In Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker we see Force heal used at multiple points by Light Side users. However in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith it seems that this is a Dark Side exclusive power. Anakin doesn't know how to use it and Palpatine says that it's not a power you can learn from a Jedi. What's the explanation for this?

  • 2
    Honorable mention for Baby Yoda also.
    – Lexible
    Jan 6, 2020 at 4:35
  • Which Jedi do you see using it in TRoS? We see the last Jedi in that eponymous film, there are no more in TRoS.
    – TylerH
    Jan 6, 2020 at 21:24
  • @TylerH "I am all the Jedi' - Rey Palpatine (not Skywalker) Jan 6, 2020 at 21:55
  • @DJSpicyDeluxe About as technically accurate as "all the Jedi live in you now".
    – TylerH
    Jan 6, 2020 at 22:06

4 Answers 4


The power that Darth Plagueis had was distinct from what was used in The Rise of Skywalker.

In TROS Rey and Ben use the Force to transfer their life between themselves and other organics, there is no new life being created, this is why Ben has to die to save Rey. On the other hand, Palpatine says that Darth Plagueis influenced the midichlorains to create life, ie he wasn't transferring life, he was creating new life.

Anakin probably could have transferred his own life to Padme but then he would have died instead, but if he could create life the way that Plagueis could then they could both survive.

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    I also doubt Palpatine would have given Anakin the hope of healing Padme, even if Anakin had to fully or partially sacrifice himself. He wants Anakin under his control; best way to do that is lie & obfuscate. Once he's under Palpatine's control, what's the first thing he does but lie to Vader saying that Padme is dead!
    – elemtilas
    Jan 3, 2020 at 18:51
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    @elemtilas Padme was dead, Vader did (sort of) kill her. Palpatine wasn't lying. Jan 3, 2020 at 19:47
  • D'oh! I meant Palpatine lying that Anakin actually killed her!
    – elemtilas
    Jan 3, 2020 at 23:26
  • @DJSpicyDeluxe Palpatine had no way of knowing Padme was dead. He was intentionally lying and only inadvertently telling the truth that she was dead.
    – TylerH
    Jan 6, 2020 at 21:26

Palpatine says that it's not a power you can learn from a Jedi. What's the explanation for this?

Palpatine was likely trying to manipulate Anakin. Throughout the prequel trilogy, clone wars,...etc Palpatine is constantly manipulating different people to achieve his goals. While it is possible that the power he described exists, he is more likely claiming its existence in an attempt to manipulate Anakin.

  • From Legends novels I'm pretty sure we had confirmation that this power existed. Under Disney's canon, I'm not sure. Jan 8, 2020 at 17:04

I’m not sure that any of the Jedi during Anakin’s time knew about Force heal. We never see it used during the Clone Wars, a time where that ability would be very useful. I think it is possible Rey learned it from the Jedi texts. Then when she healed Ben, he learned about the ability and used it to save Rey later. Before you ask, I’m sure Baby Yoda relied on his instinct or the will of the Force to use Force heal.

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    Obi Wan (appears to) use it after Luke is attacked by the Sand People in IV.
    – elemtilas
    Jan 3, 2020 at 18:49
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    I would not call what Obi-Wan did Force heal. It didn’t look like what was used in The Rise of Skywalker and the Mandalorian. But it is a possibility. Perhaps the Force ghost of Qui-Gon taught Obi-Wan the ability. We know from Revenge of the Sith and From a Certain Point of View that Qui-Gon popped in every now and then to teach/talk with his former apprentice. Jan 3, 2020 at 19:12
  • Keep in mind, Obi Wan's scene was shot like 40+ years ago. I doubt Lucas had even a glimmer of ROS in his mind at that time, either story or cinematography! Anyway, his comment to R2 seems to indicate a sure knowledge of Luke's condition. Conjecture: living alone in the neighbourhood of the Sand People is as good a place to learn & practice force healing as any, just because in 20+ years alone, you're bound to have a run in or two!
    – elemtilas
    Jan 3, 2020 at 23:29
  • I agree that Force healing was most likely not the original intention...but when has that ever mattered in Star Wars? Also just because he knew Luke was going to be okay doesn’t mean Force healing. It could just be good old fashioned medical knowledge. Jan 3, 2020 at 23:36
  • I don't disagree with your points, though the way he grabs at Luke's wrist doesn't instill much confidence in me that Obi Wan knows how to find, let alone assess a pulse! It's the configuration of fingers on Luke's forehead followed by several moments of concentration that leads me to think this is some class of healing by Force.
    – elemtilas
    Jan 3, 2020 at 23:43

In the Legends novel Shadows of the Empire, Darth Vader does use Force Healing. In the movie Empire Strikes Back, the time you see him with his helmet off-is actually a chamber he uses not only for communication, but also to focus his time into healing the permanent damage. In the SoE book, he uses as much hate as he can, but can only remain outside his breathing apparatus for something like 15 minutes, and it causes him pain to even do the act-using more rage to make himself last longer each time.

It may just be Legends, but it fits into the canon universe.

  • In the novels and in the movies, Bacta tanks for healing are a well-known healing method. Luke is also in a Bacta tank after his near-death experience in the frozen wastes of Hoth. Finn also wore a modern 'bacta suit' for nearly the entirety of TLJ. There's nothing Force-related about them so far as we know.
    – TylerH
    Jan 6, 2020 at 21:29

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