This, I think, is an eternal question for any Star Wars fan…if not the eternal question for every Star Wars fan.
If you could have a Force power, which would it be?
Obviously, if you’re a Jedi or a Sith, you’d be able to have the multitude of powers associated. You could therefore just ask the question, would you be a Jedi or a Sith? Divorcing it from a good/evil question, you can just ask which bank of uniquely aligned powers would you select?
But asking which one power you’d take, that’s a fun one. It forces you to be highly selective. And to be fair, I have to consider the aspects of good and evil, because some of the powers are inextricably tied to them, and some of them I consider corrupting in their nature anyway.
There are the practical powers. The ability to “shove” something with the Force to move something out of the way, knock over an obstacle or even save a person from harm is useful and in many ways alluring.
The ability to levitate things would also be useful. I might never need to move an X-Wing, but I’d love to be able to lift something onto a moving truck without throwing out my back ever again.
It would be highly practical to use telepathy to communicate with another person over long distances. Distracting, and very tempting to abuse to make them embarrass themselves in group settings, but practical if you want to make sure someone remembers to pick up something at the store.
Semi-Benevolent Even When Evil
Then there are the powers that can be used either way, depending on your own disposition.
Would you go for the ability to influence others’ minds? Imagine the opportunities. As a married man, I can tell you I’d love to have the power to influence the way someone else thinks, if for no other reason than to just skip the part where I have to spend years of logical argument to counter the programming of People magazine and American Idol.
Hell, I’d use it just to control the Netflix queue at this point. Agent Bun is as relentless as Palpatine during a Senate debate.
(Side question: did Palpatine use Force powers while in the Senate, or just sly maneuvering? Would he have given himself completely away to the Jedi if he’d been too “active” with his powers?)
Seriously, though, you’ll note that you never see the Sith use “Force Suggestion.” I think that this is a philosophical illustration — the Jedi suggest things to those who wish to do harm, usually to get to a benevolent end, whereas the Sith don’t bother with suggestion and just punish you when you don’t do what they say.
Force Lightning. Force Choke. Simply having these powers is corrupting in and of itself.
What the Hell else can you use them for besides punishment of subordinates and the incompetent? Or pesky farm boys willing to live on honest principles instead of following the will of a corrupt leader?
Still, it’s incredibly tempting to be able to kill someone without any fingerprints, DNA or convictions. Which is the problem in and of itself. Since I believe in the sanctity of life, I’d have to be using the power only in a justifiable setting to prevent a greater evil, and even then I know that I’d walk the Earth looking for justifiable settings.
So Which to Choose?
I’d have to go with telekinesis. Though telepathy is extremely alluring, telekinesis is the most practical. Move the lawn mower across the lawn, lift the cut up tree parts to the back of the yard…levitate Bo onto the potty in an attempt to help train her.
It’s also the one I see as the least likely to take me down the path to evil. Influence others’ minds, choke them to death…fry them like greasy chicken with lightning…yeah, telekinesis is the only safe bet.