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Force Choke appears to be just that - the use of the Force to restrict the airways. In that regard, it is similar to Force Levitation or other actual "Force" based Force powers. I'm wondering two things:

  1. Has any Jedi ever used it, either in canon or in Legends?
  2. If not, is that because it is specifically a dark side power? If so, what distinguishes dark side powers over light side powers? For example, we see Dooku using the Force to try to bring down a building on top of Obi-Wan and Anakin in Episode 2. He is using the Force darkly, but that's just Force Telekinesis.
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    It's just telekinesis used for evil, same as if you picked someone up and dropped them into lava. It's not that there's an inherently evil power, it's that one is using the Force to do evil. – DavidW Jun 2 at 18:02
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    Indeed, and that makes sense. But there appear to be some powers, like force lightning, that are specifically dark side powers. I was wondering if the same thing applied here – Michael Stachowsky Jun 2 at 18:03
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    I'm pretty sure iirc that in The Mandolorian (minor spoiler ahead!) "Baby Yoda" force chokes someone. My assumption is they are not yet trained in either Jedi or Sith skills though. – Wiggo the Wookie Jun 2 at 18:35
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    @MichaelStachowsky At least in some works, there aren't "dark side" powers as such, only powers that it's very rare to use in a light-sided way. Force Lightning, for instance, is mostly an inefficient but extremely painful way to kill people, making it extremely dark. But it might not be a dark power if you use it against, say, a starship. – Cadence Jun 2 at 19:34
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    According to the KOTOR2 ability tree, force choke is a dark side power. – MooseBoys Jun 3 at 5:56
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To answer your first question, Luke Force Chokes the guards in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi and there are many episodes in the Clone Wars series where Anakin (who was still considered a good Jedi) uses the Force Choke. There is also an instance of Ahsoka using Force Choke (Force picked someone up by their neck):

There is nothing indicating that this is specifically a dark side power. There are many Force abilities that both light and dark users frequently use.

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    Or, maybe not? scifi.stackexchange.com/a/108356/54124 – Jesse C. Slicer Jun 3 at 13:32
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    @JesseC.Slicer I suppose a Jedi mind trick is a possibility, but if you watch the scene you see the guards reaching for their throats. They reacted as if they were being choked. – sf02 Jun 3 at 14:25
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    I was maybe 11 when it came out and I thought Luke choked the guards. Lucasfilm apparently wants Luke to be pristine and said (I think that answer references it, but I don't recall) that the mind trick was to make the guards THINK they were choking. I didn't care at the time - it was fun action. – Jesse C. Slicer Jun 3 at 15:35
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    Didn't Anakin massacre a group of sand people including children in episode 2 Attack of the Clones, before the time of the Clone Wars series? If so, Annakin was already evil in the Clone Wars series. Murdering children is what makes someone evil, not switching their formal allegiance from the light side and the Jedi to the dark side and the Sith. – M. A. Golding Jun 3 at 16:52
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    It's basically a slippery slope once you start using the force to deal damage directly, force pushing people off buildings also quite "dark sidey", but force choking is like real life choking someone's life out slowly vs a, relatively un-personal, shot from a gun at a distance. One is an intimate desire to see someone die at your hands, the other is killing as the desired outcome. – Populus Jun 3 at 19:15
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To answer your second question, in movie canon, it is not specific powers which are explicitly "dark-side", but the intention behind their use, as Yoda explains in ESB:

Luke: ... Is the dark side stronger?

Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?

Yoda: You will know... when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

However, you can also find many instances in other lower-canon works where a very explicit distinction is made, for example, in video games where the player can choose to use "dark side" powers or "light side" powers. There are also "universal powers". In these instances, Force Choke/Force Grip is categorized as a dark side power.

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    I've edited so the links are inline and so it is clear what each reference is referring to. If I made a mistake feel free to roll the edit back. – TheLethalCarrot Jun 3 at 9:13
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    Good point. There's no real force "choke". There's force "affect objects". Willing a lightsabre into your hand, levitating a slice of pear, pushing over some droids, gently squeezing someone's airway, all really the same thing. – Grimm The Opiner Jun 3 at 12:36
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    Game mechanics such as light/dark side powers and Force meters have never been considered canon. They're there for game balancing purposes only. – 520 Jun 3 at 14:54
  • I read Yoda's line with his accent in my head. Amazing, it is not? – REDACTEDーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー Jun 3 at 15:33
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    Although the games categorized the powers, IIRC they had no impact on the ending chosen by the player. Kyle Katarn even explains that "abilities aren't inherently good or evil... it's how you use them.". – stewbasic Jun 3 at 23:53

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