I have a small question about Star Wars: The Last Jedi but it is really important to understanding Force projections. Why is it that Kylo picks up the golden dice and then they fade? Shouldn’t his hands have just gone through then like his lightsaber into Luke?

An in universe answer is required.

Please don’t bring up Obi-Wan sitting on the log in Episode V because that is different.

Side note: why can Leia hold them and put them down also if they are just a projection?

Edited Notes: After carefully watching The Last Jedi and reading the novelization I have some notes. The novelization and movie don’t conclusively say that Yoda hit Luke with the cane. I believe Luke’s reaction is just being startled by Yoda trying to hit him. The novelization says “the little Jedi master reached out with his cane, to rap Luke’s nose with it” IT DOES NOT SAY HE ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY HIT LUKE. The novelization only explains what happened in the movie about the dice and doesn’t expand on why Kylo can pick them up.

  • Perhaps force projections can interact weakly with the environment they are in - touching someone, being picked up is much a gentler interaction than being sliced with a lightsabre. Luke does appear to touch people.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 20:49
  • 2
    There is no in-(the-movies)-universe answer as to how force projection works. -1 because the title doesn't match that question (which should be on SFF anyway... and probably is).
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 1:18

6 Answers 6


I'm basing my answer on 3 events shown in the movie:

  • Luke touches Leia's hand very solidly, then hands her the gold dice, which she can also hold.
  • Luke is untouched by the armored transports' cannons, and by Kylo's lightsaber.
  • Kylo can hold the dice in his hand, but they fade away (as Luke did).

From these 3 pieces of evidence, I interpreted that Force Projection can function two ways:

  1. Luke (and the objects that he chooses) can simply be visible to others, but not tangible.
  2. Luke (and the objects that he chooses) can be visible to others and can physically interact with others.

Luke has complete control over those two states of Force Projection. He chooses when his projections will interact with others, and when they will not. The effort of this completely exhausts him (as we see when he is meditating and levitating).

  • 3
    I thought the same thing. Maybe it'll be cleared up by the novelization, but the same thing happened twice before - Kylo and Rey could actually touch hands even though they were projected, and Yoda hit Luke's head with his cane. If I remember correctly, Luke looked surprised at that, so that's probably when he learned how much was possible with Force Ghosts / Force Projection.
    – Alex Wally
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 2:25
  • 8
    "Luke is untouched by the armored transports' cannons" - We don't actually know this because Luke isn't visible while the cannons are firing. It's possible he decided to stop projecting for a bit, or to quickly project to some other location away from where the cannons were targeting. And although the lightsaber doesn't "touch" him, my interpretation is that the attack was still damaging/draining and a contributing factor in his death by exhaustion. I think this is consistent with an earlier scene, where Rey shoots Kylo's projection in the chest and then (real) Kylo reacts as if he felt it.
    – aroth
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 13:06
  • @aroth Very interesting points! You might be right. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 18:32
  • The novel didn’t answer the questions Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 16:10
  • Based on the dopplerganger effect that rian tweeted about I believe this is wrong. Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 3:05

(This is just theory, but logically derived from the movie)

The only people Luke (or his projections) actually touch are Leia and Kylo - both related to him, and strong with the force. It's possible that this family connection allows him to make "physical contact" with the two of them. (it's not actually physical contact, but it's perceived that way by the person he's "touching")

By this theory, Kylo might have been able to touch Luke with his hands (like a punch), but he only uses his lightsaber. To the lightsaber (a physical object Luke isn't related to), Luke isn't actually there, so it goes through him.

The dice, however, are part of Luke's projection. So Kylo and Leia can touch and hold them.

  • However, Yoda poked Luke with his stick earlier in the movie (to introduce that Force ghosts can interact with the real world), so they don't have to be related; although power in the Force may be a necessity. Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 21:51
  • Again, He is clearly not there physically as the dopplerganger tweet says Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 3:06

Earlier in the film, Yoda bonked Luke on the head with his cane which is a physical object. Yoda force projected the cane along with himself just as Luke force projected the dice and himself. In both cases a projected object (the cane and the dice) make physical contact with a real person (Luke and Kylo).

I believe this proves that force projection can create physical objects that can make contact with living beings. Once Yoda stopped projecting, he and the cane disappeared. The same happened with Luke and the dice.

  • I'm not sure there's enough information to conclude that a Force-ghost like Yoda uses Force projection when interacting with the physical world or otherwise follows the same rules that apply when a living Jedi is using Force projection. Yoda's situation is very different from Luke's.
    – aroth
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 23:54
  • Is it though? Yoda can project himself without his body being in the physical world, Luke found a way to project himself while his body was still around. (I mean, yes, the situation is different, but there's not enough information to conclude that force-ghosting and force-projecting isn't exactly the same thing either.)
    – Alex Wally
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 2:24
  • Please see my refutation Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 3:06

But do you remember when Kylo and Rey were able to touch each other hands? In fact is she who says she felt it, not him. That makes me think when you are one with the Force (or close to become one with it) you are able to actually touch things. That explains the hand touch and dice thing, showing Kylo as the most unstable to manipulate it. Also, as a part of the Force, the projections "move" with it, Luke vanishes, so the dice.


I think the real question you should be asking yourself is why are the dice still around if Luke, the one making the projection had just died, the dice should've been gone with him.

Besides I think you can actually touch and hold force protections, the thing is it's not the same to be touched by a hand than by a lightsaber, that's why Leia could touch him. A theory of mine as an explanation is that Snoke did the same as Luke, he projected himself and made it look like he was dead, (that's why he looked younger than he did in The Force Awakens) so he kept the dice around and he still connected Rey and Kylo's mind, that could be why they saw each other again at the very end.


The dice only disappeared after Rey shut the door of the Falcon. My theory is perhaps Luke somehow "transferred" the projection to Leia's consciousness or Leia somehow preserved it until the Falcon's door physically closed and cut off that link. The mechanics of how/why that should work I leave to someone else, but it can't be a coincidence that the dice remained and only disappeared at that moment.

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