This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 
For other uses, see Lightning (disambiguation).

Master Qui-Gon, more to say, have you?

It is requested that this article, or a section of this article, be expanded.

See the request on the listing or on this article's talk page. Once the improvements have been completed, you may remove this notice and the page's listing.

"How does one defend against such power?"
"A wise master does not reveal all his secrets at once. In due time, my apprentice."
Savage Opress and Darth Tyranus, after assaulting Opress with a barrage of Force lightning[src]

Force lightning, also known as Sith Lightning, was a power that Force users, such as the Sith and even light siders like the Jedi, could conjure through the Dark side of the Force.

Description[edit | edit source]

Luke Skywalker nearly died while Darth Sidious tortured him with Force lightning.

Force lightning was an offensive technique which involved a discharge of electrical energy from the practitioner's hands[3] and was capable of inflicting severe pain on the target of this attack as well as possible disfigurement.[13]

Force lightning occurred in at least four colors; blue,[3] green,[9] yellow,[4] and red.[14] The typical form was a bluish-purple version as demonstrated by Darth Sidious,[13] Darth Tyranus,[11] Snoke,[7] and Rey;[6] Nightsister magick equivalents were green like magical ichor as demonstrated by Mother Talzin.[9] Darth Momin used yet another version that was yellow.[4] The red variant was used by the Son—the manifestation of the dark side itself[8]—and the disembodied spirit of Darth Vader when he entered a portal in his castle on Mustafar. Vader blasted an illusion of his Sith Master, Darth Sidious, with red Force lightning before confronting the visage of his late wife, Padmé Amidala.[14] Momin planned to pour the Force with his version of Force lightning into his engine at the moment of ignition and use it to slow down time, trapping the expressions of horror and pain on the city's inhabitants forever.[4]

Snoke using a short burst of Force lightning to subdue Kylo Ren.

A Jedi and Sith could deflect the lightning with a lightsaber; a powerful Jedi Master, such as Yoda was capable of deflecting the attack using Force deflection[11] but only for a short while and with immense effort.[1] Gungan personal energy shields were also capable of repelling Force lightning.[15] Mace Windu[13] and Rey were both able to deflect Sidious' lightning back onto him using lightsabers. In Rey's case, the force of his own reflected lightning was what ultimately destroyed Sidious.[6] Quinlan Vos with his lightsaber was able to deflecting the Force lightning of Tyranus back onto him.[16]

Other dark side wielders besides the Sith were able to harness the ability. Mother Talzin conjured her own version of Force lightning that was powerful enough to block Sidious' lightning.[17] Supreme Leader Snoke used it to subdue his apprentice, Kylo Ren when the young knight lost control of his anger. Snoke's use of Force lightning varied from previous practitioners as he projected energy against the floor, causing it to bounce upward and knock the target off their feet.[7]

With his powers amplified by a Force dyad, Sidious unleashed a storm of Force lightning upon his enemies on Exegol.

In some cases, the intensity of Force lightning was so high that the victim's skeletal system glowed and could be seen through his or her skin—as demonstrated with Mace Windu[13]—or even through heavy armor.[3] And during the Battle of Exegol, Darth Sidious unleashed a barrage of Force Lightning that disabled the citizens' fleet above.[6]

Usage by the Jedi[edit | edit source]

Although its use was officially forbidden by the Jedi Order,[18] light-siders like the Jedi could also use this power. Dooku, during his time as a member of the Jedi Order, utilized it spontaneously during a painful Force vision to kill some Presagers of Hakotei, without any known prior training[2] and also used it on Shenda Mol to save his Padawan Qui-Gon Jinn whilst on Numidian Prime.[10]

Rey briefly unleashed a blast of Force Lightning on a First Order transport she believed was carrying Chewbacca on Pasaana while she and Kylo Ren were both trying to bring the transport to themselves with the Force, and in her anger, she accidentally unleashed lightning upon it, destroying it immediately.[6]

Variants of Force lightning[edit | edit source]

A variant of the ability, known as chain lightning, involved a burst of lightning that would spread from the first target to those around them. Another variant used by Sidious was the power Dark Aura, a miniature storm of malevolent Force energy and lightning surrounding its producer that tortured and slowed the movement of all caught within its radius.[19]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Darth Sidious blasting Luke Skywalker with lightning in Ralph McQuarrie artwork seen in The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight

Force lightning first appeared in the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, the final film of the Star Wars original trilogy.[3] In Star Wars Legends, a few Jedi, such as Luke Skywalker, used a variant of Force lightning.[20] The Databank entry for Force lightning, however, says that in current canon, it's exclusively a dark-side power.[21]

There has been a debate about the consequences of Force lightning in an individual. In Revenge of the Sith, after having been bested by Mace Windu, Darth Sidious uses Force lightning against the Jedi Master, who repels it with his lightsaber, deflecting it on Sidious and disfiguring and scarring the Sith Lord's body.[13] However, previous to the Force lightning's appearance in Sith, Sidious blasted Luke Skywalker with Force lightning in Return of the Jedi several times and Skywalker wasn't disfigured or scarred.[3] Though an official explanation of this inconsistency has yet to be given, Lucasfilm Story Group's Matt Martin has shared his thinking for what the explanation could be, as he never saw it as an inconsistency. In his mind, it was Sidious' own fault that his disfigurement took place, assuming that he overexerted himself, causing the Force lightning's voltage to be higher unlike when he later attacked Skywalker.[22]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.