Despite being equally as strong in the Force, one innately Sith ability that Jedi in the Star Wars franchise do not wield is Force lightning. First introduced when Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) electrocuted Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Force lightning is a powerful weapon for Sith. To create it, Sith must harness energy from the Force and then channel it down their arms, allowing them to shoot electricity out of their hands and fingers.


Over the decades, For lightning has become strongly associated with the Sith. Palpatine is particularly fond of this power, using it to most spectacular effect in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. His granddaughter Rey accidentally unleashed the same power, but that was seen as a hint of her dark side heritage; Yoda’s Force ghost did something similar in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but he summoned energy from the environment to do so. This naturally raises the question of why Force lightning is a typical Sith ability.

Related: Why Darth Maul Never Used Force Lightning In Star Wars

Why Force Lightning Is Associated With The Sith

Star Wars Force Lightning

Certain Force powers are inherently connected to the dark side. This appears to be the case with Force lightning, with wider Star Wars lore hinting Force lightning is a release of anger and hate. A rare scene from Palpatine’s perspective in E.K. Johnston’s novel Queen’s Hope suggests a Sith experiences an emotional release from unleashing Force lightning, perhaps explaining two occasions where Darth Sidious appeared unable to halt the destructive flow. Some have even speculated Sith can grow addicted to Force lightning.

This naturally explains why Jedi do not generate Force lightning. Jedi seek to master their emotions rather than be mastered by them; Force lightning is therefore forbidden, as it is best understood as a spontaneous outpouring of hatred and rage. Two Jedi are known to have summoned Force lightning spontaneously, Dooku and Rey, suggesting it is spontaneously generated and does not require training. In Dooku’s case, the Force lightning was evidence of his own inner darkness. In Rey’s, it may well have indicated a genetic predisposition toward this specific power given she is biologically a Palpatine.

Jedi DID Wield A Form Of Force Lightning In Legends

The old Star Wars Expanded Universe, now branded “Legends,” introduced a variant of Force lightning called Electric Judgment, According to the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s master, this was a mere facsimile of Force lightning, driven by a sense of righteous anger in pursuit of justice. It was considered forbidden by the old Jedi Order, although a few masters – such as Plo Koon – studied the technique and even used it on occasion. Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi Order relaxed these rules under the influence of the Potentium heresy, which claimed there is no light or dark side of the Force, and electric judgment became more common.

Electric Judgment has never been explicitly referenced in Star Wars canon, although the Disciples of Harmony sourcebook references a light side Force cult that had mastered a version of Force lightning. This may well be Electric Judgment, but it has never been clarified. If that is indeed the case, then some Jedi could once again use their own variant of Force lightning in Disney canon.

Related: Star Wars: All 39 Light & Dark Side Force Powers In Canon

How Jedi Repel Force Lightning With The Force

Yoda Force Lightning

Jedi can block Force lightning with a lightsaber, as proven by Mace Windu in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The in-universe reference book Secrets of the Jedi reveals this is a technique learned with training.

“The blade of a lightsaber can be used to block attacks from another lightsaber or to repel incoming blaster fire. In the hands of a skilled master, a lightsaber blade can also be used to redirect that barrage of blasts right back at the enemy who fired them. Seasoned Jedi can even use their lightsabers to block attacks of Force lightning generated by Sith Lords.”

Some Jedi do not even need a lightsaber to block Force lightning, with Master Yoda catching it in his hands. There is some evidence he absorbed the power of Force lightning into himself, using it to boost his own Force power. In all these cases, a Jedi is demonstrating their true nature by using the Force primarily for defense. Redirecting Force lightning – as seen with both Mace Windu and Rey – is a true act of the light side, with a Sith’s aggression destroying themselves.

Even The Sith Don’t Wield The Most Powerful Force Lightning

The Son of Mortis throwing red Force lightning

Star Wars: The Clone Wars introduced a Force lightning beyond anything seen by the Sith, one bleached red that seemed to be the embodiment of the dark side itself. It was wielded by the Son, an avatar of the dark side, and a single blast was able to kill another mystical Force avatar. Only one other being has ever been shown using red Force lightning, Darth Vader himself while caught up in a mystical experience in Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s Darth Vader #25. Darth Vader cannot ordinarily use Force lightning at all due to his cyborg body parts, but he could do so while on another astral plane of the Force. It is so very appropriate that Darth Vader’s Force lightning was beyond anything Palpatine summoned in the Star Wars saga, signifying Anakin’s unique role as the Chosen One.

Source link