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In many of the Star Wars movies, Jedi come back as Force ghosts.

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Why don't they stick around forever, giving advice to new generations, as well as countless knowledge from thousands of years?

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We rarely see Jedi come out as force ghosts. In fact, it was a lost technique until Qui-Gon Jinn rediscovered it prior to the events of the Phantom Menace. In the legends canon we do see some ghosts who stick around, but it's because it's attached to something like a Holocron. Exar Kun's mentor shows up to help fight him as a force ghost in the Jedi Academy trilogy. – CBredlow Feb 4 at 21:08
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They do. They’re inside the house! THEY’RE BEHIND YOU!!!!! – Paul D. Waite Feb 4 at 21:55
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Everything about star wares makes more sense when you exchange the word "force" for "plot". Why don't all Jedi stick around as plot ghosts? Because they are not needed to move the plot along! – mart Feb 5 at 10:40
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@mart "May the plot be with you" yeah, kind of sounds correct – Zommuter Feb 5 at 13:04
up vote 30 down vote accepted

Before his death, Qui-Gon Jinn discovered how to "preserve your mind through the living Force" (or something like that) after death. He only managed to stick around as a voice. That's why we hear him scream "Anakin!! No!!" in Episode II when he's avenging his mother.

In The Clone Wars last season (still canon, as far as I know), Yoda goes on a journey to learn the full technique. It's an awesome story arc, right at the end of the series. Then, in Episode III he passes on his findings to Obi-Wan.

It's not a common technique to become a Force ghost.

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The canon-ness and how Yoda learns to become a force ghost is kind of weird. In the comic version of the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, and I believe in the novelization itself, there is a conversation between Yoda and Qui-Gon while Yoda is onboard Bail's ship. However, there is the other story which is mentioned in the Clone Wars cartoon where Yoda goes on that crazy journey. This leads to an interesting question, how did this training get passed on to Obi-Wan and Anakin before their deaths? – CBredlow Feb 4 at 21:26
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Out of cannon, Anakin could have studied this in his pursuit of saving Padme from death and discovered this as a "partial" solution. – Chrismas007 Feb 4 at 21:52
    
Remember that retaining consciousness after death - eternal life - cannot be achieved by the Sith because it can only attained by one who demonstrates truly selfless love: the release of the self rather than the exaltation of it. Yoda's trials proved that he can face and overcome the darkness within him, and that he is willing to sacrifice himself to save the lives of others, qualifying him. I imagine Obi-Wan went through similar trials to qualify during his exile. – thegreatjedi Feb 5 at 7:20
    
When Anakin returned to the light, he sacrificed himself to save his son out of selfless fatherly love. This act is considered to qualify as a pass in both trials (even to the bitter end, Anakin continues to bypass trials...), so after he physically died, in that transitory moment between life and death, Obi-Wan reached out to Anakin before he fully faded away, calling to him and helping to complete his training, thus allowing him too to retain his consciousness. This is in a new canon book. I saw the words Obi-Wan spoke to Anakin quoted on this site before. – thegreatjedi Feb 5 at 7:24
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This doesn't answer the question though. WHY don't they advise constatly the new generations? This only explains the fact that not many jedi managed to do it. But not why they don't mentor the new generations. – Joze Feb 5 at 8:34

We rarely see Jedi come out as force ghosts. In fact, it was a lost technique until Qui-Gon Jinn rediscovered it prior to the events of the Phantom Menace. In the legends canon we do see some ghosts who stick around, but it's because it's attached to something like a Holocron. Exar Kun's mentor shows up to help fight him as a force ghost in the Jedi Academy trilogy.

Another legends example of force ghosts sticking around for a long time would be in Star Wars: The Old Republic. There are force ghosts who stay around educating the future generations, but they were mostly bound to an object or holocron.

If we wanted to extrapolate on why they didn't stay around, it could be because they are like our universe's version of ghosts: They have unfinished business. Like teaching Luke, or seeing their mistakes reversed. Also, it could require a great deal of effort to maintain their form after dying, after death the Jedi join the living force.

To summarize: In the main canon, it was a lost technique, so not all Jedi stayed around.

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The Jedi who are force ghosts preserve themselves through "the living force". The "living" part is the important part to notice. This could very well mean that they are sticking around due to other Jedi who they had a close bond to when alive(like Luke and Obi-Wan). Their spirits would have been more closely connected that those of two strangers, so the force that flows between them would act like a bond, keeping them here for a period of time after death and before they have completely dissipated from our realm. Like how, when you stick something to your wall, when you pull it off, there is a residue that is eventually weathered away. This is the easiest way of explaining why we don't see force classes with ethereal teachers around the galaxy without straying into legends. Granted, this does involve speculation so I'm not saying that it's technically correct.

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When Luke leave Yoda before finishing the training and is about to face Vader, the Obi ghost says something like "I cannot interfere" (you will need to do this alone).

This may indicate that there is some reasons why ghosts cannot interact strongly with the left world. It may the either rule to follow or restriction of the method.

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This is based on the true reference from the source (movie soundtrack). – h22 Feb 6 at 15:30

Out of canon. But a Jedi is only one who can appear as force ghost and flows trough patience and the good/light side. The force ghost was actually first ( still out of canon ) Sith or Dark Jedi skill but needed a vessel for the spirit of force and were stored to holocrons or even some cases possessed living hosts.

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I'm having trouble understanding how this answers the question, whether it's canonical or just speculation, or indeed what you're actually saying. Could you make this answer a little clearer? Thanks :-) – Rand al'Thor Feb 6 at 15:59

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