It occurred to me recently, having re-watched Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, that I didn't notice any occurences of the Force being used to physically manipulate anything throughout the movie. Obi-Wan uses the Jedi mind trick on a few occassions, and Luke uses the Force as an alternative to his targeting computer, but I don't recall them lifting or throwing anything.

To that, the first instance I can think of where the Force physically interacts with anything is in the opening of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back when Luke retrieves his lightsaber.

Was there some instance of the Force being used to physically manipulate something in A New Hope that I am missing? Or, if not, was there always the idea that the Force could physically manipulate something during the production of A New Hope?

2 Answers 2


Yes, Darth Vader physically manipulates an Admiral Motti's windpipe on the Death Star after he insults his 'religion'.

Additionally, Obi Wan distracts some troopers when disabling the Death Stars tractor beams. It does not seem to be a case of another mind trick, rather that he makes an object fall, causing a noise which distracts them. I can't find a clip of this at the moment, but I did find this spoof which still shows pretty much what happens!

  • Kenobi also does something to make a noise when distracting the guards by the tractor beam controls. The obvious assumption is that he made something fall or move to generate the noise.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 16:34
  • @Omegacron Thanks! I actually just added that to the answer before I saw the comment. Going to try and find a video. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 16:35
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    You could argue the crushed windpipe was mental - making Motti believe his windpipe was being crushed.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 16:41
  • 2
    I always thought Obi-Wan just made the stormtroopers think they heard a sound (similar to how he scared off the Tusken Raiders who attacked Luke). Also, Admiral Motti is such a hypochondriac. That crushed windpipe was psychosomatic.
    – Liesmith
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 9:00
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    @Omegacron - Per the Star Wars OT Story Collection: "Using his mastery of the Force, Obi-Wan made the stormtroopers think they heard a noise. While they looked away to see what was going on, Obi-Wan was able to turn off the tractor beam."
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 20:32

Luke guided the torpedos into the exhaust port with the Force. "Use the Force, Luke!" Obi-Wan's ghost said. The torpedos flew a ballistic trajectory all the way to the port where they suddenly made a hard 90 degree turn to make clean entry.

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    Whether or not Luke had anything to do with that is up for debate.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 18:34
  • As a counter to this being an example of the Force physically manipulating something, see this answer to the question, "Is there a canon explanation for how Proton Torpedoes were able to turn 90 degrees at the end of Star Wars: ANH".
    – Etheur
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 18:36
  • Where did all those ships come from? I only remember a handful. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 21:36
  • @HannoverFist From Lucas' "special place"! ;-> That is, that view is from the additional scenes added to the "special edition" film, though even the original did have that many ships - just not exactly that view. See here: youtu.be/8faBFPENMbg It's interesting in the comparison that since the time and music are the same, there are original views being replaced by the new ones.
    – Dronz
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 0:32

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