The Force is strong. At one time believed to be simply the power that the Jedi and Sith had the ability to wield, it's been developed over the decades as the principal religion of the Star Wars universe. A religion, of course, needs followers, and many were revealed in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Even moreso, however, came new details in the pages of The Ultimate Visual Guide for Rogue One. A visual dictionary from Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo, the book reveals the names of several new worshippers of the Force, with some details about each sect.
Here, we take a look at these new details, as we evaluate the followers of the Force, which has been worshipped in the Star Wars universe for at least 25,000 years at the time of these stories.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now.
Not much is known of the Phirmist beliefs, though they do believe in a god. Guch Ydroma is named in the book as a Phirmist who made a desert pilgrimage and is now allegedly able to summon water out of thin air - particularly at the many temples of the Holy City of Jedha City on Jedha moon. That sounds like it's linked to the Force to us - perhaps simply a way of manipulating molecules themselves with the Force to make water. Ydroma sells his mystic water bottles to get by.
Clan of the Toribota
A more obscure sect of nomadic travelers, the Clan of the Toribota doesn't call the Force "the Force" at all. They find themselves drawn to Jedha, a focal point of the Force, though, from their world of Isde Naha on the Western Reaches of the Galaxy. They call the sun of Jedha "the First Light," and believe it's the first star their ancestors saw. All of that sounds like another take on the call of the Force.
Brotherhood of the Beatific Countenance
If you saw the fully hooded and masked folks walking around Jedha City, then you saw the Brotherhood of the Beatific Countenance. Wearing full-coverage Red or Blue gowns (seen here behind Jyn), they conceal themselves as "a physical vow of silence," wanting their body language to be obscured. No other information was revealed about this sect yet, aside from their high levels of dedication to their faith.
Church of the Force
The Church of the Force was first introduced peripherally via Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as Lor San Tekka, the older man who had the map to Luke Skywalker at the start of the film, was a devout member of the Church. Now, it's been revealed that the Church of the Force grew in the dawning shadows of the Empire's early days. The Empire outlawed the religion, which taught even non-Force sensitives that the ideals and beliefs of the Jedi were to be followed by all. Lyra Erso may or may not have been a member of the Church of the Force, with the most obvious indication being the red sash she wore - a sacred garment for them. A bounty hunter named Nik Hepho searches for Church members on behlaf of the Imperial Security Bureau.
Disciples of the Whills
The Whills largely remain a mystery, only mentioned in a handful of novels in any official capacity, though George Lucas has said in the past his initial plan was to have one of this ancient order of the Whills be the overall narrator of the Star Wars saga. Two devotees of the Whills are seen in Jedha, the first being Disciples. They are the "oldest faith on Jedha," and still gather near the Kyber Temple, despite its ransacking at the hands of the Empire. They are made up of various species from around the galaxy, and are devoted to the Force.
Guardians of the Whills
Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus are two of the last surviving Guardians of the Whills. The order is ages old, but nearly extinct, and was devoted to protecting the Kyber Temple in Jedha City. Whether they sprung from the Jedi or the Jedi sprung from them is lost to history, but they are deeply intertwined and dedicated to the Force.
An important separation between the Guardians and the Jedi is that the former "do not emphasize the discord between lightness and darkness." The Guardians of the Whills believe their dedication to the Force is to the entire Force, not one half or another.
The lightbow Chirrut carries is a traditional weapon of the Guardians, as well.
Hopefully we'll be learning more about the Guardians of the Whills and the other religions of Star Wars in Star Wars: Episode VIII, Star Wars Rebels, and other future projects.