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In The Rise of Skywalker we see the Force

healing various people/creatures. The explanation given is that the healthy person gives some of their life energy to heal the wound.

In the book The Courtship of Princess Leia, Luke is lying dying after fighting with Force-wielding witches who ride Rancors (yes that is really a thing in a book and is the one thing I hope is seen on screen one day).

As Luke dies a number of creatures initially, and then plants, the earth, and I am pretty sure the water, all give a bit of their own Force to help heal him.

So is this reference to Force Healing in the book The Courtship of Princess Leia the first instance in canon of Force Healing?

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    There was a lot of Force healing in Legends. When was this book released? – Adamant Dec 22 '19 at 23:26
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  • "Is it likely..." is asking for an opinion and thus off-topic, but you could ask about interviews, etc. talking about the inspiration for this plot point. – Cadence Dec 22 '19 at 23:39
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    @RichardC Well the Force-witches we've seen already on the small screen, but since they were effectively wiped out, I don't think we'll get to see them ride on rancors any time soon even though it's been canonized they did domesticate the beasts. – SpaceWolf1701 Dec 23 '19 at 2:40
6

Obi-Wan may have been healing Luke during their first encounter in A New Hope:

Obi-Wan putting his hand on Luke's face

More is described in the answers to this question, but some sources, including the junior novelization and the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars RPG, imply that he's healing Luke in this scene.

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    It does make me wonder why Anakin would not have used this on his mother. Was he asleep the day that Obi-Wan tried to teach him force-healing? Was this a rarely-studied skill in those days? Is this a new discovery that post-dates the start of the Clone Wars? – Robert Columbia Dec 23 '19 at 20:13
  • I have always interpreted Obi-Wan to have been checking on Luke’s condition here, not “healing”. He had suffered a blow to the head and not a particularly heavy one. It would have hurt Luke, for sure, but hardly worth giving up a portion of your own life force for (which I understand is the mechanic and explanation for the less than widespread use of this Force ability). – Deltics Jan 3 at 6:40
  • @Deltics It's not clear yet if the version of Force healing seen in TROS is a permanent expenditure of life force, or if it's a temporary use of it that doesn't normally have permanent adverse effects (Rey seems fine after healing the snake thing, for example). Either way, there are Legends sources that say that he's healing Luke in this scene, and none that I know of that explicitly say he's not. – Milo P Jan 3 at 18:20
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    @MiloP yep, I was just observing that in 42 years of watching Star Wars, in that scene it never even occurred to me that "healing" was what was going on. There is nothing in the scene itself that really suggests it. The novelization doesn't really imply healing either, only a raising to consciousness. "It was a gentle touch. Yet it seemed to have the power to open Luke’s eyes.". i.e. the Force equivalent of slapping someone in the face to bring them round, but in a more civilised fashion. :) – Deltics Jan 4 at 12:52
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The latest episode of The Mandalorian featured

Baby Yoda using The Force to heal someone who was poisoned by a poisonous claw

There is only one problem: That episode aired the same date as the movie (December 18).

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  • @Gnemlock It points out that the occurance in the latest Star Wars movie is possibly not the first. It is effectively the same as Milo's answer. – Parrotmaster Dec 24 '19 at 8:13
  • @Gnemlock They aired at the same date, but possibly (probably) different times. I consider things that happen at the start of the day to be earlier than things that happen at the end of the day. – Parrotmaster Dec 24 '19 at 13:52
  • Ive realised the question asks for an example earlier than a 1994 piece, not the latest movie. Still, this is absolutely not an example that predates 1994, and in turn is not an answer (deleting previous comments to reclarify my issue with this answer) – Gnemlock Dec 24 '19 at 20:28

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