If there was one common ability Sith from the Dark Side use, the common answer would be force lightning. After all, it was very noticeable when Darth Sidious used it. However, there is one Sith Lord that notably does not use it, Darth Vader. There is a specific reason why he does not use it.

What is Force Lightning?

Force Lightning is a technique used by the Sith where they shoot lightning out of their hands. It can be used to inflict pain to torture or kill their target. In fact, it’s so strong that force lightning can be used to obliterate entire ships as shown when Rey used it in Rise of Skywalker.

Darth Sidious, Count Dooku, and even Rey use it, so why not Darth Vader?

The Answer is Not So Simple

Vader’s suit and look are not only cool looking, but are there to keep him alive. A common fan theory is that if he uses Force Lightning, it would short-circuit and disrupt his live support system and thus kill him in the process. So, the focus for Vader is to be more of a brute/strength style of fighting.

Furthermore, it’s theorized that the suit was likely even built that way on purpose as Sidious likely had a Plan B if Vader ever tried to betray him. Which ultimately ends up happening in Return Of The Jedi. Remember, Vader saves Luke by picking up the Emperor who is using force lightning. It ultimately kills Vader as the lightning fully affects his life support.

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The Revenge of the Sith Dictionary says Vader can’t use Force Lightning because his arms are mechanical. Since his arms aren’t connected to the force, because they’re not alive, he’s unable to channel force lightning through his hands. This is further confirmed in Darth Vader #8 where his arms (and legs) aren’t shown as being part of the force. This was the main theory that people took as canon til 2020.

That was when Darth Vader #5 was released which shows Darth Vader using Force Lightning on his kyber crystal. This almost killed him by damaging his suit.

That is the main reason why he never uses it. It is because if he does it, would likely kill him by destroying his life support suit.

So, there it is. That is why Darth Vader doesn’t use force lightning. Check out the rest of the Star Wars content.

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