"My only weapon is the Force!"- Jedi Master Plo Koon, developer of Electric Judgment
Continuing our discussion of Force Lightning, we come to its use by Jedi. Force Lightning is inherently Dark Side, but there are Jedi who have used this ability. Jedi Master Plo Koon discusses his use of Force Lightning in the following recording in the Great Holocron...
I'd been tracking Dreed Pommel for five days across space before I found him on Metellos. Pommel had taken refuge in an executive suite within the floating city of Ektra. Despite my efforts at stealth, Pommel was somehow alerted to my approach, for when I entered the suite he was already clutching a female human child and holding a blaster to her head.
The suite was spacious, and I was separated from Pommel by a distance of fifteen meters. Keeping an eye on me, Pommel began pulling the crying girl- I estimated her to be five years old- out through a wide doorway, beyond which I could see a small ship that rested on the suite's private landing pad. Obviously, his intent was to escape, and he considered the child his insurance. I had no reason to doubt that he would eventually kill her, even if i allowed them to board the escape vessel, for I could see what he'd done to the girl's parents and two siblings, whose bodies lay upon the floor of the inner suite.
In hindsight, there were many possible tactics I might have employed to apprehend Pommel and rescue the child, but I did not consider any options or calculate angles of attack as I watched him drag her toward the ship. I believe I acted instinctively when I extended my right arm toward Pommel and released a barrage of lightning.
I know that the Jedi Council was hesitant to send me on any assignment so soon after the death of Master Tyvokka, but I did not let loose with Force Lightning the way undisciplined beings might release stress. Like other Jedi, I learned of Force lightning at the Jedi Temple, and I am well aware that it is regarded as a dark side power. I never had any special interest in Force lightning, or felt compelled to experiment with it, but I knew it was- at least in me- an innate ability. I did not feel anger as I directed the lightning at Pommel's head, nor did I fear for the girl's safety. I was calm and in control of my faculties. I merely acted to end the situation before any more innocents died.
Upon being struck by the first bolt, Pommel reacted as anticpated as the shock seized his system. His arms flew out and away from his body, releasing both the blaster and the child, who fell to the landing pad. A second bolt ensured that Pommel would remain unconscious until local authorities arrived. I was never tempted to deal a killing blow.
Upon my return from Metellos, my use of Force lightning was included in my report to the Jedi Council. I maintained that I did not embrace the dark side when I used this ability, and that I acted by the will of the Force.
I appreciate the Council's concern with my report. I have not forgotten that is was Master Tyvokka's last wish that I join the Council. I also acknowledge the Council's observation that the Force runs strong in my family. My uncle was a Jedi Knight, as is my niece Sha Koon. While Kel Dors like ourselves have a reputation for seeing moral issues in black and white, I urge the Council to disregard my family in this situation, for I alone am responsible for my actions.
The Council asked me to contemplate whether I would hesitate to use Force lightning again, and whether I was wrong to employ it on Metellos. After much meditation, I believe it would be wrong of me to ignore this powerthat I might develop into a useful technique for combat. As for whether I was wrong to use it, I believe the only person who can rightfully answer that question is a five-year-old girl. Her name is Claria Labreezle, and she has been placed with relatives at Stratablock 7 on Metellos. May the Force be with us all.
Master Plo Koon would go on to perfect the ability he called Electric Judgment.
Now it is possible for a Jedi to learn and use Force lightning without falling to the Dark Side. But to do so requires the Jedi to be strong in many ways. Strong of character, strong of will, and an intense devotion to the Light Side. To successfully employ Force Lightning without falling to the Dark Side requires these and for the Jedi to control their emotions.
But the Jedi Council has forbade its use for multiple reasons. Force Lightning is naturally a Dark Side power and can corrupt the user with the Dark Side. Force Lightning is also an offensive power, something the Jedi disapprove of. The Jedi use the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack*. Force Lightning goes against this belief.
In the case of Plo Koon's use of Lightning on Metellos. He employed it in a way that incapacitated Pommel and did not cause any lasting effects. Even as a Jedi Knight, Plo Koon displayed a high level of control over Force Lightning and later perfected its use for Jedi. By perfected, I do not mean that it was the most powerful or that he mastered Force Lightning. In this case, Plo Koon perfected its use to the point that he could use it without falling prey to the corruption of the Dark Side.
Force Lightning is used by members of the New Jedi Order, but still remains a controversial power. It is also the only known power to affect the Yuuzhan Vong.
*Who said that?
Our two-part look at Force Lightning is complete. We are nearing the end of our look at Force powers. The next power is the Sever Force ability.
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