All throughout the Yuuzhan Vong war, a major disadvantage for the Jedi was that they couldn't affect the Yuuzhan Vong directly via the Force. They could throw rocks at them, or affect the air around them, but anything direct like levitating them or influencing them just didn't work, as mentioned several times throughout the war (for example, as below in "Edge of Victory I: Conquest"):

"The Jeedai did it," Mezhan Kwaad replied. "Surely you've heard of their powers."

"Do not insult me. I am, of course, current on the information concerning the Jeedai. They can move objects, communicate with one another as villips do, even influence the minds of weaker creatures. But there has never been any evidence that they can affect Yuuzhan Vong. Quite the contrary."

"I beg the master for permission to speak," Nen Yim said. Yal Phaath gave her a reluctant glance. "Speak."

"The Jeedai did not affect us, not directly. She affected the molecules of the atmosphere, compressing them."

"She tried to crush us with our own air?"

However, in the final book ("The Unifying Force"), we have the following passage:

There the priest sat, not three meters away, and Luke couldn't sense him. Harrar was nothing more or less than what he appeared to be: a tall, sinewy humanlike man, absent some of his fingers, and marked with tattoos, scars, and other modifications. Luke knew that he could use the Force to levitate Harrar, to pirouette him about the small cabin, but he couldn't see him in the same way he could see Mara, Jacen, Saba, and Jabitha-as a luminous being;

Is this an error on the part of the author? If not, when did Luke gain the ability to affect the Yuuzhan Vong directly like that?

  • 1
    It says "modifications" and "tattoos" - maybe Luke levitated those and the guy just got dragged along? Like Magneto did to Raven in Days of Future Past. Just speculating though, don't know a thing about SW novels. Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 22:01
  • 3
    @Gallifreyan - wow, I didn't realize we had a tag specifically for Yuuzhan Vong questions. Crazy. But no, in the novels, anything related to the Yuuzhan Vong - their bodies, their "vehicles", their bio-engineered "technology" - was completely invisible to Jedi in the Force. By the end, there were 3-4 Jedi who could sense them using a completely different ability than the Force, but that was only the ones who had a Vong implant or something that gave them the connection.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 23:27
  • 1
    The quote itself does also say that Luke "couldn't sense him", so that part is at least consistent. Maybe Luke's just lifting / moving the air? Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


Going to try to give some kind of answer to this using just The Unifying Force as there are so many books in the Vong series and most of the points relevant to this question will be found here anyway.

Using the Force to manipulate the air around Harrar

The most likely explanation is that Luke isn't going to directly move Harrar using the Force, but that he will move the air around him thereby moving him by proxy. You gave an example of something similar to this happening in the question with your quote from Edge of Victory.

Tahiri does something similar later in The Unifying Force:

All at once, Nom Anor could feel small Tahiri's body tense against his. He pivoted in time to see Tahiri throw up her hands in some sort of Force gesture, and a dozen warriors hit the ground as if struck by a swarm of invisible thud bugs.

A Force Wall! Nom Anor thought. Tahiri used her Jedi powers a second time to create an even wider circle of clear space, then whirled and grabbed Nom Anor by the arm, spinning him around to face her, her eyes already wide with discovery.

The Unifying Force

Luke himself uses the Force to affect the Vong indirectly when he creates an energy net to kill one:

From Luke's left hand gathered a blinding tangle of energy manipulated into being by the raw power of the Force. As if hitting an invisible wall, the warrior stopped short, then spasmed as green sparks began to coruscate around him.

The Unifying Force

Both of these examples show that the force can stop a Vong despite their invisibility to the Force, Force effects will affect them, they just cannot be manipulated directly.

Luke is never shown to affect the Vong directly despite having running battle to the chamber of Supreme Overlord Shimrra and a battle in the chamber itself, where he had many opportunities to use the Force directly against the Vong.


Jaina is unable to move a number of Vong bodies that have buried her

Buried under half a dozen blood-smeared bodies when the bunker had shifted, Jaina used what little maneuvering space she had to avoid amphistaff fangs and venom, the serrated edges of coufees, and the sharpened teeth and hardened elbows and knees of warriors. Out of sheer desperation she tried to use the Force to throw everyone off her, and was bewildered when the crushing weight of the warriors abated-or at least until she realized that the sudden turnabout had nothing to do with the Force.

The Unifying Force

There could be a few explanations for this:

  1. Jaina did not think to move the air between her and the bodies up, she has been in a big fight and might not be thinking clearly.
  2. Inconsistent writing.
  3. Both Tahiri and Luke have been affected and changed by Vong biotech whereas Jaina had not. Tahiri had various biotech attached to her as they tried to transform her into a Vong and Luke was affected by the venom of an Amphistaff.
    • While Jacen had been successful at neutralizing most of the venom delivered by Shimrra's amphistaff, Luke knew that he was not yet completely healed, and might never be. His body was gaining strength daily, and he was able to keep up with his nephew and Harrar on the undulating path, but his physiology had been altered by the venom, and he was compelled to draw subtly on the Force to sustain himself.

      The Unifying Force

Luke is slowly gaining a new understanding of the Force

A second, more tenuous theory could be with the whole "Luke (and the rest of the NJO) is not using the Force to it's full potential" aspect that is mentioned throughout a lot of the series.

Vergere, who had willingly spent fifty years among the Yuuzhan Vong, had maintained that the seeming invisibility of the Yuuzhan Vong owed not to any inherent failure of the Force, but to the way Luke and his fellow Jedi perceived the Force. The implication was they had somehow failed to grasp that the Force was grander and more far reaching than they understood it to be. Luke could accept that. His training had been rushed; and with the deaths of Obi-Wan and Yoda he had been obliged largely to pursue his own counsel, and find his own way to mastery. He would have been the first to admit that his understanding of the Force might be limited or incomplete; that he had perhaps become more a Master of the Living Force than what the late Vergere had called the Unifying Force.

The Unifying Force

It could be that as Luke is beginning to believe in this philosophy and understand the Unifying Force a bit more he is able to affect the Vong in some ways even though they remain invisible to him.

  • Reading this answer now years later, I think that the venom is probably the best guess we'll get. Many Vong poisons affected a person on a genetic level, so assuming the amphistaff venom does as well, it probably worked on Luke's physiology just like a Vong implant would - giving him the same Vong-sense that Jacen & Tahiri had.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 2:00

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