The Dark Side

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Mic_Bob_Chapwell, Jun 20, 2004.

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  1. Mic_Bob_Chapwell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 29, 2004
    star 1
    The Dark Side: Its one big, evil, black destroying machine. Able to blow up planets in one go, and taje out fleets of fighters easily. It is Evil.

    But if you were part of it, would you think it was evil?

    I thought no as well, so why do they call it the DARK side? If you were part of a company, organisation, club or group, you wouldn't think it were evil, would you? No, you wouldn't.



    Why Is It The Dark Side If You'd Think It Was Good?
  2. PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 3
    Palpatine and Vader both make references to the Dark Side in the OT, so Sith do accept that name. A way to think of it being "good" is to notice the manner in which Palpatine in ROTJ says, "Good, good" and "my friend". What he means by "good" is "of benefit," specifically to him, rather than in a moral sense. He really has no interest in morality, including that of the Dark Side. He just cares about how it benefits him. Similarly, when he calls Vader "my friend" he doesn't think of him as a person to whom he is emotionally close and for whom he cares; when calls Vader his "friend" he only thinks "person whose skills and loyalty are of benefit to me".
  3. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Excellent points. I don't believe people who do evil acts consider themselves evil. It's more likely they consider themselves *beyond* good and evil: they are above that, their morals are out of the compass of good vs. evil.

    Which is one reason I think they are less to do with good and evil than they are to do with choosing to act as a force for Chaos or Order.

    Semantically, however the idea that dark=evil is solely a product of our language/culture. Since everyone in the SW Glaaxy is speaking "Basic", perhaps dark means "in hue" and has nothing at all to do with good or bad. Perhaps to those with the gift of sensing it some parts of the Force feel light, bright or pale in percieved hue, whereas others are sensed as darkness, cool shade, perhaps.

    Something to think about.


    *Derisa*
  4. DarthNigel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2003
    star 3
    Another possibility is that they use the term "Dark Side" when talking to Jedi, including Luke, because that is the term the Jedi use for it. "Speaking their language" in other words.

    They may not believe that the dark side truly has the negative charastics the name denotes, but they just use the term to be understood. For them, it's really about having unrestricted license to use their powers to serve their own desires, and to amass power above all else.
  5. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
  6. Spike_Spiegel Former FF Administrator Former Saga Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    I also agree. If I am not mistaken, I think Voldemort tells Harry Potter something akin to "there is no 'Dark Side' only power and those too weak to seek it." We can draw some parallels there.

    For me, the Sith want power and they tap into the side of the Force that gives them power. I don't think they view it as evil or the "dark side," just the path to power.
  7. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2002
    star 6
    "The Dark Side" is simply a name that Lucasfilm came up with in 1977 to discribe the Empire and that side of the force. If the Dark Side is created, then there has to be an opposing one, that is the Light Side obviously. According to the EU and the movies put together, the Light Side was more uptight than anything. There was a strict order and it was like you killed god to wander away. The Dark Side doesen't fear the Dark Side, they treat it as a gift...a free fall. So i don't necessarily think of the Dark Side as evil, just another point and position.
  8. Sith_Dreamer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2004
    star 4
    I'm with the other up there, about the Light Side being more uptight. Though this is EU, in the game KOTOR, the Sith Academy describes the Dark Side as (not exact quote) "Training in the Force, but with aggression, compassion (love or caring allowed), and at times(for certain situations) anger." So, originally, the Dark Side wasn't as evil, but more fighting the Jedi for their own principles, rather than galactic control (minus Malak.)
  9. Momaw_Nadon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2002
    star 1
    "Which is one reason I think they are less to do with good and evil than they are to do with choosing to act as a force for Chaos or Order."

    The irony being that the Empire is the ultimate agent of Order.
  10. SaberGiiett7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 6
    I share your confusion, Mic_Bob_Chapwell. It's based upon their perception, and what they interpete to be truth and right. So, I don't understand why Darth Vader and the like would embrace such a name.

    Most evil is not a matter of spirit (although some is). Most evil envisions itself as carrying out a righteous cause. But in the saga, there is no tangible cause for the Sith except power.

    Maybe, unlike those who genuinely see themselves in the right, the name directly mirrors the black souls that Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, and Darth Tyrannus possessed. :)

    <[-]> Saber
  11. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    I would argue that that kind of uptightness, and the forced objectivity and emphasis on the intellect, is just another path to the Dark Side. It may not be the Dark Side itself, but it is imbalanced and an incorrect way to relate, and will eventually lead to the Dark Side.

    That's not just my own personal opinion, either; while not necessarily going as far as I do above, EU sources and various quotes make it clear that the Jedi are losing their way by the time of the PT. Another way that Anakin (and Luke) restore balance to the Force, is by finding a more proper, balanced way to relate to themselves, their emotions, and the Force, than the old Jedi had.

    The Dark Side encompasses more than just fear, anger, and hatred. There are other extreme, selfish or psychotic ways of thinking and acting. The Dark Side includes all of them.

    The true good side must include love and compassion, since Anakin is taught that compassion is central to a Jedi's life, and Luke redeems Anakin not by quoting the Jedi Code at him, or through intellect or logic, but by managing to appeal to the love and compassion that Anakin feels for Luke.
  12. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Momaw_Nadon, thanks for the reply to my suggestion. I said: "Which is one reason I think they are less to do with good and evil than they are to do with choosing to act as a force for Chaos or Order."

    You replied: The irony being that the Empire is the ultimate agent of Order.

    That's exactly it: the Empire is heirarchical in very concept, it represents Order. The Jedi are a little harder to place, since they aren't exactly opposed to Order, their beliefs and mandate include that form of existence. Also their organisation isn't clear: there are twelve Council members (chosen how? for how long are their terms? what are the requirements to be selected? <--- these are unexplored questions in the canon material, and their answers would definitely effect this theorem). The stated mandate of the Order is to be guardians of peace and justice in the Galaxy: one can only presume why. My contention is that the Jedi's role in the Galaxy is to increase the awareness of the Force: to further evolve galactic entities till more and more of them can sense, use, and be a conscious part of the Force.

    Since the Force is what binds all life together, it makes sense that peace and justice are necessary ingredients for this to happen: peace so that more people live longer, and justice so that they don't have to fear for their lives and livelihoods so much, freeing them to feel what the Force has to show them. So the Jedi are moreover guardians of Life. Is this making sense so far?

    The corrolary of these factors (1. - Jedi are not Order; 2. - Jedi are not opposed to Order; 3. - Jedi mandate is the increase of conditions where Life thrives) is that the Jedi represent the Chaos side of the theory.

    Chaos is not Order, but can include Order, whereas Order is opposed to Chaos and cannot include Chaos. While Life appears ordered, the infinite variations within the building blocks of life tend more toward Chaos by definition than Order, and the perception of order to help categorise and study life is more likely an artificial and arbitrary construct of our limited intellects than an accurate reflection of the reality of Life. So, in my mind, the Jedi would be representative of Chaos.

    Good and Evil are moral concepts, Chaos and Order are philosophical ones, and since one of the sources of mythology's power is its crossing of cultural boundaries into shared ground (as archetypes), I suspect my theory has at least as much validity as the Good vs. Evil one.

    Hope that made sense to some one! :) I'd love to discuss this more in depth with people familiar with causal or quantum theory. :)


    *Derisa*
  13. The_Flargg Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 2
    I think that the ones who ultimately give themselves to the Dark Side of the Force take utmost pleasure in being evil and diabolical and know that they are as such. The Emperor LIKES frying people with force lightning as Vader LIKES choking people whose "lack of faith disturb him."

    Just an opinion.
  14. _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Well, that was certainly one theory posited by the authors of the X-Wing books (I think it was Aaron Allston, in Starfighters of Adumar): the Emperor had named all of his capital ships really nasty things like Executor, Agonizer, Devastator because he wanted to remind his upper level fleet commanders that even if they had once believed in the Empire's cause, they had been corrupted by the missions they had had to perform. In the book, this came to a head for a specific Imperial Admiral, caught between doing what he was ordered to do, and what he had promised he would not do.

    The corruption of his commanders and the destruction of their personal honour was of particular enjoyment to Palpatine. This idea fits with the positing of an awareness of his own evil, but could also mesh with his possibly considering himself above the whole "conflict between good and evil". If he is amoral, as opposed to immoral, he was not so much choosing to be evil as he was arrogant enough to believe his way was the right way, regardless of the cost.

    From a certain viewpoint, this could be indistinguishable from "evil".


    *Derisa*
  15. Scott3eyez Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2001
    star 4
    >>>>If the Dark Side is created, then there has to be an opposing one, that is the Light Side obviously.

    Not really. For starters, the "light side" is a concept conspicuous only by it's absence in the films- it's telling that the Jedi only speak of the Force as a whole.


    The prequels have possibly given a bit of a clue as to why the Dark Side is called what it is, with the talk of it's "shadow", "shroud" and "clouding" in AOTC. Although the film doesn't really go into detail or explain what this is all about, there is certainly enough there to make a reasonable interpretation that I think makes sense, and it's all about destiny.

    Basically, everyone has a future, certain things that they are destined to do, choices that they will face and so on. Things that are going to happen in their lives. All pretty straightforward so far...

    (It's worth noting at this point that this interpretation doesn't rely on influences like a conscious "Force God"- or lack of-, free will vs destiny etc. etc. It's just about the future that will happen, for whatever reason or cause.)

    Then the Jedi enter the picture- after what would probably amount to dozens of generations of learning about the Force, they eventually tap into knowledge. "Through the Force, other places you will see. The past, the future, old friends long gone." Pretty cool...
    However, there's a catch as soon as you've got more than one Jedi; what if one Jedi sees the future, and then decides to change it? How would that affect what a second Jedi would see if they were to look into the same point in the future? Maybe they would see the original future if they looked before, and the "new" future if they looked after the first Jedi had looked. Maybe it wouldn't be when the first Jedi looked, but when they acted that would make a difference. Maybe they would still see the "original future" until the moment actually came to pass.

    Or maybe it would be a combination of all of the above, and what was once a perfectly clear future would become "clouded". On this level, motivation and morals wouldn't even come into it- if someone had used their knowledge to alter the future, then it would create some sort of disturbance. In cases where the future involved something like the death/harm of a loved one (or themselves!) then even simply knowing about it would probably be enough to affect the outcome of the actual event itself. (Which brings to mind Heisenberg's uncertainty principle as it applies to quantum particles, which basically says that it's impossible to observe something without influencing it.)

    Once the budding Jedi order realised the consequences of their interference with the Force, they would then have faced a decision; do they decide to try to preserve the balance of the Force, or do they not worry about the consequences and carry on using their power for whatever they feel is the right thing- ignoring the fact that it seems to be casting some kind of a shadow within the Force itself.

    Obviously, even without any EU input, this is the point where the Sith branched off from the Jedi; however, it's interesting that either line of thought would come to the same conclusion- the Jedi's teachings are immensely powerful, and should be kept secret. For the Jedi, in order to minimise the risk of anyone using the Dark Side; for the Sith, for anyone having the power to interfere in their own works.

    And as _Derisa_Ollamhin_ pointed out, this is the point where the Jedi tend towards putting their faith in the chaos, while the Sith are orientated towards imposing an order of their own.


    Back in the real world, there is no such thing as "darkness"- it is only the absence of light. Light and dark aren't opposites of one another- one is the absence of the other, in the same way that cold doesn't "exist" on it's own- it is merely the absence of heat, so the "logical" conclusion that there has to be an opposing side to the Dark Side is flawed.


    The best definition I can come up with for the Dark Side is working with the Force, but with
  16. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "this is the point where the Jedi tend towards putting their faith in the chaos, while the Sith are orientated towards imposing an order of their own."
    "God doesn't play dice." -- Albert Einstein

    Otherwise, I agree with you. :p

    "The best definition I can come up with for the Dark Side is working with the Force, but with no regard (ie. in the absence of) the Will of the Force."

    ...or using the Force against itself.

    "Interestingly, one "definition" of Hell is simply the absence of God (presumably originating from Satan being cast out of God's sight.)"

    A concept brought up in an excellent film called "Prophecy". Boy, do I love Christopher Walken. :cool:
  17. Scott3eyez Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2001
    star 4
    Oh, you would have to bring up the dice, wouldn't you!
    ;)

    Einstein?s famous "God does not play dice with the universe" comment was concerning what was at the time the new quantum theory, which flew (and indeed, still flies) in the face of Newtonian physics of cause and effect, and common sense (for example, the idea that a single particle, such as a photon, can ?exist? as a probability in several places at once, until it?s observed, when the particle resolves into a single, definite entity.)

    Einstein was saying that he simply could not accept quantum theory, as he simply didn?t believe that the fundamental physical laws of matter and energy in the universe were governed by chance and probability. Instead, he believed in an underlying order behind the apparent chance and chaos. I?m not sure if he ever publically retracted his statement, but suffice to say that quantum theory has yet to be either disproven, or replaced with a better theory. Apparently, God does play dice.

    It was a very interesting time for the world of physics, most physicists having believed at the turn of the century, somewhat arrogantly, that the study of physics was over- that everything that there was to be known about the fundamental physical universe had been discovered, with the exception of two small anomalies which could not be explained. However, those two anomalies gave rise to quantum theory and Einstein?s own theory of relativity (based around the idea that time and space are not absolute, but depend on the position and speed of the observer- which could be phrased along the lines of ?certain truths really do depend greatly on your own point of view??), which together completely turned the world of physics upside down.


    Anyway, returning to the issue of dice and Star Wars, there?s the dice roll in TPM which is a fairly significant event on this subject- this is the moment at which the path opens up for Anakin to become a Jedi.

    I?m convinced that it?s Qui Gon?s intervention here (using the Force to cheat the bet) that leads to Yoda?s comment in the Jedi Temple- ?clouded this boy?s future is.? In light of what we see in Attack of the Clones about the Dark Side clouding everything, it seems highly likely that this is because of something to do with the Dark Side.

    It makes sense to me that this is a direct result of Qui Gon?s manipulation of the Force with the dice roll- the only time that someone using the Force has had an affect on Anakin?s path- and the consequence of Anakin in turn being trained to manipulate the Force himself.

    Incidentally, Qui Gon?s name seems to be an allusion to ?qi gong? (or ?chi gong?), which basically translates as ?energy manipulation.?
  18. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    Should Anakin have been trained?

    "I think it is obvious that [Qui-Gon] was wrong in Episode 1 and made a dangerous decision, but ultimately this decision may be correct. The Phantom Menace refers to the force of the dark side of the Universe. Anakin will be taken over by dark forces which in turn destroy the balance of the Galaxy, but the individual who kills the Emperor is Darth Vader - also Anakin. The tale meanders and both the prediction, and Qui-Gonn are correct - Anakin is the chosen one, and he did bring peace at last with his own sacrfice. Luke couldn't kill the Emperor himself, but he could make Anakin reflect on his life and kill the Emperor.
    - GL: 9/7/99


    Agreed as well. ;)
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