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Many of the Force techniques (at least how they're taught) seem to require gestures of one sort or another. I'll theorize that this is sort of a mnemonic to whatever mental processes are required to activate the ability more quickly or with less mental overhead involved.


It would also just be a good way to focus in general. The wider universe tends to imply straight up magic through force of will, and you wouldn't want to be in the middle of choking out uppity admirals and thinking about the beach and suddenly you've teleported to a planet that doesn't exist anymore.


He doesn't strike me as the type to enjoy the beach.


“I don't like sand. It's coarse, and rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere.” No I don’t think so


He likes it when its wet though


It's smooth like ~~Padmé's breasts~~ I mean Naboo.


I think you mean her Naboobies


Her Pad Pads


He certainly enjoys visiting her lowlands.


Also burns over 95% of his skin.


Like foreigners


More like you don't want to suddenly fumble your strangling. Nobody is accidentally teleporting somewhere.


I'd imagine its like how people gesture when speaking, or grits their teeeth when concentrating, not necessarily an actual requirement but what you do subconsciously


This is probably the answer, but let's not forget that Darth Vader *does*, in fact, have an [organic right arm](https://i.redd.it/h2vj5cpoghe11.jpg) which [he does use](https://lumiere-a.akamaihd.net/v1/images/databank_forcechoke_01_169_93e4b0cf.jpeg?region=0%2C0%2C1560%2C878&width=768) to Force choke people. **Edit:** I totally forgot that Dooku cut that arm off before. Poor, limbless bastard.


That’s not an organic arm. Dooku cut off his real right arm in *Attack of the Clones.*


The arm in question is actually the one [Dooku cuts off earlier](https://gfycat.com/anotherbabyishasianpiedstarling), and is replaced early by a cybernetic, so Vader does in fact have no organic limbs left.


I'm.. not sure I understand the gif


You don't remember that scene? George Lucas has been going back and tweaking the prequels now.


So *that's* why in that deleted scene where he goes swimming everyone calls him Bob


Classic Obi Wan troll move to leave him with one limb left, but it's the one that he already got cut off.


That was the arm he lost in the fight with Dooku.


Yeah Anakin is a full nugget.


Interesting. So, would he be less effective without his prosthetic hands? Also: Has Vader used Force lightning? Certainly not on film. If not, is it because of his artificial arms and hands?


No and yes, that is why.


Anakin always had a flair for the dramatic, just part of the show, for the others in the room


In fact, that’s why he over threw the emperor, it was the most dramatic thing possible to do for the room.


> he over threw the emperor More like "threw over the emperor" amirite


# for the room


Vader LIVES for drama


In *Rogue One*, he uses the Force to make his cape ripple as if it’s in the wind. That’s how much of a showman he is.


Rebels he does this while surfing a TIE Fighter down in front of the heroes.


You can hear him say, “Cowabunga” as he approaches.




"Oh the Emperor may be a Sith, but he's not a Sith Lord!" "What's the difference?" "*PRESENTATION!*"


My head canon is he’s not really hunting down random Jedi for twenty years, he’s searching for his long lost friend R2 and got Palpatine to fund it by saying he was hunting Jedi.


It's a mudra: muscle memory tied to mastering any technique (this goes for real world too).


I can see a few reasons. First is that it just helps him concentrate on the force choke. Sure, maybe the force isn't actually flowing through his mechanical hands, but making the gesture still puts him in the right mindset to force choke someone. He can do it without the gesture, but it's just a bit easier with the gesture. Another is just for drama. Sure, he could choke someone without moving a muscle (or servo), but then it might be mistaken for a simple choking fit or a bit of food going down the wrong pipe. Vader wants people to know who is doing the choking.


[He force chokes the shit out of Admiral Ozzel in ESB without lifting a glove](https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aV2DLkDPwM8). Seems to be a dramatic thing.


Thanks for this memory. A welcome one to be sure. It is still not clear to me how far separated Vader is from Admiral Ozzel. I always felt like they were on different ships in the same squadron but could they have been on the same command ship with Vader in his own quarters?


My assumption was that they were on the same flagship. Normally they'd be in the same ship so Vader and the various senior officers could sit around a table to have meetings (as in the first movie), but in this case events were moving too quickly to call a meeting just for the fun of choking Ozzel to death.


Yeah, if the pandemic has taught us anything it's that a lot of that stuff can get done over Zoom.


When you're in person choking someone as an example to a room, I guess you really want them to know it was you doing it. Otherwise he might just be having an allergic reaction or something and people might go get help.


What's the egg thing that Vader was inside....


Hyperbaric meditation chamber. It allows him to still breathe with the helmet off.


More importantly, it allows him to [fuck with his officers](https://youtu.be/Rl6OjLH7W5k)


Don't even need to click, it's hilarious though


There is a slight flick of the finger/wrist, iirc, just before he assigns Admiral Piette. Side note: Piette's sidelong glance during Ozzel's execution is one of my favorite parts of ESB.


I was thinking sorta your first suggestion. It’s like moving your hands while you talk or something. Since the force is invisible, it likely helps to make a movement that helps you visualize the force. I’m assuming you need to visualize it. Furthermore, it may also be the other way around, like the hand motion is instinctual and may require you to concentrate to NOT do the motion.


Exactly. It's much more menacing and intimidating when he makes it clear who's doing the choking.


I mean, usually when I choke on food I don’t start floating into the air, so doing that could be a really easy way to distinguish that “Oh fuck, he’s pissed.” Unless I’m just doing it wrong lol.


It's a visual aid, like the one the Jedi use for the mind trick, or pointing fingers for Force Lightning, or 'grabbing' gestures for moving objects, or the lotus position for meditation. Helps to focus your mind on the task. The prosthetics aren't living matter, so they can't give Vader his peak Force connection back, but they don't actively hinder it either.


It’s called **showmanship**.


He doesn’t have to. It just looks cool. He killed Ozzel without moving his body at all.


Because "Oh shit that dude is chocking, did he eat a chicken wing too fast or something" is a lot less scary than "This motherfucker is literally chocking that other dude with his mind"


yeah "it's showmanship" seems like the answer, Anakin was always a dramatic fuck. Did you see that time he stood on a tie fighter in space and he made his cape flow like there was wind in space?


Important considering the force as a concept was being mocked at the moment


I'd argue it's not that constructive to reply to "it's shitty that we have some dumb wizard from some weird religion in our military strategy meetings" with the wizard literally murdering a presumably valued employee as a flex If you think about it its really like bringing a thug into the pentagon and during the meeting the dude pulling out a gun and killing a general


Nah, it's more like bringing a space wizard to the pentagon and during the meeting he starts choking a general with his mind. It's much more of a "I could kill everyone here with my space magic. You need me."


"no we needed the guy that knew what the wifi password was and was good at directing artillery, what the fuck is space magic going to do if we need someone to set up mortars?"


Except obviously they don't.


Well it’s not like it’d be easy to get rid of him, I feel like he was pointing that out too


As the empire? That's a pretty lofty thing to claim off the cuff. You really are of the position that the entire empire putting all of its forces together couldn't defeat sidious and Vader? I believe they call this "the thunderwank" in r/whowouldwin


I meant more that he was addressing the people in the room. Like, if some shit were to go down he could kill them all with what’s essentially a thought and there’s not much they could do to stop him, I don’t genuinely believe that Vader could fight off the entire empire alone lmao


What I mean is that that scene makes sense as a "look how cool this dude is" moment in a movie but from a more serious standpoint it makes absolutely zero sense. Vader would only ever be more valuable than a general as a symbol, and the empire doesn't use the sith as symbols. They play the facade or law and order. A violent mage dressed in black armor shouldn't be in any military meeting.


So could a ten year old with a bomb.


That's what I said to myself 🤣🤣


Generally with force techniques Gestures help get the right mental state to perform the technique. When you practiced it that way over and over to get it to work, that generally the way you have to do it in a pinch. A lot of those can be done without the gesture with enough training and talent. In ESB vader pulls some equipment off the wall while gripping his saber with both hands. In Vader's case he likely doesn't need the gesture to choke someone if he wants. But it adds a menacing layer to it for bystanders. And the fear is like half the point. also its a movie, and its letting the audience know the force is being used. Also, [here is a really good video on it](https://youtu.be/kYwwUhxw-HA)


Certain powers require certain gestures but also Anakin/Vader was a bit of a show off. For example as Anakin he liked to do a lot of backflips and it’s because force backflips are actually really hard to do properly so he would do them in battle to show how good he was


To show people it is him who is choking the guy.


It could be like Admiral Hodo mouthing out "pew pew!" when she was firing her laser in the recent sequel film: maybe it's like a kind of onomonopiatic gesture that emphasizes his understanding of his involvement in the action while also showing that he's focused on the specific outcome of the moment? Human beings seek out tactile responses when we actualize our potentials within the world and can feel uncomfortable when we don't receive feedback; maybe it feels better for Anakin when he physically gestures as he's using the force? It could also be a kind of mental focus that he picked up during his training, as other Jedi are shown frequently pointing at things they pull towards them or gesturing towards things that are pushed away Or maybe Darth's just an asshole making sure his victims *know* the reason they can't breathe is because of his poorly controlled anger issues, and his need to forcefully weaponize his frustrations towards his own breathing problems?


its a concentration thing, its not actually required but helps him visualize the choking force around there neck


Mentally he is doing the choke and his body naturally takes the form. The physical act is secondary


There's a scene in ESB of Vader chocking the Admiral by distance without lifting a hand. Like others said, maybe he does this gesture for drama or to show to the others around him who's the mothafuc\*\*\* badass. One thing he can't do is Force Lightning. It flows through the user's arm until the fingers end. Since Vader has half of his arms, the lightning should left his body through the elbow. His armour is also made of conductive material, so he would kill himself.


I have two hypotheses. The act of making a choking motion helps focus the mind to use the Force to accomplish what the user is trying to do. Like the hand wave doing the mind trick, as Rey demonstrated it’s not necessary, but I am sure it helps the user focus on it. Or, and this is my personal favourite. Vader does it for dramatic effect. We are after all, talking about the same guy who used the Force to billow his cape in a vacuum.


He wants everyone to know he's doing it and the guy isn't just choking on lunch.




It helps him concentrate but no, the force does not flow through cybernetic limbs.


Don't the gestures reinforce the force-user's intent. Like, skilled users don't need hand gestures, but the gestures aid in harnessing the force.


Along with other answers in this thread I’d guess that it’s also an intimidation tactic as well. Also it just looks badass.


I honestly think it's for the sake of the viewers, but in universe I think it's just helping to focus the technique and use it properly. Vader often uses just his fore finger and thumb to "squeeze" his targets windpipe, but there are occasions where he picked up targets and just closed his fist which means he straight up crushed their windpipe. That would make me think it's really just helping him control how much pressure he uses, even if just visually helping.


He doesn't need to. In the scene where he [chokes Admiral Ozzel to death](https://youtu.be/aV2DLkDPwM8?t=44), he doesn't even raise his arms from his chair.


Technically, Jedi don’t have to extend a hand to use the force but it’s a mental thing that helps them focus the force into their intent. Vader does it out of habit and I think the visualization makes using the force much easier.


Its mostly theatrics, striking fear into the hearts of sidious' subordinates and enemies of the empire. As one of the strongest force users of this(and many other) era its not necessary to gesture for this kind of thing, but it helps convey the message. No the force does not flow through his cybernetics, thanks to the emperor punishing his underling


The Force doesn't flow through Vader's prosthetic limbs - it's the reason why he can't conjure Force lightning, as that ability requires Force energy to flow through the user's limbs to manifest as lightning that can then be directed.


Yes it flows through his cybernetic limbs. It's still his hand, connected to his body and nerves. If anything it might be a phantom limb effect.


I was thinking something similar. Vader is thinking the gesture to focus the Force, and his limbs are responding because they're picking up the impulses, but it would still work if he was paralyzed or if he spent any time without limbs.


He *has* hands, they're just mechanical.


You want the rabble to know without the shadow of a doubt that it is you chocking the other person with your mighty space magic. I'd assume that a mighty force user could kill another person just by looking at them, so my guess is that the gestures are more for dramatic effect (both for the viewer as well as the in-universe characters).


Have you seen Vader? Guy's wicked powerful sure but the only thing more powerful than his connection to the force is his love for drama. Guys a total drama queen.


It's just easier to concentrate like that. Compare and contrast with the MCU's version of magic sigils -- moving your hands around makes it far easier to visualize what you want, but really, a guy with a stump can do it just as well. Anakin learned to control the Force by using his hands, so he uses his new hands.


He doesn't have to do the choking gesture to pull it off. When he choked that guy over video phone he was just sitting there.


Yes. The Force is in **everything**.


Visualization. It's a powerful aid.


“It’s called a promo, kid. If you want to be the big dog, you’re going to have to learn how to do it.”


Like many comments here have stated, I believe it’s habitual. Just because anakin doesn’t have limbs, doesn’t mean the gesture ceases to be a habit. (Optional.) It’s clearly shown Vader doesn’t have to make the gesture to choke someone, as seen in ESB when he chokes out the officer through the screen on the star destroyer. I think there is also a bit of menace and intimidation factor he’s going for when when he does it too


He's always been a bit overly theatrical and dramatic.


Probably just being dramatic. He doesn't actually need to, he killed Ozzel while sitting down with his hands on his knees.


This is a 2-part answer. On the one hand, it is "kinda" necessary in that, if you make the motion with your hands, it just makes the whole thing easier. Just like making a pushing motion makes a force-push easier. You can, however, do it without moving your arms, it's just more difficult and annoying. But Obi-Wan pulled Qui-Gon's lightsaber without using his hands at the end of Phantom Menace, and he was only a Padawan at the time so it is definitely possible. As to the second question, the Force definitely flows through the cybernetic arms to some extent. That's why Vader can't use force lightning, it would actually short-circuit his own robot hands.


I always thought it was just that was how he visualised doing it, I would think he would still have the power even with his arms disconnected


If he doesn't make the gesture, it's not clear that he's causing the strangulation. By making the gesture, he invokes fear and intimidation in the room, making it apparent that he is the source. The theatrics and reactions are all part of the Sith spectacle. Darth Maul uses a flashy style to overwhelm his opponents and intimidate. The emotions feed the Sith.




'Going through the motions' helps focus force abilities.


our guy ani just wants to look cool ok?


Strictly speaking, you don't really need to make somatic gesture to use the force, its just that most learn to invoke its usage through these gestures. In Anakin's case he learned to force choke by closing his fist, and his prosthetic hand is wired to act identically to his former meat hand. Conceptually he could force choke someone without his prosthetic hand attached by sending the same impulses to his missing hand that he does to his cybernetic.


It's symbolic


Because it looks intimidating. And cool. Dude, guy wore a cape and made it look cool. Vader is the best bad guy ever because he also looked cool while also being intimidating.


Hey kid, it ain't that kind of movie. If people are looking at your hair, we're all in big trouble. [[1](https://www.syfy.com/syfy-wire/mark-hamill-describes-the-moment-harrison-ford-explained-star-wars-to-him)]


I think ability to use the force and to have the force flow through you doesn’t require organic limbs and appendages. Certain force techniques however such as force lightning do require organic material which is why Vader could never do force lightning.


Extra intimidation through theatrics.


Could be that the mental process involves a reflex similar to how you'd move a hand. Just because Vader doesn't have a hand anymore his brain would still want to raise his hand and reach out to squeeze a neck.


Its more for show so the audience understands why the guy is choking is my reasoning


Theatrics! SW theory made a vid on this


He doesn't really have to, but it helps to make certain motions and gestures to more easily visualize what you're trying to do.


You don't need gestures because force works through your mind, BUT you have to be really concentrated, that is not easy in a fight so force users use their hands to direct and control the power how they want


It helps to visualize what you are trying to do. Its not technically necessary but its easier to think push when you stretch out your hand.




His suit of armor has these needles that plug into ports in his head, neck, and the places where his cybernetic limbs connect to his body. When the suit is on and activated he does not feel any pain from his burns, nor does he feel the lack of arms. The cybernetic ones feel exactly like moving his real arms, so it feels natural to gesture with his arms to use the force… it also helps with focus