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How do the Jedi go about locating Force-sensitive children (infants)? It is mentioned several times in the movies and Legends books that very young children who are Force-sensitive are taken to the Jedi Temple, but how do they go about locating them in the first place? Is it just observation by a Jedi who happens to be nearby? Do they go on recruitment searches? Do they have some big galaxy scanning device like they use in X-Men to find mutants?

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It's stated in the Force-sensitive portion of the Star Wars Wikia:

The main form of detecting the Force through midi-chlorian count was lost to the Jedi because of the Empire's destruction of documents and the Great Jedi Purge. The head of the New Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker, discovered a different way to reveal Force-sensitivity. In Leia's quarters in the abandoned Emperor Palpatine's Imperial Palace on Coruscant, Luke and his twin sister Leia Organa Solo were doing some tests on the inner defenses of her brain. Luke was using the Force to access certain areas of the brain; as he accessed an area in the very back of the brain, he was rebuffed. They confirmed this to be a natural reflex of the Force-sensitive.

Previously they used the midi-chlorian count to find them, a.k.a a blood test much like how the prequel movies saw that Anakin had a high count.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Midi-chlorian:

Midi-chlorian counts were measured through a blood test; the Jedi used this method to locate Force-sensitive children before their Order was purged by the Galactic Empire. With the rise of the Empire, research into Jedi and the Force was banned, and though midi-chlorians continued to be tested for, sometimes by the Empire itself to root out hidden Jedi and other Force-sensitives, knowledge of them was diminished and inquiries into them were branded as illegal medical research. Midi-chlorians were only rediscovered after the New Jedi Order was founded.

Sometimes Jedi could sense other Force Sensitives.. One such example was the Force Sensitive Droid..

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Skippy_the_Jedi_Droid

In the beginning of the wikia it states..

Obi-Wan Kenobi leaves a cantina, sensing the Force in someone. But no matter how hard he looked, he wasn't able to find anyone, despite his great ability in the Force.

I'm not sure how far the average Jedi can sense somebody with the Force, but Yoda was able to sense certain details of stuff from far away such as when the bad things happened to Anakin.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yoda:

While waiting for Kenobi's report, Yoda meditated. He heard the voice of the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn and sensed that something had happened to Anakin. He conferred with Windu that the young Padawan was in "pain. Terrible pain".

So overall there are 3 ways...

  • Sensing the Force in somebody
  • Luke's way of accessing certain part of the brain but being forced out
  • Midi-chlorian count

Essentially what I think happens is that Jedi's sense the Force in a person in X Planet, or perhaps even more specifically X Location... Previous to the Jedi Purge they would go there and test the blood of the people to see who is Force-sensitive... Maybe when people had general check ups and saw that that Midi-chlorian count and then informed the Jedi Council..

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    This is a pretty great answer, only (that I can remember) missing the Force Detectors used in the post-ROTJ books. – phantom42 Jan 17 '14 at 19:59
  • I haven't read that many books usually I research the subject online... I do have a couple of the books though... Mainly Darth Plaugeis – DoctorWho22 Jan 17 '14 at 20:18
  • Though I do have a lot of movie knowledge regarding the Star Wars stuff... I don't think I have the patience to read through all the post movie books though lol – DoctorWho22 Jan 17 '14 at 20:22
  • In one of the books (Thrawn?) they discover a device which can read force sensitivity from a person. Maybe that device can just remotely detect Midi-chlorians. – Jack B Nimble Jan 17 '14 at 22:21
  • Possibly... I mean I would assume that in Star Wars they would be able to scan people for stuff like that... so it seems likely that it doesn't just check for the force but checks for Midi-chlorians which is a physical thing that can be scanned for. – DoctorWho22 Jan 20 '14 at 19:59

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