Discussion Jedi Healing: Your views on it and inclusion in fics

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Valairy Scot, Oct 15, 2012.

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  1. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    In EU, Jedi healers use a focusing crystal and repair damage with the Force. A healing trance, and boom! Up and about; recovery is complete and quick. Jedi can also purge themselves of poison and realign bones for themselves.

    This is very convenient for stories: no rushing to surgery, no long convalescences.

    In the movies, there is no evidence of this healing power (and yes, lack of evidence is not evidence of lack).

    I know some fanfic authors use conventional medical means - someone is hurt, they're splinted (in case of broken bones) or surgically repaired.

    Does your use of either method depend on the demands of the story - i.e. it's easier to demonstate the /c of h/c with recovery and waiting for surgery to be over vs. one can move on with the plot quicker if hey, presto the hurt one is back in action in a few hours or such.

    If this topic gets much interest, I can see it broadening as I didn't focus this initial post all that well. It was prompted by a thread in another board here.

    Does it take you "out of the GFFA" if an author uses one method vs the other or do you accept whatever the author does?

    Personally, I think I go by the whatever the story demands route with some consequences even with Jedi healing because, after all, why hurt someone if they don't get some /c afterwards. :D
  2. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

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    Feb 25, 2010
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    :D Exactly.

    I write (too many) H/C fics and I generally think what I want the "C" to be like and I make the severity of the "H" according to that. Generally use conventional methods (ie: Bacta, casts, chemo) and I use healing trances to speed it up (if the story needs it).

    Out of curiosity, what are people's opinions on Bacta? Is it an 'all powerful healing substance' or do you write it with limitations.
  3. WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2010
    star 4
    In the movies, Anakin was pissed that he couldn't just zap people together, so I think it is hinted that there are great healers/healing methods out there. Convenient healing is awesome!
    I'm not an expert on Clone Wars, but I think there is some healing stuff there too?
    I like bacta. It has played a large part in published novels before, so I think it is fine for fan fics.
  4. Jade_Max Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I've written both.

    I think Force healing isn't as strong as some people have made it to be, but I think the ability to heal / purge poisons probably has a valid grounding in the movies. I mean... did any of you ever see a Jedi get drunk? :p

    Seriously though, I think I write the healing factor as per the needs of the story. If a lengthy recovery is needed for the story, either no Jedi healing, or very little; alternatively, I think force healing can be over balancing if you use it as a [groan] cure all. With temperance, like most things, I think any kind of healing has its place.
  5. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Force healing is just another tool in the writer's toolbox and can be molded to suit the plot needs. Therefore, if you want a quick-and-easy healing, you have it. If you want to attach limitations, you can make them up pretty easy. It's versatile, but it can also be heavily dependent on the story's setting. For example, in prison, you won't have any readily-available Jedi healers.

    As for bacta, again, it's another tool and you can mold it to fit your story. And you can also have it depend heavily on the setting. Some places may not have full dunk tanks. They may simply need to make due with bandages and casts. The availability of the bacta can play a part in the story.
  6. WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2010
    star 4
    Yes.
    Cade Skywalker. Can heal anything, likes getting drunk and stoned. Terrorist and playboy. Jedi.
    Last edited by WIERD_GREEN_MAN, Oct 15, 2012
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  7. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    I go with the h/c and healers.
    We have seen Obi-Wan in ROTS and he didn't look healed with his dirty hands and clothes.

    Bacta and other kinds of that stuff can be used for a lot of healing but not if the character is allergic to it. Force-healing can be slowed down if the Jedi has his powers suppressed.
  8. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    I don't use Force healing at all, and so far I really haven't been able to find an excuse to do so. Why allow a character to be hurt that badly in the first place, if you're just going to wish it away a few pages or a chapter later? If you don't want them to have to deal with the repercussions of a serious injury then why not just hurt them less seriously in the first place? I have seen some instances where there was a legitimate reason why a character was badly injured, but there are other times when it seems like the author just wanted an excuse to flaunt how cool Jedi are, Mary Sue-style. Or just enjoyed the hyperbole associated with a serious injury, I dunno.

    As far as Bacta, I've seen it used in so many different ways it's almost ridiculous--up to and including folks drinking the stuff, which seems a bit counterintuitive. I tend to compare it to what I'm familiar with--Neosporin and/or Vaseline--especially given that "Bacta patches" are essentially used like band-aids. It's just, you know, a kind of special, extra-strength, disinfectant Neosporin that you can also bathe in. :p
  9. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I haven't actually seen anyone "wish it away" a few pages later, Mayla, i.e. it's not become a magic reset button. But it can help compress time if you've a major character hurt in war (or for some of us, Jabiim) and it's unrealistic to have your heroes have a magic shield that keeps them from all harm at all times.

    Let's say a character suffers a blow to the kidneys - would you want him/her laid up after surgery or in a healer's trance for a day or two?

    This is all purely hopothetical (i.e., not research for a story).
  10. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Force healing goes under what I call '101 ways to use the Force';) . Maybe they have it, maybe not. I lean on the side of 'not'.

    But Jedi likely have some minimal abilities that would count as medical/healing; I generally try to base my fics on the movies.

    They can take impacts with no apparent injury --- I assume that they are trained to fight with the Force to not only give them strength but also to absorb impacts, like when they get hit or when they jump from a great height and land on their feet. So they're trained not to get bruises or broken bones in the first place. If their focus slips, they get hurt, like when Obi-Wan kicked Grievous in ROTS.

    They can control their metabolism, like slowing it down when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were holding their breath amidst the poison gas at the beginning of TPM. I assume that their training also includes being able to survive for a minute or two in vacuum, though I doubt that skill is much in demand.

    Since they can open doors and push and pull with the Force it is possible they could do things like set bones with it. If someone had something like a bullet wound, they might able to remove the 'bullet' with the Force with minimal damage, but that would take a lot of concentration.

    I assume that they can't do much with anything microscopic like disease or foot fungus or whatever. They would go to a medical droid for that.

    Anakin was nearly the most powerful Jedi around, but he could not use the Force to stop Shmi from dying. Could he 'feel' her dying? Was he trying to use the Force to keep her going at the end? Probably, but he couldn't manage it. Or maybe a Jedi can only help sustain another Jedi who can help? If so there are limits.

    It looks like a Jedi Master can use the Force to hang onto life for something serious. Mortally-wounded Qui-Gon hung on long enough to tell Obi-Wan to train Anakin. And Yoda was likely using the Force to hold off that fatal heart attack until Luke returned from Bespin. But that is with their own bodies that they meditate with every day, not someone else's. I do assume that Jedi have some kind of healing 'meditation' that facilitates healing, or cures headaches, but it is not any kind of replacement for the same medical facilities and tools that non-Jedi need.

    For healing I have no problem with bacta; it's in the OT. And unless there is a specific reason not to, my fics always use medical droids, because that's what you have in both the PT and OT.
    Last edited by ardavenport, Oct 16, 2012
  11. WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2010
    star 4
    Force healing can be used as a plot device as opposed to an excuse - for example, Force healing has been behind most of Cade Skywalker's character developement through all of Legacy. (He did not like using the dark side to heal.)
    You can also use Force healing to demostrate how powerful somebody is.
  12. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    There is a gray area where Force healing and its limitations could present a conflict in your story. I have canon sources in which Force healing is ineffectual in healing oxygen damage to Gand lungs. If your Gand character suffers oxygen damage, no Jedi can fix it. They need a transplant. And what about mental conditions? Can Force healing cure mental illness? With chemical imbalances and structural abnormalities, can a Jedi Healer use the Force to correct that permanently? The GFFA can map and interface with the brain, but their understanding of that complex organ is still in its infancy. No one can predict the unpredictability of the brain. And unless the problem is localized, then even a Jedi would have a bit of trouble correcting it.
  13. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    According to The Approaching Storm, yes, they can, and quite rapidly. Baris Offee does so on two people at once.

    As for Force healing more generally, I believe it has a wide range of capabilities, but these are complex, and suffer from all the limitations of normal medicine. For the most part, the Force has to utilize a material medium for action. Telekinesis is one medium. The Jedi Academy trilogy is extremely explicit about using telekinesis to move objects at the tissue and cellular level. So, given enough time, anything that can be repaired by moving something around can be healed by Jedi techniques. There is also obviously some degree of large scale metabolic control, changing rates and so on, which could also be managed by moving things around, hormone triggers and so forth.

    What the Force apparently cannot do, or at least has difficulty doing, is produce new matter or change extant matter. A Jedi Healer can't produce blood from a mystical source, for example (though they might induce the body to increase the rate of production itself), or potentially protein structures inside Gand lungs requiring trace elements or whatever, to use that example. This makes sense, since Jedi cannot transmute matter generally, turn lead into gold or something.

    As far as the rate of healing produced by Jedi techniques, that is certainly more nebulous. This varies very, very widely from source to source, ranging from extraordinary extremes in game mechanic form (where healing is possible even during combat) to almost glacial in say, Children of the Jedi.

    Personnally, I think a relatively rapid rate of healing is legitimate, simply because that provides more storytelling utility to the idea. Bacta is astonishingly powerful, allowing a being to heal from unbelievably massive amounts of trauma. So Force-based healing should fit a different niche, I prefer modest wound management in a wilderness or field setting, a stopgap to keep a being going rather than provide true healing, or rapidly increased natural healing rates for modest and/or superficial wounds. I also think it is important to not use a blanket approach, healing is well established in canon as a specialized field, requiring additional training that the majority of Force-users do not possess.
  14. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    In Wild Space, Obi-Wan suffers a concussion, broken bones, burns, cuts (facial cut down to the bone) and bruises. Just hours later the cut is closed, the bones are mended and one assumes the brain swelling has been reduced and the burns healed (the latter not explicit). The healer says "The body has its own wisdom" and stress will not be good. Obi-Wan and Anakin have a conversation in which Obi-Wan is stressed; he is hit with the earlier pain from before his wounds were treated.

    Not clear - just the pain (because the nerve impulses were only masked by the healing?) or bones unknitted? The healer rushes in with her crystal and voila! he's fixed again (or pain diminished).

    Mere days later, after assuring Yoda that "Master Che has said I am healed" (i.e. fixed but not fully recovered), he takes off with Bail Organa, who can easily see Obi-Wan is in some discomfort/pain and suggests Obi-Wan should rest.

    I see all this as a combination approach by the author: Jedi healing to "speed past" the time usually required to heal from such injuries, and not complete enough to wipe the slate clean.

    Jedi healing may help in decreasing the medical jargon/explanations needed as well. In one of the JA books, Obi-Wan's leg was hit by a rock and treated by a (non-Jedi) medic with bacta to "regrow, rejuvenate" or something his injured leg - now, it sounded to me like he sustained a deep bruising and possible skin lacerations so what was there to "rejuvenate"? This actually took me out of the moment as I was trying to reconcile what type of injury vs the treatment that was.

    So a "he's badly hurt, throw him in bacta and he'll be right as rain shortly" is a bit of a cop-out (and a useful one, most admittedly) just as a Jedi healer "laying hands" on a patient is. In the movies, though, we see no evidence of Jedi healing so wondered just how accepted such is in the fan base.
  15. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Wild Space was weird and a bit unbelieveable in the healing things.

    In ROTS we see Anakin suffering in the OT
  16. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    I haven't actually seen anyone "wish it away" a few pages later, Mayla, i.e. it's not become a magic reset button. But it can help compress time if you've a major character hurt in war (or for some of us, Jabiim) and it's unrealistic to have your heroes have a magic shield that keeps them from all harm at all times.

    Let's say a character suffers a blow to the kidneys - would you want him/her laid up after surgery or in a healer's trance for a day or two?

    Yes, typically I would prefer that.

    Please note that I am not saying nobody should ever get injured. That wasn't my point at all. Although had I been talking about a "magic reset button" I don't think I could have found a better illustration of it than your Wild Space example... eg. healing broken bones in a matter of hours. That, to me, is taking the concept a bit too far. To put things in perspective... even a broken toe can take six months to fully heal, though of course you can walk on it after a week if you're careful.

    Since Star Wars usually involves a lot of fighting, in many circumstances getting a blow to the kidneys is going to be a lot more realistic than somehow avoiding it. My reasoning is that if you're going to injure a character, that's a plot point that you could actually do something with--but at times it seems like authors prefer writing "token injuries", if that makes any sense. I agree that allowing a Jedi character to be injured makes for a more realistic story, but I also think it would be even more realistic if they dealt with injuries like regular people sometimes. In fanfiction, at least, I don't see that too often outside of H/C fics.
    Last edited by Mayla, Oct 17, 2012
  17. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Thus, if presented with a patient who has, say, schizophrenia, could Force Healing cure it? Could it correct the chemical imbalance, enlarged ventricles, and increased activity in the frontal lobe, as well as restore the overall loss of gray matter as the condition progresses? If so, then Jedi should take up psychiatry. Could solve a lot of society's woes that way...
  18. WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2010
    star 4
    It's fanfic, which is not canon/official at all. You can do anything you want.
    Last edited by WIERD_GREEN_MAN, Oct 17, 2012
  19. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Force Healing, imo, like any other Force ability, is based on the strength and knowledge of the Jedi that is using it. Take Corran Horn for example. He can't do jack squat unless he absorbs a truck load of energy and then he's this super-charged Jedi that can mind-trick an entire planet, but otherwise can only do a handful at a time. So a Jedi that attempts to use the Force to heal is limited on his own strength and connection to the Force and his knowledge of the Force.

    I think all Jedi are taught to place themselves or another into a Healing Trance until they can get medical help, but I don't think all Jedi are capable of or learn how to use the Force to heal like a trained Healer would. If that was the case, then there would be no need for Healers or a Healer Ward. As for using conventional medical practices, I would say a Healer would use it for minor to moderate injuries/illnesses and allow the body to naturally heal on its own, both to build up an immunity and not tax themselves. Like with the rest of the Force, a Healer may feel overusing the Force to heal the most minute injury would be an abuse of the Force and may even be taxing on them if constantly used. Especially at the rate Jedi seem to get hurt. :oops:

    As for Bacta, it has its limitations. It is not a panacea like we were led to believe. The New Jedi Order series showed us the limitations and consequences of bacta use. It could not always heal a victim of a amphistaff poisoning and if the patient is allergic to bacta, they either must use kolto or are out of luck. The Krytos Trap also showed the limitations of bacta when the Krytos virus was unleashed upon the alien population on Coruscant. It could not cure the virus, only slow it. I believe also, the Emperor's Plague could not be cured by bacta or kolto, in fact, I don't even think it had a cure.
  20. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Forget Jedi, what about any Sith? Becoming horribly mutilated seems to be a requirement for them!
  21. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Seems that way. But Darksiders are incapable of healing themselves and that's why they remain mutilated. Healing is life, it creates life and that is the exact opposite of what the Darkside is. Which is why I'm skeptical about Cade's ability being of the Darkside. IMO he used anger and selfishness to give him the strength and the ability itself is of the Light.


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  22. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Well, with the dark side based healing abilities assigned to Kallig (a.k.a. the Sith Inquisitor in TOR a.k.a. Darth Nox), dark siders are canonically capable of healing, nebulous issues regarding Cade Skywalker notwithstanding.

    Biological invigoration via the Force is a little more complicated than 'healing is life' after all. while dark side energy is ultimately entropic, it could still provide temporary 'healing' impacts. Massively increasing cell division above sustainable thresholds, to chose one example, would rapidly restore damaged tissue. It also develops into cancer. Over time heavy dark side use (and in several interpreatations heavy Force use in general) induces dependency, which couples with degredation to cause more dark side use, which leads to more damaging corruption, and eventually total dependency and a parasitic state of existence. The reborn Palpatine tearing through clones at a hideous rate is one example of where the endgame lies.
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  23. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    True, though I do like to keep at least one foot (or toe) in canon so as to ground the story better. It's like rigging wiring. If you're not properly grounded, your readers will be in for a shock.
  24. lazykbys_left Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2005
    star 4
    IIRC, in Shadows of the Empire Darth Vader used the dark side for healing by . . . er . . . becoming furious that his lungs were the way they were. It worked, at least until he started feeling good about it, after which his lungs went back to being burned. I think it's a bit silly (and I may be misinterpreting it), but that's the way I remember it.

    My knee-jerk reply to this topic is: [insert Force power here] can and can't do whatever your story requires of it. And frankly, given that profic authors have differing ideas about Teh Force Powerz, I suspect that so long as you stay within a reasonable spectrum of Force awesome-icity (I place Zahn at one end and K J Anderson at the other) you won't be getting too many gripes.

    That said: in my mind, healing is basically an entropic ability. I say this because, unless the healers are Force-pushing individual molecules in the injured body parts (which I think is possible, BTW), they are merely giving instructions to the cells to perform a natural function at unnatural speeds. Ergo, healing brings about aging - unless you're rejuvenating the cells at the same time. Which I also think is possible.
  25. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    That said: in my mind, healing is basically an entropic ability. I say this because, unless the healers are Force-pushing individual molecules in the injured body parts (which I think is possible, BTW), they are merely giving instructions to the cells to perform a natural function at unnatural speeds. Ergo, healing brings about aging - unless you're rejuvenating the cells at the same time. Which I also think is possible.

    Exactly. The "Darksiders can't heal at all" argument always bugged me a little bit for that reason, because IRL healing isn't all pure fluffy lightside magic. One might go so far as to say that healing actually hurts you, just in a way that isn't immediately noticeable to the casual observer. I would find it completely credible to think that the Dark Side can heal--but that, given its usual tendency to make its users look a little "funny", the aging effects that go hand-in-hand with healing might also be magnified. Whereas, on the other hand, we already know that Jedi tend to age pretty well.
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