Star Wars: 10 Things Jedi Can Do That Sith Can’t (And 10 Things Sith Can Do That Jedi Can’t)

The Star Wars universe is bound together by the Force. The mystical energy field is created by all living things and its power can be used by those who are Force-sensitive enough to harness it.

In the beginning, there were the Jedi, an order of benevolent space monks who sought to use the Force to help bring peace to the galaxy.

Several Jedi Knights turned their backs on the ways of the Jedi and created the Sith, who were basically the anti-Jedi and stood for all the things they didn't.

The Sith drew their power from the dark side of the Force and became obsessed with gaining power by any means necessary.

Decades of sequels, prequels, TV shows and Legends stories have expanded on the Star Wars universe in countless ways and explored the world in greater depth.

When the two factions are directly compared, they throw up some interesting similarities and differences.

Here are the 10 Things Jedi Can Do That Sith Can't (And 10 Things Sith Can Do That Jedi Can't).

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20 Jedi - Cure diseases

Jedi Order Attack of the Clones

As the whole Jedi thing is about respecting the living Force and attunement with nature, it makes sense that the Jedi have a few tricks up their long sleeves when it comes to healing.

According to the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook, Jedi can heal beyond physical wounds and mental afflictions.

With Cure Disease, they can do just that and destroy a disease affecting living organisms.

While the Sourcebook is a supplement for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, many consider the game's texts to be the blueprint for the Expanded Universe.

It's also contributed elements to the new Disney canon, so we're going to count it.

Crucially, in order to be able to cure disease, players had to have no more than 1 Dark Side Point, meaning that you had to be a goody two-shoes in order to use it.

19 Sith - Use Force Lightning

Star Wars: Vader and Emperor Force Lightning

There aren't many dark side powers as iconic as Force Lightning. First seen erupting from the fingertips of Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, this power enables the user to shock, torture and even destroy their targets with high voltage energy.

As it's purely an offensive power designed to hurt, many Jedi believed it to be an inherently evil ability and banned its use.

In Legends, however, there are a few Jedi who used it, including Kyle Katarn and Galen Marek aka Starkiller. Outside of video games, there are also documented uses by Jedi, including Jacen and Jaina Solo and Luke Skywalker himself.

So why's it on a list of things that Jedi can't do? Well, because of the House of Mouse. In the new Disney canon, Force lightning is used exclusively by dark side Force users.

Unfortunately, this means that any previous light side uses are considered non-canonical.

18 Jedi - Use Electric Judgement

Plo Koon from Star Wars

Although this falls under the same non-canon umbrella as light side Force Lightning uses, this was the Expanded Universe's answer to “nicer” Force Lightning before Disney stepped in.

Electric Judgment, also known as Emerald Lightning, was an uncommon light side power used by Jedi like Plo Koon and Jacen Solo that would incapacitate rather than hurt others.

The story goes that Plo Koon is sent on a mission to capture a criminal named Dreed Pommel. Koon confronts Pommel, but the criminal has taken a young girl hostage after destroying her family.

Koon suddenly unleashes a bunch of lightning at Pommel, knocking him out cold. Plo reports back to the Council about the incident and notes that he didn't feel any anger or fear during his outburst.

The Council allow him to develop the technique and Electric Judgement was born.

17 Sith - Feed off the dark side

Darth Vitiate Valkorion Star Wars Sith

When you're a Sith, it pays to be as evil as possible. You can feed off the hatred, fear and negative emotions of others and make yourself more powerful and deepen your connection with the dark side.

This ability is mostly covered in The Old Republic era of stories.

The Sith Emperor, Lord Vitiate, has an especially notable exhibition of this power. When he was a young boy, he started showing signs of being strong with the Force.

As neither of his parents were force-sensitive, his father accused his mother of being unfaithful.

This turned out to be true and she admits infidelity with the Sith Lord that rules their planet.

His father flies into a rage at the news and the young Vitiate (then known as Tenebrae) feeds off the anger, reaches out with the Force and embraces the dark side, destroying him with a single thought.

16 Jedi - Use Force Light

The dark side can manifest itself in many different forms, so the Jedi have to be ready for practically anything.

Powerful darksiders can use the Force to create illusions and projections and use them to corrupt entire populations. Luckily, the Jedi have an answer for this.

Highly skilled Jedi Masters like female whatever-Yoda-is Yaddle and Nomi Sunrider can summon pure light side energy and use it to purge the dark side from places, spirits and even people.

Force Light can also be used in battle.

A Jedi can fire blasts of light side energy at an opponent, weakening their connection to the dark side, giving them a huge advantage.

For a more extreme use of the power, we need look no further than bearded dinosaur-like Jedi Master Thon, who cleansed the planet of Ambria and trapped the dark spirits beneath a lake with it.

15 Sith - Force Scream

Darth Vader No From Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith

This power isn't like the usual powers granted when you commit yourself to the dark side of the Force.

Force Scream can't be summoned at will and is more of an involuntary cry of anger and/or grief.

If a Sith is being whooped by a Jedi in battle, they can let out a scream of rage and frustration that reverberates through the Force itself, creating powerful, destructive shock waves.

The ability has been seen numerous times in various media. The most infamous usage has to go to that moment at the end of Revenge of the Sith, in which the newly-suited Darth Vader learns of Padme's passing.

He breaks his chains and lets out a “Noooo!” which shakes the entire medical lab and damages many of the droids and equipment.

14 Jedi - Unleash a Force bellow

A screenshot from Star Wars: The Clone Wars featuring Jedi Roron Corrob

Whilst the Force Scream is a dark side exclusive, that doesn't mean that the Jedi are missing out on much. In their corner, they have Force bellow, a similar technique with one important difference -it can be summoned at will.

Ilthorian Jedi (the ones that look like Hammerhead sharks) are the most famous proponents of this technique, using their multiple throats to create a powerful Force bellow capable of destroying obstacles and enemies.

In the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars series, Jedi Roron Corrob was especially good at this, combining his species' natural ability with his knowledge of the Force.

In the series, he's shown to be able to create a huge sonic wave capable of taking out scores of battle droids and bringing an entire corridor down on General Grievous' head.

13 Sith - Use the Force to trigger insanity

Sith in The Old Republic

The mind trick is a classic staple in the Jedi's arsenal. It's a powerful technique, but its uses are limited by the Jedi Code.

The Sith have no concerns and have delved far deeper into it and used it to their own nefarious ends. The Sith have a history of controlling minds, sometimes many at a time.

They developed Force fear, a technique that would instil panic in their victims.

Force fear was occasionally used by Jedi for benevolent purposes in the Legends stories, but most stayed away from the moral gray area altogether.

Nastier versions of Force fear emerged, namely Force horror and Force insanity, where a darksider could cause break the minds of multiple victims at a time, sending them into mania and derangement.

12 Jedi - Rapidly grow and control plants

A screenshot of The Force Unleashed, showing the fight between Starkiller and Shaak Ti

This may not seem like the most impressive power at first. Or at all, and you'd be right.

It has to be said that the ability to control and affect plant growth may not be at the top of anyone's awesome Jedi power list, but that doesn't mean it can't be useful.

Jedi Master Shaak Ti used this in her fight with Starkiller in The Force Unleashed game, controlling a Saarlaac to try and grab Vader's apprentice with its tentacles.

The Jedi Master known as the Dark Woman even managed to restrain the great Darth Vader using the power in their fight in comic book story Extinction (albeit not for very long).

As the ability requires a connection with nature and the living Force, it's considered a light side power.

11 Sith - Have relationships

Whilst not a Force power, this is something the Sith can indulge in that the Jedi can't. We all saw the prequels, we know how it works.

Relationships were forbidden by the Jedi Code.

To be part of the Jedi Order, you have to forgo any personal relationships so as to not breed attachment..

As the Code of the Sith is an inversion of the Jedi Code, nothing is off the table. It's not that relationship are encouraged or anything, but the Sith could engage in relationships if they so wished.

In the Old Republic timeline, there are several Sith who are married and have children.

Even Darth Malgus had a Twi'lek wife named Eleena Daru. Just do us a favor and don't look up what happened to her if you don't know. It's pretty grim.

10 Jedi - Use Malacia

Whilst not nearly as showy as some of the other Force abilities, Malacia was still a powerful and effective technique that very few Jedi mastered.

So what is Malacia? The unconventional usage of the Force to knock out the enemy's equilibrium, inducing dizziness and nausea.

Many Jedi chose not to use this, in favor of using the good ol' Force Push to accomplish the same ends, but the Jedi who used Malacia (especially Oppo Rancisis) swore by it, arguing that it had a psychological effect too – reminding the bad guys that they weren't invincible.

As Malacia causes no damage to the body, it's considered a light side ability.

It's pretty tough imagining a Sith wasting time trying to perfect this obscure non-lethal technique when they can just use the Force to throw people around.

9 Sith - Have red lightsabers

Star Wars Sith: Darth Vader, Darth Sidious, Count Dooku, and Darth Maul

In both the Star Wars universe and ours, the lightsaber is the symbol of the Jedi. The Sith are keenly aware of this too, and wanted to put their own stamp on this.

While the Jedi lightsabers were made with natural crystals, the Sith lightsabers were created using synthetic crystals, which gave the blades their distinctive red hue.

This started because the Sith didn't have access to the usual crystal harvesting spots, but soon became a tradition intended to mock the Jedi.

The synthetic crystals also had the bonus effect of being producing typically stronger blades than natural crystal lightsabers.

They even had the potential to break Jedi lightsabers, overloading the weapon and burning it out.

However, this superior strength meant that Sith sabers were more prone to malfunctions. Sacrificing stability for superior power? We can see why the Sith like them. They have so much in common.

8 Jedi - Go into a restorative trance

Qui-Gon Jinn meditates in a break in his battle with Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace

If a Jedi is on a long space voyage or trapped somewhere for a long period of time, they can use the Force to enter a state known as a hibernation trance.

The trance slows the Jedi's metabolism to an almost standstill and stay in the state from a week to indefinitely, depending on the water situation.

There's another trance called Serenity, which nobody but the Jedi Masters could enter.

Serenity required a deep connection to the Force, but was a brief meditative state to regain focus and power.

The best example of this in action is in The Phantom Menace, where Qui-Gon Jinn takes advantage of an obstructing laser wall and enters the state in his battle with Darth Maul.

He emerges from the trance with renewed vigor, but unfortunately it didn't end up doing him much good.

7 Sith - Conceal their powers

emperor palpatine 10 most dangerous star wars villains

Part of the whole Sith deal is subterfuge and deception. After all, it's easier to subtly corrupt and gain influence than it is to seize power in a tough battle.

Being attuned with the Force means that you can sense all life around you, especially others connected with the Force, but several Sith have found a way around this.

Sheev Palpatine (later Emperor) managed to hide his presence from multiple members of the Jedi Council, including Yoda, despite being under their noses the entire time.

He used his anonymity to slowly take control of the Galactic Senate, creating a personal army in the process.

When the penny finally drops for the Council, Palpatine's status is so cemented that he dispatches them with relative ease and uses their attack on him as an excuse to declare a new galactic order and wage war against the remaining Jedi.

6 Jedi - Use Morichro

In basic terms, Morichro is an advanced form of hibernation trance. The practitioner can use Morichro to enter a trance and survive for years without food, water and even air. Unlike hibernation trance, it can also be applied to others.

There are massive dangers to doing so, however, and only the most trusted Jedi were allowed to practice it, including Jedi Master Yaddle.

The downside to this technique is that the entranced being has to be constantly monitored to prevent them from passing away.

As Morichro requires a mastery of the more wholesome and altruistic uses of the Force, it's unlikely that any dark side devotees would dedicate the time and effort it took to use it.

Plus, they have a huge list of violent ways to achieve the same goal.

5 Sith - Transfer essence

Darth Sidious Clones Essence Transfer

Transfer essence was an advanced dark side power that enabled the user to switch a being's consciousness from one body to another.

There are even cases of it being used like a Horcrux in Harry Potter, transferring their essence into inanimate objects. If you can't see the advantages of this we don't know what to tell you.

Sith Lords historically used this to prevent themselves from passing away over and over again.

This ability was reserved only for the very powerful, however, as the technique was incredibly difficult to master. Later Sith Lords, like Darth Sidious, would make basic clones of themselves and transfer their minds over, living indefinitely.

The aforementioned Sith Emperor Vitiate split his consciousness over hundreds of beings he called the Children of the Emperor.

It's no wonder the Sith have proved hard to wipe out, it's like a massive game of Whac-A-Mole.

4 Jedi - Use Force Valor

A Jedi should never seek out a fight, but there are moments when their backs are against the wall and they have no option to defend themselves or others.

When this happens, Jedi can tap into the Force and gain Force valor, which boosts their speed, strength, agility and accuracy.

It's basically a buff across their base fighting stats and it's invaluable in a fight.

If you wanted to see the dramatic effects Force valor can have on an individual, look no further than Yoda in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Yoda's attunement to the light side of the Force grants him the ability to transcend his physical old age and small stature and take it to Count Dooku using the aggressive and fast-paced Form IV of lightsaber combat.

3 Sith - Create a Thought Bomb

Thought bomb from Star Wars

The Thought Bomb is probably the most destructive thing the Sith can conjure from the dark side. Multiple Sith Lords are needed for the ritual necessary to create a bomb made from volatile dark side energy.

When detonated, the bomb can wipe out all Force-sensitive beings within its expansive blast radius.

Not only that, but any unfortunates caught in the explosion will have their souls sucked into a vortex of perpetual torment. So yeah, you don't want to be around when this goes off.

The power of this thing is so great, even the Sith use it as a last ditch attempt at victory.

The biggest instance of a thought bomb being used is during the final battle of Ruusan, where Lord Kaan and the assembled Sith created the bomb and detonated it, destroying themselves and the vast majority of the Jedi Army of Light with one massive explosion.

2 Jedi - Create a Wall of Light

Several Jedi create a powerful Wall of Light

If you've made it this far in the list, you shouldn't be surprised that the Jedi have their own take on the Thought Bomb. They call theirs the Wall of Light and it operates on the same basic principle.

It requires the collective willpower of several Jedi to perform and manifest a huge wall of blue cleansing energy that traps any and all dark side energy in its vicinity.

The Wall of Light can purge entire locations of dark side corruption. It can also be used to sever the connection between the power of the dark side and a user permanently.

In the Tedryn Holocron, this ability is stated to be “the most devastating attack possible using the powers of the light side”, and considering the effects, we're going to believe it.

1 Sith - Midi-chlorian manipulation

Sheev Tells Anakin About Darth Plagueis

Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It's not a story the Jedi would tell you... Those of you familiar with Palpatine's story in Revenge of the Sith will know all about this one.

Darth Plagueis figured out a way to keep himself alive by manipulating the Force-sensitive cells known as midi-chlorians.

According to Palpatine, Plagueis used this power to save his loved ones from passing away and create life. This story tempts Anakin over to the dark side and proves to be his undoing.

It's suggested that Plagueis and Sidious worked together on the experiment that resulted in Anakin's immaculate conception.

As the process requires immense knowledge of the dark side of the Force to even attempt, it's a part of Sith alchemy and dark side power the Jedi can't use, even if they wanted to.


Can you think of any other powers that the Jedi or Sith have in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments!

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