Darth Vader is arguably one of the greatest Sith Lords in galactic history. His cut-throat approach to battle, emotional intensity, and general ruthlessness make him an outstanding villain.
Still, even with Darth Vader’s incredible propensity for the Force and strong swordsmanship, there are certain things that he can’t, or won’t, do. This is more in terms of Force techniques because with hand-to-hand combat, Darth Vader would do just about anything.
That said, there is one technique in particular that Darth Vader seems to never use. That is Force Lightning. But what is Force Lightning? Why does the Sith Lord never use this technique?
These are important questions that we will take a look at in this article, so keep reading.
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What is Force Lightning?
Before we get into why Darth Vader doesn’t use it, we have to define what Force Lightning even is.
Force Lightning, also known as Sith Lightning, is a Force technique born from the dark side of the Force. Through this method of attack, the user can discharge electrical energy from their hands and inflict serious damage to their opponent.
This technique often leads to extreme pain, disfigurement, or even the death of the victim.
What’s more, Force Lightning is so powerful that there have been cases of the victim’s skeletal system glowing through their skin and armor after being hit.
There is no other known technique that has such an immediate and extraordinary effect on the victim. It’s no wonder Luke Skywalker thought this technique was the epitome of physical expression of the Force.
Why Didn’t Darth Vader Use Force Lightning?
Now, I know what you might be thinking. If Force Lightning is so powerful, then why doesn’t Darth Vader use it? Quite frankly, I once wondered the same thing.
However, he had good reasons for not using it. Let me explain.
To begin, all force techniques require the wielder to use energy. Of course, different techniques require different levels of energy output. Naturally, it would be safe to assume that Force Lightning would require far more energy than most of the other techniques.
This is where Darth Vader would have an issue with this technique. Given the sheer amount of energy that is required for this technique to be effective, the best option would be for a fully natural, living Force user to perform it.
Although Darth Vader is insanely powerful and is technically alive, he isn’t natural per se. He has a surplus of artificial limbs, and to top it all off, he has to depend on a life support system. Therefore, he was never really able to properly use this power.
If Darth Vader were to attempt to use Force Lighting, he would run the risk of short-circuiting his life support system, which would subsequently kill him. Thus, even though he could technically use Force Lightning if he wanted to, he simply chose not to.
Is Darth Vader Vulnerable to Force Lightning?
As we have already established, Darth Vader could use Force Lighting. However, he usually didn’t because of how risky it was for himself.
Considering that a large part of the reason he remained alive was due to the electricity powering his life support system, this means that Darth Vader could potentially be annihilated, or at least badly hurt, if Force Lightning was used on him.
In theory, if an enemy of Darth Vader were to use Force Lightning to attack him, they could potentially destroy the Sith Lord with one blow.
If this technique could completely destroy an otherwise healthy person, then for Darth Vader, who is on life support, it wouldn’t take much for his entire system to shut down. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what happened when Lord Vader tried to save his son’s life in Return of the Jedi.
Due to his inability to watch Luke die, Darth Vader decided to send Emperor Palpatine down an electrically charged reactor shaft. As a result of the high voltage electricity of the shaft, Darth Vader’s life support system was fried, subsequently electrocuting the Sith Lord.
The idea of a Force power that could take down the great Darth Vader is certainly an intriguing one. Naturally, it piques the interest of the Star Wars communities and sends them into a quizzical frenzy.
Surprisingly, one of the most frequently asked questions does not have to do with Darth Vader. Rather, it has to do with his colleague, Darth Maul. So without further ado, let’s address it.
Why Did Darth Maul Not Use Force Lightning?
Darth Maul was one of the most ruthless apprentices that studied under Emperor Palpatine. He was so driven by revenge and his thirst for power that it seemed as though at some point he started enjoying his kills.
Still, as sadistic as Darth Maul was, he was a heavy traditionalist. He was trained in hand-to-hand combat before anything else. Therefore, he preferred to use his lightsaber in battle instead of the “flashiness” of Force powers.
Because conventional swordsmanship was ingrained in Darth Maul, he saw the Force as something to add to his skills, not to use in place of them.
Ergo, the question of why Darth Maul doesn’t use Force Lightning is clear. He simply did not see the point of it, as he believed his lightsaber skills would be enough.
Force Lightning is arguably one of the dark side’s most effective techniques. It releases so much electricity into the victim that they can be mutilated or even killed. It’s so powerful that some victims’ entire skeletal systems become visible through their skin and heavy armor.
Of course, this technique would be an asset to any dark side Force user, yet some opt out of using it. In particular, Darth Maul doesn’t use Force Lightning because he generally prefers displaying his swordsmanship instead of Force abilities.
Then there is Darth Vader, who runs the risk of being momentarily debilitated or killed if he uses this technique. This is because he has to depend on his life support system, which runs on electricity.
Hence, if Darth Vader uses Force Lightning, or worse yet, gets hit with a blast of Force Lightning, the electricity required would be so high that his life support system could shut down, which would not end well for him.