After Supreme Leader Snoke gets Mauled by Kylo, his Praetorian Guard leap into action to avenge him. Rey and Kylo are heavily outnumbered and it's a tough fight for them since the Guard have weapons capable of withstanding light sabres.

My question is: why don't the pair use the Force (beyond innate usage in terms of improved reflexes etc) to give them an advantage? We later see Kylo Ren use Force-choke on Hux, so at the very least we know he has that ability in his arsenal. He also throws Rey with the Force in TFA. Rey is also later able to lift an impressive number of rocks simultaneously, so presumably she could muster a Force-lift/push to throw the Guard around. It's worth noting they both attempt a Force-pull moments later in their own duel.

I'm only familiar with the movies (although I've watched a little Clone Wars and SW Rebels animated series, but not much and certainly not enough to answer this). Is there any canon reason why people capable of using the Force would not do so, does it require special training, or maybe there's a particular reason they couldn't use it against the Guard (are the Praetorian Guard, or the Royal Guard they were based on, protected from Force usage in some way)?

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    Rey: She's still learning so is a bit preoccupied to try something she's never really used before. – TheLethalCarrot Dec 22 '17 at 13:35
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    Kylo: Probably could have done but doing so takes effort and he's only shown fighting multiple at once so never really got a gap to do so. – TheLethalCarrot Dec 22 '17 at 13:36
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    Maybe if Luke trained her instead of showing her where he gets his fish and milk from Rey would have used the Force more... – FoolishyetWise Dec 22 '17 at 14:16
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    @Omegacron I would say the poor writing was actually done in Episodes 1, 2, and 3, where Jedi used force "powers" during combat. Note that in episodes 4, 5, and particularly 6, when Luke or Obi-Wan fight with a lightsaber, they don't use any force "powers" aside from Luke recovering his lightsaber. Remember, "A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack". Just like TheLethalCarrot's comment: "That's not how the force works". – Todd Wilcox Dec 22 '17 at 22:06
up vote 23 down vote accepted

I'm going to coin/abuse the term Force powers to mean things like chokes, pushes, lifts, etc., as opposed to merely channeling the Force, which would involve using the Force to see & anticipate and strengthen & quicken oneself.

If we consider all eight movies and the uses of the Force in all eight, three movies stand apart from the other five: Episodes 1, 2, and 3. Notice that primarily light-side Force users and Jedi do not use Force powers during fights in episodes 4 through 8. In episodes 5 and 6, we do see Luke Force pull his lightsaber multiple times, but that's it. Every other combat use of the Force by Luke or Obi-Wan in episodes 4, 5, and 6 could (and I argue should) be seen as channeling. Also note that the dark-side Force users in 4, 5, and 6 make liberal use of Force powers, and the ultimate Force power, Force lightning, used in those three is used by the most evil character.

So to my mind it makes more sense to wonder why the Jedi in episodes 1, 2, and 3 are suddenly throwing around Force powers during combat willy-nilly. Out of universe, I have always chalked that up to inconsistent lazy and/or patronizing writing. But maybe it was actually very good writing in the sense that in-universe it seems to me to be part of the decadence of the Jedi order prior to their failure and the fall of the Republic.

If there's any hierarchy of "Force canon", IMHO the ultimate source for how the Force works and is used by Jedi must be Yoda, particularly in episode 5, and it all boils down to:

A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

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    Awesome points, and well reasoned. +1. People forgetting they’re peace keepers. – Edlothiad Dec 22 '17 at 22:29
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    Also, for dark-side Force users like Kylo, I don't think we ever see an example of techniques like Force-choke used against more than a single target at a time. Perhaps performing a Force-choke requires substantial concentration and leaves the choker less able to defend against other assailants. Or in other words, trying to Force-choke in a melee against multiple combatants would be tantamount to suicide. – aroth Dec 23 '17 at 13:35
  • Accepting pending more info from the novelisation, I like the idea that the prequel era Jedi perhaps abused their powers too much and then this was deliberately reined in in the original trilogy (and this seems to be the methodology Luke is continuing to promote in TLJ which fits nicely). On the peace keepers front, I'd point out they were still making liberal use of light sabers in TLJ to literally dismember/kill their attackers (and even Obi-Wan in ANH goes straight for dismemberment). Sometimes restraining attackers with the Force could be a less violent method of keeping the peace. – delinear Jan 5 at 9:57
  • @aroth yeah that's the kind of thing I was thinking of, not sure if there's any canon mention of it requiring that degree of concentration anywhere but if there was that would definitely apply to this situation. – delinear Jan 5 at 9:59
  • @delinear Regarding Obi-Wan in Star Wars, I think that's a clear case of using The Force for "defense", since the arm he cut off was holding a blaster that had just been drawn to either kill Obi-Wan or Luke or both of them. But I see how you're suggesting a force choke or push might have been a less destructive way to defuse the situation. Very interesting. – Todd Wilcox Jan 5 at 22:01

Rey is using the Force all the time . Most of times she uses it the same way Yoda or Leia do, reinforcing herself with speed, reflexes and strength as well as precognition and resistance.

The girl is a Force nexus and that means things happen, without needing to consciously control them.

In the fight with the red armored guys, it it very clear how much she is channeling the Force, blocking three adult men at once with one hand, and kicking them away like a locomotive.

Doesn't work against Snooke's , since that actually requires knowledge.Ignorance can only you help you so much, after all.

Luckily, Kylo Ren knew how to work around the darksght of his Master.

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