This was the Will of the Force, there is no doubt.
—Force Will believer.
The Will of the Force was a philosophical concept developed by the Jedi to explain a course of events. The Jedi often invoked the philosophy in order to explain events of improbable feasibility or an occurrence that had yet to happen. Many beings outside of the Order likened the concept to divine will; a fixed series of events planned by a superior being.
Adherents to the "Will" concept believed that a Jedi should remain passive to the Force and the circumstances in which they found themselves, since "the Force would show them their next course of action". Proponents of the philosophy also followed concepts of the Living Force—which mandated one to live in the moment and trusting one's instincts since the Will of the Force guided one—and the Unifying Force; it borrowed the viewpoint of ultimate destiny, one that was predetermined by the Force. The philosophy was not without its detractors, the "true" Living Force constituents and free will advocates contested the viability of the Will of the Force. Since it was a melding of the two most prominent Jedi philosophies on the Force and Jedi-outlook, it grew to popularity that rivaled each one mere centuries after its induction.
The historical perspective of the Will of the Force determined the creation of this philosophy circa the time of Revan—3,900 BBY. The concept was in reaction to the "choice" of Revan to return to the light side after falling to the dark side of the Force. The belief that a Jedi could fall to the dark side and return permanently to the light was still a foreign concept and was attributed to the Force as a pre-planned occurrence to eliminate the unnatural dark side taint; or the destiny of that being to fall in order to infiltrate the Sith and then destroy them. Antagonists of the "Will" believed that any being may be redeemable regardless of circumstance and that it was not the symptom of a plan.
The Will of the Force gained steam, particularly in the Living Force circles, in the following centuries and had become fairly popular by the time of the Great Galactic War.
Free will versus will of deity
There is no free will, only the will of the Force
—Maxim of the Will supporters.
The Will of the Force came into conflict with the free will Jedi factions that believed in freedom of choice. The Will dictated a pre-planned path that a Jedi would take regardless of any efforts to derail it, since the Force would auto-correct any attempt to do so. Free will camps felt that the destiny of a being was open to interpretation, citing the ever-changing future and the permanent fall of Jedi as examples of choice. Proponents stated that the future appeared to change due to an auto-correct that the Force was instituting to keep the Jedi on their predestined path and that the fallen Jedi had been planned to fall, it was not their choice to make.
Will versus Living Force
Despite members of the Will of the Force agreeing to a few of the tenants of the Living Force, many followers of the latter, disagreed with the Will. Even though the Will of the Force advocated living in the moment and acting on instincts because they were the conduit through which the Force acted, the Living Force group disliked the Will's approach to destiny. The Will advocated an ultimate, unchanging destiny that one would arrive at regardless of circumstance while the Living Force did not look to the future or believe in fate or destiny as traditionally defined. The Living Force believed that the Force directed them to certain things, but it was the choice of the participant to follow up on the clues and that their destiny was never set because of their choices. They had the ability to ever change their destiny up until death and, in some cases, even afterward.
A less contested dispute between the two was the matter of predestination which negated the prospect that all living beings were interconnected to one another. A set fate meant that one could achieve their destiny without any reliance on another being. It also contradicted the viewpoint that one's actions set off a chain reaction that affected others and changed the course of their fate.
Key tenets of the philosophy
Instinct is a transmitter, it's a comlink for speaking to the Force.
—Will of the Force philosopher
The Will of the Force, like all philosophies held several key concepts. These concepts were the basis of a supporter's belief and defined their lives.
- Ultimate destiny
- Followers of the Will believed in an ultimate destiny for every being that came into existence. The fate of the being was unchanging and irreversible despite any efforts to alter it. The Will contingent countered any arguments against this belief by saying that any alterations, as seen in future visions, were a result of the Force auto-correcting a wayward being until they returned to their true path.
- Living in the moment
- The Will of the Force factions supported the ideology that one must live in the moment. They felt living in the moment was the best way to attune one's self to the Force and listen to its commands.
- Perhaps the foundation of the belief in the Will ideology, the insistence to act on instinct was derived by the idea that the Force acted on a being through their instincts. The Force communicated its plan for one through that being's instinct.
- Rather than fighting to change one's destiny, a fruitless endeavor, proponents promoted the use of daily passivism to the Force and to the events that surrounded them; acting as what comes naturally and instinctively was the best route to following the Force's Will.
Behind the scenes
The Will of the Force was created by I'm the Chosen One and is based on the real-world concepts of divine will, destiny and predestination. The Will is also based on concepts presented throughout the Star Wars films.