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Can a Jedi manipulate electronics? For instance could they scramble the machine code running on a robot?

If they can't why not? They can manipulate physical objects so manipulating the insides of a computer shouldn't be a problem should it?

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    Maybe they could press the buttons of a computer from a distance, but manipulating the electronics directly would certainly be different (since electrons are orders of magnitude smaller than any object they can normally move). – Arturo Torres Sánchez Oct 10 '14 at 13:41
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    While the body of the question is asking about lightsabers and blasters, the question really is the same: how fine of a level of control is possible? – phantom42 Oct 10 '14 at 13:51
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    I don't know how widespread the ability is, but I know that Anakin Solo was capable of sensing the condition of electronics and fixing them through the force. If I can find the book where this happens I'll add an answer. – numaroth Oct 10 '14 at 13:58
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    Note the distinction between being able to manipulate electronics and knowing actually what to do with them to be useful. – user28875 Oct 10 '14 at 15:42
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    @numaroth: You beat me to it, so I'll let you answer. The book is Ambush at Corellia, the first book in The Corellian Trilogy. He also showed an ability to intuitively know what a machine or component did, even if he'd never seen it before. That's how he builds a droid in the same book. It seems likely that his grandfather had a similar ability, considering his love of tinkering and the construction of C3PO and podracers. – James Sheridan Oct 11 '14 at 6:40
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In the novel Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly, the character Irek Ismaren is introduced. While not a Jedi, Irek is Force sensitive and has been trained since a very young age in the use of the Force by his mother, a former member of the Emperor's Hands. When he was 5, professor Nasdra Magrody installed a subelectronic converter in his brain. With months of training, this allowed Irek to use his mind affecting techniques on droids and computers by helping him visualize such object's programming and then using the Force to override it.

As far as I know, there are no other recipients of such an implant in the Star Wars canon. As such, it is safe to say that a Jedi could not normally use the Force to manipulate electronics.

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    +1 for finding the reference faster than me (you clearly conspired with my boss to keep me busy :), but please consider an option of editing a prior answer that referenced the same fact instead of writing a completely new one on your own :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 10 '14 at 17:18
  • @DVK Actually, you posted yours while I already had hit the "add answer" button. I was then finding references and stuff in another tab, and only noticed you had posted a similar answer after finally submitting mine >_< – Dungarth Oct 11 '14 at 19:55
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In The Corellian Trilogy, Anakin Solo, son of Han and Leia, shows an innate ability to understand what a machine or component does, even if he had never seen the device being used before. This is how, in Showdown at Centerpoint, he is able to repair the Millenium Falcon (with a little help from Chewbacca via comlink) and actually pushes his way between the atoms of a forcefield, an ability that is never shown to exist in other Force-users.

In the previous book, Assault at Selonia, Anakin activates a long-dormant electronic device, a planetary repulsor, simply through intuition; he has no experience with such advanced technology, and cannot read Basic yet, let alone the script of the Celestials who constructed the device, yet correctly undertakes all the necessary start-up procedures and fires a test-blast. In doing so, he actually imprints the repulsor on himself, so that no one else can use it. This is after he determines the location of the repulsor in the first novel of the trilogy, Ambush at Corellia, by 'tracing' a power conduit running to it. This is in spite of the conduit using some sort of stealth shielding, making it invisible to the archaeological team that is searching specifically for it.

Also in the first book of the trilogy, Anakin Solo helps his older siblings build a droid, by instinctively knowing where certain parts need to go in order to create a new droid using scrapped materials. When a part is damaged, or "melty inside" (something no one could possibly tell just by looking at the outside of the device), Anakin holds it, makes it glow, burns himself slightly in the process, and describes it as "a little better now, not all the way better. Less melty." The droid then works for a few moments, before the part that Anakin said was irreparable breaks down. Given Anakin Skywalker's predilection for tinkering in the prequel trilogy, it seems likely that this ability is hereditary, obviously skipping a generation, as Leia doesn't possess it. Nor do Anakin's siblings.

No other Force-user, except Irek Ismaren, mentioned in a previous answer, is ever shown to possess any power over machinery or electronics, other than the very open-ended 'push the button using the Force' variety. Even Vader is a simple supposition, based on the similarities between the two Anakins, with no canon confirmation. Ismaren needed a special implant in his brain to do so, and the existence of other cyborgs, such as Lando's aide Lobot, seen in The Empire Strikes Back, calls into question exactly how much of Ismaren's abilities come from the Force, and how much is simply a by-product of the implant.

  • Great find! I always explained the Centerpoint part with the "ancient technology from an extinct Force-using civilisation" argument but, given some of the other points you mention, some form of electronical manipulation could be possible. – Dungarth Oct 12 '14 at 6:45
  • @Dungarth: It's definitely electronic manipulation. It's the only thing that explains the droid and the Falcon as well as the repulsor. – James Sheridan Oct 12 '14 at 7:31
  • Technically, couldn't it be said that finding the repulsor required only passive senses, and no actual manipulations? Maybe he was just more attuned to the electromagnetic field generated by the live wires, albeit shielded, than the sensors were. Repairing the Falcon could be an example of Force Guidance, except he's good with electronics, so he ends up figuring it out along the way. The force field bit could be an application of Phase, a power known by the Dark Woman and Bazel Warv, who was Anakin's contemporary at the academy. These don't necessarily scream "electronics manipulation" to me. – Dungarth Oct 12 '14 at 14:16
  • @Dungarth: I have just recently expressed my hatred for the new EU trope of naming every goddamn Force ability, like they are video game moves. Ockham's Razor; Anakin Solo displays multiple cases of manipulating electronics. Does he have multiple rare abilities that manifest around electronics, or one rare ability dealing with electronics? – James Sheridan Oct 12 '14 at 23:05
  • Don't get me wrong, your theory has merits. However, I believe the same results could be achieved passively with other known Force abilities, and thus not require electronical manipulation, an active action, as the question asks. One could also easily argue that phasing through the force field has nothing to do with its electronical components, as he's not described as messing with the computer, just going "in between". Centerpoint could be the result of ancient programming, etc. Ockham's Razor; why introduce a new and unique power for stuff explained by other known abilities? – Dungarth Oct 13 '14 at 2:55
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According to this question:

Who Erased Kamino from the Jedi-Archives?

the Jedi Archives can only be manipulated using The Force

If this is true then that means that a Jedi can manipulate fairly advanced electronics using The Force. I'm not sure how limited this ability is, but that proves it is possible.

  • I wouldn't trust an answer that doesn't give a source for its claim more specific than season 2 of The Clone Wars. For example, it's possible the author of that answer was thinking of the episode "Holocron Heist" where some bounty hunters broke into the Jedi Archives to steal a holocron, but in that episode then only said "a holocron is no good without a Jedi to open it", physically opening a holocron may have to do with mechanical manipulations rather than electronics. – Hypnosifl Jun 30 '16 at 3:11
  • Would you manipulate mechanical devices to remove a star system from their archives? That had been my interpretation of it since I saw the movie, but the seven movies are the only Star Wars content I've ever seen. – Tomahawk2001913 Jun 30 '16 at 16:24
  • But is there any canon evidence that Dooku just used the Force (as opposed to using his access to a computer terminal in the Jedi Archives or something) to remove Kamino from the archives? – Hypnosifl Jun 30 '16 at 16:26
  • He wasn't a Jedi so he wouldn't have had access. I suppose it is possible he stole the login of a Jedi, but it is odd there were no logs. I'm not really sure how the Jedi Archives work so let me know if I missed something important. I would have put my "answer" as a comment but unfortunately I have less than 10 reputation. – Tomahawk2001913 Jun 30 '16 at 20:50
  • In EU canon he was still a Jedi when he erased the records, see the quote in my answer here. I don't think there's anything in Disney canon to rule this out, even if it hasn't been confirmed. – Hypnosifl Jun 30 '16 at 21:05

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