I'm only familiar with the movies, so in The Force Awakens I saw some use of the Force that was new to me.

Most notable were these two abilities:

freezing blaster bolts in mid-air, and directly reading someone's mind like he tried with Rey.

Have either of these happened before?

  • A blaster bolt is made of matter. According to the Star Wars Wiki starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Blaster: "When the blaster was fired, a small amount of gas moved from the cartridge" - so why would it be any more difficult to stop a blaster bolt than someone throwing a water balloon at you really, really fast?
    – Nate
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 14:02

6 Answers 6


1. Mind-reading: Yes

Darth Vader was also able to use the Force to perceive thoughts:

VADER: Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for... sister. So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side... then perhaps she will...

Darth Vader was able to read Luke's thoughts. Kylo Ren seemed, to me anyway, to have even greater skill at mind reading.

2. Freezing blaster fire midair: No

As far as halting a blaster bolt in midair, I don't believe we've ever seen that before. We've seen plenty of Force users exercise Force telekinesis on various objects but never before on blaster fire.

Because he is extremely skilled in Force telekinesis, Kylo Ren is able to freeze not just objects but even blaster bolts in midair.

This is reinforced in The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary page on Kylo Ren:

enter image description here

Specifically the part where it says:

His reflexes and telekinetic defenses are immense - he is able to stop an incoming blaster bolt in midair and hold it in place for several seconds before releasing it.

  • 5
    We never saw on screen but Vader tried to get information out of Leia it was probably her force affinity that prevented him. Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 7:56
  • 2
    Not sure until I see the movie myself but could it be a similar power (the freeze blaster thing) as darth vader used on bespin to defend against solos blaster shots?
    – Thomas
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 16:33
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    @Thomas Vader deflects the bolts. Kylo literally stops it in mid-air.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:25
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    I think that it's also curious that the bolt continued its path afterwards. If it was simply telekinesis I would think it would just drop to the floor when the effect ended. It was as if time was stopped for that bolt, keeping it's direction and speed. It also seemed that Kylo didn't need to keep focus at all to keep it frozen. As if just the stopping of the bolt was some kind of one time force effect that lasts temporary.
    – Ivo
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 0:09
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    "Because he is extremely skilled in Force telekinesis...." Well, except for that one time where a Force-sensitive individual who just became aware of their abilities recently out overpowered Ren for a shiny silver cylinder that was on the ground.....
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 16:48

He was using a force power very common in books and video games called "force stasis". Giving the user the ability to freeze people and objects in place without causing physical harm. It is typically considered more of a light side affiliated move. However, it seems to be Ren's signature power, much like Vader and force choke. It could relate back to his training under Luke before being turned to the darkside.

  • To my knowledge, Force Stasis doesn't exist in the Disney Canon yet. Am I wrong?
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 14:15
  • 2
    To be honest I don't know if it does or not. However if you look at pictures of the power being used in comics, and games, it is the same move whether it's "officially" in the canon or not. Also, it seems to me that every darkside villain other than Maul has had their own "signature" power. Whether it was choke, lightning, or now stasis. However this is more speculation on my part. The power itself however is force stasis.
    – JakeF
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 14:21
  • @phantom42 - Apparently it's Disney Cannon now thanks to TFA.
    – iMerchant
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 2:07
  • @iMerchant I'm referring to the name, not the exhibited power.
    – phantom42
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 2:51

I don't think we have seen the first ability, I believe the reason for this is inexperience.

Most force users we have seen stop energy bolts (without a lightsaber) have been very experienced force users. They have absorbed the energy from the blast.

However we have signs that Kylo Ren is not very in control of his force powers.

We see Kylo Ren having rage attacks with unfocused anger


He is unable to defeat Rey.


Snoke calls him back for more training.


While freezing a bolt in mid air looks flashy it is not controlling the energy is a very effective way.

  • I am showing signs that he is not as experienced or in control of the force as he would like people to think. His power is more akin to Luke having the rage fit at Vader than other dark side users we know. Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:33
  • Hopefully the edit makes it a more direct answer to the question. Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:41
  • it does, thank you. My personal opinion is that what Ren did was more impressive than just deflecting a bolt, but that's a separate question :)
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:49
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    "Most force users we have seen so far that have tried to stop energy bolts without a lightsaber have been very experienced." When have he ever seen anyone beside Kylo Ren do this? I'm sorry, I think this sentence and many others in your answer need clarification, it's really hard to understand what you mean sometimes. :)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 0:27

Force Stasis from the KOTOR 1 + 2 games...Its depending on how you use Force Stasis for example its light side because it incapacitates the enemy without much physical harm. However Jedi don't attack the helpless, so in KOTOR when you force stasis and then hack away at the frozen enemy, id say that's pretty dark side lol.


force stasis is an ability he learned while training with Luke that doesn't require much force to even freeze light because when Yoda was teaching young-lings they could even slow a light saber blade for a period of time

  • 1
    Welcome to Stack Exchange. Please provide some evidence or quotes to back up your answer.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 18:40

Force stasis is the ability he was using. As mentioned previously very common in books, Comics and in the video games.

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