And is the clarity of the Force Ghost as visible to you directly proportional to how much training in using/sensing the Force you have?

In the Original Trilogy, Obi-Wan's ghost only appears to Luke; even when informing someone on Hoth Base of Luke's injury would have been very helpful. Additionally, Obi-Wan is able to appear more 'clearly' to Luke as he progresses in his training.

As such, this made me wonder if one needs to be a trained force sensitive in order to have contact with force spirits? Is there any information on these lines from canon?

Alternatively, is there any canon incidence of Force Ghosts appearing to people who are not trained force sensitives?

  • 8
    Leis doesn't see the force ghosts at the ends of ROTJ
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 17:57
  • In the Lego Star Wars games, force ghosts are invisible to non-force users
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 17:58
  • 6
    @Richard - can you get any less canon than Lego Starwars games? (first person to mention Christmas Special gets forced to watch it. With eyes forced open) Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 0:52
  • 1
    @Richard - Leia wasn't a trained force sensitive at the end of RotJ, which is perhaps why she didn't see the force ghosts.
    – David Cox
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 21:16
  • 1
    @DavidCox - I agree. It would certainly suggest that force ghosts are only fully visible to trained adepts.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 21:16

3 Answers 3


There appear to be three major components required for someone to be able to see a Force Ghost; inherent Force ability, mental state and specific (advance) training to seeing Force Ghosts

  • Luke hears what can be best described as an "echo" of Ben Kenobi after just a one or two Jedi lessons, however he doesn't appear to be able to converse with him, nor can he see him.

  • After Luke has spent some time on his own practicing his Force powers, and at a time when he was mentally receptive (near death, recently having used the Force) he was able to see Ben, but was not able to converse with him.

  • Ben appears to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. In the new canon novelisation, he explicitly states that Luke can see him now because his training is sufficiently advanced

Suddenly, another voice answers you. Rich and kind and understanding. Ben’s voice. “You don’t know that, Luke.”
You turn, and see him. He is standing beside Yoda. He shimmers.
“Ben!” you cry. “Are you…Aren’t you…?”
Obi-Wan Kenobi smiles. “I am still a part of the Force. You have, through your training, learned to see me.”
You stare, drinking in the sight of your first master, your friend.

The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?

  • Luke can clearly see the three Force Ghosts at the end of Return of the Jedi, however Leia (who hasn't had any Jedi training) cannot.

  • Yoda tells Obi-Wan (at the end of Revenge of the Sith) that specific training is required for him to communicate effectively with Qui-Gon

YODA: Master Kenobi, wait a moment. In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you.

OBI-WAN: Training??

YODA: An old friend has learned the path to immortality. One who has returned from the netherworld of the Force. Your old Master

OBI-WAN: Qui-Gon?!

YODA: How to commune with him. I will teach you.

  • 1
    That latter bit seems like it contradicts the fact that Luke is able to 'commune' with Ben without any specific force ghost seance training at all. (not the first time the prequels have done that)
    – Paul
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 22:12
  • 2
    @Paul - Meditation and being in the right frame of mind seem to help. Presumably as Yoda and Ben practiced at it, they got better at both seeing and (crucially) being seen
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 22:27

Yoda said in Episode III that he can teach Obi Wan to talk to Qui Gon Jinn. So at least it is not trivial to converse with Force Ghosts.

But Luke made it without any training on Dagobah. Also Leia cant see the Yoda, Obi Wan and Vader on Endor.

Therefore there is no consensus in the Movies about the Force Ghosts. Who ever wrote the script for the conversation in Episode III must have got the order to make an explanation about the force ghosts in the old trilogy.

I don’t know what the Expended Universe tells about them. Maybe the Disney/Lucasfilm Star Wars films will explain a bit more about them.

  • 1
    As lovely as conversate is as a word, I think you mean converse!
    – phillyd
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 9:15
  • 2
    yeah the dark side of the language is strong in me... thanks for pointing out.
    – Fulli
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 9:16
  • can i know why the -1 ?
    – Fulli
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 10:13
  • 2
    @Fulli it wasn't me, but "I don't know what the Expended Universe tells about them" might easily trigger a downvote. In such a universe, if the movies offer no explaination, you are expected to search in the expanded universe. IMHO it is acceptable to just care about the movie version of something only in case the movie does have an explaination, not if it doesn't.
    – o0'.
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 12:32

Force ghosts could chose who saw them as well as you had to either be training to be a Jedi or be one so that is why others, like Han and Leia, couldn't see them.

  • 4
    Can you offer any evidence for this assertion?
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 13:43

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