In Episode I ,Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are in a room waiting for Nute Gunray while acting as diplomats for the Chancellor.

Once Nute Gunray suspects that the diplomats are Jedi, he calls Darth Sidious and he orders them to kill them and they inject poison gas into the room.

I don't how much time passed, but is there any canon information on how long a 'HUMAN' Jedi can hold his breath. Not a Jedi of another species that could possibly hold its breath for a very long time, I am looking specifically for human Jedi.

  • 1
    Not long enough to swim all the way to Otoh Gunga without a breathing device
    – Au101
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 13:00
  • 1
    You say you are looking for "any canon information" but you've tagged this with star-wars-legends. Legends is not canon, so is Legends acceptable or not?
    – Null
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 13:55
  • @Null, I am not much of a tag person. The other day I tagged Star Trek with star-wars-legends, feel free to edit.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 13:58
  • Well, I can tell you, back then when I was not much more than a child and went full Star Wars, besides knowing all the dialoges by heart I also tried to hold my breath during this scene, which wasn't much of a problem for the chummy child I was, so nothing spectacular there XD Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 15:57
  • @MatthiasNicklisch, I highly doubt they showed the actual time that passed in the movie, which is why I said "I don't know how much time passed". Which would mean they waited all of 10 seconds to say they were dead, come on, who would wait 10 seconds and say "they must be dead now"
    – KyloRen
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 22:39

1 Answer 1



In canon, there is little indication that Jedi can use the Force to enhance their ability to hold their breath. In The Phantom Menace, Nute Gunray did indeed underestimate the amount of time it would take for poison gas to kill Jedi:

“They must be dead by now, but make certain,” he directed the battle droids, and switched off the hologram.

The Phantom Menace (novelization)

However, it seems unlikely that Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were using the Force to hold their breath longer than normal human beings. According to this article, the average human being can hold their breath for under a minute, but highly trained individuals with a great deal of self control can manage much longer:

The silver bullet in all breath holding is relaxation,” Krack said. “If I could flick a switch in your brain, I could have you do six minutes and 200 feet,” but he said the body’s first trigger when it stops breathing is to try desperately breathe. “Fear of falling, being eaten and suffocation are hard-wired and primal,” he said. “I’m trying to rewire that fight-or-flight instinct to not have to do with breathing.”

Jedi are very athletic (with extensive training in physical combat). As for relaxation and letting go of fear, it’s practically the Jedi motto. That a monastic order is skilled at holding their breath is hardly surprising: breathing exercises are common in real-life meditation. This alone could easily explain why Gunray underestimated their endurance.

It’s also probably worth noting that they could have held the gas back directly using the Force (pushing it back through the vents or compressing it), as demonstrated in The Clone Wars (Season 2, Episode 19), when Anakin, Yoda, and Aayla Secura used the Force to push away a cloud of toxic gas:

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That said, it is of course possible that Jedi can use the Force to reduce their oxygen needs, but it seems more likely that they used other methods.

Thus, in canon Jedi probably can hold their breath as long as any highly-trained and athletic member of their species.


In Legends, on the other hand, breath control is a Force power.

A human Jedi can apparently use it for a few minutes "easily" (though the maximum time is probably much longer).

Funny how even a human Jedi could hold her breath for four or five minutes underwater without much effort: but try to do the same thing in air, and her body began to fight her after less than a minute, to demand what it could feel available just a skin’s thickness away.

Legacy of the Force: Invincible

It’s probably worth noting that Legends is rather inconsistent, though. Fifteen minutes would apparently be a long time for a Force-user to hold their breath, suggesting that breath control is, well, mundane breath control (possibly assisted by using the Force to calm one’s mind):

“In that case, not a chance,” Faughn said, shaking her head. “The Y60’s ramp mechanism is a piece of junk. Getting it sealed and repressurizing the ship would take at least fifteen minutes.”

“I was afraid of that,” Mara said. “A little long for him to hold his breath.”

The Hand of Thrawn: Specter of the Past

On the other hand, the Wookieepedia article suggests that some Jedi could use this power to hold their breath for days, and suggests that when using this power “[t]he Force can sustain” the user, suggesting something more explicitly unnatural. Of course, using it to this degree may be an advanced skill.

So in Legends, a Jedi can hold their breath for minutes without a problem, but might have difficulty holding it for more than fifteen minutes. However, it is possible that some highly skilled Jedi can manage much longer.

  • Nice answer. I can hold my breath for over 5 minutes BTW. We used to do it after swim practice.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 7:09
  • @KyloRen - I assume that took training, though.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 7:12
  • Oh Yeah, our coach made us do it to increase Vo2 max for swimming.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 8:39

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