his decisions through Living Force, in other words he was living in the moment and not minding what might happen in the future. That is, btw, why he was not as good in lightsaber combat as his padawan for example, because you need to foresee opponents move to be able to deal with it. [This is furhter supported by this Redditor, who cites an exchange in The Phantom Menace].274One with the Force?
Why Are Force Ghosts A Thing?Photo: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
From Redditor u/tehmpus:
My opinion on Force Ghosts is in the minority, but they've never really been fully explained by Lucasfilm, so any and all interpretations are welcome.
To me, there is a reason that Force Ghosts come around so seldomly instead of just living out normal lives as a Ghost. They have given themselves to the Force to do it's bidding, and thus only appear at a moment in time when the Force itself needs them to pass on information or interfere in some way.
There is a reason why Luke Skywalker spent so much time alone without a teacher, or that Rey never really had a teacher until she stole a bunch of memories of Kylo Ren's former classes.
It would have been nice if Anakin's Ghost could have come to Ben Solo, told him about his mistakes, and then how not to follow in his footsteps.
But no. Force Ghosts don't just get to come and go as they please. It's the will of the Force plain and simple.3211One with the Force?
The Dark Side Is NecessaryPhoto: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith / 20th Century Fox
From Redditor u/tehmpus:
...I think that there is a bit of a misconception about the dark-side. The Jedi considered the dark-side to be evil, but in reality it's just the necessary part of the Force dealing in death, destruction, and decay. Those are natural forces that don't necessarily need to be controlled by an evil person. Thus a replacement for "The Son [one of the Mortis gods] need not necessarily be evil. The Sith were evil, but they twisted the dark-side by doing unnatural acts, and thus unbalanced the Force by staying alive instead of dying with their souls returning to the Cosmic Force.
In addition, it's possible to channel the Force with emotion as a dark-sider without having to tap into just three sources of emotion: hate, pain, and anger. Humans are complex creatures with way more emotions than just those.214One with the Force?