Throughout Star Wars history, the Sith have been a constant antagonist in direct opposition to the Jedi. They have been traditionally perceived as more powerful, more capable of bending the Force to their own will, and more willing to experiment with their mystical abilities.
In Episodes I through III, we watched the rise of the Emperor alongside the likes of Darth Maul, Count Dooku, and General Grievous, all the while he turned Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi on the rise, into Darth Vader. Then, in Episodes IV through VI, we watched the Sith get defeated by none other than Anakin’s own son, Luke Skywalker, proving that the Jedi still had a chance in overpowering the almighty Sith Lords and their Galactic Empire.
As The Force Awakens (Episode VII) begins, there is still the need for a Resistance in the galaxy, as a new overriding force has appeared: the First Order. But even as it features a battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, the film does not make clear where the Jedi are, or the Sith, and whether any of those characters will become any of those things. Star Wars fans can only hope that the old and cranky Luke Skywalker will give them some information about Jedi and Sith in The Last Jedi (Episode VIII).
This is Star Wars: 20 Powers You Didn’t Know Sith Had.
20 MIDI-CHLORIAN MANIPULATION
Star Wars fans are, in general, not fond of the concept of midi-chlorians, which were introduced in The Phantom Menace as a way for Qui-Gon Jinn to measure the Force sensitivity of a young Anakin Skywalker. Be that as it may, midi-chlorians are a thing that exists in the Star Wars saga, and it comes as no surprise that the Sith have found a way to mess around with them.
In Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine tells the story of his master, Darth Plagueis, to Anakin Skywalker. He explains that Plagueis had found a way to cheat death through the use of the Force, which seems like an attractive idea to Anakin, who wants to prevent Padmé from dying.
The way Darth Plagueis was able to cheat death was through the manipulation of midi-chlorians. As one masters this ability, life can be preserved, prolonged, or even restored.
19 FORCE STEALTH
The Sith are evil Force users whose presence is not always welcomed, so it makes sense they would’ve devised a way to hide their powers – or their presence overall – from other Force-sensitive people and creatures.
The biggest example of Force Stealth went without a mention, but is clearly seen in the prequel trilogy of the Star Wars saga – Episodes I through III. Sheev Palpatine (who later becomes Darth Sidious, the Emperor) had always been a powerful Sith Lord with over-arching plans of ruling the world, but he employed Force Stealth to hide the fact that he was in touch with the Force from all of the Jedi who were around him.
Not even Yoda was able to sense that there was a powerful Sith sneakily working in the Galactic Senate, and you can blame Force Stealth for that.
18 TRANSFER ESSENCE
Transfer Essence goes a step beyond Force Stealth – the Sith are not only able to conceal their Force sensitivities or hide their physical presences from others, but if the opportunity arises, they could also potentially transfer their entire souls to someone else’s body, essentially taking over their figures to pretend being somebody else.
This Force ability would’ve come in handy when, in A New Hope, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo had to beat up some Stormtroopers to wear their armors and helmets in order to go unnoticed by Imperial guards. However, Transfer Essence is undoubtedly most often associated with the Dark Side of the Force.
Transfer Essence was used by the Sith to cheat death over and over again, and many fans have speculated whether Darth Sidious employed this power when he fell (and was presumably defeated) in the end of Return of the Jedi.
17 FORCE VISION
The Sith have been known to lie about having visions of the future that aren’t true, but it is technically actually possible for a powerful Jedi or Sith to have Force Visions in which they peek into the future.
Seeing into the future can be a blessing or a curse, and there are many examples of Force Visions in the Star Wars movies that make both sides clear. Most notably: Anakin saw Padmé dying, which drove him to join the Sith; Qui-Gon foresaw that an elder Obi-Wan would one day live alone in a desolate planet; and Luke previewed his upcoming lightsaber battle with Darth Vader while he was still training on Dagobah.
Darth Sidious also notably told Darth Vader that he saw a great future for them if he managed to turn Luke to the Dark Side of the Force, but maybe that was just the Emperor trying to fulfill his wishes.
16 LEVITATION / FORCE FLIGHT
The Force is often seen in the Star Wars saga being employed by its users to move objects or people, such as retrieving lightsabers or making one get off-balance. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the Force can also make its users levitate and/or fly.
The Levitation/Force Flight ability entails, essentially, the Force working against gravity to lift one’s body off the ground. Because the gravitational pull is so strong, a Force user takes time to master this ability and to overcome gravity itself.
Some fond users of Levitation are Darth Thanaton, Dace Diath, Kaox Krul, and Crian Maru. Count Dooku was seen using Force Flight during an episode of the animated Clone Wars TV series take took place on Rattatak.
15 FORCE GRIP
Though Darth Vader is undoubtedly the most famous Sith Lord for his use of Force Grip, this is an actual ability that many Sith shared, choking and crushing their enemies without ever even touching anyone.
Aside from Darth Vader’s infamous Force Grip scene in A New Hope, this ability was also seen being employed by Count Dooku as he fought against Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. In the Clone Wars animated series, Mace Windu was shown using Force Grip as he attempted to crush the robotic chest of General Grievous during a battle.
Force Grip is one of the most fear-inducing abilities the Sith have mastered over time, one that creatures and people across the galaxy would not like to be in the receiving end of.
14 FORCE LIGHTNING
Force Lightning was made famous by Emperor Palpatine / Darth Sidious. During the Revenge of the Sith film, he employed this ability to save his life from an attack by Mace Windu, and then used it again to fight against Yoda in an epic battle inside the Galactic Senate. Many years later, in Return of the Jedi, Sidious nearly killed Luke Skywalker using Force Lightning, but that culminated in the redemption of Darth Vader, who threw his master off the ship.
Like Force Grip, Force Lightning definitely had a more famous user, but is actually an ability that many Sith Lords possess. For instance, it was also seen being employed by Count Dooku as he fought against Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda in Attack of the Clones. Interestingly enough, during that scene, Yoda was able to completely neutralize Dooku’s Force Lightning, proving that there is a way to survive it unaffected.
13 FORCE HEALING
The Force can pull, push, modify, and destroy, but it can also heal, or at least accelerate the process of healing.
Force Healing is exactly what the name implies. This is an ability mastered by both Jedi and Sith to speed up the progression of healing on a potential ally (or, at times, on themselves). Though this sounds like a Force ability mostly employed by those on the light side, it is known that Darth Vader used Force Healing on himself as he attempted to bring his lungs back to function.
The practice of Force Healing is usually accompanied by meditation, as it requires a deep connection between the Force and its users. Light side sensitives will usually meditate to peace and tranquility, while dark side sensitives will often focus on anger and frustration.
12 FORCE LISTENING
Force Listening is an ability that allows its users to do two main things: use the Force to listen to conversations taking place from afar, or use the Force to understand what is being said in a different language.
This bility is mostly associated with the Theran Listeners, a cult of Force-sensitive people who lived on the planet Nam Chorios during the New Republic era. Jacen Solo – who was Han and Leia’s son in the Star Wars novels continuity that The Force Awakens erased from the franchise – is a notable character in the saga to have studied Force Listening techniques with the Theran Listeners.
Ben Solo, also known as Kylo Ren, is now the official child of Han and Leia in the Star Wars franchise, but his mastery of Force Listening has yet to be explored.
11 MIND CONTROL
Mind Control is the Sith equivalent of the Jedi’s Mind Trick. While Mind Trick allows the Jedi to use the Force to gently sway a person or creature to think something else, the Sith’s Mind Control goes a step further, unabashedly manipulating what one does or thinks for a brief (or, at times, sort of long) period of time.
Mind Trick was seen multiple times in the Star Wars movies – from Qui-Gon persuading Watto to let Anakin race in The Phantom Menace, to Rey coaxing a Stormtrooper to let her go in The Force Awakens. The Sith’s Mind Control was most noticeable during Revenge of the Sith, as all Stormtroopers were corrupted into turning against the Jedi and the Galactic Senate they were made to serve.
10 FORCE BARRIER
Both the Jedi and the Sith can train to master the Force Barrier, which is essentially the summoning of a nearly invisible protective shield made of the Force. It’s like Violet from The Incredibles, or Black Lightning from DC Comics, or Invisible Woman from Marvel’s Fantastic Four.
A Force Barrier can be considered an essential defensive tool for the Jedi and the Sith who want to avoid an injury coming from an opponent. In a particular episode of the Clone Wars animated TV show, Anakin, Yoda, and Aayla Secura were seen forming a massive Force Barrier to protect Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Padmé from a green, poisonous gas cloud.
Besides Force Barrier, this ability has gone by many other names: Force Shield, Force Armor, Force Aura, and Force Protection.
9 FORCE DRAIN
The most experienced Sith Lords are able to drain an opponent’s entire energy and shut down their bodily functions through the use of the Force, but a less experienced Sith can also employ the use of Force Drain, essentially blocking a Force-sensitive enemy from having access to the Force.
Essentially, Force Drain is used to weaken an opponent's Force abilities or general vitality. While it is the complete opposite of Force Healing, this ability also requires a high level of skill and concentration from anyone who summons it, as a link between Force user and victim cannot be broken.
Most notably, this skill was utilized by Darth Malak as he fought against Revan, his Sith Master, during the events of the Jedi Civil War.
8 DEADLY SIGHT
When it comes to the Sith, one Force-infused stare might be enough to inflict major pain. This power may or may not have been inspired by mothers around the world.
Deadly Sight is a Force ability in which the Sith harness all their anger to inflict damage on anyone they look at. A notable practitioner of Deadly Sight is Sariss, one of the seven Dark Jedi who attempted to take over the Valley of the Jedi after the Galactic Empire was defeated during the Battle of Endor.
Sariss was ultimately killed by Kyle Katarn in the Jedi Knight: Dark Forces novella that is no longer considered canon to the Star Wars franchise. But Deadly Sight goes on as a possible and achievable Force ability for the Sith.
7 FORCE STORM
Force Storm is the dark side ability that allows one to create a hyperspace wormhole capable of displacing people and objects across long distances, or even destroy the entire surface of a planet.
It is incredibly hard to summon and control a Force Storm. The Sith artifact Darkstaff has been known to have created one, but it ultimately killed Darth Rivan. In The Book of Anger, Emperor Palpatine described having discovered the Force Storm ability almost a thousand years previous to that moment, and he was able to send a hyperspace wormhole to travel from Byss to Coruscant. But in Dark Empire 6: The Fate of a Galaxy, Palpatine was seen being consumed by his own Storm.
It is safe to say that those who summon a Force Storm often end up becoming victims of it, which makes this an incredibly dangerous ability to use.
6 FORCE SCREAM
Like the Deadly Sight ability, Force Scream is more than what it sounds. It is a powerful, ultrasonic scream made possible through the use of the Force. Similar references would be the Canary Cry from DC Comics’ Black Canary, or the scream of Mandrake in the Harry Potter saga.
A Force Scream can be deadly, or at least hurt you very badly. It is usually involuntary, not summoned. It is an exertion of rage and hatred that comes from a very frustrated Sith and can cause ripples all around.
In Revenge of the Sith, Darth Vader learns of Padmé’s death and utters what is now his infamous “Nooooooo!” which many fans consider to be an example of Force Scream in the Star Wars movies.
5 FORCE RAGE
Force Rage is about anger, but is not just about being angry. This ability has to do with harnessing one’s anger to make yourself a stronger and more powerful Sith.
A valid example of Force Rage was featured in Revenge of the Sith, as Anakin becomes angry about Padmé’s impending death and harnesses that rage to become a much stronger Force user than he already was. But as Kylo Ren goes berserk in The Force Awakens and breaks everything around him inside the First Order ship, it’s hard to argue that it was an example of Force Rage, as Kylo was not shown being made into a stronger Force user or harnessing his anger. He was just angry, so threw an tantrum.
4 FORCE ILLUSION
Taking into consideration everything else that the Sith can do, it’s no surprise that these powerful beings have found a way to manipulate minds by inserting fake visions into the minds of their opponents. This ability, called Force Illusion, allows the Sith to plant illusions in the minds of others; making them see something that is not there, witness a memory they didn’t want to remember, or watch the death of a person that is otherwise very much alive.
Force Illusion is a visual trip of the mind deliberately controlled by the Sith, and is very much aligned with the Dark Side of the Force, which aims to manipulate others (at any cost) into following the dark path. Most notably, in the Clone Wars animated series, Yoda was the victim of a Force Illusion in which he met with Darth Bane.
3 FORCE JUMP
A Force Jump is no mere jump. It's a jump assisted by the powers of the Force, which allows one to leap much higher than an ordinary person or creature. This ability was most frequently seen being employed by Jedi and Sith in the Knights of the Old Republic comic book series that ran between 2006 and 2010. It was also heavily featured in The Old Republic storylines, as well as in the Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan fight with Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace film.
Though Force Jump is an ability that both Jedi and Sith have mastered, the latter have always been able to take it to new heights, reaching even the highest elevations through the use of their heightened evil Force powers.
This one is quite self-explanatory: the Sith can make things explode with their ill-intentioned use of the Force.
The Force allows the Sith to move objects as they please, making them fly, turn sideways, hit a wall, drop from a hill, or do pretty much whatever else. It makes sense that, upon further concentration, the Sith would also be capable of making these objects combust into little pieces, exploding as they are consumed by fire. Though this ability is mostly known for being used on objects, there is evidence that it could also be used on other people.
Yarael Poof is an example of a Jedi who was fond of this power. On the dark side, there is Darth Zannah, who exploded Darovit’s hand by using this combustion Force ability.
1 FORCE FEAR
Though this one of the sillier abilities the Sith are able to boast about, one shouldn’t count out the fact that the Sith can use the Force to inspire fear in their opponents. This essentially means that they’re not just scary because of their intimidating reputations and evil looks, but because they can manipulate one’s mind into being scared of them.
Force Fear is an ability that resembles Mind Control, but is more specifically tailored toward making one afraid of their opponent. The Sith relish in the apprehension of others, and only become more powerful as they are feared. However, we must never forget that the Jedi have defeated the Sith they were afraid of several times, such as when Luke defeated Darth Vader (who had just revealed himself to be Luke’s father) and Obi-Wan defeated Darth Maul (as he had just killed Obi-Wan’s master, Qui-Gon).
Are there any other Sith powers from Star Wars that we missed? Leave them in the comments!