In Episode VII we see that

Rey is very good with a lightsaber once she taps into the Force. But what exactly did the Force do to help her here?

I can see part of it. I imagine that using the Force can help with your perception and probably your reaction times but is that it? How else does the Force help one wield a lightsaber? I think there is likely more to it than just better perception since historically, most lightsaber wielders are also Force users.

  • The SW: Visual Dictionary states that lightsabers are devilishly hard to control. Is that the sort of thing you're after?
    – Valorum
    Jan 2, 2016 at 0:29

2 Answers 2


According to Episode III novelization by Mathhew Stover, it works LITERALLY following Obi-Wans admonition that the Force is the Duct Tape that binds the Universe together. Apologies for extra long quote, much of it is relevant, I'll highlight important parts.

The short version (this also was shown in other scenes with LS combat, like Dooku vs. Anakin or Obi-Wan vs. Anakin) is that

  • The Force lets you be one with everything around you, you sense everyone's intent
  • The Force guides your movements to correct places
  • The Force enhances your physical strength and your agility (see Yoda's fight vs. Dooku).

This is Obi-Wan Kenobi in the light:

As he is prodded onto the bridge along with Anakin and Chancellor Palpatine, he has no need to look around to see the banks of control consoles tended by terrified Neimoidians. He doesn’t have to turn his head to count the droidekas and super battle droids, or to gauge the positions of the brutal droid bodyguards. He doesn’t bother to raise his eyes to meet the cold yellow stare fixed on him through a skull-mask of armorplast.

He doesn’t even need to reach into the Force.

He has already let the Force reach into him.

The Force flows over him and around him as though he has stepped into a crystal-pure waterfall lost in the green coils of a forgotten rain forest; when he opens himself to that sparkling stream it flows into him and through him and out again without the slightest interference from his conscious will. The part of him that calls itself Obi-Wan Kenobi is no more than a ripple, an eddy in the pool into which he endlessly pours.

**There are other parts of him here, as well; there is nothing here that is not a part of him, from the scuff mark on R2-D2’s dome to the tattered hem of Palpatine’s robe, from the spidering crack in one transparisteel panel of the curving view wall above to the great starships that still battle beyond it.

Because this is all part of the Force.**

He is all sixteen of the super battle droids, gleaming in laser-reflective chrome, arms loaded with heavy blasters. He is those blasters and he is their targets. He is all eight destroyer droids waiting with electronic patience within their energy shields, and both bodyguards, and every single one of the shivering Neimoidians. He is their clothes, their boots, even each drop of reptile-scented moisture that rolls off them from the misting sprays they use to keep their internal temperatures down. He is the binders that cuff his hands, and he is the electrostaff in the hands of the bodyguard at his back.

He is both of the lightsabers that the other droid bodyguard marches forward to offer to General Grievous.

And he is the general himself.

He is the general’s duranium ribs. He is the beating of Grievous’s alien heart, and is the silent pulse of oxygen pumped through his alien veins. He is the weight of four lightsabers at the general’s belt, and is the greedy anticipation the captured weapons sparked behind the general’s eyes. He is even the plan for his own execution simmering within the general’s brain.

He is all these things, but most important, he is still Obi-Wan Kenobi.

This is why he can simply stand. Why he can simply wait. He has no need to attack, or to defend. There will be battle here, but he is perfectly at ease, perfectly content to let the battle start when it will start, and let it end when it will end.

Just as he will let himself live, or let himself die.

This is how a great Jedi makes war.


“That will not happen. I am in control here.”

The reply came through Obi-Wan’s lips, but it was not truly Obi-Wan who spoke. Obi-Wan was not in control; he had no need for control. He had the Force.

It was the Force that spoke through him.

Grievous stalked forward. Obi-Wan saw death in the cold yellow stare through the skull-mask’s eyeholes, and it meant nothing to him at all.

There was no death. There was only the Force.


“I understand enough. I understand that I will kill you.” Grievous threw back his cloak and ignited both lightsabers. “Here. Now. With your own blade.”

The Force replied through Obi-Wan’s lips, “I don’t think so.”


In the Force, part of him was Grievous’s intent to slaughter, and the surge from intent to action translated to Obi-Wan’s response without thought. He had no need for a plan, no use for tactics.

He had the Force.

That sparkling waterfall coursed through him, washing away any thought of danger, or safety, of winning or losing. The Force, like water, takes on the shape of its container without effort, without thought. The water that was Obi-Wan poured itself into the container that was Grievous’s attack, and while some materials might be water-tight, Obi-Wan had yet to encounter any that were entirely, as it were, Force-tight …

While the intent to swing was still forming in Grievous’s mind, the part of the Force that was Obi-Wan was also the part of the Force that was R2-D2, as well as an internal fusion-welder Anakin had retrofitted into R2-D2’s primary grappling arm


by the time the droid’s nickname had left his lips, the fusion-welder had deployed and fired a blinding spray of sparks hot enough to melt duranium, and in the quarter of a second while even Grievous’s electronically enhanced reflexes had him startled and distracted, the part of the Force that was Obi-Wan tried a little trick, a secret one that it had been saving up for just such an occasion as this.

Because all there on the bridge was one in the Force, from the gross structure of the ship itself to the quantum dance of the electron shells of individual atoms—and because, after all, the nerves and muscles of the bio-droid general were creations of electronics and duranium, not living tissue with will of its own—it was just barely possible that with exactly the right twist of his mind, in that one vulnerable quarter of a second while Grievous was distracted, flinching backward from a spray of flame hot enough to burn even his armored body, Obi-Wan might be able to temporarily reverse the polarity of the electrodrivers in the general’s mechanical hands.

Which is exactly what he did.

Durasteel fingers sprang open, and two lightsabers fell free.

He reached through the Force and the Force reached through him; his blade flared to life while still in the air; it flipped toward him, and as he lifted his hands to meet it, its blue flame flashed between his wrists and severed the binders before the handgrip smacked solidly into his palm.

Obi-Wan was so deep in the Force that he wasn’t even suprised it had worked.


Most of the books have described the Force as being some kind of precognitive ability. It gives you intuition as to where to put your saber. This is why saber wielders are so difficult to shoot. The force gives them insight as to where to put their blade to block shots.

The Force can also enhance your reflexes and agility, allowing you to be an extremely effective swordsman and perform such feats as super jumping and acrobatics, that ultimately get your limbs chopped off.

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