Can Force Lightning be projected from a distant source (such as the sky or a charged object) rather than from a Sith's body?

If possible, this could potentially (EE pun intended) make it more difficult for a Jedi to defend against since the Jedi could be attacked from above or behind. However, I can't recall a situation where this was done so perhaps it is not possible.

To give an example of what I mean (and my inspiration for the question), here is a .gif of a Lightning/Ionic Storm from the video game inFAMOUS 2 (taken from this video):

enter image description here

Note: Canon and Legends examples are both acceptable, though I prefer answers which do not cite a video game because the projection could be a game mechanic (or limitation) rather than a true use of a distant source. For example, this screenshot from KOTOR II shows Force Storm, which arcs above the enemies' heads (perhaps as a way for the game to show the lightning hitting multiple enemies) but is projected from the player character's hand:

enter image description here

I will upvote any answer which provides an example (even if from a video game) but I will accept the answer with the most canonical example (unless, of course, there are no examples).

  • 8
    +1 for excellent question. -10 for trying to cause me epilepsy. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 8 '15 at 20:52
  • 2
    @DVK Hmm, new question: has Force Lightning ever caused epilepsy? :) – Null Apr 8 '15 at 20:54
  • If the "Force Storm" ability seen in The Force Unleashed and The Old Republic is canon, then yes. – Omegacron Apr 8 '15 at 21:06
  • @Omegacron Ah, yes, the Sith Sorcerer in SWTOR has such a power (I played it as a Sith Assassin so I wasn't aware of it). I don't remember it in The Force Unleashed and I can't find a video/image of it. Those are good examples and I would upvote an answer with them (though, as I said in the question, I prefer canon and non-video game answers for the accepted answer). – Null Apr 8 '15 at 21:18
  • @Null btw, if you just like frying stuff with lightning I highly recommend playing Fable as an evil character. One of the later abilities you get is similar to a Force Storm kind of thing, very similar to your Infamous gif. – Omegacron Apr 9 '15 at 20:09

Yes. There are several variations of Force Lightning featured throughout the Legends canon. Most of these variations, like basic Force Lightning, originate at the hands and are considered primarily a Dark Side ability. One of the most powerful variations, however, is called Force Storm and appears in the air above the targeted area.

Although featured heavily in the Star Wars videogames, the Force Storm ability also makes appearances in the comics and novels. It was used to blanket an area in Force Lightning, thus affecting multiple targets or even shielded targets. The ability is rare, however, as it requires tremendous concentration & focus. Outside of various videogame continuities (KotOR 1/2, TOR, Force Unleashed), the Force Storm ability has also been featured in the Darth Bane and Dark Empire comic arcs. Emperor Palpatine himself was such a strong user of the Force Storm ability, he could conjure a Force Lightning cloud comparable to a hurricane, and even project it into space above a planet or ship.

enter image description here

Another, less powerful variation of Force Lightning known as Sith Barrage (or Lightning Barrage), featured the lightning originating from the ground under the victim instead of at the caster's hands/fingertips. The resulting effect was very similar to an actual lightning strike, with the bolt rising vertically from the ground upwards (through the victim).

  • I think Force Storm in KOTOR is still emitted from the user's hands -- it just arcs above the enemies' heads. – Null Apr 8 '15 at 21:36
  • @Null I'll need to check. I know in TOR, which is set within the KotOR continuity, the lightning itself appears out of the air above the targets. There is also lightning around the hands of the caster as well, though, so I dunno. I'll log on tonight and kill something using Force Storm just to be sure :-P – Omegacron Apr 8 '15 at 21:44
  • @Null I believe Force Storm first appeared in the Dark Empire series, where Palpatine summoned it in orbit around Byss. In that case, there was definitely no direct link between his hands and the lightning storm. – Omegacron Apr 8 '15 at 21:45
  • I edited my question to add a screenshot from KOTOR II showing Force Storm leaving the player character's hand. But I think your other examples are good and definitive so I will accept in a day or two unless a better answer comes along. Thanks! – Null Apr 9 '15 at 3:04
  • @Null either way, you're right. I checked last night and in The Old Republic, the Force Storm lightning originates around the hands and arms of the caster, but goes straight down into the ground. At the same time, it appears in the air above the target(s) and comes downward... to great effect, I might add. Sith Sorceror FTW. – Omegacron Apr 9 '15 at 20:06

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