Force lightning was a Force power utilized by Dark Side Force Users, the Sith most prominently among them. The technique involved a discharge of electrical energy from the practitioner's hands causing the target severe pain and possible disfigurement or even electrocution. Chain lightning was a variant in which the burst of lightning delivered would first hit a single target and then spread to those around them.
Targets could deflect the discharge using a lightsaber. Some powerful Force users could also absorb it using only the Force, but only for a short while, and with immense effort. Gungan personal energy shields were also capable of repelling Force lightning.
Non-Sith were also known to use this ability. Mother Talzin used Force lightning that was powerful enough to block Darth Sidious' lightning. Snoke was also able to use this ability, as demonstrated when he swiftly struck Kylo Ren down when the latter made a threatening move, though his use of the ability varied greatly from previous practitioners, as he projected electrical energy against the floor, causing it to bounce upward and knock his apprentice off his feet.
In some cases, the lightning intensity was so high that the victim's skeletal system glowed and could be seen through his or her skin—as demonstrated with Mace Windu—or even through heavy armor.
Behind the scenes
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. It was later featured in the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and in the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, the second and third films of the prequel trilogy. It would be later featured once more in the 2017 film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, the second film of the sequel trilogy. In the Expanded Universe, now re-branded as Star Wars Legends, Force lightning had a number of useful variants and could be summoned even by Jedi. These uses, however, are no longer considered canon, and in canon media only practitioners of the dark side of the Force have been observed using the skill, with its Databank entry listing it as a dark side ability only.
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, thus deflecting it on Sidious and hideously desfiguring and scarring the Sith Lord's body, especially his face. 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 didn't get desfigured nor scarred like Sidious. An explanation to this discrepancy has yet to be given by the Lucasfilm Story Group.
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Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Altar of Mortis"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Massacre"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars Battlefront II
- ↑ Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- ↑ Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir, Part Four