Star Wars universe: why can't they regenerate limbs?

How can you have a universe where clones are common but they can’t even regenerate a hand?

Clones are (relatively) easy to make. The blueprints to create an organism from scratch is already in the DNA. Nature already did all the ground work. However to regenerate a hand you’d probably have to figure out what growth factors, hormones, signal proteins etc etc at precise places, precise times and precise concentrations.

WAG: Might be cultural. We’ve pretty much only seen Jedi/Sith lose their limbs. Perhaps the regenerative technology exists, but Jedi/Sith practioners of the Force do not submit to it as an article of religious faith or as an example of how they continue to endure without it.


It suddenly occurred to me the OP may have meant this to query this fluke-ish apparent limitation in the Force and not a technological deficiency.

I’m not sure it’s ever been established in canon that the Jedi have any special innate healing abilities due to their manipulation of the Force. It sure does seem odd they don’t – that any religious order that has learned to control a universal source of power to affect many external changes like telekinesis, force-bolts, limited mind control and quasi-immortality wouldn’t apply the same discipline and study to the healing arts, especially if they run around as a police force with sabers.

Time to blame the midichlorians.

<-- Currently playing star wars knights of the old republic 2.

Healing is a lightside power(uh, well a character just got her hand chopped off and healing doesn’t grow it back… so yea.).

It’s also in pretty much every star wars game i’ve ever played.

Maybe robotic limbs are superior or a status symbol and everyone is just looking for an excuse to put them on.

If chick dig scars think how they’d pop over a robotic hand…“Yeah I got this while fighting a Dark Lord of the Sith that was shooting lightening at me”

Heck-didn’t they grow a whole NEW body for Luke Skywalker , after he froze to death on the ice planet Hoth? Seems like it didn’t take too long either…so yeah, no need for prosthetics there.

I never liked how they divided “force powers” in the video games. Considdering that half the Jedi tricks are telekenisis there’s no reason that a heroic Jedi can’t choke someone other than they might thing it was not a nice thing to do. It’s such an obvious game construct (along with dividing up force pull and push and other powers that are exclusive to one side) that I can’t help but get annoyed by it.

The real reason that they can’t regenerate limbs is because no one thought of it while making Empire Strikes Back and once Luke lost his hand and have it replaced with a robotic one they had to set up a parallel with Vader in Return of the Jedi and once that had happened they had to have it happen in the prequels. It’s one of those implications of technologies that weren’t really thought through, though its an easy one to make up excuses for.

Just to toss out my theory so I don’t completely polute this thread with “It’s a movie”, it takes a long time to build clone parts, even just hands. Luke didn’t have time because they’re in the middle of a rebellion and Return takes place only a couple of months after Empire. Anakin also had to just keep going so he got a temporary hand and then Vader never replaced his hand because the incident that screwed him up so he needed the suit prevented a transplant from working.

If I recall the film correctly, no, they have these “healing tanks” that people get put in as a form of life support. These have been shown in the various Star Wars games as well.

If you really want a good excuse why not, it may just be somewhat expensive and/or even in Star Wars they can’t regenerate nerve tissue. I mean, stocking a dozen cybernetic arms is one thing, but it might take a lot of expensive equipment and time to make artificial limbs. And if they can’t get the nerve tissue to link back up properly it won’t work anyway.

In Attack of the Clones it takes the aliens 10 years to grow a clone to maturity. The Extended Universe (the novels, specifically) establish that it takes a minimum of three or four years to grow a clone to maturity, and anything faster results in a clone that is mentally unstable. Grand Admiral Thrawn discovered a way around this in Dark Force Rising, and was able to produce clones in 21 days, but that was 5 years after Return of the Jedi, and it involved using special creatures that negate the Force around them.

Obviously, you don’t have to worry about mental instability if you’re just cloning a hand. But there might be other health issues associated with rapidly-grown cloned tissue, and in fact I’d be surprised if there wasn’t. If the arm if going to develop cancer within a few years, or be crippled with arthritis, or some other nasty malady, then I can see where a bionic replacement might be seen as a superior alternative.

Heh. I think it may have done wonders for Luke’s personality if he’d had to cut off his own hand after it turned evil, then replace it with some sort of lightsaber chainsaw.

“Hail to the Jedi Knight, baby.”

Because the prosthetics are a real hit with the ladies, due to the um, special accessories?

Seriously, replacing organic tissue would probably be a long, involved process, what with rejection and all that. It’s probably just much easier to use a robotic.

Howabout “because robot limbs are neat and make for some fun plot points”?

Anyway, Luke’s hand looked just like the real thing, with sensation and everything. Why bother getting real tissue?

Plus, it looks cooler to show the installation of a robotic hand than to show Luke’s hand growing back. That would be… gross, probably.

I think Star Wars is famous for mixing the new tech with old tech.

Like for instance there are several scenes where you can see some sort of creature pulling around a hovercraft. Sort of like a neo-horse and buggy.

It’s like “Uh, OK. IF you can make the hover craft why do you need that camel looking thing pulling it around for you?” :dubious:

Well they sorta do use it for healing, no? It was my understanding that Palpatine uses the force to give him unnaturally long life, while Vader uses it to prevent succumbing to his wounds. Is it the same deal with Yoda, or does his species normally live for 500 years?

Well, just because a thing is available doesn’t make it practical, affordable, or convenient to maintain.

I accept most of the reasoning so far why cybernetic hands might be preferable replacement parts to cloned nes.

The real question is: why didn’t the Jedi/Sith ever develop The Force to take care of those pesky cuts and maimed limbs. Sure techniques for innate body repair must exist, so why didn’t they ever discover them?

My last response was meant for SHAKES not VarlosZ. That said, I can see where The Force might generally be used to extend one’s life – long life is kind of a given to mystic types and mastrs of esoteric powers – but specific techniques for healing wounds, severe injuries don’t seem to exist. Although it might be argued that the Jedi have simply trained to avoid getting injured in the first place.

I seem to remember in a Star Wars EU novelisation I read a while back {sorry, no idea which one} that Vader was attempting to use the Force to heal his damaged body, which was why he spent long periods in his meditation eggbox, but was unable to sustain it for more than a few seconds due to the amount of power and control required. Besides, to quote Ash when he got his mechanical hand, “Groovy.”