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Why Can’t Jedi Use Force Lightning?

Why Can’t Jedi Use Force Lightning?

Jedi Code forbids Jedi from using Force lightning because to conjure it, one must seek strength that would put them in danger of falling to the Dark Side. However, some Jedi can create electrical judgment and other Force lightning-like powers, such as electrical judgment. 

Jedi cannot use Force lightning because of the power it requires. Also, to fully master Force lightning, one must also get hit with it. However, some Sith Lords, like Darth Vader and Darth Maul, did not use the ability for varying, or in Maul’s case, barbaric reasons. 

Why Can’t Jedi Use Force Lightning?

Throughout Canon and Legends, there are hundreds of accounts of Sith using Force lightning, but Jedi never summon it. 

The only example of a Jedi coming close to using Force lightning occurs in Revenge of the Sith, when Yoda absorbs and reflects it back toward Darth Sidious. However, Yoda is using a Force push, so he’s not necessarily controlling the lightning. 

All Force Lightning Scenes (1080p)
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So to answer the question as to why Jedi can’t use Force lightning except under rare circumstances like Yoda’s, we need to temporarily turn to the Dark Side and gain insight from Darth Plagueis. Here is what he said about the issue:

“Force lightning requires strength of a sort only a Sith can command because we accept consequence and reject compassion. To do so requires a thirst for power that is not easily satisfied.” – Darth Plagueis, Star Wars Legends. 

Breaking down Darth Plagueis’ quote, it’s easy to see why the Jedi forbid the use of Force lightning. A Jedi’s role is to uphold peace and justice, not to abuse their power or seek it in ways that will harm others, since doing so will lead to the Dark Side. 

The Sith derive their power from anger and aggression, which is what Force lightning requires. 

Force Lightning Comes at a Price

Darth Plagueis also stated this:

“In order to summon and use lightning properly, you will someday have to be on the receiving end of its power, as a means of taking the energy inside yourself.” 

Why Can't Jedi use Force Lightning?

Another main reason Jedi can’t use Force lightning is because in order to conjure and understand its power, you need to let it hit you. 

Therefore, even if they wanted to, the Jedi could not even begin to learn how to conjure Force lightning unless they’re like Luke Skywalker, who felt its power in Return of the Jedi. 

Knowing Force lightning can cause severe disfigurement as shown in Revenge of the Sith when Mace Windu reflects it with his lightsaber back to Darth Sidious, and ultimately death, learning how to summon it comes at a cost the prospective user may not survive. 

Or if they survived the jolt, they could experience long-lasting side effects, such as calcification of the skeletal system, resulting in micro-seizures and a massive drop in blood minerals. 

Why Couldn’t Vader Use Force Lightning?

Darth Vader’s inability to use Force lightning was a hotly-debated topic before the release of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye in Star Wars Legends. The comic stated Vader had the strength to conjure it given his strong connection to the Dark Side. 

However, it posed too much of a risk to his life support system. Vader barely had a body following his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar and he relied on his life support system more than anything else. 

The ONLY Time Darth Vader USED Force Lightning!! - Star Wars Explained

Of course, we only need to point to Return of the Jedi to prove this fact, when Darth Sidious’ Force lightning short-circuited the system, and he died shortly after that. 

Why Didn’t Darth Maul Use Force Lightning?

Darth Sidious routinely ordered this torture on Darth Maul During his Sith training. Although Maul never used Force lightning because of his personal preference to kill his enemies at close-range, he still had the ability in his arsenal. 

Darth Maul isn’t your typical Sith Lord, where many of which either prefer to use the long-range Force lightning either as a primary attack method (Darth Sidious) or as a supplement (Count Dooku). 

Why Darth Maul Never Used Force Lightning - Star Wars Explained

Maul identified as a “Jedi Assassin,” and he loved to play with his food before eating it. Maul was barbaric, enjoying the torture he could inflict on his victims at close range, as though he wanted to see life extinguish from the whites in their eyes. 

If there is one thing we know about the Sith, they love to go mad with power in different ways. For some, it’s overexertion with Force lightning. In Maul’s case, his overall athletic and martial arts ability always gave him a leg up in close-range battles. 

Can Jedi Create Force Lightning?

Some Jedi could create something that resembled Force lightning called electric judgment. Unlike Force lightning, Jedi did not need to exhibit anger or aggression to conjure. 

Fans unfamiliar with Star Wars may mistake electric judgment as Force lightning since the technique creates sparks of it. Considered non-lethal, the overall amount of damage it pales compared to Force lightning. 

Battlefront 2 Plo Koon Electric Judgement Vs Darth Maul

Jedi use electric judgment to knock an opponent unconscious. Force lightning can cause severe bodily disfigurement and long-term mini-convulsions while electrical judgment is not associated with these negative side effects. 

However, just because electrical judgment exists, it doesn’t mean Jedi have never created Force lightning, or what they consider to be Force lightning. 

Take Kyle Katarn, who believed he was too close to the Light Side to fall to the Dark Side. He used an ability he considered to be Force lightning in Star Wars Legends

In Star Wars Legends, Luke Skywalker also used an ability that resembled Force lightning. The ability held more power than electric judgment. 

It’s unclear whether this was Force lightning. Still, a theory exists that some Force-sensitive beings have natural gifts that come easier to them than others, and that includes Force lightning. 

While Jedi are forbidden from using Force lightning, they may create it, or at least something that resembles it. 

Darth Plagueis would never agree that the Jedi are conjuring Force lightning, firmly believing only the Sith can do so. But Kyle Katarn and Luke Skywalker have, if they didn’t create Force lightning, they created something that at least mimicked its effects. 

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