Note: I have only seen the seven movies.

In many instances people with the Force can throw things around with said Force. But a lot of times, when people are trying to retrieve a light saber, it wiggles for a while before it flies to them, as though it were extra difficult to move them.

Is this for dramatic effect, or is this because there is something especially 'Force-heavy' about light sabers?

  • Care to elaborate these instances? I can only think of episode 1 and episode 5. Both of those scenes the character attempting to move the lightsaber is trying to concentrate while in a very perilous situation, both are suspended, and trying to sneakily get the saber without alerting their enemy.
    – CBredlow
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:08
  • Originally they were described as having a sort of odd gyroscopic effect that made them very very heavy and unwieldly. In the latest films, the opposite seems to be true. They're very very light and that makes them hard to control (zero balance).
    – Valorum
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:10
  • @CBredlow - that very well could be the answer, I just watched episode 7 and assumed Kylo & Rey's instance was because they were arguing over it, but it did take a long time for it to fly to Rey. I started wondering if there's anything written about them that makes them special.
    – Mikey
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:11
  • Rey has only just now discovered her abilities, she has little to no conscious control over them.
    – phantom42
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


I can only think of two specific examples of this in the movies, both of which would seem to have rational explanations.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke uses the Force to retrieve his lightsaber when hanging upside down in the Wampa cave. In this case, the difficulty was due to Luke's inexperience and lack of training as a Jedi. It was very difficult for him to achieve. You see him relax his arms, close his eyes, focus and try again, after which he succeeds. I've found several drafts of the script that seem to back this up. Interestingly, Obi Wan speaks to Luke in these versions.


Luke pulls himself up, grabs hold of his ankles, and futilely tries to unfasten the thongs. Exhausted, he drops back into the hanging position.

LUKE (to himself) Relax. Relax.

Luke spies his laser sword lying near a pile of his discarded gear about three feet out of reach. Reverberating through the gorge, the growling and crunching sounds of the approaching ice monster can be heard. Luke desperately strains for his sword. Quietly, almost a whisper, Luke hears old BEN'S CALM VOICE.

BEN (Voice Over) Luke, think the saber in your hand. Luke focuses on the saber as the huge monster's feet crunch closer. Luke's hand strains toward the weapon, his eyes squeeze tight in concentration.

LUKE Gotta relax, relax...

BEN (Voice Over) Let The Force flow, Luke.

Just as the ice monster looms over Luke, the light saber suddenly jumps three feet into Luke's hand.

Secondly, in The Force Awakens, Rey and Kylo Ren are both attempting to pull the same lightsaber at the same time, resulting in the Lightsaber shaking, not knowing which way to go, until one of them successfully overpowered the other to retrieve the saber.

EDIT As noted by @CBredlow in the comments, Obi Wan also has trouble retreiving Qui Gon's lightsaber when hanging over a (typically Star Wars) bottomless pit. It often seems that Jedi have most success retrieving objects when using their arm to focus themselves. This would be difficult when hanging on for dear life. Sadly the script is much less descriptive for this movie, and I don't have access to the novelisation to get a relevant quote to back this up.

  • 3
    Also in episode 1: During the final battle, Obi-Wan is clinging to a light fixture, and Darth Maul is watching him. He's trying to get Qui-Gon's lightsaber without alerting Maul, which takes a lot of effort.
    – CBredlow
    Apr 13, 2016 at 19:12

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