Star Wars Legacy #1 by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema by far understands Force Healing better than The Mandalorian and the entire sequel trilogy.
But before we get into how Star Wars Legacy #1 deals with Force Healing, let’s set the stage with how Force Healing had previously worked in Star Wars with The Revenge of the Sith.
If you recall, the desire to prevent Padme from dying led Anakin Skywalker to fall to the Dark Side, swear allegiance to Darth Sidious, and become Darth Vader.
But before this happens, Chancellor Palpatine reveals that preventing death is possible through the Dark Side when he tells him the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise.
He tells Anakin, “Darth Plagueis was a dark lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”
Anakin then questions, “He could actually save people from death?”
To which Palpatine responds, “The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities that some consider to be unnatural.”
When asked what happened to Plagueis, Palpatine explains, “He became so powerful the only he was afraid was losing his power. Which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew. Then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. It’s ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.”
Anakin then asks, “Is it possible to learn this power?”
Palpatine responds, “Not from a Jedi.”
Later in the film, after Anakin slices off Mace Windu’s hand and Sidious uses Force Lightning against him, Sidious tells Anakin to become his apprentice.
Anakin acquiesces but makes one request, “Just help me save Padme’s life. I can’t live without her.”
Sidious responds, “To cheat death is a power only one has achieved, but if we work together I know we can discover the secret.”
Anakin then pledges himself to Sidious and becomes Darth Vader.
Disney’s sequel trilogy and The Mandalorian would make a mockery of The Revenge of the Sith, as Rey would use Force Healing on not only the Vexis on the desert world of Pasaana, but also on Kylo Ren with little to no consequences.
The technique would then be used by Ben Solo to save Rey as he gave his life to her.
In The Star Wars Book they would explain that Force Healing only works through a Force Dyad which is a link through the Force that connects “two individuals across space and time.”
It then explains how those in a Force Dyad can use Force Healing, “Those in a dyad possess another unusual ability. They can use the Force to heal a wounded person or creature, but this act also requires that the healer transfer some of their Force energy, which can temporarily weaken them.”
The book makes it clear this is the ability Ben Solo uses on Rey following their battle against Darth Sidious, “After their battle with Darth Sidious, Ben Solo sacrifices his life and all of his Force energy to bring Rey back from the dead.”
However, Lucasfilm had previously revealed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary that Rey learned the ability to Force Heal from the Jedi texts she acquired on Ahch-To.
That book explained, “Rey is fascinated by the arcane healing techniques described in the Chronicles of Brus-bu, and uses the underpinnings of such teachings to heal the broken kyber crystal in her lightsaber.”
The Rise of Skywalker novelization would reinforce Rey learned the ability from the Jedi texts.
It reads, “She was acting on pure instinct now. Rey closed her eyes. Reached for the Force. Whenever she fought, or leapt through the jungles of Ajan Kloss, or even mind-tricked a stormtrooper into releasing her shackles, she channeled the Force, using it for her own advantage in some way. But this would call for a different technique, something she’d learned from the Jedi texts when she was mending Luke’s kyber crystal. This time, she would give.”
“A hum resonated in her chest as she gathered something inside her, offered it up to the serpent. Her own energy. Her own life. It was part of the Force, too, and she didn’t have to keep it all to herself. She felt the vexis calming. Its pain was receding,” the book continued.
In the book Rey explains what she did, “I just transferred a bit of life. Force energy, from me to him.”
The book then reveals the healing of the vexis unlocks more of the Force similar to an RPG skill tree, “Healing the vexis had exhausted her, but it had also opened up new avenues of the Force to her – something about both giving and taking, about a more perfect oneness than she’d understood before. She yearned to talk it over with Leia.”
When she heals Kylo Ren, she uses this ability to not only transfer her own Force energy, but the Force energy of the life in the ocean as well. The book explains, ““Rey drew on everything around her-so much life in that violent ocean!-but mostly she drew on herself. She gave.”
In The Mandalorian, Grogu uses Force Healing with almost no consequences at all when he heals both Greef Karga and Din Djarin. He’s just worn out like he is when he uses any other Force ability.
No longer is the ability to cheat death a power that only one has achieved. No longer is it implied that it is a Dark Side ability that some consider unnatural. It’s a power that both Rey and Grogu use with little to no consequences.
Not only are multiple people running around the galaxy with the ability, but it’s also seemingly used as a Light Side power rather than a Dark Side and unnatural one. One that you in fact can learn from the Jedi in their ancient texts. That’s in stark contrast to Palpatine explaining you wouldn’t wouldn’t be able to learn the ability from a Jedi.
However, in Star Wars Legacy #1, Force Healing and its use in cheating death honors the legacy of the Revenge of the Sith, the idea that the ability is part of the Dark Side, and is unnatural.
In the issue, readers are introduced to Cade Skywalker as he and a number of Jedi defend the planet of Ossus from an invasion of Sith.
Their defense goes poorly as many Jedi are slaughtered by the combined forces of the Sith and the New Empire.
During the battle Jedi Master Sazen is fatally wounded by Darth Nihl.
Disobeying his master’s orders Cade Skywalker endangers his other Jedi allies who are attempting to flee the battle. However, his father, Kol Skywalker, orders him to take Master Wolf Sazen and flee.
Cade begrudgingly follows his father’s orders and flees with Master Sazen back to the transport ship.
As Master Sazen lies dying on the ship he tells the young Jedi apprentices that there is nothing to fear from death. He explains, “Do not be afraid. What have you been taught? There is no death, is there? Only the Force. When the shell fails the essence remains nothing is lost nothing is…”
However, Cade Skywalker uses the Force to bring Master Sazen back from the brink of death.
After Sazen is brought back from the brink of death, he warns Cade Skywalker that he is falling to the Dark Side.
He tells him, “It was wrong to bring me back to life! To do it brought you to the edge of the Dark Side! Kill to avenge your father and you become what killed him! Is that how you will honor his memory?!”
Later Sazen would tell Kol Skywalker’s Padawan, Shado, “He brought me back, Shadow, from the very edge of life and death. I felt the Dark Side touch him.”
He continues, “I feel him now in my mind. He desires death. And he wants to kill before he dies.”
Not only would Sazen warn Cade that his use of this Force Healing ability was wrong and led him on the path to the Dark Side, but it’s later revealed towards the end of the issue that Darth Krayt, the Sith leader and the self-appointed Emperor of the New Empire describes Cade’s Force Healing ability as a Dark Side ability as well.
Krayt states, “I felt a murmur in the Dark Side when Ossus fell. A dark light in the Force drawing life back from death. Healing. The source was a Jedi.”
He later adds, “I will find this Jedi and bend their power to serve the Dark Side. My vision of galactic order is not yet reality, but it will be. It will be.”
What this book does so well is that it shows that using Force Healing to subvert the natural cycle of life and death is wrong, and thus would be pursued by Dark Side users like Darth Krayt.
It’s why Master Sazen tells Cade that he was flirting with the Dark Side power by giving into his anger. It’s also why Master Sazen is informing the other Jedi apprentices that there is nothing to fear from death.
This book honors the concepts laid out in Revenge of the Sith that Force Healing would indeed be a Dark Side power and considered unnatural.
It also honors George Lucas’ descriptions of the Dark Side of the Force.
Speaking about the Dark Side, Lucas stated, “the pleasure factor of greed and of selfishness is a short-lived experience. Therefore you are constantly trying to replenish it, but of course the more you replenish it the harder it is, so you have to keep upping the ante. You are actually afraid of the pain of not having the joy.”
Cade Skywalker falls to his fear by bringing Master Sazin back to life. And Darth Krayt reveals his own fear of dying before bringing and enacting his vision of galactic order on the galaxy.
In contrast, Master Sazin is not afraid of death and in his seemingly dying breaths is warning his apprentices to not be afraid either, because as we know Jedi believe in life after death. They believe they can become one with the Force and indeed we know that multiple Jedi Masters have done so including Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Yoda.
Now, this issue isn’t perfect, Cade Skywalker is able to perform the ability out of pure emotional connection to the Force, he doesn’t spend time training and mastering the ability.
And probably the biggest issue is that Cade is a Jedi Padawan when he uses the ability, and as Palpatine reveals a Jedi would not be able to teach one how to cheat death. And we know the reason for that is that a Jedi would have no cause to want to cheat death.
Nevertheless, in one issue Star Wars Legacy understands Force Healing much better than The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian combined.