All 4 Force Lightning Colors Explained (In Canon)

Although Force lightning in the Star Wars universe is usually blue-purple, it can also manifest in three other colors. Let’s take a look.

Force lightning has been seen various times through the Star Wars franchise, and while the blue lightning is the best-known one, this power can also manifest in other colors. The Star Wars universe began in 1977 with the film now known as Star Wars: A New Hope, which introduced the audience to a galaxy far, far away as well as to the heroes and villains that would lead this and two more films, which are collectively known as the “original trilogy”. Years later, George Lucas decided to expand this universe with a prequel trilogy released between 1999 and 2005 and focusing on Darth Vader’s backstory.

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Following the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, the studio began working on a sequel trilogy with the purpose of closing the Skywalker saga and introducing new heroes and villains, as were Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, and Supreme Leader Snoke. Each trilogy introduced new powers from both sides of the Force, but there are some that remained the same, as is Force lightning. Although this power is not exclusive to the Sith, as there have been some light-siders who have used it (Rey, for instance), it’s commonly used by those with affinity with the dark side, as it’s through this that they can conjure it.

Related: Star Wars: Why The Jedi Are Called Knights (& Sith Are Lords)

Force lightning is a technique involving a discharge of electrical energy from the conjurer’s hands, and it’s mostly used to torture their target, as it can inflict severe pain and even cause disfigurement. In some cases, as when Palpatine used it on Mace Windu in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the intensity of Force lightning can be such that the target’s skeleton can be seen through the skin or even heavy armor. The use of this power was forbidden by the Jedi Order, but some of them used it a couple of times, most notably Rey when she tried to save Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. All these examples have shown Force lightning to be blue, but as it turns out, there are three other colors this power can manifest in (without them altering the intensity of the lightning), though not all of them appeared in the Skywalker saga.

Blue-Purple Force Lightning

Star Wars Force Lightning

As mentioned above, the most common color in Force lightning is a blueish-purple tone. In Star Wars canon, this has been used by Darth Sidious, Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus, Supreme Leader Snoke, and Rey. Palpatine used it in the original trilogy to torture Luke Skywalker and attack Darth Vader in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, to attack Mace Windu and later while fighting against Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, and in Rise of Skywalker during the Battle of Exegol; Count Dooku used it against Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (and while still on the light side, during the events of the novel Master & Apprentice); Snoke used it to subdue Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with the particularity of projecting it against the floor so it would bounce upward and knock the target off their feet; and Rey summoned this power to rescue Chewbacca, who she believed was trapped in a First Order transport that was leaving Pasaana.

Green Force Lightning

Green Force lightning has been seen in Clone Wars, used by Mother Talzin. This tone of green is like the one of the magical ichor, also known as the Waters of Life or spirit ichor, a luminescent green mist from the depths of Dathomir. The Nightsisters, an all-female order guided by the Mother (a title given to various women, including Talzin), knew how to summon the ichor through their magicks, so with that in mind, it’s not surprising that their Force lightning comes out green instead of the typical blue-purple tone.

Yellow Force Lightning

Another color Force lightning can manifest in is yellow, which has appeared in canon novels within the Star Wars universe. This yellow version was used by Darth Momin, a Sith Lord and dark side scholar who made his debut in the comic book Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 22. Momin once planned to pour the Force into his engine (a weapon with enough power to obliterate an entire city) at the moment of ignition through Force lightning, shown to be yellow, and with this slow down time and trap the expressions of horror and pain on the city’s inhabitants. Unlike Mother Talzin and the green Force lightning, which color is linked to their magick, there’s no apparent reason for Momin’s lightning to be yellow.

Related: Every Dark Jedi In Star Wars That Isn’t A Sith (In Canon)

Red Force Lightning

Being a power summoned through the dark side of the Force, it’s not surprising that Force lightning can also manifest in red. This variant was used by the Son, who is the manifestation of the dark side itself. Because of this, the Son possessed a lot of power and was virtually immortal as he could only die after his father’s death. Due to his strong connection to the dark side, his Force lightning was red, a color that appears to only be able to be manifested by the most powerful individuals. In the comic book Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 25, Vader was able to use red Force lightning when he sent an astral projection of himself to enter a portal in his castle on Mustafar. Vader used it against Palpatine, who was blocking his way as he tried to reach a vision of his wife, Padmé Amidala.

It’s unknown if the Star Wars universe will add more colors to Force lightning, especially as in the non-canon side of it there are white and black Force lightning as well, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it does. As for the ones that already exist in canon (aside from the “traditional” blue-purple tone), it’s yet to be seen if their stories will be further explored in other media, or if they will be given different levels of power at some point – after all, the Star Wars universe is always in constant change.

Next: Star Wars: Every Canon Lightsaber Color and Meaning

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