We see throughout the movies several uses intentionally and unintentionally of the force to foresee the future.

According to Obi Wan it explains the fast reflexes of the jedi. Does that mean that every Jedi (or Sith) constantly foresees the next split second? Or does he have to turn that on and off? Anakin (knowing nothing about the force at this point in time) seems to use it instinctively and without irritations to him.

Untrained (and unaware of the existence of forve visions) Luke on Dagobah had visions about the future of his friends. It was a trap of Vader that could only work if Vader could be sure that Luke would have this vision. So it seems even untrained force users have visions about future events that are important to them.

The emperor foresees a lot of things and is overconfident about it. Just his own failure and death he obviously was not able to foresee.

Also Yoda on dagobah was not able to foresee if Lukes friends will survive. "In constant motion the future is". I interpreted it that way (what could also explain the blind spot of the emperor) that a jedi can only see the future that would happen "untempered" by other force users and their visions and vision based decisions.

So out of the movies I take the following about force visions:

  1. An "short range" "allways on" version gives a jedi or sith incredible fast reflexes.
  2. Future events that are important to you (like your friends beeing tortured) automatically and reliable gives you unintentionally visions.
  3. One can intentionally try to foresee the future but it is exhaustive (Yoda seems to be strained) and unreliable if other force users are involved in the events.

Am I right with my observations?

And if yes, then why where intentional visions not used more often? Aside from being boring for the audience "No. As I knew in advance we didn't get the hyperdrive. But we will win it in a pod race with the help of a little boy. Trust me. I have foreseen it. There is the sandstorm that will give us a reason to visit the boys home." Is it really to exhaustive to use it on a day by day base? Or are intentional visions only mastered by people like Yoda and Palpatine?

To bring the question to one (ok three) point(s):

  • How controllable are force visions?
  • Who masters controlled visions beside Yoda and Palpatine?
  • Why are they not used more often by the ones who master them?

2 Answers 2


Force visions were extremely rare, and uncontrollable.

"Force Visions" are specific visions of the future that a person actually experiences. Anakin had visions of Padme's death, Qui-Gonn had visions of Obi-Wan on a barren planet as an old man, and Yoda had several Force Visions throughout his life.

Yoda, as well as other skilled force users, could meditate and attempt to induce a vision, but they can't simply have one at will, and they certainly couldn't control one enough to show them what will happen, only what might happen. It is a difficult process, even for Yoda, so imagine how difficult it must be for everyone else.

They are not used often for the above reasons. They are difficult to induce, even for very powerful masters, and they are not generally accurate. They can be a rough guide down the path, but until you walk it, you cannot know the destination.

As for your other examples, such as Qui-Gon saying that Anakin can "see the future", these aren't actual "Force Visions", he's simply referring to the "Faster Than Light" reflexes all force users seem to have. There's a good explanation of this in the legends novel, Star Wars: Coruscant Nights II - Street of Shadows

As though it in turn sensed his contact, the floating remote droid let loose a volley of laser beams (blaster bolts) aimed at him, simultaneously zipping from one midair position to the next as it fired. Jax, blindfolded, whipped up the energy sword, countering each burst by knowning, before it was fired, which direction it would come from. One...two...three...four...five... The sixth, and last, beam stung him painfully on the right side.

"Blast!" Jax pulled off the blindfold and spoke the deactivation code for the remote, which drifted to the floor. He sat down on the extruded lip of a wall couch and looked ruefully at the weapon in his hand.

"I see its remote one, human zero, " a voiced said. Jax looked up to see I-Five in the doorway of the small, enclosed courtyard in which the Jedi had been practicing.

"I'm beginning to think that Laranth is right, " Jax said. " The Jedi should have practiced more with other weapons. " He grimaced. "Don't tell her I said that."

"On the other hand, no one but a Jedi could have blocked five out of six beams. "

Jax shrugged. "It makes no difference if it's the sixth one or the first one that kills you. Dead is dead. "

"I wouldn't know. I do know, however, ", I-Five said, "that you're much better with that sword than you think you are. "

Jax glanced down at the weapon, saw his disorted reflection looking back at him from the blade's surface. "Yeah? How do you know th---?"

I-Five suddenly whipped up his left hand, index finger extended, and fired a laser beam at Jax. The beam splashed off the ionized fire that suddenly coated the length of the blade, which Jax had automatically raised to block the beam.''

"That's how," I-Five said, "The speed of light is just under three hundred thousand kilometers per second. You are currently seven-point-three meters from me. Your Force-augmented anticipatory reflex action is obviously working fine. You just have to let it."

As I-Five says,

  • "Force visions were extremely rare, and uncontrollable". Then how could Vader know that his plan will work? Why could he be sure Luke (to his knowledge untrained) will be hit be the "right" vision that lures him to cloud city? And what (straining) thing yoda did with closed eyes when Luke asks him if his friends will survive? A spontanous meditation?
    – Hothie
    Dec 12, 2016 at 13:23
  • Several things to note here. The Sith believed that all visions would definitely come to pass and weren't simply possible futures as the Jedi believed. Anakin knows that his family are strong in the force and prone to visions, as he himself had several whilst still just a padawan. Visions tend to occur during a padawan's trial of the spirit, which Luke was undertaking on Dagobah. Also, I expect Vader was having visions of his own to help manipulate these events. Dec 12, 2016 at 13:43
  • As for Yoda, while spontaneous meditation is a real thing, I think it more likely that towards the end of his life, Yoda had become even more in tune with the force, and as a result was able to induce visions pretty much at will. Dec 12, 2016 at 13:43
  • If I remember correctly Vader at this point in time does not know that Luke is trained by Yoda and was undergoing the "trial of the spirit". If he knew, Yoda would not have been on Dagobah in ROTJ any more. So it must have been his own visions (or Palpatines) that tell him Luke will have the right visions at the right time (without telling him Yoda is still alive). But that seems a little bit far strechted to me. So I fear the logic behind force visions is that they are controlled by plot.
    – Hothie
    Dec 12, 2016 at 14:06
  • But I think this is the best answer we can hope for. :-)
    – Hothie
    Dec 12, 2016 at 14:08

Force visions are usually related to the distant future. The visions are gained through meditation most of the times, but they can come like a warning as well. While Yoda says time and time again that the future is fluid, the visions usually come to pass. Some visions were of events thousands of years in the future, some decades old, for example QuiGon Jin saw ObiWan old, and watching out for Luke plenty of times.

Yoda's warnings are not about the visions, but about interpretations in my opinion. It's hard to interpret the meaning behind each vision, and most Jedi / Sith will be fooled into interpreted the visions the wrong way, just to fit their desires and beliefs.

Precognition, is also a form of force vision. This is shorter term. Like the feeling something wrong is about to happen. We see a number of times Jedis saying "something doesn't feel right". That's precognition at work.

I don't believe the same is true when they are using light sabers though. They are trained to fight on force instinct from early on, using blindfolds, and let the force augment their strength and reflexes, but I don't recall ever seeing any expanded universe saying about a kind of future vision in short time. I mean, we already sort of do that as humans (object permanence), I don't think lightsaber duels go any further than taking that to the next level with both strength and speed.

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