Throughout the history of Star Wars, we’ve seen a lot of powerful Force-based attacks that the Jedi and Sith were able to do. For example, they were all capable of using telekinesis using the Force as they could make things float and push or pull objects without touching them. But Fore Lightning was always the most devastating Force power we’ve seen in Star Wars, especially in the hands of a powerful Sith Lord. So, why can’t the Jedi use Force Lightning?
The Jedi can use Force Lightning but are prohibited from using it because of the very nature of this power as an attack meant to hurt or kill. For the Jedi, the Force was never meant to hurt or kill. As such, using Force Lightning would only pull the Jedi closer to the dark side of the Force.
It is important to note that the Jedi Order operates using a strict code that keeps them in check because they were always meant to be keepers of the peace instead of soldiers or warriors. In that regard, the approach of the Jedi must be passive instead of aggressive, and Force Lightning was always an aggressive power that the Jedi were told to avoid.
Do any Jedi have Force Lightning?
When we first saw it in ‘Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi’ when Emperor Palpatine was looking to kill Luke Skywalker, Force Lightning became one of the most incredible powers we’ve seen in Star Wars. Of course, it returned in ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ when Count Dooku used it. Since its introduction, this power has been synonymous with the Sith Lords, as they were the ones that often used it.
Basically, Force Lightning is a power that combines several different techniques. It involves using an electrical discharge from the user’s hand as the person using it now has to release this power using the Force to attack a target. In that regard, it was meant to inflict severe physical pain on its target and could destroy entire objects due to its power. We saw how powerful it was when Palpatine used it on Mace Windu to kill the Jedi Master when he was defenseless from the attack.
In Windu’s case, his skeletal system glowed and could be seen through his skin due to the sheer intensity of Palpatine’s Force Lightning. In that regard, this power was always meant to be used for killing, hurting, or maiming targets. In certain instances, it was used to torture people, as was the case when Dooku used it on Savage Opress to make him angrier and stronger.
Of course, throughout the storyline of Star Wars, the only ones seen using this power were the Sith Lords. And there was a very good reason why the Jedi never used it throughout the movies and the shows.
It was not as if the Jedi couldn’t use Force Lightning. Luke Skywalker once said that this power was the ultimate manifestation of the Force in the physical sense. That means that he studied Force Lightning and understood how to use it. And it follows that the Jedi also knew how to use Force Lightning, especially if they understood the principles behind this power.
But while that may be true, the Jedi were not allowed to use this power due to the very nature of Force Lightning. Luke once described Force Lightning as follows:
“The ultimate physical manifestation of the Force is also one of its most malicious forms and is most commonly generated by those heavily versed in the ways of the dark side, such as Sith Lords. This aggressive energy attack is usually released from the fingertips in the direction of the intended target, leading to severe injury, disfigurement, and death.”
From there, it becomes clear why Force Lightning was prohibited among the Jedi. It’s a power that is malicious and aggressive because someone would want to use it to hurt or kill someone. After all, Force Lightning was always meant to be an offensive attack to hurt people or destroy things. In some instances, it had applications outside of death and destruction, but it was almost always an attack meant to hurt and destroy.
The Jedi were meant to be peaceful people who only used aggression and strength whenever necessary. They viewed the Force as a tool they only needed to use to promote peace and harmony in the galaxy. In that regard, the Jedi were never meant to be aggressive people. Instead, they were supposed to be passive.
The fact that the Jedi were passive made it difficult to reconcile their peaceful and passive nature with the malicious and aggressive nature of Force Lightning. In that regard, using Force Lightning would make a Jedi more malicious and aggressive than they should be, which just doesn’t make sense regarding what the Jedi stand for.
In short, the Jedi can use Force Lightning if they understand the mechanics behind this power. But they aren’t allowed to use it because it is against what the Jedi Order stood for as peacekeepers of the galaxy.
What would happen if a Jedi used Force Lightning?
Although it was forbidden for the Jedi to use Force Lightning, there have been Jedi that were able to use this power. Before he fell to the dark side and became a Sith Lord, Dooku once used this power during a Force vision to kill some Presagers of Hakotai.
He didn’t even have prior training in this power when he used it. Rey, in ‘Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker,’ also spontaneously used this power because it was innate for her to have this ability due to her Palpatine bloodline.
Yoda also used Force Lightning while he was in exile on Dagobah. He used this power to increase his telekinetic power by absorbing lightning. And at one point, Luke even said that the Jedi could use Force Lightning if they were to discover how to use it properly, especially because the Baran Do Sages could use this power without drawing upon the dark side.
Nevertheless, whenever a Jedi used Force Lightning, they had to be aggressive and have the intent to destroy or kill. That’s why it required the person to draw upon the dark side of the Force, as this power was aggressive and malicious in terms of its nature. And we all know that a Jedi that becomes more aggressive and malicious can open up a pathway to the dark side of the Force.
In that regard, using Force Lighting could draw a Jedi closer to the dark side due to how it needed a person to use the dark side, which naturally fed on a person’s negative emotions and feelings. That is exactly why this power was always prohibited within the Jedi Order, as it only gives the Jedi a reason to draw close and closer to the dark side of the Force.
What is the Jedi version of Force Lightning?
While there is only one version of Force Lightning in canon, the expanded universe of the Legends explored a light side version of Force Lightning. This power was called Electric Judgment, which was also called Emerald Lightning.
Even though it wasn’t as powerful as Force Lightning, Electric Judgment had a similar usage in the sense that it allowed the user to spray bolts of electricity from their hands and fingers. In most cases, the electricity was orange, green, or golden. Other than that, it was similar to Force Lightning.
But while Electric Judgment was meant to be a light-side version of Force Lightning, only a few Jedi were able to use it properly without succumbing to the dark side of the Force. In the EU or Legends, we’ve seen Plo Koon and Luke Skywalker, among others, using it.
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