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The first spoken words in The Force Awakens are said by Lor San Tekka upon delivering a map that could help locate Luke Skywalker:

"This will begin to make things right. I've traveled too far, and seen too much, to ignore the despair in the galaxy. Without the Jedi, there can be no balance in the Force."

How would locating Luke restore balance in the Force? Isn't his contribution to balancing the Force independent of the Resistance's knowledge of his whereabouts?

  • Well, there's two dark-side users and only one Luke. If you want balance, you'd need two light-side users. – Valorum Sep 1 '16 at 0:41
  • @Valorum As Han Solo would say, THAT'S NOT HOW THE [balance of the] FORCE WORKS!!! – Jackman Sep 1 '16 at 13:32
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    It's like a see-saw. You count the jedi and the sith and see if they Balance. – Valorum Sep 1 '16 at 13:35
  • @Valorum So the Jedi wanted there to be balance so there would be MORE Sith? Or fewer Jedi? Don't think so. Plus, after ROTJ there's only Jedi, but Lucas called it balance. – Jackman Sep 1 '16 at 13:39
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    To be fair, if you consider only the Lucas movies the counting system works, even if it isn't what the Jedi or Lucas meant. Anakin brought balance to the Force by killing all but two Jedi, to balance the two Sith. As soon as a third Jedi came along, Anakin killed one of the others. And when the most powerful Jedi died, Anakin killed the most powerful Sith. Balance! OK, then he died. But nobody's perfect. :-) – Harry Johnston Sep 1 '16 at 21:52
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Luke, once found, is expected to single-handedly defeat the First Order, especially Snoke and the Knights of Ren. Preferably before breakfast. This may involve a certain amount of wishful thinking, but on the other hand it seems unlikely that they would ever be defeated without Luke's assistance, or that of some other Jedi.

The connection to the balance in the Force is that First Order is causing a lot of death and suffering, and also that Snoke and the Knights are making use of the Dark Side. We know that deaths can cause disturbances in the Force, and it seems reasonable to suppose that suffering does as well.

Also, as described here, use of the Dark Side can directly affect the balance of the Force. Whether this is inherent in any use of the Dark Side or only in extreme cases is not entirely clear to me, but Dark Side users are not well-known for their restraint. If unopposed, it seems likely that they will eventually, if not immediately, begin to affect the Force for the worse.

Mainly, though, I believe Lor San Tekka is saying that without the Jedi there can be no peace, and without peace there can be no Balance.

  • "Dark Side users are not well-known for their restraint" - This is exactly my feeling about what the "imbalance" constitutes. Jedi, or at least the best among them, give great consideration to when and how they should use the Force. Perhaps any use of the Force by thinking beings has the potential to throw it out of balance... and the reckless way Dark Side adepts use it always increases the risk of imbalance. – recognizer Sep 1 '16 at 22:08
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I believe you are correct that Luke's individual contribution to 'balance' in the force would be the same whether he was/was not located with the Resistance. However, if one accepts what Lor San Tekka says is accurate (which is a whole other question which has some great comments here) I would agree with what has been discussed elsewhere and say Lor San Tekka is looking to the future. A future in which if there is no Jedi Master to train the next generation the Jedi order would die out thus leaving an imbalance in the Force.

Put another way. Luke was in the process of restoring the Jedi order by training new guardians of the light side of the Force. Presumably in their role as peacekeepers and protectors of the Force to counter the actions of agents of the dark side of the Force such as Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren. I.e. to bring balance to the force by eliminating harmful elements. This interpretation of what it means to bring balance to the force would be supported by the comments of Obi Wan in Revenge of the Sith, “With all due respect, Master, is he not the Chosen One? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring Balance to the Force?”

Obi Wan

Accepting this premise, as Luke is believed to be the last living Jedi Master if he were to die before completing the rebuilding of the Jedi Order it might be decades, centuries or even millennia before someone strong enough within the light side could rise to the level of a new Master Jedi within the Force on their own to restore the Jedi Order or equivalent.

If so, then while it is conceivable that Luke could train new Jedi away from the Resistance, it is harder to imagine he could do it completely isolated the way we saw him the Force Awakens. Allying himself with what would be a natural partner in the Resistance, Luke would have help both in locating and protecting new padawans while he was rebuilding the Order.

Therefore, to Lor San Tekka's comment, he views not only Luke's survival, but his re-establishment of the Jedi order as necessary to restore balance to the Force. To do that he needs assistance from others such as the Resistance.

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