In Episode VII: The Force Awakens Rey makes her first attempt to use a Jedi 'mind trick' on the stormtrooper sent to guard her.

When the stormtrooper is right beside her she makes another attempt by saying

You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open

the stormtrooper replies

I’ll tighten those restraints, scavenger scum

Now, we have seen what happens when a Jedi Mind Trick doesn't work but I was wondering, was the stormtrooper trying to be funny or can Jedi 'mind tricks' actually cause the affected person to do the opposite of what a Jedi says?

  • 7
    (Just speculation about this case) It seems to me like the stormtrooper was angry at Rey after her attempt. He could tell that she was trying to do something to escape, and wanted to punish her (hence the reply). Also, his tone wasn't docile, as it was when he repeated and obeyed her later commands.
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 24, 2015 at 22:42
  • 2
    Aaaand... that wiseass adlib from James Bond wasn't in the novelization so no way to easily tell. The guard eyed her silently. He did not look in the least intimidated. Her confidence wavering as she shifted slightly in her bonds, she repeated what she had said with as much authority as she could muster. Dec 24, 2015 at 23:15
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    It seems to be just plain psychology. If you tell someone straight what to do, especially someone in a position of power, he will often do the opposite, just to contradict you.
    – Taladris
    Dec 25, 2015 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


From how I saw it (in the film, no clue about the novelisation):

She didn’t succeed at tapping into the Force for the mind trick attempt. And his reaction was just "Uhm what did that lousy prisoner just say? Are you kidding me? You are going to pay!” So he was just angry at being talked to in such a commanding tone with idiotic commands by a mere prisoner and reacted accordingly. That is, until she managed to tap into the Force at long last.

  • Novelization contradicts this in some ways. I agree with you that this is how the film plays it, although there's no 100% proof. Jan 19, 2016 at 4:42
  • Yepp sadly that scene is portrayed differently in the novel than in the film. Guess it wasn't cool enough for the film in the other way. That is though why I mentioned how it is portrayed in the film explicitely and only in the film as there are seemingly quite huge differences to the novelization in that scene and thus the scene looks can't be really compared there sadly :/
    – Thomas
    Jan 19, 2016 at 16:05

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