Why can’t a Jedi use the Force to turn off Lightsabers? Well, let’s find out! We’ll look at what turning off their lightsaber means, why they can’t use the Force to do it easily, and Why Jedi don’t deactivate Lightsabers to avoid being blocked?
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Can Jedi use the Force to Turn Off a Lightsaber?
After watching the first three episodes of The Mandalorian, you may wonder whether Jedi can use the Force to turn off lightsabers. The short answer is: yes, they can.
Here are a few examples:
- In the Clone Wars episode “Destroy Malevolence,” Yoda disarms Asajj Ventress by using the Force to deactivate both Lightsabers and then pries them from her hands.
- In Mortis, the Father and Son demonstrated their ability to shut off Lightsabers using the Force with a mere gesture of the hand.
- In “Star Wars: Rebel,” Ashoka is shown catching the seven sisters’ lightsaber and deactivating it by using the Force.
- In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker uses the Force to shut off his lightsaber while fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Although a Jedi can use the Force to turn off a lightsaber, we don’t see this occur more often because Force users have shields or defenses that prevent such interference. The only time it’s possible to deactivate an opponent’s lightsaber is when one Force user highly outclasses the other and requires absolute concentration in doing so.
The most significant factor that allows one to deactivate an opponent’s lightsaber is the skill gap between two duelists. The point is it’s possible but highly dangerous.
Why Don’t Jedi Deactivate Other’s Lightsabers With the Force?
In the Star Wars movies and the Clone Wars TV shows, we see a lot of lightsaber combat. In most of those fights, the duelists are relatively well matched. They can’t use Jedi mind tricks (except in rare circumstances), so they have to rely on their lightsabers to defend themselves.
As a result, whenever someone is disarmingly attacked with a lightsaber, we see them use the Force to protect themselves and pull their saber back into their hands.
But why can’t a Jedi use the Force to turn off an opposing Jedi’s lightsaber? Why would that be more difficult than pulling your saber back into your hand?
Wouldn’t it make sense for two Jedis to immediately try to turn each other’s sabers off as soon as they started fighting?
Yes, it would make perfect sense, but it wouldn’t make for very entertaining fights because it would end them very quickly. During combat, you can’t possibly be focused entirely on two things at once.
To defend yourself from an opponent’s lightsaber strikes, you need complete focus on that task. If you’re also trying to deactivate your opponent’s lightsaber, you cannot be focused entirely on defending yourself. That would leave a weakness for your opponent to exploit.
This is why both combatants must use their lightsabers to block strikes from the other. The only way such a thing might work is if one of the combatants was much more skilled than the other. For example, Yoda could have easily deactivated Darth Sidious’s lightsaber while dueling Mace Windu, but he didn’t because it would have been dishonorable and cheap to do so against an inferior opponent.
Why Don’t Jedi Deactivate Lightsabers to Avoid Being Blocked?
The answer to this question may surprise you. Many people seem to think that Jedi don’t deactivate lightsabers to avoid being blocked, but they do. Deactivating a lightsaber was a simple enough action that could easily be performed.
In the Star Wars canon, we see how helpful creative lightsaber and blade movements can be in guarding oneself during a fight, but this technique was first known as Trakata and described in Legends. The Trakata movement is used by the Jedi to kill enemies. It takes advantage of the lightsaber’s unique ability to turn off its blade.
Trakata’s most notable use was by Jedi Master Corran Horn during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the New Republic as he didn’t want to reveal his identity (though he later used it against Darth Krayt in the Legacy comics).
The move could also be used to confuse enemies, like when Obi-Wan Kenobi deactivated his lightsaber as a way to throw Jango Fett off balance during their fight on Geonosis in Attack of the Clones. In addition, a Jedi could deactivate their saber as a way to throw an enemy off-balance or to confuse the enemy.