Maul (formerly Darth, now just Maul) was once a Dark Lord of the Sith, apprenticed to Darth Sidious. He was trained in the ways of the dark side since childhood, many years before Sidious discovered the existence of Anakin Skywalker. As such, it feels reasonable to believe Sidious genuinely intended to train Maul to be his future successor - at least up until Anakin came into the picture - rather than being a mere placeholder like Tyranus was.

Unlike in Legends, the canon Sidious was loyal to the Rule of Two, so there is no reason to believe he would hold back on teaching Maul everything he knew either.

However, after losing his legs and having them replaced with metal ones, he is not much different from Anakin in some ways. Force Lightning was debilitating but not immediately lethal. What sets him apart from Vader, however, is that he had no life support systems to be fried by Lightning - the reason Vader couldn't learn to use it.

So, it comes down to this: did Sidious teach Maul to use Force Lightning at all? If he did, can Maul still use it? It may not kill himself since he's not like Vader but it can still be more of a liability than an asset nonetheless in most cases.

  • Possible dupe of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/10530/…
    – Valorum
    Feb 21, 2017 at 13:06
  • 1
    He has no guts for that.
    – void_ptr
    Feb 21, 2017 at 17:49
  • “Please, Darth Maul is my father. Call me Jeremy.” Apr 16, 2017 at 18:15
  • I thought that the reason Vader couldn't generate Force Lightning was because his arms were artificial, not because of his life support. I don't know where I got that idea. Apr 17, 2017 at 13:14
  • That couldn't have been true. Logically, that would by extension mean his prosthetics can't wield the Force at all but Rogue One clearly demonstrated he is far from that. I think for him it's more of a risk to his life support systems that perhaps Sidious was unwilling to take. In canon, Palpatine was serious about having Vader be his future successor...until a considerably more intact Luke came into the picture. Apr 25, 2017 at 14:41

3 Answers 3


It's useful to have an ace in the hole.

This dialog can be found in Witches of the Mist, an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, between Savage Oppress and Count Dooku:

Savage: How does one defend against such power?

Dooku: A wise master does not reveal all his secrets at once. In due time, my apprentice.

In the "Rule of Two" style system, it's very useful for a Sith Master to have techniques available to them which are not available to one's apprentice; Sith Holocrons are available to teach any techniques one's Master neglects during one's training. Considering the sheer power produced by Force Lightning, it's probably safe to bet that Masters hold out on their apprentices. "Shorting out Vader's life support" was just a convenient excuse.

In Legends, it's implied that Force Lightning is one of those skills that require complete mastery of the Force, a willingness to bend the fabric of the universe to your will, and only the most powerful force users would be able to use it (and usually only the Sith would dare) (Darth Plagueis). If you're willing to accept this, it's additional support as to why Maul didn't use it; he was powerful, but not Palpatine Powerful.


Maul is shown using Force Lightning in several video games.

  • The Phantom Menace Video Game:

  • Clone Wars Adventures:

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However, none of these appearances have particularly strong canonicity. Given that he never uses it in any of his regular appearances, the answer seems to be no.


I'd suggest that if he was taught he would have used it in one of the many battles we have seen him in.

At the very least it would have been quite handy while trying to fight two Jedi while he still had his legs.

Obi Wan, down a hole, out of lightsaber reach would seem to be a perfect time to use force lightning. The fact that he doesn't would seem to show that he doesn't know how to use it.

It may not be that he was unable. Being physically more powerful than Sidious, it is possible that Sidious needed to keep a trick in the bag in case (when) he turned on his master.

  • 1
    It seems possible that Maul was simply arrogant and didn't go all out on the "inferior" Jedi. He was certainly gloating over his impending victory when Obi-Wan was almost defeated. About Sidious keeping the skill to himself...it runs counter to everything the Rule of Two dictated but who knows what Sidious truly thinks? Feb 21, 2017 at 15:49

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