Force lightning was a power that Force users, such as the Sith, could conjure through the dark side. It was an offensive technique which involved a discharge of electrical energy from the practitioner's hands and was capable of inflicting severe pain on the target of this attack as well as possible disfigurement. 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. Its use was forbidden by the Jedi.
Force Lightning has appeared in three colors; blue, green, and red. The standard color was a bluish-purple as demonstrated by Palpatine, Dooku, and Snoke; Nightsister Magic equivalents were green like Spirit ichor as demonstrated by Mother Talzin and it would appear that the most powerful manifestation was red as it was used by The Son (the manifestation of the Dark Side itself) and the disembodied spirit of Anakin Skywalker when he entered the portal in his castle on Mustafar. Anakin blasted the illusion of his master, Emperor Palpatine with red force lightning after the latter tried to bar him from going to the balcony to see Padme.
A Jedi could deflect the lightning with a lightsaber; a powerful Jedi Master, such as Yoda was capable of absorbing the attack 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.
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 Darth Sidious' lightning. 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.
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—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. In Star Wars Legends, a few Jedi, such as Luke Skywalker, used a variant of Force lightning. The Databank entry for Force lightning, however, says that in current canon, it's exclusively a dark-side power.
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. 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. 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.
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- Revenge of the Sith: Episode III (LEGO Star Wars)
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Return of the Kyber Saber"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Trouble on Tibalt"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "The Pit and the Pinnacle"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Flight of the Arrowhead"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Return of the Return of the Jedi"
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Crisis on Coruscant" (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Gambit on Geonosis" (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- (Set: 75093 Death Star Final Duel)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Destiny Two-Player Game
- Star Wars: Destiny – Across the Galaxy (Card: Burst of Lightning)
- Star Wars: The Dark Side
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: New Edition
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 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 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 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars Battlefront II
- ↑ Star Wars Expert Guide
- ↑ Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 25: Fortress Vader, Part VII
- ↑ Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- ↑ Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir, Part Four
- ↑ Dark Nest I: The Joiner King