The Jedi walk a fine line between being cool and, well, not so cool. The more we encounter them in movies, series, and other parts of the Star Wars franchise, the more we realize how dull they can be. That was one of the jaw-droppingly obvious revelations of the prequel trilogy, and one it had to overcome quickly. Even the hypocrisy of being an order of pacifists eager to scrap in the Clone Wars with their elegant lightsabers didn’t help. But before we all rush off to have more fun as Darksiders, is there more to being a Jedi?
Of course, there is. Both sides of the Force have abilities that lean towards one or other side of the Force. As Jedi never tire of saying, the dark side may grant great some attractive powers, but it blinds the true nature of the force. The Jedi may not be great at selling themselves, but at least they had Yoda working on their publicity.
When Luke Skywalker asks Yoda how he could tell the good side from the bad, the former Grand Master replies, ‘A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.’ Never has passivity been so attractive — Jedi minds have a connection with the Force that opens them to abilities their Sith counterparts just can’t reach.
So what powers are Jedi-only? Clear your mind of questions padawans, because here are nine.
Love or loathe Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker bid farewell with one of the most incredible displays of light side powers we’re ever likely to see in a movie theater. Kylo Ren was as unsuspecting as us during the final mighty confrontation between nephew and uncle. True, the ploy wasn’t that honorable, but it was an immensely powerful display and an extraordinary way for Skywalker to bow out after so many years forsaking the Jedi way. The real shame is that it meant Luke and Leia’s fan-pleasing reunion didn’t happen the way we all thought.
2. Lightsaber infusement
Light and dark lightsabers are two sides of the same coin, aren’t they? Oh no. The Sith don’t have the same connection to the blade that the Jedi have, which explains why the only color they got for is Crimson. The hatred boiling away in a Sith clouds their ability to form a Force-bond with the kyber crystal at the heart of a saber. While their red comes from the hatred poured into the crystal, Jedi have a softer relationship with their elegant weapon and a wider selection of colors reflects that. The traditional rite of passage known as the Gathering saw young Jedi finding their own crystal in the caves of Ilum, where the bond first occurs. While Sith are pretty tasty with the blades, Jedi are at one with them.
3. Mind trick
Oh, yes, Sith can influence people — where would they be without the power to manipulate and corrupt? The Jedi Mind Trick was better known in the order as a Mind Touch, a term that lessened the ethical dilemma of using it. For a Jedi it was about light suggestion — they would encourage cooperation while a Sith would take it. In the Darth Vader comics (2015), the Sith Lord dismissed the trick, stating that Sith ‘prefer Force.’
Few things meet the ideals of the Jedi Order like Force Healing. Those on the light side could draw on the Force to accelerate natural healing and overcome even fatal wounds. Various levels of application have been seen throughout the saga, including overcoming fatigue and fixing a broken bone through meditation. A spin-off power called Force Assist even allowed them to project and heal others.
Healing is a powerful tool, and there have been reports of Sith being prepared to access the light side just to use it. The dark side does have an equivalent, but unsurprisingly, could only approximate at a terrible cost, usually through debilitatingly intense concentration or sucking the life force or pain from others. Darth Vader’s need for constant medical healing proves the limited power of the dark side in this area. To effectively restore his damaged organs with the Force, Vader would have to maintain a continuous, concentrated flow of anger.
5. Force Valor
This handy and positive power allowed the Jedi to increase their capacity and reactions to themselves and their allies. The most obvious example is Grand Master Yoda, using the power to overcome his age and show off his incredible lightsaber combat against Count Dooku and Darth Sidious in the Prequel Trilogy. For Jedi, the power increased their resolve, accuracy, and speed of the wielder. It was wholesome and more useful compared to the dark side variant called Force Rage which increased a Sith’s power by tapping into their deepest fears.
Not a Jedi coffee, but an ancient and dangerous art that allows the most accomplished Jedi to rapidly slow the bodily functions of an opponent. It’s a contradictory ability — so dangerous it could easily accidentally kill an opponent (if not tended while catatonic, they risked death by starvation or dehydration), but requiring a distinct knowledge of the light side that means Darksiders can’t access it. Its inherent danger and moral complexity meant that by the time of the Galactic Republic it was forbidden to all but select Jedi.
7. Power absorption
The Jedi class Power absorption under the umbrella term Tutaminis. It’s a broad selection of skills that could, depending on experience and skill, take care of blaster fire or Force weapons. The Sith have been known to absorb or deflect small blaster fire, most notably Darth Vader. But it was Grand Master Yoda who demonstrated the greatest control when he caught the Force Lightning lobbed at him by Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
Otherwise known as Force Containment, this light side ability comes in handy in a bind. Jedi used it to contain and control an object of the dark side so they could be transported or stopped from affecting their surroundings. As a way to limit and control the spread of Sith influence, it’s a far more Jedi response than the Sith would take if the saber was on the other hand — kill, destroy, obliterate. Binding was canonically first revealed in the 2021 novels of the High Republic series.
9. Force ghost immortality
There’s a fairly reliable chain of thought that the Sith simply don’t know that Jedi can survive as Force Ghosts – although Anakin may have had a suspicion before his old master surprised him at death. In many ways, this is another ability that goes against Darksiders’ physical interactions with the Force and their pursuit of unlimited and endless power through dark and literal methods like cloning and essence transference.
The Jedi once again benefit from their closer connection and selfless dedication to the Force. Through training, they were capable of becoming one with the Force and transferring their essence beyond death, effectively gaining immortality.