Chapter 12

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Throughout the movie, we see that Jack's staff is very important to him. This makes sense given that it was the thing that saved his sister's life. However, (And again I'm just talking movie here, not books) it's never explained why and how Jack uses the staff to harness his powers. We see him use them without the staff, but more often than not if he is using his powers, he uses his staff.

At 45 minutes and 55 seconds, the Guardians are fighting Pitch after they first met Jamie in his bedroom. At this moment, Jack is knocked back by a Nightmare and momentarily loses hold of his staff. At this moment, he is free-falling and seems unable to harness the wind to help him reach his staff. He starts panicking and furiously tries to grab it.

It should also be noted that when Pitch breaks his staff, Jack clutches his chest in what seems like physical pain. For some reason, Jack seems to be tied to his staff. The staff must also hold some kind of power because Jack alone shouldn't have been able to repair it. He has powers over ice, not wood. However, the few times that Jack lets go of the staff, it doesn't have frost on it like it does when jack's holding it. I just find it interesting. 

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