Darth Vader is very well known for his force-choke. It's probably the most specific use of the force that I can remember seeing, in that otherwise you usually see force users pushing or pulling entire people or objects, rather than just part of them.

Why don't the Jedi, or even the Sith, also go for physical force techniques on other parts of the body to incapacitate targets either more quickly, or without killing them?

For instance, a Sith with no qualms about it could squeeze a Jedi's heart and he's dead without having to resort to light-saber fighting. Or force strike their nose up towards the brain. Or probably a lot of other easier and deadlier attacks that simply pull an important vein, causing very quick bleed-out.

A Jedi could do the equivalent of a hard strike to the spine, separating the spine and causing paralysis, but not death. He could disarm his opponents and restrain them.

Why don't force users engage in more varied force attacks, both against other force users and against individuals not fluent in the force?

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    Because all trained Jedi would employ a Force barrier and other defences to prevent such attacks. In the legends cannon series about Darth bane the author goes into some detail about preparing proper defenses against various force attacks.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 22:27
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    @DoubleDouble - Using the force seems to require considerable clarity of thought. I'm assuming that while you meditate and wave your hands around, your opponent will be busy smacking you upside the head
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 22:29
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    In the "Star Wars Dark Empire" comics Luke destroys a group of battle droids by using the Force to mess with their internal components. That's the closest example I know of to what you are describing.
    – Drew C
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 23:06
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    The Force Tickle is seen as un-manly
    – Oldcat
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 0:48
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    Great. Now I have to worry about getting hit with a Force-Nutshot.
    – Nate
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


EDIT: It was pointed out to me that there are several fights in the Prequels that show direct physical force being used between duelists. Obi-Wan and Anakin are evenly matched in their Force pushes, to the point that they blow themselves away, and Yoda throws Sideous across a room during the pre-ample to their main duel. This invalidates one of my original points.

Anakin vs. Obi-Wan does seem to indicate that it's usually not a good idea to try Force-pushing another force user around, as they can counter it. Anakin even takes to choking him manually later in the fight, rather than through the force.

The Force Choke has also never been shown in the movies to be used in a fight. Vader uses it as a method of intimidation/execution. Combined with the force push attempt in his duel with Obi-Wan, this seems to show that it's simply not an effective combat tactic, rather than necessarily impossible. If it takes focus or effort, then a pitched duel is not the right time for it. There are simpler/faster ways to kill.

Original Post

I do not believe we ever see Jedi/Sith/Force-users applying physical force to each other. They nearly always fight with thrown objects or lightsabers, occasionally lightning. Unless this was seen in the animated shows which I have not seen. From this it seems reasonable to infer that they cannot directly force-choke/force-push each other, whether this is due to passive protection, or active prevention is not clear in the movies.

One other point, Vader is not the only person to use Force choke. In Return of the Jedi Luke is seen force-choking a guard in Jabba’s palace.

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