The Force has always been tied to the Jedi and Sith throughout the Star Wars franchise, but Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker made it so much more than that. J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a momentous moment for the saga, as it not only revived the dormant franchise but took it to new heights as well. And part of that was related to various new concepts the film introduced, despite it mostly being a retread on the past.
But first, Force-sensitivity was something George Lucas attempted to quantify in the Star Wars prequels, introducing the controversial concept of midichlorians into canon; the higher the midichlorian count, logically the stronger the Force user. But the Force as an energy field that binds people throughout the galaxy wasn't further elaborated on until the sequel trilogy. Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi expanded on what the Force was capable of with Luke's projection, but it was The Rise of Skywalker that fulfilled Abrams' promise as well as Obi-Wan's description from A New Hope.
In The Rise of Skywalker, a group of Stormtroopers had defected from the First Order over a feeling, which Finn recognized as being the Force. Even Finn later knew to attack one of the Final Order's star destroyers because of a feeling he had, something he couldn't quite explain - and he was right. Beyond that, however, introducing the Force Dyad had fundamentally tied together two individuals in the Force, regardless of whether they're part of the Jedi or Sith. And disregarding Palpatine's use of the Force to resurrect himself in a clone body, the crux of The Rise of Skywalker's Force usage broadened the concept into something tangible for everyone in the galaxy.
Longtime fans know that Clone Wars did more for the Force than any other Star Wars property, but everything revealed in that animated series was focused on either the Jedi, Sith, or Anakin Skywalker being the Chosen One. Besides that, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can be credited with bolstering the Force as a true religion in the galaxy, thanks to characters like Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, both of whom were former Guardians of the Whills. Still, Rogue One's Force explanations weren't far off from what the Jedi preached - and so, they were mainly extensions of what was already known and used.
Meanwhile, The Rise of Skywalker sought to make the Force more than something a few religious believers could use. Instead, it should've been something cardinal in everyday life. If someone was obviously Force-sensitive, they could use that power for good or evil, but the Force as an energy field should truly surround and bind all living things in the galaxy, either being used to inspire or corrupt. In that particular regard, the Force finally became bigger than a tool for the Jedi and Sith and rather a fundamental element of the galaxy.