- "With this knowledge, I can unleash the dark side energies that swirl invisibly around us, even to shatter the fabric of space itself. In this way, I have created storms."
- ―Palpatine, in a recording from The Book of Anger
Force storm was a volatile dark side Force power capable of creating hyperspace wormholes that were able to displace objects across vast distances and tear apart the surfaces of entire planets. Storms were incredibly difficult to control once unleashed and required mastery in many different Force disciplines.
A Sith artifact called the Darkstaff was known to have created one of these storms during a critical battle in the New Sith Wars. The storm annihilated the Dark Lord Darth Rivan's Battlelord army and transported him not only through space, but forward in time as well, to the Light and Darkness War, where the Sith Lord met his fate. Emperor Palpatine discovered the technique almost a thousand years later. He described it in The Book of Anger, the first volume of his Dark Side Compendium. He used the technique six years after his first death at the Battle of Endor to capture the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker from Coruscant. Palpatine's pride and confidence in the ability eventually proved fatal during the Battle of Pinnacle Base when he lost control of a storm and was consumed by it.
- "…A storm—but not caused by anything natural."
- ―Luke Skywalker
One of the most powerful known Force abilities in existence, Force storm was capable of violently destroying the fabric of the space-time continuum by opening dimension-altering rifts in the universe. The power allowed a Force-user to generate unique hyperspace wormholes, violent blue vortices of Force energy known as Force storms, anywhere from less than one hundred meters to over one kilometer in diameter. Force storms could devastate the surfaces of entire planets and consume whole fleets of starships. Storms could also safely transport living beings across the galaxy in a short span of time and, if used in conjunction with certain Sith artifacts, could send a being forward in time.
The creation of a Force storm required the user to concentrate an almost palpable degree of anger and hatred into a tangible manifestation of dark side power. There was considerable danger involved in the generation of a Force storm; those who could not control what they had unleashed were often themselves consumed and destroyed. If the person generating the storm was killed, the storm dissipated in minutes. Storms could also be conjured across great distances. Emperor Palpatine was able to send one storm over thousands of light years from Byss to Coruscant. Before being able to successfully create and control Force storms, a potential user had to be extremely proficient in the ways of the Force, including instinctive astrogation.
- "What is it?"
"Some kind of wormhole, opening up in space. It's huge! Fifty times the size of our ship! Energy readings are off the scale!"
"This is the Antares Six calling the Millennium Falcon. Our scanners just picked up a gigantic hyperspace wormhole. An energy storm of undetermined magnitude is—"
- ―Syub Snunb and a crew member aboard the Antares Six
The earliest known usage of the Force storm technique was sometime during the first hundred years of the New Sith Wars. During a pivotal battle on Almas, the reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Rivan, obtained possession of a malevolent and semi-sentient Sith artifact known as the Darkstaff. Leeching Rivan's Force energy, the Darkstaff conjured a violent Force storm that demolished the Sith Lord's Battlelord army. Rivan, caught in the eye of the storm, was transported through time and space to a battle during the Light and Darkness War between the Army of Light and the Brotherhood of Darkness, over one thousand years later. Bereft of the Force, Rivan was easily slain by a Force-sensitive warrior. Around this time, the Jedi Council classified Force storm as a dark side technique due to its potential for abuse. The power also received a mention in the Jedi training manual The Jedi Path. In one particular copy of the book, Luke Skywalker made a note that the ability had the power to "kill planets".
Almost a thousand years later, Emperor Palpatine was able to develop the technique himself, which he described in the first volume of his compendium of dark side lore, The Book of Anger. In 10 ABY, a reborn Palpatine sent Force storms out to numerous star systems throughout the galaxy after unifying the various feuding Imperial factions formed after the Battle of Endor. One such storm was sent to Coruscant to retrieve the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker during a crucial battle in the Imperial Civil War. The Millennium Falcon and her captain, Han Solo, encountered the storm in Coruscant's upper atmosphere, but Solo wrote it off as simply a magnetic storm.
A short time later, the New Republic EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Antares Six had a close brush with the storm above Coruscant. A crew member aboard the Antares Six notified Captain Syub Snunb that he detected a hyperspace wormhole fifty times the size of their ship opening up close to them. The Antares Six attempted to avoid the incoming storm, but the energy interference from the storm prevented the ship's systems from responding. The storm passed right by the Antares Six and headed toward the ruins of Coruscant's Imperial City, indiscriminately destroying any New Republic and Imperial vessels in its path.
Sensing a disturbance in the Force, Skywalker was able to detect the storm, as well as the malevolent force behind it, as it dropped out of hyperspace. The Jedi insisted that his allies on the planet abandon him and allow him to face the storm alone. Skywalker and his astromech droid, R2-D2, watched as the storm came for them, tearing apart the surface of Coruscant and destroying or damaging much of the Imperial Palace in the process. The two were safely carried off by the storm and deposited in an Imperial dungeon ship, from which they were transported to Palpatine's fortress world Byss. Six years later, Coruscant had still not recovered from the devastation caused by this storm.
Not long after Skywalker's capture, Palpatine accompanied a taskforce, led by his flagship Eclipse, to the New Republic headquarters on the Pinnacle Moon in an attempt to capture Skywalker's sister, Leia Organa Solo, who had stolen a Jedi Holocron from him. After Palpatine was defeated by Skywalker in a duel, he poured his rage into the creation of another Force storm, one far more powerful than the one he used to capture Skywalker from Coruscant. The storm headed toward Pinnacle Base and began obliterating the New Republic fleet, destroying twelve ships within moments. Skywalker and Organa Solo countered Palpatine by catching him off guard and cutting him off from the dark side with a wave of light side energy. Severed from his hatred and rage, Palpatine lost control of the storm and was ultimately consumed by it. After devouring the Eclipse and the Emperor with it, the storm dissipated within moments.
- "Now, you will experience my full potency. I live as energy. I am the dark side!"
Few beings were known to possess the knowledge and skills needed to create Force storms. The Darkstaff had the ability to create a storm with the power to transport an object forward in time, provided that it had access to a vast reservoir of Force energy from which to draw. In The Book of Anger, Palpatine claimed that he could create these storms from sheer acts of will, although he confessed that he could not completely control them. Years after writing the text, Palpatine boasted that he could finally control his Force storms completely, but in the end, his overconfidence proved fatal. Skywalker later found a recording of The Book of Anger buried beneath the rubble of the Imperial Palace and pondered Palpatine's meaning behind the creation of "storms."
Palpatine's Dark Side Adepts also had the ability to create these storms, though they had limited control over them. Practitioners of the light side of the Force, such as Jedi, also had the ability to conjure Force storms if they banded together, but in doing so were at an extremely high risk of being corrupted by the dark side. When deciding where to establish his Jedi Praxeum, Luke Skywalker was concerned that one of his students could inadvertently create a Force storm while experimenting with the Force, and so he chose the remote moon Yavin 4 to reduce the number of potential casualties.
Behind the scenesEdit
Force storm was created for the 1991–1992 comic book series Dark Empire, written by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Cam Kennedy, in which it appeared in the first and sixth issues. The Force power was given an expansion in Michael Allen Horne's Dark Empire Sourcebook and was featured in the audio adaptation of Dark Empire. It also received its own entry in Dark Horse's Dark Empire handbook. It was later referenced in the Dawn of Defiance adventure Echoes of the Jedi, wherein it was connected with the fall of Darth Rivan.
Force storm should not be confused with other Force powers of the same name, such as the weather phenomenon created by the Dathomiri Nightsisters in The Courtship of Princess Leia, or a certain variation of Force lightning introduced in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Additionally, the power that the Jedi Dorsk 81 uses to push Gilad Pellaeon's fleet of Star Destroyers out of the Yavin system in the novel Darksaber is erroneously referred to as a Force storm in Star Wars: Behind the Magic.
Although the audio drama identifies the magnetic storm Solo encounters in Coruscant's upper atmosphere as the Force storm sent by Palpatine to capture Skywalker, this Force storm did not actually drop out of hyperspace until some time later, when it brushed past the Antares Six. The Official Star Wars Fact File 125 states that Skywalker and Organa Solo released a "storm of light-side energy" that destroyed the Eclipse, despite the fact that all other sources indicate that they simply forced Palpatine to lose control of his own storm.
Issue 6 of the Ewoks comic book series features an Ice Demon named Stagorr who uses a wind tunneling spell to summon the young Ewok warrior Wicket Wystri Warrick to his Ice Mountain prison. This spell shares several similarities to the Force storm power, including the ability to transport a being from one place to another in a short span of time. However, Stagorr required the power of the Staff of Logray to perform this ability and the storms created by this spell only had the ability to transport beings within an atmosphere.
In a 2016 interview, Tom Veitch stated that " The Emperor can't create Force Storms at will. They are in fact a phenomenon that occurs rarely, when the minds of two great Force users meet and struggle with each other at a distance."
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Dark Empire 1: The Destiny of a Jedi (First appearance)
- Dark Empire 2: Devastator of Worlds (Mentioned only)
- Dark Empire 6: The Fate of a Galaxy (First identified as Force storm)
- Dark Empire audio drama
- Lightsider (Non-canonical appearance) (Unpublished) (Mentioned only)
- Dark Empire II 1: Operation Shadow Hand (Indirectly mentioned in opening crawl)
- Jedi Search (Mentioned only)
- Before the Storm (Mentioned only)
- Tyrant's Test (Mentioned only)
- Dark Empire endnotes (Part 6: The Full Power of the Dark Side)
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- Star Wars Galaxy Series 2 (Card: As Luke Fights)
- The Essential Guide to Characters (Under Luke Skywalker)
- The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (Under Eclipse Star Destroyer)
- The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- Tales of the Jedi Companion
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons (Under Da Soocha V)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Episode VII: Rise of the New Republic"—InQuest Gamer 50 (Non-canonical source) "
- The Essential Chronology (Under The Resurrection of Emperor Palpatine)
- Handbook 3: Dark Empire
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (Under Emperor Palpatine)
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (Under Eclipse Star Destroyer)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 125 (ECL2, Eclipse-Class Super Star Destroyer)
- The New Essential Chronology (Under The Resurrection of Emperor Palpatine)
- Star Wars: The Comics Companion (Under Dark Empire)
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force (Under The Book of Anger)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas (Under The Dark Empire)
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- "Family Tradition"—Star Wars Insider 130
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- "Death to the Dark Side!: The Making of Dark Empire – Part III"—Star Wars Insider 159
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Dark Empire 1: The Destiny of a Jedi
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Handbook 3: Dark Empire
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dark Empire endnotes, part 6: The Full Power of the Dark Side
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Dark Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Essential Chronology
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ Distance between Byss and Coruscant roughly based on maps from The Essential Atlas. One grid square represents 5,000 light years. Byss and Coruscant were shown to be almost two squares apart.
- ↑ The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Dark Empire audio drama
- ↑ Tyrant's Test
- ↑ Dark Empire 2: Devastator of Worlds
- ↑ Before the Storm
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Dark Empire 6: The Fate of a Galaxy
- ↑ Jedi Search
- ↑ The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- ↑ The Courtship of Princess Leia
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- ↑ Star Wars: Behind the Magic, under "Pellaeon, Gilad"
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 125 (ECL2, Eclipse-Class Super Star Destroyer)
- ↑ Ewoks 6: The Ice Demon
- ↑ http://www.starwarsunderworld.com/2016/08/interview-with-dark-empire-writer-tom.html