It is my contention that much of the way the Force is portrayed in the prequels contradicts what we learn from the original films; in particular the way it related to the Prophecy. If you're going to reply, please have more to say than "everything we thought we knew can be reversed by the prequels" or "our knowledge is incomplete without the prequels." There is continuity, and the prequels are there to maintain, not retcon it. What the original films taught us about the Force. 1. The Force is an energy field created by all living things. (ANH) Life creates it and makes it grow (ESB). 2. Han, who cannot use the Force, simply doesn't believe in it. 3. The Bureaucrat whom Vader strangles is similarly chastised for his "lack of faith." 4. Does the Force control your actions? Partially. Obi-Wan, however, who has quite a bit of experience with the Force, downplays this element, and tells us that the Force will obey the commands of a Jedi. (Or a Sith, for that matter.) 5. Is the Dark Side stronger? A most emphatic NO! The Dark Side is only quicker, easier, and more seductive. 6. A ragtag gang of rebels manages to rally together several star systems into a strong military resistance and, with the Force on their side, manages to defeat the Empire at Endor. 7. The Force runs strong in the Skywalker family. 8. Obi-Wan and Yoda are counting on Luke to defeat Vader and the Emperor. 9. The Rebels mount their offensive against Death Star II because they know the Emperor will be there and know that destroying the Death Star with him on board will wipe out the Empire. What the prequels tell us: 1. The Midichlorians are essential for life. Without them there would be no knowledge of the Force. 2. Remember all that stuff about faith from items 2 and 3? Forget all that. Without the requisite number of midichlorians in your blood you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of learning to use the Force. 4. Does the Force control your actions? Apparently, it controls EVERYTHING! It can even create a life form from scratch. (More on this later.) So much for it being created BY life, now apparently it's the CREATOR of life. 5. Is the Dark Side stronger? Well, let's see. A single dark side user has managed to manipulate his way to the top of the galaxy's government, gained himself dictatorial powers, and is in charge of a massive war machine. Of course, all this he got through political maneuvering, so that's easily destroyed (see Episode VI). But wait, there's more! He also know how to use Force Lightning. Now those plucky rebels we used to root for (Item 6). So now that whole climactic battle, in which they turned his trap against him, was still a losing battle. The Emperor is now in fact so nearly invincible that the combined efforts of the entire galaxy are not enough to defeat him. Never mind that they have the manpower and firepower to destroy the Death Star and his Starfleet. Now, defeating the Sith and defeating an Empire which the Sith created are two different things, and the former simply can't be done with all the good Force users and even the combined strength of all the good non-Force users. This requires that one single life form that the Force created from scratch. The tie-breaker? That dang force-lightning. 7. The Force runs in certain families? How would we know? They're not allowed to breed. 8. Obi-Wan and Yoda are giving Luke a hopeless task in defeating Vader. The Emperor will never be defeated without Vader's help. 9. Two options. A) Destroying the Death Star with Palpatine on board just isn't the same as defeating the Sith order. B) Palpatine, despite his advanced age and decrepit condition, and despite his blindness to the numerous dangers posed to him (Han destroying the shield generator, Lando and Wedge penetrating the shield) had some escape plan up his sleeve and only Vader turning on him kept him from leaving. Never mind that if he can't tell that his own apprentice is about to turn on him, how can he be expected to know that his Empire is crumbling around him, much less take precautions to save his own skin.