One of the 12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills is Force Lighting, as used by the Emperor in this scene.

The Star Wars Universe is a vast one, with many characters and spanning several generations.

It also happens to be the one of the Sci-fi universes (along with Star Trek) that hugely influenced our perception of technology and our expectations of the future, while in the end shaping them via all the scientists that dreamed of making true what they saw in the Star Wars movies.

Not bad for a series which began in the 70s, eh?

Well, since the latest Star Wars installment, “The Force Awakens”, is coming on the 18th of December (USA), and it will pick-up where the story was left off after “Return of the Jedi” (1983), it seems only fair to make a review of one of the coolest features of the movie: The Force.

Or Force skills that those who could use The Force had at their disposal. But since there are many ways The Force can be applied, I’ll only present the 12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills (in my subjective opinion, of course), along with the alignment: Jedi, Sith or common to both.

1. Force Sense

12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills - Force Sensing

Alignment: Common

This skill is one of the most basic, yet most strategically important. Because The Force connects all living things, it simply meant that a Force user can detect when there are major disturbances (in The Force), like many simultaneous deaths, or the death of a powerful user,  or another being’s mental and emotional state.

2. Body Augmentation Or Control

Alignment: Common

By applying the Force on one’s own body, the user can greatly improve certain functions.

Like his nervous, bone and muscular system which could be used to gain super-human speed or to jump to great heights.

Or the brain, eyes and nervous system, by which one could slow the speed at which he/she perceives happening around him/her (think Neo in “Matrix”). Alternatively, they could use it to just see really far, in darkness or through solid objects.

Or the auditory system which allows hearing at great distances.

A Force user can also decrease bodily functions, entering hibernation, during which his heart rate and oxygen consumption go down drastically, allowing him or her to survive in hostile environments or the effects of injury or poison until he or she can be rescued.

3. Force Telekinesis

One of the 12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills is Force Telekinesis.

Alignment: Common

Focusing on an object allows a Force user to alter it from a distance, like moving it around, drawing it to the user, or pushing it away.

A very useful skill if you’re trying to get your light-saber back from where it fell in a duel. Or if you want a beer and C3PO is not around.

4. Force Shield

Alignment: Common

A Force user can project The Force around an object, another being or him/herself so that it absorbs any damage sent against it. This could be mechanical, electrical, light-based (think blaster laser), or even a Force attack from an enemy.

5. Persuasion

The list of 12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills includes Force Persuasion, depicted here in this Obi Wan poster

Alignment: Common (though employed more often by the Jedi as a means to avoid loss of life and conflict; whereas Sith prefer more direct, brutal uses of Force and confrontation)

The Force can be used to subtly influence the thought processes of a certain living subject capable of human-level intelligence. In short, if the attempt is successful, the subject will accept the Force user’s suggestions, orders or declarations without question.

6. Telepathy

Alignment: Common

Force users can project their thoughts at a distance to communicate with people or other Force users.

7. Rapid Healing

12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills - Rapid Healing, as shown in this photo of Obi Wan reviving Luke Skywalker

Alignment: Common (though employed more often by the Jedi)

Channeling the Force into the user’s body or another body (even one that did not have control over The Force) to heal the target is an ability that all Force users can develop. Best of all? It speeds up natural healing, so there’s no unwanted side-effects or invasive procedures.

8. Concealing The Force

Alignment: Common

The counterpart to Force sensing, this skill consists of each Force user’s capability to hide the fact that he is a Force user from another such user, or even his or her alignment to The Force (Light – Jedi or Dark – Sith). Employed when stealth is more important to achieve an objective than violence and confrontation.

9. Force Lightning

One of the 12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills is Force Lighting, as used by the Emperor in this scene.

Alignment: Sith

Possibly the most impressive Sith skill, this is the use of Force to generate bolts of lightning that can strike your enemies.

10. Force Meld

Alignment: Jedi

Collaboration has its perks. Jedi can unify their minds and their Force power towards the change they want to effect. This union greatly amplifies what a single individual, be it Jedi or Sith, could accomplish.

11. Transfer of Essence

Alignment: Sith

When a Sith is in dire need (wounded or simply without any other choice), he or she can transfer the essence of his being into the body of another or to an inanimate object.

12. Force Ghost

The list of 12 coolest Star Wars Universe Force skills includes the Force Ghost, like the one projected by Yoda in this scene.

Alignment: Jedi

Similar to the Sith Transfer of Essence, a Jedi can project an insubstantial image of him/herself to distract adversaries.

When it comes to death, the Jedi can simply project their will even after they have passed away, without requiring an object or another body. However, they are not truly living (like the Jedi do in their new host), they are ghosts. And such ghosts cannot interact physically with the universe.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.