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Emperor Palpatine projecting Force lightning at Luke Skywalker, 4 ABY.
"Young fool. Only now, at the end, do you understand."
Emperor Palpatine to Luke Skywalker

Force lightning was a well known Force ability, most often used by practitioners of the dark side of the Force, especially the Sith. Because of this association, the ability was commonly referred to as Sith lightning.[1]

Contents

Description

"Some possess raw elemental power; they can unleash storms of lightning from their fingertips…"
Darth Bane
Dark Jedi Namman Cha projects a Force spark.

Force lightning was a purely offensive, energy-based attack that channeled Force energy down the user's limbs, hurling arcing bolts of electricity from the wielder's fingertips or palms; Force lightning could be executed with either one or two hands.[2][3] Powerful discharges would branch out into dozens of smaller forks; thus, skilled practitioners could target several foes at once.[4]

The intensity varied based on a number of factors. A skilled user could render a target unconscious with only a short burst. A single, powerful blast was sufficient to kill a person instantly. Darth Bane's lightning, for example would often electrocute his opponents to death on contact. Galen Marek was another Force-user who could channel lightning that would kill on contact. Both Kyle Katarn and Darth Sidious could conjure lightning so powerful that not only would it instantly kill its target, it would also physically hurl them backwards.

The fact that it caused not only severe physical damage but also unbearable agony to the victim led to it being widely used as a form of torture.[3] Palpatine, at the Battle of Endor repeatedly assaulted Luke Skywalker with the lightning, and Darth Malak used it upon Bastila Shan, having captured her onboard the Leviathan and having brought her to Lehon, where he converted her to the dark side.[3]

Depending on the level of intensity, Force lightning could ground itself on an ignited lightsaber, with no apparent ill effect on the lightsaber's operation.[5] Powerful light-siders were sometimes able to resist the attack, or even block the lightning completely. Mace Windu, with his lightsaber combat form Vaapad, could reflect the lightning back to its source with a "superconducting loop". It required tremendous effort on the reflector's part, however, as seen in Windu's battle with Palpatine; Windu was seemingly able to overcome Palpatine's lightning.

Force lightning could also be absorbed and redirected by a Jedi of sufficient skill; Yoda demonstrated this ability by both deflecting and absorbing the dark power during battles with Count Dooku and Emperor Palpatine, using nothing more than his own two hands.[5] Galen Marek was also able to block Palpatine's lightning with only his bare hands and keep walking towards him at the same time. Luke Skywalker attempted this, and succeeded for a short amount of time, before the Emperor's attack overwhelmed him.[6]

There existed an advanced version of Force lightning which may have been used by the Jedi Exile and Revan in the Jedi Civil War. Its destructive potential was legendary; the apocalyptic power was known as Force Storm[7][8]. Marek used this power on the giant sarlaac during his fight with Shaak Ti.

Effect of Force lightning

"The attempt on my life has left me scarred and deformed. But, I assure you, my resolve has never been stronger!"
―Palpatine
Nightsister Mighella subjects Sith Lord Darth Maul to the power of Force lightning.

Though the short-term effects of Force lightning are obvious, the sheer power invoked by its use could have insidious long-term effects, both on those subjected to its power and those who would wield it. Prolonged exposure to intense electrical fields (such as a sustained current of Force lightning) caused most humanoids to experience sudden and massive calcification of their skeletal system; the abrupt drop in blood minerals provoked muscular microseizures all over the victim's body.

Telltale symptoms included generalized muscle aches and double vision. A blood test or bioscan could be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Unless the victim received complete bed rest and appropriate medical treatment, the disorder would become chronic, lingering for years (barring timely bacta immersion). Luke Skywalker, who was diagnosed with the disorder by 4 ABY was confined to a hoverchair for his trip to Bakura during the Ssi-Ruuk invasion, mere days after his near-fatal encounter with Palpatine.[9]

It is thought that very intense use of Force lightning could drain the user physically, and possibly result in severe facial and body deformations. The deformities Palpatine displayed after unleashing a barrage of Force lightning on Mace Windu, only to have it reflected back upon him by the Jedi Master's lightsaber may be an example of this. Palpatine commented, however, that the scarred visage he had was his "real" face, and that his former look was a mask.[5]

When Anakin Skywalker redeemed himself and killed the Emperor, his life support circuitry was critically damaged, leaving him a heavy and lifeless quadriplegic.[10]

Besides draining the user's energy, Force lightning had the added drawback of occasionally charring the hand of the person who used it. When Jacen Solo flew into a rage underneath the ruins of the Jedi Temple on Yuuzhan'tar and attacked his Yuuzhan Vong pursuers with Force lightning, he later found that the blasts had burned charred holes in his palm.

Very powerful blasts of Force lightning can highlight and illuminate the victim's skeleton, as shown with Mace Windu, Asajj Ventress and Darth Vader.[3][5]

For unknown reasons, Force lightning (together with its various variants, such as Electric Judgment) was the only known Force power able to affect the Force-immune alien Yuuzhan Vong.[11]

Use by Jedi

Luke Skywalker utilizing a Force lightning variant during the Swarm War.
"Force lightning. We had thought Skywalker's Jedi considered themselves above that."
"We make exceptions."
Welk, and Mara Jade Skywalker

Force lightning ability was not restricted to dark-siders. Jedi and other light-siders who were strong of will and character could learn this power without falling to the dark side—but its use was viewed as inherently corrupting, and most Jedi Councils forbade its use.

Some Jedi nonetheless refused to dismiss the natural power of this ability. Plo Koon used this ability (which he called Electric Judgment) to subdue a criminal named Pommel, who had taken a hostage. Koon used Force lightning to knock Pommel out, yet claimed to have no plans to experiment with it in the future.

Celeste Morne was able to conjure up a devastating Force Storm to defeat Darth Krayt.Vrook Lamar also knew how to use it. Revan and the Jedi Exile were able to utilise the technique and even it's most advanced version the destructive force storm

Jedi Master Adi Gallia also had the ability of Force lightning which she primarily used inside of her personal fighter. She would attack a small target such as a Droid Starfighter and nearby enemies would be caught in a strand of lightning and be destroyed in a matter of seconds. Quinlan Vos learnt the technique after he became a double agent during the Clone Wars

Galen Marek was one of the greatest users of the power, rivaling even Darth Sidious, even after his conversion to the light side.

Some members of the New Jedi Order such as Kyle Katarn and Jaden Korr also used Force lightning (colloquially known as "Emerald Lightning"), but it remained very controversial. Other Jedi practitioners of this power have been Kyp Durron, Jaina Solo, Jacen Solo, Mara Jade Skywalker and Luke Skywalker.

Cade Skywalker was able of using force lighting in a unique way.Utilising the ability to see Shatterpoints in people and objects around him he could use lighting to heal people,bringing them back from the very edge of death,or to kill them.

Darth Desolous was the only known Sith able to cast red Sith lightning though a now-fallen Luke from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition was also shown to do cast it.

Force lightning users

"I've become more powerful than any Jedi. Even you."
Count Dooku to Yoda
Darth Maladi blasts Deliah Blue and Jariah Syn with Force lightning.

Force lightning required a living conduit for the energy to be channeled; thus Darth Vader, despite being an immensely powerful Sith Lord, was never able to properly employ this ability, as all his limbs were prosthetics.[12]

There is, however, one case where Vader did use Force Lightning. When Vader was in close proximity to the presence of the Kaiburr Crystal on Circarpous V, the amplification effects of the Force caused his affinity with the dark side to expand. As a result, Vader was able to utilize this power, a feat normally impossible for him.

Vader's cybernetics, as well as his artificial life support system, made him much more vulnerable to the damaging effects of Force lightning. This vulnerability would eventually contribute to his death.

Darth Sidious was a master of the technique. He used Force lightning to punish Luke Skywalker for his refusal to join him, beginning with an agonizing but non-lethal quantity and working his way gradually upwards toward lethality. When Anakin Skywalker turned on the Emperor, Sidious used the lightning at a much higher intensity, which killed him.[3]

Darth Tyranus used the technique to incapacitate Anakin Skywalker during the Battle of Geonosis. He also attempted the technique on Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was able to block it with his lightsaber, and Master Yoda, who managed to reflect and dispel the energy with his bare hands. In addition, Tyranus utilized this power to stabilize the heartbeat of General Grievous after the Kaleesh's body was mangled in a shuttle crash.[13]

Darth Malak used Force lightning as a means of torture to turn Bastila Shan to the dark side. It was intended to give her a "taste" of the dark side's power.[7]

Galen Marek using Force lightning

Jorak Uln, the former headmaster of the Sith Academy on Korriban who hid in the Valley of the Dark Lords during the Jedi Civil War, would sometimes kidnap and torture Sith students. One of his favorite games was testing his captives on Sith philosophy, punishing their failure with Force lightning, often until they were killed.[7]

Galen Marek, the former apprentice to Darth Vader, also used this power, even after his conversion to the light side of the Force. His mastery of this ability may have even rivaled that of Darth Sidious, as he was known to employ lightning in ways that had not been seen before. Marek could strike someone with a short burst of lightning and then cause it to magnify in their body, exploding and killing them. He would also Force grip an opponent and then electrocute them with a short burst of lightning, and then drop them on the ground, which would increase the electricity's lethality. Also, Darth Wyyrlok (III) was a skillful user of this ability, and even used it to kill his master, Darth Krayt. And many of the Sith Lords under the One Sith rule were talented with the deadly power.


Other Force-sensitives known to have used the power or its variants include:

as possible users*

Variants of Force lightning

"Power! Unlimited power!"
Darth Sidious

Force Shock

Force lightning could be used as the Wracking Energy, restricting target's movement.

Force Shock was a Force power that allowed the user to create an energy spark that would track and damage the nearest enemy. The shock could be thrown at an opponent to stun and injure them, or could be set loose to track an opponent until it dissipates. The shock would not last more than five seconds or so before disappearing into a tiny burst of heat, but it was a useful technique for Sith apprentices.

Force Storm

Force Storm was a Force lightning variant. The user would raise his palm upward and would create, through the Force, an explosion of electrical energy directed at all foes in the vicinity. It was used by both the Sith and Dark Jedi during the Jedi Civil War. It also appeared as a tornado of energy which created a great disturbance in the Force. Jedi could also join together to create a Force storm, though its use was frowned upon by more orthodox Jedi.

Unlike the Force lightning, Force Storm was not limited to attacking enemies in one direction, as it affected all foes within a certain radius from the user. Revan and the Jedi Exile may have mastered this particular power. Darth Bane and Darth Sidious were also notable users of this power; Bane being able to call upon a nearly uncontrollable Force Storm shortly after having been taught the basics of Force Lightning by Githany, who herself had only learnt the power the same day from Qordis.

Chain Lightning

Chain Lightning was a variation of Force lightning with the difference being that the lightning was able to strike one person and then move to another or several others. As it was more powerful than the standard lightning, it required a greater amount of discipline and concentration to project and sustain the stream of lightning. The only confirmed users are the Force apparition known as Dark Mara and Galen Marek.

Appearances

  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 27: Vector, Part 3 (Cover only)
  • The Betrayal of Darth Revan
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
  • Darth Bane: Rule of Two
  • Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
  • Jedi vs. Sith
  • Star Wars: Darth Maul
  • Star Wars Republic: Twilight
  • Star Wars Republic: Darkness
  • Star Wars: Poison Moon
  • Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones / novel / game / junior novel
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 7"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Dooku Captured"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes
  • Dark Journey
  • Star Wars Republic: Trackdown
  • Star Wars Republic: The Siege of Saleucami
  • Labyrinth of Evil (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith / game / novel / junior novel
  • Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (Mentioned only)
  • Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of Force
  • The Last of the Jedi: A Tangled Web (Cover only)
  • The Force Unleashed novel
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed comic (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  • Rebel Dawn (Indirect mention only)
  • Star Wars Empire: Betrayal
  • Star Wars: Empire at War (Forces of Corruption expansion set)
  • The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
  • Splinter of the Mind's Eye (possible first appearance)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi / novel (First appearance)
  • Star Wars -Phantasmagoria-
  • The Truce at Bakura (Mentioned only)
  • Shadows of the Empire: Evolution (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia
  • Heir to the Empire
  • Dark Force Rising
  • The Last Command
  • Dark Empire
  • Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
  • Dark Apprentice
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  • Star by Star
  • Dark Journey
  • Traitor
  • The Apprentice
  • The Joiner King
  • Tempest
  • Inferno
  • Invincible
  • Outcast
  • Star Wars Legacy: Broken
  • Star Wars Legacy 13: Ready to Die
  • Star Wars Legacy 19: Claws of the Dragon, Part 6
  • Star Wars Legacy 22: The Wrath of the Dragon
  • Star Wars Legacy 23: Loyalties, Part 1
  • Star Wars Legacy 31: Vector, Part 12
  • Star Wars Legacy 34: Storms, Part 1 (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars Legacy 40: Tatooine, Part 4

Non-Canon Appearances

  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Original Trilogy
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Soulcalibur IV

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Sources

Wookieepedia has a collection of images related to Force lightning.

Notes and references

  1. Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  4. Star Wars Empire: Betrayal
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  6. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi novelization
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  9. Truce at Bakura
  10. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  11. Star by Star
  12. Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary
  13. The Eyes of Revolution
  14. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant
  15. Dark Heart
  16. Star Wars Legacy 22: The Wrath of the Dragon
  17. 17.0 17.1 Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
  18. Inferno
  19. 19.0 19.1 Star Wars Legacy 1: Broken, Part 1
  20. Star Wars Legacy 13: Ready to Die
  21. Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  22. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  23. Star Wars Legacy 2: Broken, Part 2
  24. The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
  25. Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith (audio)
  26. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  27. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 34: Vindication, Part 3
  28. Star Wars: Darth Maul
  29. The Dark Side Sourcebook
  30. Twilight
  31. 31.0 31.1 Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  32. Invincible
  33. Star Wars Republic: Darkness

See also


This article uses material from the "Force lightning" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Star Wars Fanon

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

The Star Wars wiki of fan invention.

Force lightning was a Force power, very well used by Darth Admer, and it was a very effective force during the Galactic Uprising. It was also used by Shadow Guards.

See also


This article uses material from the "Force lightning" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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