Editorial: The Origin of the Whills

By Clarice Taylor

The Whills, the origins of the Force, little is known canon wise about them but essentially they are the Living Force.

The Whills, The Shaman, The Living Force. They have many names, But who are they? What are they? They are a subject that has lightly been touched on in the expanded universe, some that is canon and some that is not. We are here to discuss both. I am fascinated with the idea and lore of The Whills and would love to share what information I have found. I will present the history, what is known in its entirety, know that some of this is non-canon and I will do my best to inform you to what is not and what is canon in the Star Wars Universe; so let us begin.

The Whills... Anger, Sadness, Confusion, Joy, and Serenity(As Seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars). That is the names given to each face of 'The Whills' but they also have been describes as pure consciousness which means they are all, one in the same, The Force in its entirety. 

 In early drafts of A New Hope 'The Whills' was the name originally given to what later became the idea of the force as see here, in a quote by George Lucas: 
    "Originally, I was trying to have the story be told by somebody else (an immortal being known as a Whill); there was somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody probably wiser than the mortal players in the actual events. I eventually dropped this idea, and the concepts behind the Whills turned into the Force. But the Whills became part of this massive amount of notes, quotes, background information that I used for the scripts; the stories were actually taken from the Journal of the Whills." ―George Lucas[src]
What this means is that the way George could of intended to tell the story of the Skywalkers was to be told as a chapter in this 'Journal of the Whills'. The true origin of the Whills is unknown, because their form is totally unknown, and since the Whills were an early concept of the Force, some fans have speculated that the Whills are of spiritual substance more or less like Wisties(Fire Spirits) and probably immortal. 
So What? The Whills are the force, or what became the force in a sense but, how does this have anything to do with anything? How does this have anything to do with our current canon? Well, you are wrong. 

Most people, including me the first time around missed this little detail, The Guardians of the Whills. Recognize the name? No, well  in case you don't. This was the order described and mentioned in Rouge One, A Star Wars Story. Oh my what could this mean!? I'm not sure. It was briefly gone over and discussed but wasn't brought into greater detail besides that they were a religious order active in the city of Jedha towards the end of the Age of the Galactic Empire. They were the protectors of the ancient 'Temple of the Kyber,' the Guardians were forced to live on the streets when the Empire occupied Jedha in search of kyber crystals and stripped the Temple bare of its many treasures, where they nonetheless remained true to their beliefs by preaching to the citizens about the Force during the time where the empire occupied the Holy City on Jedha. Stated above, The Temple of Kyber, was the center and reason of empire activities on Jedha since the temple held the remains and locations of the ever so precious kyber crystals the Imperials used to power their Death Star. But going deeper than that, the temple was also the home of The Church of The Force, an underground faith composed of loosely-affiliated worshipers of the Force. Members of the faith believed that the Jedi Order had to return in order to preserve balance in the Force. During the events of Rogue One the Holy City on Jedha, as well the Temple of Kyber was Destroyed by the partially operational Death Star. So any more information on what could of been inside or more was lost. What we do know is that the temple held kyber crystals.

Temple of Kyber (ie. 'Temple of The Whills') As seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

There is a rabbit hole of information and theories about this subject but I think it is time to get back to business and get on task. Who are 'The Whills'?  I'm under the impression that the Whills were the very first to ever truly understand the force. They built temples and sanctuaries across the galaxy, and knew of the kyber crystals. They eventually faded away, but not before teaching the early Jedi. Who, by following the light side of the force balanced out the dark side that was present in the galaxy.

The second possibility is that they are immortal beings made up of the force in its entirety, they are the force, through and through, guiding us all though life and helping us along the way like we saw them help Yoda achieve the power of consciousness after death. Even know this story arc wasn't completed its implied that the Whills are responsible for teaching Yoda the ways to become part of the living force which is why he was able to appear as a force ghost at the end of 'Return of the Jedi'.

The Third and final possibility is that George never finished what he wanted to do with the story of the Whills and so it may be lost forever. All of these are possible and some might even be probable explications of who the were or really, what The Whills were. Disney has not as of yet used any further reference to them and now, since The Skywalker Saga over we may only get mention to The Whills in spin-off tv shows and movies. With The Mandalorian being helmed by Dave Faloni maybe we will get another reference in the second or third season. 

Ahsoka is now confirmed for  The Mandalorian season two so maybe she won't be the only thing that crosses over from The Clone wars in the next couple of years. We are all excited to see what comes out of Star Wars in the coming years so keep an eye out for small references that could link back to The Whills.

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