I realize that, out-of-universe, we have come to refer to them as Force Ghosts. However I doubt Qui-Gon or Yoda would use the words "Force Ghost" to describe what happens. Is there an in-universe word or phraseology that Jedi would use to refer to what we call "Force Ghosts"?

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    starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Force_ghost - If you're happy with a "Legends" answer, then "Force ghosts"
    – Valorum
    Mar 15, 2016 at 19:16
  • @Richard canon preferred, legends ok too. Does someone call them that in-universe?
    – RedCaio
    Mar 15, 2016 at 20:08
  • 12
    The politically correct term is "opacity challenged". Mar 15, 2016 at 21:39
  • 2
    Blue Jedi Group.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 15, 2016 at 23:31
  • 1
    Would "useless" be a good fit here?
    – Möoz
    Mar 15, 2016 at 23:37

4 Answers 4


If I am allowed to go by Legends sources in answering your question, then it appears that at least a few characters did, in fact, refer to them simply as "Force Ghosts." Here's a conversation between Ordith Huarr and Jedi Knight Nelani Dinn, excerpted from the novel Legacy of the Force: Betrayal:

"What is a Force ghost?" Huarr asked. Nelani was silent for a long moment. "It's a survival, a sending from someone who has died but still exists in a certain way..."

However, there are other Legends sources where characters seem to show some disagreement with that term, as shown in this excerpt from Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor:

"Sometimes, things not going according to plan is a gift," Han said. "You gotta go with the flow, y'know? I mean, trust in the Force, right? Would the Force have brought you this chance if you weren't supposed to take it?"

"I don't know," Luke admitted.

"Why don't you ask Kenobi himself, the next time he shows up with that Force-ghost thing of his?"

"He's not a ghost--"

"Whatever. You know what I mean."

If you would rather have a Canon source, then I'm afraid that I'm not certain if any currently available Canon sources have yet provided any examples of a character referring to them by name. Wookieepedia refers to them as "Force spirits," if you find any value in that, but I was unsuccessful in my attempt to find excerpts of any characters using that term.

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    I've just checked my library of 100 canon novels and sources and none of them use the term "force ghost"
    – Valorum
    Feb 2, 2020 at 21:38

In Specter of the Past, Luke mentions to R2 his belief that a dying Jedi can "anchor" himself to a nearby Jedi, explaining how Obi-Wan stayed with him so long. He does not use a noun for the phenomenon.


So far in canon, no, there doesn't appear to be a specific term. They're only referenced as one would an individual. Mostly, they're not referenced at all in dialogue.

This would actually make sense since unlike in Legends, this is not a common enough phenomenon in canon for it to be discussed frequently enough to warrant a specific term. Until Qui-Gon contected Yoda in 'Voices' it was thought impossible for someone to retain their individuality and return from the "netherworld of the force."

Even the visions of Qui-gon, Shmi and grown-up Ahsoka on Mortis weren't actual "ghosts" but illusions created by the Son. Just as the image of Darth Bane Yoda faced on Moraband was an illusion created by the Force Priestesses, who where themselves apparently actual force ghosts, though far more solid looking than we saw in tESB and RotJ.

Addendum: Since I gave the initial answer some more information has come to light. While it does not change anything substantive, it may add more context and indeed demonstrate that the term "ghost" may not be appropriate even out of universe. Perhaps most significantly is the short story 'Master and Apprentice' by Claudia Gray (not to be confused with the novel of the same name, also by Gray.) In which the story is told entirely from Qui-Gon's perspective as he manifests a physical form to communicate with Obi-Wan during the events of ANH (specifically, at the Sandcrawler after Luke rushed off home.) The key phrase there is "physical" form. Flesh, blood and bones and all; so it seems the term "ghost" isn't even apt since they're not just projections or apparitions but actual tangible (if temporary) bodies.

This actually lines up quite well with depictions in RotJ, TLJ and other more recent stories which I shall not spoil. In which transcendent force users are seen to interact with people and objects; in the former case Kenobi is seen moving vines aside before sitting down on a log, while in the latter Yoda bops Luke on the nose with his walking stick.


According to Wookieepedia:

Through special training, certain beings were able to appear as Force spirits through the Force.[1]

So according to official canon wiki, they are known as Force Spirits or Force Ghosts.

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    Wookieepedia is neither official nor canon. It's a wiki editable (and edited) by anyone who wants to. It is frequently wrong. (And using @ in an answer to ping someone won't work—it only works in comments, and only if you're pinging someone who's previously commented or edited the post you're commenting on.) Mar 16, 2016 at 6:34

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