A popular thing to do these days is to jump up in the air and hold your throat while your friend pretends to Force Choke you.

enter image description here

At the beginning of A New Hope, Darth Vader lifts and chokes someone physically with direct contact with his hand, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't ever lift and choke with the Force. If I'm wrong, when does he use the Force to lift and choke? If I'm right, where does the idea of lift and Force Choke come from?

Does Vader ever actually lift any of his victims into the air when he Force Chokes them?

  • I think this is a case of people conflating two separate parts of the movies. Vader lifts someone off the ground and manually chokes him in the opening scene, and later, he uses the Force to choke other people to death. Put them together and you get Vader lifting people off the ground while Force-choking them.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 1:08
  • 4
    I'm not sure why this is getting downvoted...
    – Null
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 3:32

2 Answers 2


Short answer: Yes, Vader occasionally lifts someone when using Force Choke, but he didn't do so in any of the films.

This Youtube video is a collection of every scene in which Darth Vader used Force Choke on someone in the two trilogies:

Wookieepedia's article on Force Choke lists the same instances for Vader (it also lists some from his time before he turned to the dark side and became Vader). Vader used Force Choke the following times in the films:

  1. Against Padme in Episode III.
  2. Against Admiral Motti on the Death Star in Episode IV.
  3. Against Admiral Ozzel at Hoth in Episode V.
  4. Against Captain Needa after his failure to capture the Millennium Falcon in Episode V.

As the linked Youtube video confirms, Vader never lifted anyone off the ground with the Force when using Force Choke in the films.

That said, Dooku lifted Obi-Wan off the ground when choking him in Episode III:

enter image description here

Also, some more recent works portray Vader as lifting a victim off the ground while using Force Choke. For example:

Without breaking stride, he used the Force to take hold of Orn Free Taa. He lifted the obese Twi’lek from the floor and hung him in the air before the Emperor. Taa, wide-eyed, his many chins trembling, pawed at his throat and gasped for air. Vader took care not to kill him...yet.

- Lords of the Sith (published in 2015), p. 99

The concept of lifting a person off the ground when choking him/her did come before the prequel trilogy. For example, some (now Legends) video games have a dark side power (sometimes called Force Grip) in which the target is lifted off the ground. For example, from Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast:

enter image description here

This is probably where the idea of a levitating Force Choke originated from. The games may have been inspired by the combination of Vader's propensity for using Force Choke and the fact that he lifted the Rebel on the Tantive IV off the ground (albeit physically) in Episode IV. The inspiration may also have been a combination of normal levitation (of lightsabers, X-Wings, etc.) using the Force and Force Choke.

  • 5
    I never thought that Vader was using the Force-choke aboard the Tantive IV. It looks like he was performing a good old fashioned hand-choke, no Force involved.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 1:14
  • @WadCheber Given the anger in Vader's voice and his propensity for using Force Choke, I always assumed he augmented the physical choking with the Force (even if only reflexively). But it's quite possible you're right.
    – Null
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 3:32
  • @Null - The novel suggests it was merely a hand-choke. No mention of force.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 7:45
  • @Richard Okay, thanks. I've edited that out of my answer.
    – Null
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 14:34
  • Just to get technical, since there clearly is ambiguity, we don't know whther it was a hand-choke, a force-augmented hand-choke, a hand-augmented force-choke or a full-on force-choke with his hand just casually resting to the other guy's throat. So the answer to "Does Vader ever lift anyone when he Force Chokes them?" is MAYBE (!) Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 15:05

In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, while he was still Anakin, he did lift Poggle the Lesser and Asajj Ventress at different points. Later, when he became Darth Vader, he lifted some Twi'Leks in the book Lords of the Sith. I think he did that in his comic book as well. That's the canon anyway.

  • This is a good answer, especially since it has canon sources. Adding citations for your sources would greatly improve the overall quality of your answer. +1 :)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 4:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.