This is the hardest question concerning Star Wars that I’ve tackled. There’s no official answer, and legends can’t help either.
That said, I’ll be using my interpretations, knowledge from movies and TV shows, as well as good old fashioned common sense. Do Jedi become stronger with age?
Yes and no. It depends largely on the Jedi and their Force ability. I’ll be looking at three Jedi who have been close, if not at their peak during the films.
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Do Jedi Get Stronger With Age?
My main source of information is Yoda. He’s been called the greatest Grand Master of the Jedi Council, often stated to be one of the strongest Jedi known, and even Palpatine did not want to fight him in a lightsaber duel.
In the prequel trilogy, Yoda is in his late 800’s, (exact age unknown), he’s seen using a cane and walking hunched over. Until something big happens and he decides to take part in a battle.
I loved Yoda in the original movies, but seeing his duels in the prequels gave me chills. These are both amazing and funny.
Yoda has mastered all seven lightsaber forms with his best being in the fourth style, (Ataru). During combat, Yoda channels the Force throughout his body and uses it to help him jump around.
The downside is that he can only keep this up for short periods. But Yoda has proved that he rarely needs a lot of time.
He’s taken on three Jedi Knights without a lightsaber, as a lesson for younglings, (the first stage of Jedi training). He can block and redirect Force lightning, hold his own against most opponents even when he’s outnumbered, and he has the best way of talking. Second on this list is Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Known in his prime as the Negotiator, Obi-Wan Kenobi has been called the most powerful being in the universe due to his mastery of one technique. The High Ground.
(No, I’m not joking). This was at his prime during the Clone Wars and prequel eras. As nineteen years have passed between them and the original trilogy.
Obi-Wan spent his days on Tatooine keeping watch over Luke Skywalker; during this time. Though he never forgot his training, and did well against his former apprentice, (Darth Vader).
Obi-Wan’s skills did deplete slightly due to almost no threat reaching him during this time. He fought against A’sharad Hett and Darth Maul, (not at the same time).
His greatest accomplishment would be becoming a Force ghost. Few have managed this and the exact range of abilities and limits in this state are unknown.
The third is Luke Skywalker. He gains the title of Jedi Grand Master, (like Yoda), and would go on to train many new Jedi in legends.
Like Obi-Wan, he too will join the ranks of a Force ghost, and his greatest achievements are still debated. (To me, his greatest feat is turning Darth Vader back to the Light side).
Does Age Affect Force Ability?
The Force is in all of us, but Jedi begin training at a young age and often take in younglings around three years old, (though they have been brought to the Temple at a younger age).
A main requirement to using the Force is to have a normal body, or rather as much of your organic self as possible, which is why Yoda remains the best example here.
He uses a cane and walks hunched over, but in the original trilogy, it’s said that he’s using the Force to keep himself alive until he trains the galaxy’s last hope, (Luke Skywalker). Once he knows that Luke is ready to confront Darth Vader, he lets go and dies peacefully.
Neither Obi-Wan nor Luke have relied on the Force this way, but it’s a safe bet to assume that any Jedi with enough skill could pull this off. The main problem is the body.
Jedi grow old and have to deal with the consequences of age. Some might not be able to use the Force as well as they used to, but there are many variables to consider with this.
Like being in a war or a constant state of alert, the stress can tamper with one’s ability to use the Force, among other things.
How Do Jedi Get Stronger?
Meditation and exercise. Using the Force is akin to using magic; you must practice and find inner sense of peace.
A Jedi is not all about using the Force to get what they want. There’s always a limit to how much one individual can do, but if we liken the Force to a muscle then all we have to do is practice.
This can involve classic forms of meditation or training with a lightsaber, (the art of anticipating your opponent’s moves even when you can’t see; used in many fighting styles).
Does Using The Force Age The Jedi?
If they overexert themselves, yes. It’s possible that rapid aging is a side effect of certain forbidden techniques.
Other factors that play a role in sudden aging are stress, shock, (there’s a reason someone gaining white hair suddenly is a common trope), and possibly due to a Sith.
The Force is in everything and binds us all. Drawing more than you can use is dangerous and costly.
Jedi are sometimes referred to as wizards, but if we look at alchemy, the first law will help us. In order to obtain, something must be lost.
Using the Force to pick up a rock the size of your fist won’t cost much. But trying to lift something ten times your size is going to cost you a lot if you’re not used to it.
Look at the scene where Luke Skywalker tries to get his X-wing out of the swamp on Dagobah. He’s clearly exerting himself yet he can barely get it to move, meanwhile, Yoda can lift it just fine.
If Luke had kept pushing, he might have been able to use the Dark side to free his ship, or he would’ve passed out before then, (and I guarantee Yoda would have laughed).
Other Points Of Interest
No one knows how many Force ghosts there are, but most quickly fade into the Force.This only makes Yoda more impressive since he’s still around to mess with Luke and set things on fire.
Sith have their version of the ghost technique, but we rarely see it.
It’s been theorized that if Yoda or any member of his species joins the Dark side, they would easily be among the most dangerous of Sith Lords. (And Yoda did scare Dooku with this fact).
Count Dooku made a list of Jedi that General Grievous should never attempt to fight. He explicitly tells him that Yoda could kill him easily.
I apologize for any confusion, this is the best I can do until we see more evidence. It’s always possible a Jedi’s control of the Force will alter as they get older.
Yoda is possibly the scariest Jedi in existence and might have been able to fight Darth Vader. Thank you for reading, and may the Force be with you.