The light versus the dark, the Jedi versus the Sith. Any fan of genre entertainment out there can tell you the basics of Star Wars and the conflict at the center of it. The two sides to the Force seem to tell thewhole story, after all, as they represent good and evil. Simple, right?
Well, over the years, it's gotten a lot more complicated. Aside form the Jedi and Sith, we've been learning more about the Force and the way it's viewed - and used - in the galaxy far, far away. Just this week in the pages of Star Wars from Marvel Comics, we met a pair of new Force users; who don't even know the word or concept of the Force to begin with!
Here's a list of all the different types of Force users in canon (that means this excludes any Legends characters or factions) as of right now.
hat-tip to Wookieepedia for their always-useful help in filling in the blanks.
These are the good guys. The Jedi harness the Force to protect others and to protect peace in the galaxy. They've been in the galaxy for over one thousand generations, using the light side of the Force. While some Jedi have dabbled in the dark side on occasion, embracing its use in any significant way means they're no longer Jedi. There's no grey area to that particular statement in this new canon.
There are, however, light side users who follow most of the tenants of the Jedi code without being Jedi in name, like Ahsoka Tano. Still, she hasn't by any accounts used or embraced the dark side to any degree, though her last appearance did seem to show her entering a Sith temple.prevnext
The polar opposite of the Jedi, the Sith also study the communication with and manipulation of the Force, but they do it primarily for power and personal gain. The Sith are similarly described as "an ancient order of Force wielders" but their true origin remains a secret in modern canon. We do know that around 1,000 years before the prequel era, a Sith Lord named Darth Bane established the Rule of Two, that the Sith would only have two members at any given time, a master and an apprentice. That's it for dark siders when the Sith are around, you know, except...prevnext
Inquisitors, Dark Side Assassins
The Inquisitors are dark side users who learn the basic methods of tapping into the dark side, but aren't allowed to learn the true tennants of the Sith. During the Dark Times era of Imperial rule, Inquisitors were employed by the Emperor and Darth Vader to hunt down rogue Jedi and other Force sensitive children, to continue to consolidate the Sith Lords' use of the Force. Some Inquisitors were recruited from the Jedi order, but most likely not all.
Before the Inquisitors were around, though, Darth Sidious would sometimes permit his apprentices to employ assassins who could tap into the dark side, as long as they did not attempt to train them as an apprentice of their own. Of course, since the Sith constantly break their own rules, Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku) attempted to train his assassins as apprentices more than once.
Maul is also a unique case, as he left the Sith Order behind, but still clung to its teachings and the use of the dark side.prevnext
Knights of Ren
In the Sequel Trilogy era started by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we've been introduced to the Knights of Ren, led by Kylo Ren. These are dark side users in that era, as well, but as the Sith have been gone for three decades, they are not identified as Sith themselves, and have no one to teach them the Order's ancient ways. Exactly how they have fallen to the dark side and learned to harness its abilities, and whether or not Supreme Leader Snoke is also a dark side user or has trained as a Sith, is yet to be revealed.prevnext
The Ones (Force Wielders/Force Gods of Mortis)
The mysterious Force Wielders on the Force planet of Mortis, called by some as "The Ones" or even "Force Gods," are known simply as Father, who embodies balance in the Force, Sister, who embodies the light side, and Brother, who embodies the dark. Together they represent the balance of the Force in the entire galaxy. When Darth Sidious's machinations began to tilt the balance once more, Brother grew more powerful and rebelled, leading to the death of Sister. Father, meanwhile, gave new meaning to Anakin Skywalker's moniker of "the chosen one," telling him that meant he was supposed to ascend as the new Father. He didn't - but he did become Darth Vader, and "vater" is father in German, so you know, kinda came full circle there.prevnext
Nightsisters/Witches of Dathomir
The Nightsisters or Witches of Dathomir wield the Force but not through meditation. Instead, they use magic spells to tap into the Force. They're also using the dark side, but not as Sith lords do. Their spells were incredibly powerful, able to calm fractured minds, augment strength, speed and intelligence in individuals, turn themselves invisible to the eye for extended periods of time, and the most powerful of their order could even raise the dead, summoning a zombie army of lost Nightsisters. Their leader, Mother Talzin, spoke with a strange sort of "Force voice," as if she was speaking for herself, and allowing the Force to speak through her, simultaneously. This can also be heard done by the Father of the Ones, and by Anakin when he attempts to ascend and harness light and dark sides simultaneously.prevnext
Force Priestesses of the Wellspring of Life
The Force Priestesses that Yoda encounters in the final episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are a five-in-one being that live directly within something known as the "Wellspring of Life," a convergence of the Living Force and the Cosmic Force. She is techically dead, living inside the Force itself, and may or may not be the same being as the Shaman of the Whills. This character(s) remains mysterious, but was carefully introduced into canon in the closing moments of the Clone Wars for a reason, certainly.prevnext
The Dagoyan Order of Bardotta are an interesting case, as all peoples of the planet were learned in the ways of their order. They meditated in the Force, similar to the way both Jedi and Sith do, but they didnt use it to manipulate the world around them, and thus never differentiated or tapped directly into the light and dark sides. As the Star Wars galaxy continues to grow and we continue to see those who don't necessarily use the Force so much as know it, the Dagoyan Order could become more important.prevnext
The Bendu is a being that sits at the center of the Force, and easily manipulates both the light and dark side - or at least that's what he says about himself. He is "very old," but we don't know exactly how old, and to the Bendu, the Jedi and Sith are mere children in the Force, dabbling; that implies a level of understanding of this mystical energy that so drastically exceeds theirs, their wars are inconsequential. The Bendu has taken on Kanan Jarrus, Jedi Knight as a student of sorts, and it's unknown whether there are more of his kind, whether he has an agenda, or why the Convorees, those adorable little "Force owls," seem to love him so much.prevnext
Introduced in the current arc of Star Wars #27-28 and continuing into next issue from Marvel Comics, the children of an unnamed planet wield what they call the Stonepower, and what Jedi Master Yoda notices as the Force. The characters have shown the ability to mainpulate strange glowing blue rocks much as any Force wielder would any other object, and the rocks themselves are otherwise resistant to normal use of the Force. Yoda trains to use their version, and has to find the rocks on a different level of the Force to have any power over them.
The Stonepower wielders also have "screamers" amongst their ranks, who consume slivers of the rocks and are able to send out a telepathic beacon through the Force across the galaxy.
One user of the Stonepower appeared to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine years after Order 66 and the Jedi Purge, but it's unclear as of yet whether he was truly there or appearing merely as a vision in the Force.prevnext
Unnamed Force Mountain Being
Introduced in the final pages of Star Wars #28, it turns out those strange blue rocks are strong in the Force because they're a part of a larger, ancient being, who currently - it appears - slumbers in the form of a mountain. Appearing on the cover of #29, this being will interact directly with Yoda, as he'll once again be at the center of another type of Force wielder revealing themselves.prev