For instance, if a Jedi Force-pushes something 1000 meters away, is the effect instantaneous or is there a propagation delay, something like the speed of light?

  • 19
    On numerous occasions we see events viewed in the Force propogate instantaneously, for example the destruction of Alderaan (as sensed by Obi-Wan) and Han Solo's death (as sensed by Leia). On top of that, both Luke and Yoda use the Force to sense things that haven't happened yet.
    – Valorum
    Dec 22, 2016 at 20:31
  • 19
    It's somewhere between light speed and ludicrous speed
    – Machavity
    Dec 22, 2016 at 22:55
  • 13
    the speed of plot?
    – user13267
    Dec 23, 2016 at 0:54
  • 5
    FFS, spoilers in comments, much?
    – Nij
    Dec 23, 2016 at 3:39
  • 6
    It clearly propagated at the the speed of midichlorians in a vacuum, unless you buy into the absurd theory about force propagation through midichlorian wormholes. Dec 23, 2016 at 5:54

3 Answers 3


The same as the propagation delay for hologram transmissions; presumably instantaneous

As mentioned in a related question, Darth Sidious once Force-choked Dooku from "light-years" away; the hologram of Sidious and Dooku's asphyxiation were perfectly in-sync, which means Sidious' Force use propagated no slower than his hologrammatic self did.

Since holo-conversations (such as many conversations assorted people have with Sidious, or with Leader Snoke in The Force Awakens) don't generally appear to suffer from any kind of lag, both are presumably instantaneous.

It's not immediately clear whether this would apply to Force abilities other than choking, but there's no good reason to suspect they wouldn't.

  • 6
    Didn't Vader force-choke someone over video chat at the beginning of Empire? That might be an even better example.
    – Ixrec
    Dec 22, 2016 at 20:34
  • 8
    @Ixrec Admiral Ozzel, yes; but he and Vader weren't nearly as far apart as Sidious and Dooku were in this scene (Vader was on Hoth, and Ozzel was in orbit) Dec 22, 2016 at 20:37
  • 4
    They were both still aboard Executor, at a maximum distance of just under 12 miles.
    – Mazura
    Dec 23, 2016 at 1:24

It depends on the power

In the films, we see Yoda, Obi-Wan and Leia reacting to far-away deaths instantaneously. There is also the transgalactic Force choking mentioned in Jason Baker's answer. These seem to indicate that there's no speed limit on the Force itself.

However, other powers (such as Force push, lightning, etc.) seem to happen as a "wave" (see 1:43):

So for some powers at least, it seems like there is a delay.

  • I think this is because he's pushing the air at them (initially). Also the rule of cool applies.
    – Valorum
    Feb 7, 2021 at 1:01

The Force seems to be exempt from all known laws of physics. Awareness of the deaths of the inhabitants of Alderaan was instantaneously known to Obi Wan.

This is contrary to the speed limit placed on everything, that of the speed of light. The example I love best is if the Sun was to explode, vanish in an instant, or otherwise lose its gravitational pull on its orbiting planets, those planets would not suddenly fly off into space.

The lack of gravity would not be felt till the moment the light from the sun stopped arriving at the observation point, which for earth would be about 8 minutes. The gravitational field would stop at the moment light stopped arriving.

Now if a space station was orbiting very close to the sun with many millions on board they would feel it much sooner than those on earth. If they were 1 light minute away from the sun and the explosion killed them Obi Wan on earth would know this instantly but Earth and everyone on it would not know for seven minutes.

The Force effectively transcends space time.

  • This doesn't answer the specific question posed by OP. You started well, then went off onto a tangent without addressing the qualities The Force and physical interaction.
    – amflare
    Jul 18, 2017 at 16:29
  • This answer sort of loses its focus, and doesn't end up answering the question.
    – Obsidia
    Jul 18, 2017 at 16:40
  • I agree with your comments but I feel the question is answered. The Force can not be defined by any speed or frankly any measurement. It is instant or propagates as appropriate based on the force sensitive being manipulating it. Jul 18, 2017 at 18:32

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