This question asks why isn't the Force used to snap a neck instead of choking. It is harder to snap a neck than to hold someone, so it kinda makes sense that it's not used often.

However, snapping a neck is a very ineffective way of killing if we have a ranged attack that can't be covered. Why not use the Force to pop a vein inside the person's brain? Just scramble a part of the brain and the person is gone. Not much strength is needed, the kill is instant (so you can't really prepare for it).

Why not just cause a stroke to an enemy?

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    I think usually when they are force choking people its out of anger or to intimidate them. A quick death is not what they are looking for in most of those scenes. Dec 26, 2017 at 20:11
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    This kind of question pops up on RPG boards where magic effects in game systems are open-ended. Unlike RPGs where exploits that are not ruled against or closed officially will be used by enterprising players, all it takes in this case is for the writers to willingly limit the powers used by characters - mainly because unlimited power or easy wins make for boring conflicts. Whether this limit is supported by any canon material (such as writer guidelines on limitation of The Force), I would not know. Dec 26, 2017 at 20:12
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    In every instance that a Force user uses the Force to choke someone, it's either used to intimidate (like with Krennic) or to kill (Needa). In all cases, it's 100% effective.
    – Valorum
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:19
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    Why not just use a battle axe to slice an artery? Because it's easier to just swing the blasted thing at someones head.
    – amflare
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:48
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4 Answers 4


The same answer applies, but for a different reason

Think about it this way; in a physical confrontation, it is very unlikely for a person to die from a broken neck. Beating, stabbing or choking a person to death is far more common. Why should using the Force be any different?

  1. Strokes aren't guaranteed to kill. Debilitate, maybe, but even still, you're not guaranteed an outcome. Strokes are funny things.
  2. The Force isn't exactly a scalpel. We don't see any Force users use it in some super-precise attack. Windpipes are large enough, but you're talking about making a blood clot, or severing a specific blood vessel. While I wouldn't be surprised to see a Force user focus and do something small like this, I imagine the degree of difficulty in identifying a target, let alone execute. The closest we get to anything like this was in Legends, when Cilghal healed Mon Mothma from nano-destroyers, a process that took hours and hours.
  3. Force choking is one part showmanship. Just ask General Hux or Rey. A stroke is more an assassination technique.

No breathing = dead. No blood to the brain = dead. Far easier for a proficient Force user to target as well. Go for the throat.


If you include EU, that's definitely something doable: we have healers who manage to extract infection of nanoparticles from Mon Mothma via the Force; which is definitely far more difficult task.

However, one of the main weapons of the Sith isn't merely killing - it's terror. And it's certainly far more conductive to terrifying everyone to force-choke someone than to merely give them an internal bleeding or blocking an artery (hey! I'm the dude who made that guy drop dead! I swear!). This is the same reason Vader walks around in a terrifying mask and black suit instead of a sensible armor; and why Tarkin refused to test Death Star on Dantooine instead of Alderaan (as he openly stated in Episode IV and later in Disney canon book Tarkin he further clarified the Imperial terror philosophy)


  Force is a blunt weapon for most users.

Among first things that Padawan or Sith apprentice learns are various kinematic skills like grabbing, pulling, pushing and levitating objects (or himself). Most of them really never go further from this level. Choking someone is really just extensions of Force grip, in one episode of Clone Wars it is shown that even Padawans could do that when properly angered. But to pop a vein would require mastery not seen in many. It is said that Darth Plagueis could manipulate midi-chlorians, so this kind of attack could possibly be available to him, and maybe to his apprentice Palpatine. However other Dark side users (Maul for example) were never that subtle with the Force. For the Sith, those who would use such technique (warriors and assassins) were never skilled enough to attempt it, and those who could do it usually had minions to do their dirty work. As for Jedi, I really don't see it that masters like Yoda or Windu would want to use assassinate someone.


The force is transmitted from the mind of the user through low frequency energy waves. Lower frequency energy waves have a longer wavelength and are larger than high frequency brain waves/radio waves/energy waves. The smallest the wave can be is about three inches wide. The effect is similar to if you are pushing or pulling with your hand. When I use the force to pick up a small object on a table, all the small objects near it start to float too. That's why I can't use my powers to cheat in Vegas. :-)

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    Do you have any evidence from source materials that this is how Force powers work?
    – Politank-Z
    Dec 27, 2017 at 5:27

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