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In a number of lightsaber duels between Jedi and Sith, we see one duelist, usually a Sith, use the Force to toss objects at their opponent. The opponent ducks or dodges the object, or slices it in two with a light saber. And once the object is sliced with a saber, both halves fall to the floor or ground.

So if something is on a trajectory where it would hit one's opponent, and it's sliced, why is it none of the Sith or Jedi who use this technique can't keep at least one half of this object going so it hits their opponent, in spite of the light saber slicing?

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    For that matter, why not toss two or three or five objects at once which can't all be sliced? Yoda certainly manages to move lots of different objects simultaneously when Dooku breaks the ceiling to drop rubble on him. Maybe you're thinking too logically!
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Oct 1, 2011 at 7:20
  • This is a great question. Maybe it's just too hard to concentrate on angles and variations... No really I dont know.
    – Monkeygirl
    Commented Oct 1, 2011 at 10:27
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    In that vein, why not use your telekinetic power to turn off your opponents lightsaber? Or to yank his pants down (as a distraction)? Probably pays not to think too hard about this. :)
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 1:11
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    @KyleJones: I'm now picturing that first lightsaber duel we ever saw with Obi-Wan suddenly using the Force to pants Vader!
    – Tango
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 5:50
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    @RexKerr maybe put a bunch of bricks in a sack and throw that? Jedi chops the sack, brinks fly everywhere, one has to catch him in the forehead!
    – Daft
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 15:22

4 Answers 4

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The Jedi/Sith do not control the trajectory of the objects because it requires immense concentration to do so, allowing the opponent to stage an attack or make good his escape. Merely using the force to hurl it is less precise, but can be effective if you have several objects (at least one out of many might hit) or if you have a large object (larger area for the opponent to avoid).

Two particular scenes come to mind that conveys how much concentration it takes:

  1. (Episode 2: AotC) When Yoda and Dooku fight, Dooku very easily uses the force to dent the structure, causing it to fall towards Obi-wan and Anakin due to gravity. It requires a focussed effort from Yoda to control the object and move it away from the two. He couldn't just risk blasting it with force to push it because the trajectory in this case is unpredictable and could've ended up hurting either one of them. Needless to say, Dooku used this misdirection to escape.
  2. (Episode 3: RotS) When Yoda and Sidious duel, Sidious hurls several pods in the Senate assembly at Yoda. After avoiding a few, Yoda stops one mid air and concentrates on spinning it and hurls it back at Sidious, which was pretty effective in throwing him off balance. Perhaps the reason why Sidious didn't do anything was because he couldn't see Yoda behind the pod, and he probably wasn't paying too much attention, instead enjoying his little melee and the chaos.

Under normal circumstances, it's much easier to throw something at someone with reasonable aim and leave them to defend while you plan your next move, rather than controlling the object carefully and precisely.

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  • A drawer full of cutlery might do the trick? Yoda could stop most of the knives but a fork would make it through!
    – Daft
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 15:26
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Two main reasons are likely (aside from "They just didn't think it through and it makes for a nice plot/scene device with good visual", of course):

  • Force push/force throw is mainly used to accelerate an object. Presumably you don't keep pushing it once you launched it a short distance. Whereas the slicer probably employs force push to slow down the object when near them and/or to impart momentum to two halves to split up to miss them.

  • As Monkeygirl noted, changing the object by slicing it may disrupt control over the original object even if the push/throw was continuously being applied. This actually helps explain the effect better, but this approach contradicts physics more than the first one (forward-moving momentum should have prevented "falling to the ground immediately" part).

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  • Also, Forcing an object at your opponent isn't an end in itself. Rather, the goal is to fatigue your opponent physically and mentally to make subduing them (with a light saber) easier. As for your second point above I beleive you answered the contradictory part in the first point; the slicer is employing their own force power to reduce the momentum of the Forced object. Combine that with the observed ability of a light saber to absorb Force power and the object may be reduced to a near 0 horizontal velocity.
    – Xantec
    Commented Oct 1, 2011 at 14:53
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In Phantom Menace we see Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan face off against Maul. They immediately lose their outer cloaks and default to just their tunics.

Similarly, in Attack of the Clones, as the arena fight starts we see Mace Windu sneak up on Dooku and Fett and, as the fight turns to him, shed his cloak and fight in tunic.

As most others have said large cloaks are more fitting to the Jedi/Sith lifestyle, as they're the stereotypical "monk"/evil"monk garb that Jedi, then Sith, were designed wearing. Realistically a cloak is a useful outfit for a minimalist culture like the Jedi, or for a sneaky culture like the Sith; it's effectively one size fits all, keeps you warm in cold environments and can be opened in hot ones, or not worn. It helps hide you from prying eyes, meaning that the weird monk-looking guy isn't the centre of attention.

Also, even if you consider a typical lightsaber fight, a billowing cloak might be used to confuse an attacker. Remember that most force-wielders use the force to bolster their own strength and reflexes, so a "heavy" cloak probably doesn't bother them in the least, and can possibly be used as a visual hindrance against attackers e.g. billowing it in their eyes, making their target appear larger, etc.

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  • This is about capes, yet the question is about light sabers and objects sliced by them. It's hard to see how this is a relevant answer.
    – Tango
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 5:47
  • Woops, this was meant for another question on capes. I don't know how to delete a comment though.
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 4:37
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The lightsaber itself is a focal point for channeling force energies. When the blade slices through the force thrown object the force energy used for the throw is channeled into the lightsaber much the way Yoda channels away Dooku's force lightening. Then the Jedi can redirect that energy into altering the path of the thrown object. In TESB Luke has not learned to channel away energy effectively yet so when he slices the objects thrown by Vader he is not able to fully deaden and redirect the objects. The effect is actually described quite regularly throughout the Extended universe of novels.

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    I've never seen any reference to such a mystical ability of a lightsaber.
    – Jeff
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 21:22
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    @Jeff it is not the lightsaber that has the ability it is simply a tool of the jedi.
    – Chad
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 12:45

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