In Star Wars movies — and other media — there is an important concept called the Force. It is a magical energy field surrounding everything and giving special abilities for those who master its use. (I assume many already know what it is, and I hope this description is adequate for the purposes of this question.)

What would be a good Latin translation of "the Force" and why? The Vicipaedia article on the movie series uses Numen, but the article does not look like high quality Latin. Is Numen good, or would Vis or something else be better? I am not aware of any Star Wars material in Latin, be it movie subtitles, comics or anything else.

1 Answer 1


Numen isn't the best without either ignoring the "all around us" aspect or resorting to some discredited twentieth century arguments about the word. Still, as a means of personal power in a Jedi, I can see it being used.

However, what is most commonly used is indeed vis, which was standard at least back in 2000. For the full phrase, Vis vobiscum (or in the singular Vis tecum) has plenty of Google hits, some with and some without sit. (The sit here is poor Latinitas based on a literal translation of the English.)

Some places where it's found:

Meanwhile, phrases with numen tecum/numen vobiscum are much, much less frequently used.

As a side note, there is no "right way" of translating it, since even in English "The Force" wouldn't have made sense in 1977. It's a fictional term that deliberately repurposes a common word for a new, specific sense. On that note, vis or numen could work, but we should default to what is commonly used, and that is the former.

  • Thank you, this is a nice answer! Perhaps numen is indeed a useful word in relation to the Force, but not a good translation of the word itself. Numen cuiusque Jedi de Vi fluit or something.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 14:57
  • I think you should opt to remove the "crap" posts altogether: "vis vobiscum in aeternam" is just manifestly wrong, and if anything it just weakens your case.
    – brianpck
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 15:25
  • 2
    @brianpck The crap posts are merely there to show its ubiquity. Feel free to edit in better ones if you know of them.
    – cmw
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 15:26
  • 1
    @JoonasIlmavirta As far as I know, there were no official translations of the books or movies or anything to Latin. It also was not Google translated, since I remember the phrase back when Google was just getting out of beta, and this Usenet thread from 1998 had one person say they've been doing it a certain way for years.
    – cmw
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 17:11
  • 3
    @cmw Another good point: vis is the word that Newton used for "force" (physics)
    – brianpck
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 16:49

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