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In all the action scenes I'm familiar with, the Force is used only on people or objects nearby within visual sight of the Force user.

However there are situations where force users can sense something outside their own physical perception limitations, such as when Vader knows that Luke is on a particular space craft, or when a million voices cried out and were silenced.

Given that Vader force chokes someone who failed him, is it possible for him to force choke someone who failed him, but isn't in the same room, or on the same planet?

Does Luke's ability to sense when his friends are in danger also suggest that he is able to help them at a distance, or communicate with leia at a distance?

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    I kind of remember Vader force choking someone who wasn't in the same room, but can't place the exact movie or scene... – tilley31 Sep 5 '14 at 16:45
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    @tilley31 Here you go: youtu.be/aV2DLkDPwM8?t=40s – Adam Head Sep 5 '14 at 16:46
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    I believe it is in the Jedi Academy Trilogy a group of jedi on the surface are actualy able to push an enemy fleet of starships out of orbit (at the cost of one of their lives). – Zoredache Sep 5 '14 at 17:38
  • And physical manipulation: Kyp Durron was able to lift the Sun Crusher out of Yavin's atmosphere while he was on Yavin IV (one of the moons). – Jerry Jeremiah Sep 5 '14 at 21:36
  • Actually I think my comment would make a good answer but they closed the question... – Jerry Jeremiah Sep 5 '14 at 21:39
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The Force can be used from very far away

The Force can be used at a considerable distance, both for communication and for attack.

For attack:

  • It is possible to Force Choke someone from far away. Darth Vader famously choked Admiral Ozzel from another ship after the latter “failed him for the last time.”1

    enter image description here

    More notably, in “The Lost One,” Darth Sidious choked Count Dooku from Coruscant while the latter was on Serenno:

    enter image description here

  • Mother Talzin was able to use Nightsister magick, drawn from the Dark Side, to torture Dooku from a distance.2 She is on Dathomir and he is on Serenno. To do this, she needed a lock of his hair.

    enter image description here

  • Darth Sidious and Darth Tyranus tried to influence or otherwise mentally attack Yoda when the latter was on the Sith world of Moraband,3 and the former two on Coruscant. This also required a connection to Yoda (don’t forget, Sidious studied with Talzin in his youth!)

    enter image description here

    SIDIOUS: Only the presence of someone significant to you would allow you to sense this ripple through time and space.

    DOOKU: My old master Yoda.

    SIDIOUS: Yes. Master Yoda has come to Moraband, although why, I do not know. We shall, however, use the strong bond that once existed between you and your master to allow us to see things that we otherwise could not.

    While they certainly use it to see Yoda, they also mount a mental attack on him, making him see illusions, with the apparent goal of corrupting or breaking him:

    SIDIOUS: We have failed to break Master Yoda. He is strong. We will need more time if we are to defeat him and the Jedi.

  • Finally, Sidious was able to attack Ezra and Ahsoka with some sort of Sith flame sorcery while the latter were on Lothal (kind of?) and the former was, presumably, on Coruscant.

For communication:

  • Yoda was able to send visions to Ezra, Ahsoka, and Kanan when they were in the Lothal Jedi Temple.4 As mentioned on Rebels Recon:

    Ultimately, the visions created in the Temple are a means of communication for Yoda to instruct and teach these young Jedi. The vision of the Grand Inquisitor is entirely motivated by Yoda, who’s basically letting Kanan know that he is a Jedi Knight.

    He, presumably, is on Dagobah, so he is communicating over a considerable distance.

  • Luke was able to communicate with Leia over a distance. From the script for The Empire Strikes Back.

    LUKE: Hear me! Leia!

    INT. MILLENNIUM FALCON - COCKPIT

    Leia seems to be lost in a fog, her expression troubled. Chewie is busy operating the ship. Lando stands next to the Wookiee, watching a readout on the control panel.

    LEIA: Luke… We’ve got to go back.

  • Luke was able to provide a semi-physical projection of himself in The Last Jedi, which could leave portions of itself behind in a solid form (the dice) or be incorporeal save for visibility and audibility (his fight with Kylo).

  • Snoke was able to link together the minds of Rey and Kylo (at least, he claimed it was his doing), a bond that was not dependent on its creator. This bond also allowed for some incidental substance transmission (e.g. rain). Of course, not one but three powerful Force users were involved in this.

So it’s clear that the Force does not require close physical proximity, or even necessarily line of sight.

However, it is still limited by distance

None of the previous examples should be construed as implying that distance is irrelevant when it comes to the Force, however. These are rare instances, and the people involved are more powerful than the average force wielder. Palpatine, for example, is the most powerful Sith Lord met thus far, with powers significantly in excess of Count Dooku’s. Besides Palpatine and Vader, we have not seen any other Force user in canon employ Force telekinesis on any kind outside of their immediate proximity, and only Palpatine over such a distance—a rather strong indication that this is not a common talent.

It seems clear that Force choking someone from afar is the mark of a very powerful Force wielder. Mother Talzin is no hack either, having gone toe-to-toe with Mace Windu.5 Even Sidious sought out her knowledge in his youth.6 For Force wielders less skilled than Talzin, Sidious, or Vader, attacking someone with the Force from afar might well be impossible. It seems likely that it is more difficult to affect someone nearby, though, even for those capable of doing so. In Sidious and Vader’s cases, it also seems to require line of sight (or perhaps merely precise knowledge of someone’s location), whereas using the Force on those nearby does not require this (as illustrated by Barriss Offee7 and Darth Sidious’s8 examples).

In the case of communication, the only instance of interstellar Force communication that we know of for sure involved the Jedi Temple as a conduit. It is possible that even Yoda could not communicate over such a distance without that aid: even likely, considering that he had not contacted the rebels before.

So distance still matters.


References:

1: The Empire Strikes Back

2: The Clone Wars: “Massacre”

3: The Clone Wars: “Sacrifice”

4: Rebels: “Shroud of Darkness”

5: The Clone Wars: “The Disappeared”

6: Son of Dathomir, Part III

7: The Clone Wars: “The Lawless”

8: The Clone Wars: “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”

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    Consider updating this answer in light of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. – Adam Davis Feb 2 '18 at 17:49
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The Joorus C'baoth (be aware of spoilers) clone that appears in Thrawn trilogy is capable of maintaining mind contact with operators in ships across the galaxy, giving them orders during a battle. He is also capable of using the same contact with Luke, who felt it similarly to a Force ghost (I don't have a quote right now, but it happens in the first book of the trilogy.

Also, in the first book Mara Jade is able to locate Luke when he is lost in a dead space zone.

Force can probably be used on large distances, but not on the most physical ways.

(also I'm not sure about that but still: doesn't Vader chokes an imperial officer from a ship to another in ESB, when the officer goes out of hyperspace too close to hoth right bifore the imperial attacc? )

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communicate with leia at a distance

Definitely yes, at least in exceptional cases:

  • Luke sensed Joruus C'Baoth's call from different part of the Galaxy in the Thrawn Trilogy.

  • From the same trilogy, Mara Jade, in her time as Emperor's Hand, was able to hear Emperor's communication via the Force pretty much anywhere.

  • In Stark Hyperspace War comics, Plo Koon was able to communicate with his cousin Sha Koon, when he was on planet Troiken in Outer Rim and she was in Jedi Temple on Coruscant. But on top of his own (as per Qui-Gon) exceptional telepathic ability, he was helped both by kinship with her, AND by being Force-supported by a couple other Jedi.

enter image description here

he is able to help them at a distance

I don't think it's known outside the planetary system scale. In-planetary scale, ships in orbit could be pushed by combined power of several Jedi in "Champions of the Force", but it was a difficult task resulting on one Jedi's death as per Zoredache's comment

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Based on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you can conclusively say that the Force can easily be used over a distance, however, it may depend on the Force strength of the individual.

Kylo Ren initiates contact and has conversations with Rey as if they are sitting in a room next to each other even though Kylo is on a Star Destroyer chasing the Resistance fleet and she is on Ahch-To with Luke Skywalker.

And later in the movie

Luke Skywalker appears on Crait with his sister and the rest of the Resistance in order to defend them from his nephew. But we learn that Luke never left Ahch-To and was projecting himself across the light years via the Force. That effort does take a toll on Luke however as he vanishes at the end of the movie, presumably dying and joining the Force as Obi-Wan and Yoda did previously.

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