Star Wars Confirmed Emperor Palpatine's Lightning Was His Weakness

In Star Wars, aside from red lightsabers, there's nothing more synonymous with the Dark Side than Force Lightning. As a concept, its simplicity shows both the immense power of the Dark Side as well as its unpredictability. However, from a narrative perspective, it represents power in its rawest form. This also explains why so few Sith are shown using it in the films compared to a Force Push or Force Choke. The same power it represents is also why Emperor Palpatine enjoys using it so much; however, in its use, it has also been the instrument of his defeat on more than one occasion.

Force Lightning is the primary offense of the Emperor, but has also been used by the likes of Supreme Leader Snoke and Count Dooku in the films. Rey has also accidentally tapped into this ability when trying to save Chewie in The Rise of Skywalker. However, her particular instance of using the ability was more to show the immense power and capacity for good or evil that is dormant within her. Force Lightning has often been shown to torture and is the primary way the Emperor has used this ability to achieve his goals.

RELATED: Star Wars: Do Sith Lords Have To Be Evil?


Force Lighting comes in many colors beside blue, including red, purple, yellow and green. Each color also has different meanings; for example, the Son's lighting color is red because he embodies the Dark Side. Because the Dark Side represents the accumulation of power, solely relying on lighting also represents a person's complete devotion to power and its use.

When Palpatine is first outed as a Sith in the films, he initially fights with a lightsaber. However, following the battle, he is only ever shown using lighting, as if he's abandoned the last remnants of his humanity to commit to the Dark Side fully.

During Palpatine's fight with Mace Windu, he also shows how liberating the power can feel. While he was still seducing Anakin to the Dark Side, he used the lighting to show him what the Dark Side offers, but in doing so, he leaves himself open to reveal his true, uglier face. The moment Anakin betrays the Jedi, Palpatine uses his lighting at full power, and it wouldn't be until Return of the Jedi that Palpatine would once again use his lightning to torture someone, but this time would mark his first defeat from hubris.

RELATED: Star Wars Debuts First Look At Obi-Wan Kenobi And Darth Vader's Rematch


While electrocuting Luke Skywalker, nearly killing him, the rush he feels from the power leaves him distracted. During his slow execution of Luke, Darth Vader finally stands up to his master and throws him down a reactor. In a cruel irony, Palpatine continues to fire his lighting as he falls, as if to symbolize that his power must not be forgotten even in death.

Upon his return in The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine is shown, fully resurrected thanks to the essences of Rey and Ben Solo. With the power of the two strongest Force users coursing through his veins, he uses his lightning to destroy Resistance ships. In retaliation, Rey, using Luke and Leia's lightsabers, stands up to the Emperor and deflects his lighting blasts, sending them back to him. Like before, Palpatine cannot stop his display of power, which ultimately leads to his demise a second time.

The Emperor is undoubtedly one of the strongest Force users in Star Wars, but the hubris that comes with power and the Dark Side is still greater than he could realize. Ultimately, his confidence leads to his downfall on more than one occasion and continues to serve as an example of why unlimited power may seem fantastic but could lead to a person's ultimate destruction.

KEEP READING: Star Wars: Crimson Reign's New Terror Refreshes Darth Maul's Original Design

The Beatles Almost Starred in a Lord of the Rings Film - Here's What We Know About It
Related Topics
About The Author
Nicholas Brooks (1045 Articles Published)

CBR Features Writer Nick Brooks has been writing for over ten years about all things pop culture. He has written for other sites like and When not writing you can find him with his lovely girlfriend, cooking, reading comics, or collecting any new Star Wars Black Series, Marvel Legend, or Transformer. For more of his thoughts on pop culture check out his blog, The Next Panel with Comic Brooks.

More From Nicholas Brooks

You May Like Also

  • Star Wars: Do Sith Lords Have To Be Evil?
  • Star Wars Debuts First Look At Obi-Wan Kenobi And Darth Vader's Rematch
  • of the strongest Force users
  • Star Wars: Crimson Reign's New Terror Refreshes Darth Maul's Original Design
  • Sony Is Developing a New Spider-Man Trilogy with Tom Holland and Marvel
  • The Next Panel with Comic Brooks
  • Sony Boss Comments on Possible Non-MCU Spider-Man Films
  • Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Redeems Its Greatest Villains
  • Resident Evil Fulfilled Welcome to Raccoon City Star's Childhood Dream
  • Lord of the Rings: Where Is Radagast the Brown After The Hobbit?
  • Iron Man Fan Builds Mark 85 Armor for Toddler
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife Fixes Star Wars’ Biggest Mistake - But Copies Another
  • DC's The Flash #776 Comic Review
  • DC's Robins #1 Comic Review
  • IDW's TMNT: The Last Ronin Design Archive #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Star Wars Life Day #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Hulk #1 Comic Review
  • Marvel's Darkhold: The Wasp #1 Comic Review
  • Lord of the Rings: What Happened to the Orcs After Sauron's Defeat?
  • Lord of the Rings: Why Saruman Despised Gandalf Even Before Joining Sauron
  • Star Wars: Should Kylo Ren Return in Future Movies?
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife Director Teases Forgotten Character's Return
  • Pixar’s Brave Took Inspiration From a Lesser-Known Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale
  • Child’s Play: Every Gruesome Way Chucky Has Died
  • REPORT: Early Synopsis for Marvel's Blade Reboot Surfaces
  • Captain Marvel 2 Set Photo Reveals Ms. Marvel's New Costume
  • Resident Evil Star Marina Mazepa Teases Lisa Trevor's Tragic & Twisty Backstory
  • Andrew Garfield Explains Why His Spider-Man Wouldn’t Like the MCU's Iron Man
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home Resurrects a Classic Death Scene - But Is This MJ's Fate?
  • Lord of the Rings: Could Smaug Have Destroyed the One Ring With His Fire?
  • Watch full movie for free, click here daily update 👉