The Force is a metaphysical, binding, and ubiquitous power that held enormous importance for both the Jedi and Sith Orders. Known as "the Way" in ancient times, the Force is viewed in many different aspects, including, but are not limited to, the light side, the dark side, the Unifying Force, and the Living Force. The first two aspects were concerned with the moral compass of the Force, as manifested by the conduct and emotions of living creatures who were themselves part of the fabric of the Force. The light side of the Force is the facet aligned with compassion, selflessness, self-knowledge and enlightenment, healing, mercy and benevolence, while the dark side of the Force is the element aligned with hatred, fear, covetousness, anger, aggression, jealousy and malevolence. The latter two aspects are defined by prominent Jedi philosophies: The Unifying Force essentially embraces space and time in its entirety while the Living Force deals with the energy of living things. Though the Force is categorized in this way, there are no specific abilities or powers that were only usable by a follower of a different path of the Force; the Force partially existed inside the life forms that used it, and drew energy from their emotions.
Some beings, particularly the Sith, believe that the Dark Side of the Force was more powerful than the light, though it is possible that the Dark Side was just more tempting to those who use it (or desired to use it). Others think of the Force as an entity capable of intelligent thought, almost as a sort of deity.
Though the Force is thought to flow through every living thing, its power can only be harnessed by beings described as "Force-sensitive." This Force-sensitivity is correlated with, and sometimes attributed to, a high count of internal microorganisms called midi-chlorians that are found in a Force-sensitive's blood: the higher the count, the greater the being's potential Force ability, though there are some exceptions to this rule. Force-sensitive beings are able to tap into the Force to perform acts of great skill and agility as well as control and shape the world around them. Sometimes this ability was described as having a strong Force "aura."
The oldest historic sources that speak about force-sensitive sentients date back to Year 2 Day 111. The two sentient beings were Piett (the former Emperor who had been supposedly lost in the Unknown Regions for 9 months) and Bodo Baas (a poweful Jedi Master). None of them ever told how they became aware of the Force and if they were already part of a chain of masters in the Force. It is nonetheless certain that from this old document it is possible to trace back the first Dark Jedi and the first Light Jedi from where all the current Jedi have derived. As a matter of fact, the number of force-sensitives in the galaxy started to increase when they both started looking for apprentices to take to their side. The spreading of force-sensitives and force rituals (even of different philosophy) naturally followed this moment in time.
Over the Centuries, many Force- Sensitive Individuals have organised into groups of force users. Some of these Groups are created as a subdepartment of an existing Organisation. Others are associated with a particular organisation through the circumstances of history. There are also Force Users who hold no allegiance to any of the organisations listed below out of a desire to remain independent.
The light side of the Force was concerned with the ideals of benevolence and healing. Followers of the light side strove to live in harmony with the world around them, acting out of wisdom and logic. In order to achieve harmony with the light side of the Force, its practitioners would often meditate to clear themselves of emotion, particularly emotions such as aggression, fear, anger, and hatred, since these were thought to bring on acceptance of the dark side.
- Jedi Order - Galactic Alliance
- Jedi Enclave - Triumvirate Coalition
- Knights of the Republic - New Republic
- Jedi Medical - The Jedi Order
The dark side of the Force is considered to be the element aligned with fear, anger, hatred, and passion. Such emotions seemed to increase the strength and abilities of a user of the dark side, providing a path towards personal power and the destruction or control of all opposition. It is generally accepted that use of the dark side of the Force was extremely addictive.
The concept of the Unifying Force is that, through the Force, all minds are one. It is the Force as the soul of the galaxy. As a philosophy, those who follow the Unifying Force are concerned with prophecy and the cultivation of virtue. They are more concerned with the "big picture" than with the details in front of them. As part of the Light Side, the Unifying Force is the Force as peace and tranquility. As part of the Dark Side, the Unifying Force is the Force as pride, arrogance, and ambition. The Unifying Force neither has sides nor chooses them, treating all beings equally.
While similar to the Unifying Force, the Potentium view stated that the Force and the galaxy in general were inherently good. According to this belief, the so-called dark side was not made up of specific "parts" or "abilities" of the Force. Instead it existed inside the life form which used it, made from their emotions. By that standard, all Potentium followers could perform any action and use the Force in any way they saw fit, as long as the intention behind it was good.
- Confederate Jedi Order - Confederacy of Independent Systems
- Knights of the Old Republic - Aurodium Legion
- The Blazing Chain - Eidola
The Blazing Chain is a group of force sensitive pirates who don't follow any particular alignment or philosophy. While not necessarily dark side users, the Blazing Chain uses the force to augment boarding parties and assist in other pirate operations.
- Evocati Order - Trade Federation
The Evocati Order does not have a combined view of the Force and each individual is free to decide what path of the Force they wish to pursue; Evocati accepts and supports all aspects of the Force as long as they are not used to break the Trade Federation laws.
- Chiss Sages - Chiss Ascendancy
The Chiss Sages practice a variant of the Living Force, which is subdivided into two "schools": Light Sages(who follow the Light Side) and Dark Sages(who follow the Dark Side). The Chiss Sages follow a stoic philosophy, which focuses on observation and action only when necessary.
The Máurari Blackguard believe that to increase one's knowledge of the Force, one must understand the philosophies and abilities of other Force traditions around the galaxy. The Máurari Blackguard also believe that there is no light or dark side, and that the balance dwells within the user. They seek to bring balance to the Force within themselves; pragmatic in their beliefs, they hold that the Force is more of a tool than a religion.
- Shades of the Force - Church of Reansucru
The Church of Reansucru holds to the belief that the Force is more than just Good vs. Evil or Dark vs. Light. The beliefs of the Church come to view the Force as many things, all of which are characterized by 5 Shades. The Shades of the Force are: Red, Green, White, Blue, and Black. Each of the five shades embody the different aspects that manifest from the Force. The Reansucru faith further believes that The Ones are deities, and that the shades are reflections of one of the deities. The faith believes that the Father represents the Shade of White, the Son embodies the Shades of Blue and Black, and that the Daughter is the manifestation of the Shades of Green and Red.
- Templari Order - Falleen Federation
The Templari Order are an order of Force-practitioners loyal to his Majesty, the King of the Falleen Federation. They are fully trained in the ways of the Force, martial abilities, and battle tactics. For the Templari the lightsaber is another tool in their arsenal, not holding the same significance that it might for a Jedi or Sith. They train alongside the King’s protectors, the famed Crimson Guard, and are nearly as well versed in using blasters, hand to hand combat, and strategy as their counterparts. Where as the Crimson Guard focus primarily to defend the Council of Lords from threats both outside and within the Federation, the Templari Order is focused on protecting the Federation as a whole and the teachings of Kiyorath Dhin. They see the force as a tool given to them by Kiyorath Dhin to protect the Falleen people and the modern day Federation, because of this they don’t see the force in a spectrum of dark & light like many other force groups. This isn’t to say that the Templari are all the same, the opposite in fact is true, just that dedication to the preservation of the throne and her people come first and there are many different ways to achieve those goals. Rogue Templari are rare but not unheard of, though the act of going rogue is seen as turning one’s back on the throne and the god Kiyorath Dhin. This great insult often means the offender has made an enemy of the entire Federation and between the Templari, the Crimson Guard, and the Falleen Protection Forces they typically see the error of their ways in short time.
- Voss Mystics - Tion Hegemony