Saga Is there a "Light Side" of the Force?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by PiettsHat, Sep 9, 2012.

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  1. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    Throughout the Saga, we hear characters repeatedly mention the Dark Side of the Force and how it can grant one "unnatural" abilities; how fear, anger, and aggression lead to it; and how it is easier and more seductive.

    However, I was wondering, do any of the characters ever reference a "Light Side" of the Force? The closest thing I can think of is Luke asking, "but how will I know the good side from the bad?" or Qui-Gon mentioning the Living Force.

    It's a thought I had because I tend to think of the Force as a binary, with the Dark Side and the Light Side being two sides of the same Force. But if there is no "Light Side" and there is only "the Force," then the Dark Side is merely a perversion of the natural Force and this very much clarifies Lucas' analogy of the Dark Side as being a cancer.
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  2. Admiral Volshe Chosen One

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    This really makes me think about it.

    I see the Force as three different sides, all within the same entity of "The Force"
    ~ The "light side" or the "good" use of the Force (pretty much achieving one-ness, feeling and giving peace, and gaining special awareness to the events
    of the universe)
    ~the neutral Force, which is the ability to use basic skills, and sense other beings, etc. No extra, plus these people do not disrupt the Force in any way.
    ~The Dark side, or the subjectively "evil" use of the Force. Using anger or passion to fuel awareness, abilities such as force choking, lightning.

    Now I also said "subjectively" for the Dark side, because although it seems evil, depending on the usage, it does not have to be evil. You can be considered "evil" and "dark" for simply fuelling your force usage with emotion and passion. (Just stating opinion, I don't want to start an argument on this).

    But to me, it is a spectrum, not just two sides.
    Last edited by Admiral_Volshe, Sep 9, 2012
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  3. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

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  4. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    See, I had always thought there was a "light side," but searching through the scripts, I've been unable to find a single explicit reference to the "light side" of the Force. There's only mentions of "the Force" itself. This leads me to believe that there really isn't a "light side" to begin with. It's not that the "light side" is the positive attributes of the Force and the Dark Side is its negative attributes, it's that the "light side" is just the Force, the Force when it's in balance (such as when a person's body/mind is healthy). The Dark Side, then, is when the Force becomes unbalanced (or when a body/mind becomes diseased or sick).
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  5. Admiral Volshe Chosen One

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    That's really an interesting perspective.
    The idea that the light side is just simply all of the Force, but the Dark side alters it severely, making it deformed or darkened. [face_thinking] I'm going to think about that in regards to the films.

    I think that the spectrum could become tainted in that very way in my view as well.
    Say it is normally white (Light) that fades to grey (just the Force) to a very dark grey/black (Dark Side). Then, if there is many light users, the spectrum becomes more of White to light-grey, to a darker grey(Dark Side). The Dark side is more difficult to differentiate from at this point.
    If the dark side is predominant, the spectrum then becomes darker, so Medium/light grey is the "Light side", darker grey is now the unaltered Force, and the Black is the Dark side.
    With this now spectrum being altered, we would be missing the balance of the severe ends of the spectrum, and it would become unbalanced as well.
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  6. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    My understanding is that Lucas intends the Force itself to be split into two sides, the "good side" and the "bad," to use the terminology Luke does in ESB.

    My own personal preference/interpretation is more like this:

    The Force is an energy field that interacts with the contents of the universe. Organisms can sense and tap Force energy for their own uses. Certain types of usage - the kinds that flow, as much as is possible, within normal natural systems - are relatively non-disruptive to the Force, and so could be called "light sided." Other types of usage - brute force usages, that call on huge amounts of power at a single time and channel it through the user - damage the Force and the user alike. These, we might call "dark sided."

    Because of the emotions that often drive human beings and many other species, there will be many times when a Force-attuned individual will want to call on the Force in moments of anger or fear. Due to aforementioned emotional states and others, they will want to use lots of power at a time to accomplish their goal and would lack the patience to figure out ways to develop a more "go with the flow" approach to their problem.

    Short version: To me, the light side could be screwing the top off of a bottle full of liquid (Force energy); the dark side could be smashing the bottle to get at its contents. A battle of 'means' versus 'ends' thinking.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Sep 9, 2012
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  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    In the Classic Star Wars forum- the question of "where did Lucas say the light side & the dark side are both necessary?" was raised: this was the answer:

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  8. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    There are references to the light side in the scripts. Luke calls it the "good side" in TESB, during a scene which explicitly mentions both sides. Ben refers to it as the "good side" in the ROTJ script. And it appears in early pre-ANH script treatments as one half of the "Force of Others", the other half being the Bogan, or dark side.

    "All light and no dark" is not balance. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Balance is hardly defined as all of one thing and none of the other.

    The dark side is not the same thing as imbalance. The Force was in balance for many years prior to the era of the films while the Sith order continued on and used the dark side during that time. The balance of the Force is between the light and dark sides of the Force, as established by Lucas and EU; thus, the complete disappearance of the dark side ( something never even suggested in canon ) would be a case of extreme imbalance.

    He never said that. He said that the interpersonal dynamic between the two Sith would embody a "cancerous" relationship. His statement was about the behavior of the Sith, not about the dark side.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 10, 2012
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  9. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    I guess where I get confused, then, is that if the Dark Side is a necessary component to the Force -- the "other half" of the "light side," then what exactly does the prophecy mean by bringing the Force back into balance by destroying the Sith?

    Is it that with the presence of the Sith, the Dark Side becomes overwhelming? And that the natural Force, in balance, means to have only the existence of the Jedi who must resist the lure of the Dark Side?
  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    In essence, but I'd qualify that to refer specifically to "these" Sith, meaning the Sith of the film era, as opposed to just any Sith.
  11. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

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    Why not any Sith? Remember that the rising of the dark-side in the form of the Sith is what overwhelms the Jedi.

    I agree that there is no "light side", but just in fact the Force. The dark-side is the corruption of the natural form of the Force, and is not what it should be.
  12. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    One thing is the existance of the Dark Side, the other is its use. That's what causes inbalance.
  13. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

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    But that seems strange to me. The Force has two sides and one side mortals can use with no problem but as soon as they use the other then an imbalance occurs. How can two sides exist but only one side can be used and any use of the other cause imbalance and destruction?

    It is a strange kind of balance that says "You can use this side but not the other, if anyone does then they must be hunted down and killed." If the mere existence of Dark Side users cause the Force to go out of balance then this imbalance has existed for thousands of years and would exist again if any Jedi fell to the Dark Side.

    Many Jedi are seen moving things with their minds so this would be a "Light side" power. But this power can be used to cause destruction. Like lifting a ship and then throwing it into a building, causing much death. Would this now be a "Dark Side" power? The Sith can also move things with their minds so they can apparently use the "Light Side" powers. So the Sith can use both sides but this causes an imbalance but the Jedi can only use one but this is balance. How exactly does that work?

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
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  14. EHT New Films Manager

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    The way I see it is that there is the Force, and there is the dark side of the Force. The great majority of this whole is basically good, while the small part that is dark is still naturally occuring, and it's OK that it exists and it will always be there. The problem is when dark side users like Sith give more power to the dark side by using it in unnatural, selfish, destructive ways... this inflates its "size" relative to the whole, and throws the Force out of balance. Balance does not mean equal numbers or equal weight in this view, it means "harmony".
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  15. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

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    But in a recent thread there was talk about a Yin and Yang Symbol visible in the clouds during a scene in AotC. If the Yin and Yang concept applies to the Light/Dark Side of the Force then the two sides are equally big. Also how can the Sith increase the size of the Dark Side? Can the Jedi increase the size of the Light Side by doing too much good?
    Several times in the PT it is said that the Dark Side has clouded the jedi's vision etc. So that sounds like the Dark Side itself is taking action and not just the Sith using the Dark Side. The Force is said to have a "Will", does the Dark Side have a "Will" as well?
    Does the Dark Side want chaos, death, destruction and imbalance?

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  16. EHT New Films Manager

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    That assumes that Yin and Yang automatically have relevance to the Force. Seeing it in the clouds is possibly irrelevant, while its appearance in TCW Mortis episode is surely intentional (and I disagree with it in that case). If one doesn't think it's related than the symbol doesn't prove anything about the Force.

    I explained how Sith using the dark side could increase its relative "size", and of course Jedi can't do too much good and increase the size of the light side; I obviously didn't say that and I never even said the words "light side". Regarding the dark side clouding things, it was able to to do so because the Sith were using it and increasing its power, which in turn threw the Force out of balance. The increasing lack of balance is strongly indicated to coincide with the clouding of vision that the Jedi experience. Regarding the "will of the Force"... I think the Force as a whole has a will, one that reflects the naturally good inclination of the Force as a whole. The dark side doesn't have a will separate from that, but if it grows in strength it can limit the ability of Force users like the Jedi to feel what the will of the Force is. The Sith don't care what the will of the Force is, since they are using it in self-serving ways.
  17. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Because of the history of the millennium preceding the era of the films. Though "in hiding", the Sith order continued on throughout this time, but the imbalance in the Force did not start until it was created by the actions of Tenebrous' master.

    It's not just the symbol ( which, as you say, was deliberately and intentionally used in Mortis ), since Lucas mentions yin and yang in the context of the Force when quoted in interviews.

    According to EU sources, it does ( or at least Palpatine believes that it does ).

    Technically, it's not necessarily true that the inclination of the Force as a whole is naturally good ( which is a part of the Potentium theory, said to be invalid in both in-universe character dialogue and out-of-universe sources ); as a whole, it was said to be neither benevolent nor malevolent. As something generated by living things, which are not generally known to be exceptionally pure, it should reflect both the good and evil of those living things. However, it may be naturally aligned with balance and as such may appear "good" in the context of major evil which threatens the balance.

    The natural form of the Force has two sides, as Lucas has stated and as the original films tried to convey. The corruption of the natural form of the Force involves a dark side growing out of bounds and "threatening to overwhelm the light" due to actions taken by the Sith upon the Force.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 11, 2012
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  18. EHT New Films Manager

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    @Arawn_Fenn : good points, as always. Nothing else really to add at this point. :p

    And for some reason I got no alerts for the quotes you made above... but I'll get four alerts for one quote somewhere else. Arrggh.
  19. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Palpatine's beliefs change a lot. In Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter he believes that the Force is one- that Light side and Dark side are relatively unimportant distinctions.
  20. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Well, he does get written by different authors, and different authors sometimes seem to have different views. For example, on the question of the validity of the Potentium according to the Jedi, Patterns of Force contradicts Rogue Planet. On the other hand, in Maul's POV from Shadow Hunter, there are references to the external dark side.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Sep 12, 2012
  21. Duragizer Jedi Grand Master

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    Dark side of the Force implies that it is just that, a side of the Force. Logically, if one side's dark, the other side must be light. No, there is no explicit mention of a light side in the films, but that makes the most sense within the context of the discussion on the topic in-universe. If the dark side were merely some perversion of the Force or something apart from the Force, then that seperateness/otherness would have been emphasized.

    Of course, it's possible the Jedi/Sith really have little to no clue on the true nature of the Force and merely apply their own abstract concepts on it in a flawed attempt to make sense out of something that is really beyond their comprehension. That works, too.
  22. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    @DuracellEnergizer

    Logically, what you're saying does make sense. I guess I was wondering if the Light Side/ Dark Side paradigm necessarily had to fall along good vs. evil lines. What I mean is, isn't there another dichotomy that could be used, such as a healthy vs. unhealthy state? In that sense, the light side might be considered more of the "neutral," "balanced," or "healthy" state while the dark side is for sickness.

    In that sense, the Dark Side is natural (just like diseases, illness, and death are natural facets of life) but it is a state you want to avoid because it isn't "healthy," if that makes sense.
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  23. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

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    Interesting discussion guys. Somethings I'm curious about is that the imbalance of the force is said by Lucas to be solely caused by the darkside. So any speculation that the Jedi needed to be wiped out too goes against this. Personally I think the force was already out of balance when we are introduced to the GFFA in Phantom Menace. But then again, I don't think the force is more in balance after the events of Revenge of the Sith.
  24. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Right ( though that particular speculation is still very popular ). The commonly encountered error here is in assuming that because the Jedi were wiped out, they were required to be wiped out to achieve balance. But being wiped out and being required to be wiped out are not the same thing.

    That is accurate, if Darth Plagueis and Labyrinth of Evil are any indication.

    It's not. Why would it be? And Obi-Wan's dialogue on Mustafar indicates that it is not.
  25. Dark-Fox Jedi Grand Master

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    Interesting thread, I like it!

    I've always had the viewpoint that the force is a natural thing; an extension and creation of nature. I thought Yoda's philosophy of the acceptance of death was affirmation that the force is made up of positive life giving energies like happiness and hope and also dark energies like diseases and death, as does nature itself. By that reasoning the "dark side" is when someone is using that energy in an especially bad way, adding further pain and suffering into a galaxy already naturally rife with such things.

    So I suppose I kind of picture the force as like a stream of cool water reflecting the light and warmth of the sun. Most of that water is sparkly and gently flowing but there are ripples and eddies here and there that indicate bad things happenning that are natural in occurance; people dying, others grieving - the natural emotions of countless sentient beings living in this river. The dark side exists in those currents of suffering and can be easily harnessed for selfish gain. But the effect it has on the water is like stirring up the silt and spreading it through ripples, unbalancing it's natural properties and spreading the currents of suffering.

    I guess that's how I have viewed it, that as the force has by nature darkness in it then there isn't a light side - it just is. But watching how the Nightsisters use magic in The Clone Wars makes me wonder if I need to take another look at my viewpoint. Is the Nightsisters' magic a neutral aspect of the force, making my stream analogy confusing?
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