This question, and the answers it produced, got me thinking - could a group of Jedi working together confront a single Sith opponent and peacefully subdue him/her by using nonviolent Force techniques, thereby avoiding injury and/or loss of life to either party? The argument that such an approach would be dangerously aggressive and potentially lean towards the Dark Side doesn't seem to hold water, since the alternative would be for one or more of the Jedi to chop the Sith to pieces with a laser sword until he/she dies, which is obviously far more aggressive than disarming him/her and taking him/her into custody without the use of weapons or violence.
To avoid claims that this question is opinion-based, let's break it down thusly:
- Has this ever been considered, attempted, or achieved in any canonical/formerly canonical material?
- Is there any clear canonical/formerly canonical evidence that this would be possible or impossible? If the latter, why would it be impossible?
I have already encountered an objection to using the Force this way, similar to the objection I mentioned above, but I don't think it stands up:
I would argue that using that solution is even worse! "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." By inflicting the force powers as you describe is inherently evil. What's to stop all Jedi from doing this always? And you use this technique once and you realize how powerful you are. What is there to stop you from doing it again? And the others from doing it to you? And what about non-force users? You can crush them! This is definitely down the dark path
My response was, and is, as follows:
The Jedi have the power to dismember Force-user and non-Force-users alike with laserswords. That seems like a more dangerous amount of power than what amounts to a Force-tazer, used to disarm and arrest people who are armed and intend to kill you and enslave trillions of people. The Jedi are allowed to arrest people, but in most cases, they just kill them on the spot. Disarming and apprehending their opponents would be more merciful, less aggressive, and would be less of an abuse/use of "physical force" (as opposed to "[the] Force").
The Force powers I'm thinking of don't include lightning, choking, push/pulling him to his death, or "inflicting" pain/discomfort/injury of any kind - more like freezing him in his tracks, taking his lightsaber away, cuffing him, and putting him in a humane, reasonably comfortable holding cell. Compared to Mace Windu wanting to summarily decapitate Palpatine, or Obi Wan tearing open Grievous' sternum and shooting him directly in the heart, or Obi Wan lopping off his best friend's arm and legs and leaving him to burn alive, my suggestion seems like an improvement, and a dramatic reduction in the use of physical force.
I would add that saying the Jedi would be abusing their power if they did what I am suggesting (when the alternative is fighting to the death with laser swords) is akin to arguing that the police abuse their power when they use tasers and mace on armed suspects who intend to harm others, but they aren't abusing their power if they shoot him to death instead.
When you have to choose between killing your opponent on the spot and subduing him nonviolently and without causing him any pain and then bringing him to trial, the former clearly comes closer to exercising "absolute power" than the latter. A Jedi is ideally supposed to be a guardian and public servant, not judge-jury-and-executioner rolled into one. If the Jedi abuse their ability to incapacitate, disarm, and capture their opponents, the courts would presumably release anyone who had been wrongfully arrested in this manner, and the Jedi in question would hopefully be disciplined, even arrested, tried, and imprisoned himself.
In the "lightsaber fight first, ask questions later" scenario, the Jedi unilaterally decide who lives and dies; in the "incapacitate, disarm, arrest, and send to court" scenario, the decision is left to the proper authorities and the Jedi merely keep the peace.
The debate continued, and this was the response to my argument:
It's more like the police being able to subdue you by pressing a button to activate a chip in your brain. And yes I absolutely have an issue with that. Note that Mace uses a saber form that is considered incredibly dangerous and not-jedi-approved, so he's not exactly the paragon of light side techniques. It's imposing your will upon another who cannot defend themselves from these mental attacks, and that is just not something that Jedi do. In SWTOR, that's the type of thing that would earn you dark side points
To this I say: In Episode IV, Obi Wan lops someone's arm off for nothing more than knocking Luke over in the cantina. That's right - for misdemeanor assault, the Jedi punishment is amputation at the shoulder. Imagine if he simply disarmed the offender (no pun intended) and incapacitated him long enough to get out of Mos Eisley - which do you think Spiderface would consider a more substantial imposition of Obi Wan's will?
To the argument that using Mind Control is a Dark Side power, I reply that I never suggested the Jedi should use Mind Control - I was actually thinking more along the lines of Stasis/Force Stun, a Light Side (or at least neutral) power. The Jedi already use Stasis/Force Stun frequently, and it must be noted that they often follow up on Stasis/Force Stun by chopping their now immobile, defenseless opponents to death with lightsabers. From the Wookiepedia page on Force Stun (I will, for the time being, leave aside questions as to the canonicity of Stasis/Force Stun; my argument doesn't rely on this technique, merely on some means of disarming/incapacitation without resorting to violence; and after all, this whole question is about whether some method of doing so exists, whatever it might be):
"She'll be okay. It doesn't hurt. Ask Ruu."
"Force stun. Sorry, but I had to do it. It's kinder than breaking her wrist."
―Bardan Jusik to Kal Skirata, after Force stunning Arla Fett
Force Stun was a Force power that could temporarily deaden the senses and perceptions of a targeted enemy, preventing most movements. It was often used when a Jedi faced a large number of opponents or if they wished to disable an enemy long enough to flee from or apprehend them. To use the power, the Jedi would use the Force to induce them into a catatonic state.
Force Stasis was a more potent version of Force Stun. The Jedi would use the Force to deaden the senses of an enemy, inducing a near-catatonic state and in effect freezing that person or being in place. This power was very useful when the Force-user was stuck in tight spots against a superior number of foes.
Stasis Field was the highest level of Force Stun. Often learned and practiced by higher-level Jedi Knights and Masters, this power allowed the Force-user to put multiple enemies into brief, non-harmful catatonic states at one time, allowing for quick escapes or to avoid protracted confrontations against seemingly overwhelming numbers. This power could also be used to avoid combat entirely, if the wielder wished to apprehend or sneak by opponents put into stasis.
This entry alone seems to suggest that the Jedi cou̺ld - and indeed did - use Force techniques to peacefully subdue and apprehend opponents with minimal use of physical force.