Is Force choke biologically a distinct Force power, or is it merely Force pushing the throat to constrict? Do we know the actual biological effect?

It's obviously a distinct Force power by canon, but I'm curious if it's biologically just a creative use of Force push, i.e. "Force pinch". I suppose it depends on the mechanism of choking -- is the airway being blocked/cutoff? Or is the biological process of air intake + processing, via lungs or brain stem, being seized?

Visually, it appears to be the former, as those getting their Force choked on clutch at their necks, indicating the source of blockage. Though this is probably more for a visualized effect than intentioned biology.

  • Current canon seems to eschew power names, actually. In Legends/EU it certainly was.
    – user40790
    May 9, 2017 at 17:58
  • 1
    I prefer to think of the "powers" more as skills - so Force Choke is simply a highly refined skill
    – HorusKol
    May 9, 2017 at 23:58
  • 1
    In games it is for balance's sake, but in the end it is just an expression of how proficient is one in using the force in a certain way. You could consider it like in martial arts, where you can have names for certain movements but in the end it is just that you have trained to move your body in a certain way more easily.
    – Adwaenyth
    May 11, 2017 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


Canon doesn't really classify Force "powers" precisely, e.g. to differentiate between "Force push", "Force pull", etc. That's more of an artifact from the EU/Legends (e.g. the video games, which usually require strict classification). Canon usually just describes what the Force does (cause a push, choke someone, emit lightning, etc.). So Force choke isn't really a "power" per se, it's just a use of the Force to choke someone. You could call it just one form of Force-based telekenesis.

...is the airway being blocked/cutoff? Or is the biological process of air intake + processing, via lungs or brain stem, being seized?

The airway is constricted (blocked), at least when Vader does it. The canon novel Lords of the Sith has a good description of Vader's use of the power:

She looked up through the canopy of the escort boat, eyes wide with disbelief, to see the shuttle, merely tens of meters distant and flying upside down. The ships’ cockpit viewports faced each other. Isval could see Vader, and Vader could see them. Vader made a gesture with his gloved hand, as if he were pinching off a bleeding artery, and Isval felt her throat constrict. Instinctively she reached for her neck, but there was nothing there, just the pressure, just the squeezing. She couldn’t breathe! She pawed at her neck, panicked now, legs kicking. Beside her, Eshgo was behaving the same way. She fought to draw breath, couldn’t. She clawed at her collar, squirmed in her seat, made a tiny gasp. Whatever held her squeezed tighter, tighter.

p. 141

  • 2
    I like that this addresses that the Force "powers" are not listed as " Force <name of effect>". I always imagined that it sounded like a corny comic book hero yelling out their actions as they executed them. Example: "Wings of JUSTICE!!!" (flapping wings to create whirlwind).
    – Josafoot
    May 9, 2017 at 19:30
  • I learned something new today, and have a new book that needs reading -- thanks! Jun 9, 2017 at 1:02

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.