Saga Why is the light side bad? (Balance in the Force)

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by MilakeRaznus, May 6, 2016.

  1. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One who brought balance to the Force. This has been confirmed by George Lucas. However, bringing balance to the Force has been interpreted in many different ways by fans.

    NOTE: In the canon three-episode Mortis arc from The Clone Wars television series, the Father, keeper of the balance, states that "too much light or dark would be the undoing of life as you know it".

    2nd NOTE: Poe Dameron's actor, Oscar Isaac, in an interview with Mario Lopez, says that the Force is made up of both the light and dark sides of the Force. There is no "true" thing and Star Wars is NOT a one-sided franchise. The light side and the dark side need to have even weight distributions.
    1. Anakin kills the Jedi and leaves only 2 Jedi and 2 Sith in the galaxy left. Equilibrium. (I think this is really silly because Palpatine and Vader clearly had near absolute control over the galaxy while the Jedi were pretty much vanished. Also, there only being 2 Jedi and 2 Sith is false because you have Kanan and Ezra in Star Wars: Rebels which is canon. Also while they might not be Jedi or Sith, you have Ahsoka Tano, Maul, and the Inquisitors. There is likely more Jedi in hiding).
    2. Light Side balances the Force. The Dark Side wrecks the balance. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker sacrifices himself to destroy the Emperor and save Luke. This leaves Luke Skywalker, a Jedi, as the only known Jedi or Sith remaining in the galaxy and the Force spirits of a redeemed Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda emerge. The Sith want to live forever but ironically, it's something only those who follow the light side of the Force can achieve.
    3. The Light Side and the Dark Side need to have a shared 50/50 control over the galaxy. After ROTJ, the New Republic and the weakened Empire share this control.

    Some fans feel that the Jedi Order in the prequels is actually destructive to the flow of the Force. They became incredibly bureaucratic, stuck too tightly with the status quo, were incredibly arrogant and stubborn, were eager to throw themselves into war, strictly forbid basic emotions like love to prevent anger (which leads to the dark side), and denied the very existence of the dark side, letting Emperor Palpatine take control of the Republic right under their noses.
    George Lucas defines the Jedi as "selfless" and the Sith as "selfish" in the Phantom Menace bonus features. The flaws of the Jedi Order exist because they WERE NOT being selfless. Being arrogant, stubborn, refusing to listen and be attuned with the Force is not a result of being selfless. Selfless people understand their capacity for failure and try to be aware of their actions. So aren't the flaws of the Jedi Order in the prequels a matter of them having lost their way and alignment with the TRUE light side rather than too much light itself? Yet the Mortis arc in the Clone Wars seems to be absolutely anti-light over dark.
    My own worldview aligns with The Winter Soldier (Captain America)'s view. SHIELD was founded on a pure beliefs and ideals, in the Winter Soldier, they moved away from this when Hydra took over control. At this point, it wasn't SHIELD anymore. It was Hydra operating within SHIELD. Like a parasite controlling your body's actions. That's NOT YOU. So the Jedi Order messed up and the Republic was flawed in the prequel trilogy, but that came from their departure from being aligned with the light side. For example, "feminists" that go around spreading hate have fallen out of their true goal of bringing equality.
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  2. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    The light side is not bad.

    The Force has both a light and a dark side.

    The Sith make the dark side take over the light.

    The destruction of the Sith brings balance to the Force.

    There's no such thing as "too much light". The light side is about selflessness and compassion. It doesn't take over the dark side. It strives for balance.

    Yes. Both are equal halves of a whole.

    The Force is not about the number of Jedi and Sith. The Force is created by and part of every living being.

    The light side contributes to the balance of the Force, yes. It doesn't take over the dark side. It merely makes the dark side limited to its half.

    The Force is not about factions.

    It's not.

    Those are all false claims. The Jedi promote compassion and love, not selfish emotions like passion and attachment. Those are flaws Sidious exploited from Anakin, and with his betrayal brought the destruction of the Jedi Order and the Republic.

    Wrong. The Jedi were and are selfless. That's their way of life.

    When did they ever refuse to listed (to whom?) or ceased to be attuned to the Force? Their decreasing powers are a result of the Sith and their use of the dark side to cloud their vision. And some Jedi are arrogant, not all or even most of them. And even those that are arrogant don't let it affect their judgment.

    There would have to be flaws to begin with.
    Last edited by Alexrd, May 6, 2016
  3. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    The EU tended to go with "dark side is necessary, and there is such a possibility as too little dark"



    Star Wars Crucible:

    The Force was life, and life was growth, and nothing grew that did not change.

    And change was destruction.

    That was why the dark side existed. Life bore death, death nourished life, destruction came before rejuvenation. And pain came before healing. The dark side was as necessary to life as the light side was. Without it, verdant worlds would stagnate, galactic empires would rule forever.

    Luke saw all that and more, saw that conflict was as necessary to progress as harmony, that suffering was as essential to wisdom as was joy. Perhaps there was no pure good, no absolute evil. There was only life, only change and growth, suffering and joy ... death and rebirth.



    Edge of Victory: Conquest:

    "The Force is light and life, but it is also darkness. Both are necessary, but they have to be kept balanced. In harmony."


    but I'm not sure that this is the take that was intended by Lucas- or that the PT Jedi can be convincingly shown to be suffering the consequencse of "too much light" at any point.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, May 6, 2016
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  4. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    So the Jedi DO truly bring balance to the Force, while the Sith imbalance it?

    If there’s no such thing as “too much light”, why does the Father say that “too much light would be the undoing of life as you know it”?

    Since Anakin is the Chosen One, wouldn’t his destroying the Jedi be part of the prophecy of him bringing balance to the Force? Or did Sidious corrupt and bring Anakin AWAY from that goal.

    I’m a huge Jedi supporter, but the only way the Mortis line of “too much light” being the “undoing of life as you know it” makes sense if these flaws are present in the Jedi Order. I don’t agree with it but ask other fans about what balance in the Force means and so many of them will say that the Jedi were acting in very flawed ways.


    Doesn’t The Clone Wars explore this? The Jedi Order accuses Ahsoka of murder and refuses to admit that they made a mistake, and Barriss Offee accuses the Jedi Order of falling to the dark side.
  5. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    It seems that several Star Wars writers working on the ideas of the Force have different world-views so we don't necessarily get a consistent meaning of what balance is. I really think Disney needs to draw attention to this because it's essentially the core of Star Wars.

    I highly disagree with there being no pure good or no absolute evil. In reality, there will be situations where there's no clear-cut right or wrong, but there are situations where there is. Comforting someone in their last moments is pure good. Helping someone across the street (not for acknowledgment or reward) is pure good. Killing innocent people because you wanted to is absolute evil.
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  6. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Well, we could go with

    "The Father, Son, and Daughter are all full of themselves and don't know what they're talking about"


    but that might be a bit unsatisfying.
  7. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    The Father, Son, and Daughter are Force wielders in a realm that Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan all saw. So they seem to be implied quite heavily that they are representations of the different aspects of the Force.

    By definition, darkness is not the anti-light, but it is the absence of light. In religions such as Christianity, good and evil are not interdependent, good is independent of it. And so from both a world-view standpoint, word definition, and also ideas in religion, good needs to defeat evil.
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  8. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    Yes. Anakin, by destroying his Vader persona and Sidious, brought balance to the Force.

    To show that they must equally exist.

    No. The destruction of the Jedi doesn't help nor is it part of bringing balance to the Force. It only helped the dark side cover everything and leave the Force in darkness.

    Sidious' corruption of Anakin had nothing to do with the prophecy, but with his huge potential and strong connection with the Force.

    Any alleged flaws you might perceive against the Jedi has nothing to do with the Force and its balance. The Jedi are not the light side, nor are the Sith the dark side.

    Others can say whatever they want, but very few support their claims.

    The Jedi Order doesn't accuse anyone, they simply deliver her to the authorities. They are stuck and compromised. If they conduct an investigation they would be blamed for assisting one of their own.

    And Barriss' accusations are not only irrational but meaningless after what she did.
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  9. quinlan solo Jedi Knight

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    Nov 28, 2012
    Arguably, the Mortis trilogy by its end shows that the Father was at least partly wrong. He admits to being mistaken in Ghosts of Mortis: "I am an old fool who believed he could control the future" - presumably referring to his attempt to bring Anakin to Mortis to take his place. Further, while the Daughter is said to align with the light, the Son is described as being in the process of falling to the dark side - meaning he isn't already there at the beginning. He and the daughter embody the cycle of death/decay and life/growth on Mortis, rather than good and evil. The Father describes them in terms of destruction and creation, and in that context says too much light or dark could upset the balance. Growth without any decay, or vice versa, would break the cycle and disrupt the balance of life as we understand it. He's not saying too much good is a bad thing, or that good needs to be balanced out by evil. The balance of the Force in nature is different from its balance in sentient individuals. In individuals, it involves facing one's guilt and rejecting one's dark side rather than embracing equal parts selfishness and selflessness (this is what Anakin fails to do in the middle of Ghosts of Mortis, and what Yoda succeeds at doing in Destiny). If you're interested, check out the old discussions from when the episodes came out.

    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/the-clone-wars-episode-317-ghosts-of-mortis-discussion-thread.31529106/page-8#post-31537194

    EDIT: Filoni on Barris: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03...ve-filonis-season-5-wrap-up-discussion?page=5
    Last edited by quinlan solo, May 6, 2016
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  10. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    What I don't understand is you just said that light and dark must equally exist, yet the Jedi have to destroy the Sith. If that happens, doesn't the balance of the Force tip towards the light?

    If the light and dark must equally exist, isn't that a 50/50 control of the galaxy?

    If the Jedi have to destroy the Sith, the light is the "true" side and balance to the Force refers to the light side being in dominance.

    When interviewer, Mario Lopez, said "you're a good guy. You're with the Force as opposed to the dark side" to Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Oscar says that Mario is wrong and that the Force consists of both the light and the dark sides. But if the light side is the balancer of the Force, why does Oscar disagree with Poe being "with the Force as opposed to the dark side"?
  11. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    Filoni's opinion is just that, an opinion. He's not Lucas. Not to mention that he apparently forgot that the Jedi had no choice but to fight in a war. The Sith forced them into it. The Jedi didn't watch Revenge of the Sith to know that the war was a sham and that Palpatine was behind everything. They were faced with the reality of a Separatist attack against a defenseless Republic. To ignore that attack by staying in the sidelines when they could help end the war sooner is to go against their purpose of protecting the Republic.

    No. Again, the Jedi and the Sith are not the Force. The destruction of the Sith doesn't destroy the dark side. It continues to exist, but it's not being exploited anymore to take over and tip the balance of the Force.

    There's no control of the galaxy. The Force is just an energy field. It has a dark and a light side.

    Again: the Jedi are not the light side of the Force, they follow the light side. The light side is not about dominance. and the destruction of the Sith doesn't mean the destruction of the dark side.
    Last edited by Alexrd, May 6, 2016
  12. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    Death/Decay and Life/Growth. Like overpopulation? The Earth can support life but not if there is no death whatsoever.

    If you face your own guilt and reject your dark side, isn't that you embracing the light? That makes no sense in context with the line "too much light would be the undoing of life as you know it".
    I'm having trouble understanding that there NEEDS to be both light and dark, but then you wrote that "it involves facing one's guilt and rejecting one's dark side".
  13. quinlan solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2012
    This all depends on what is the "balance of the Force," and there are at least two competing ideas of what that means going on here:

    - The Balance of the Force is the 50/50 equilibrium of the light side and the dark side; the Sith tip the scales by embracing the dark side; the Jedi do not tip the scales by embracing the light side, but preserve balance.

    - The Balance of the Force is the asymmetric triumph of the light side over the dark side; the Sith tip the scales by embracing the dark side; the Jedi preserve the balance by means of embracing the light side.

    I generally think that TCW better supports the latter than the former, but both seem defensible to me. Oscar Isaac's comment I would classify as just an opinion, while Lucas was working very closely with Filoni - down to the wording of individual scripts - through the end of TCW season 5. It doesn't seem likely that Filoni is misrepresenting Lucas' intentions here, especially considering that is what Matt Stover has been saying since 2005 - that in writing the novelization, George told him the PT Jedi were flawed. But that doesn't mean that they were contributing to the imbalance as the Sith were, or that they needed to be destroyed for balance to obtain - that doesn't follow at all.

    EDIT: I'm definitely not saying that the dark side is necessary; only that it is inevitable in this life, and needs to be held in check. Yes, rejecting selfishness is embracing the light side, but "too much light" in nature disrupting the balanced cycle of life and death is not the same as "too much light" in the good-and-evil/moral sense. "Light" is not used univocally in SW, but analogously, with different connotations depending on context. Ironically, the only way to ultimately survive death - breaking out of the life-death cycle - is through pure selflessness. So perhaps the end of life "as you understand it" is not always a bad thing.
    Last edited by quinlan solo, May 6, 2016
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  14. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    So what you're saying is that the dark side in the Force will always exist... but balance in the Force is like the light side being a jail keeper and the dark side being kept in a cell?

    When the dark side breaks out of that cell, it is "taking over and tipping the balance of the Force" so the light side have to put it back in it's place.
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  15. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    Think of it this way: anger, selfishness, fear, agression, hate, etc, are all part of the dark side.

    If you are selfless and compassionate, you are not using the dark side, you're using the light side. But just because you are acting that way (using the light side), it doesn't mean, for example, that selfishness and hate (the dark side) cease to exist. It's still there and available to anyone. But it's not being used or acted upon, thus not harming yourself or others, thus not causing imbalance.
    Last edited by Alexrd, May 6, 2016
  16. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    So the competing ideas are whether the light is "symmetrical" or "asymmetrical" to the dark side. Whether TOO much light is possible or there is no such thing as there being too much light.

    I choose to support the latter. Light, by definition, by my worldview, and by religion, is independent of evil. As mentioned, this seems to be the view alexrd takes, where the light side is NOT about dominance. The dark side is about dominance.


    To keep the essentials and present it in a clear format, I think that it's like this:

    The world is in harmony. People living in that world decide they want power and embrace the dark side. Now, light is required to bring that balance back; to bring the world back into harmony. So the world calls for heroes, these people become agents of the light and this light neutralizes the dark.

    So this view IS the same view that's presented in most superhero stories, Marvel and DC-wise. In Marvel's Jessica Jones, Kilgrave is using the dark side: he is mind-controlling, mass murdering, and bending everyone to his will. Jessica Jones becomes the Jedi in this story and steps up to bring stability, peace, and justice back.

    Although no longer officially canon, previously in Legends, the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook and the Jedi Training Manual established that the Jedi Order has the best understanding of the Force among all other Force traditions, and the Jedi way of classifying and viewing the Force is the correct one.
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  17. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    Of course. Many fans have drilled into my head that the light side is indeed about dominance but you have told me that the light side is not about "dominance". Light is not the anti-dark, it's not a reflection of the dark in another form, it's its own thing.

    I guess it's like Anakin's flawed view in Episode 3: "from my view, the Jedi are evil!" That's not the way to see.

    So I guess our agreed upon view in clearest terms is: the dark side imbalances, the light side balances the Force.
    Last edited by MilakeRaznus, May 6, 2016
  18. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    The dark side iis about greed, passion, hate and power over others, and acting on the dark side causes imbalance because it takes over everything else. The light side is about harmony, compassion and selflessness. All of which contribute to balance. Balance is not about destroying the dark side, but controlling it by choosing not to use it and keeping it at bay.
    Last edited by Alexrd, May 6, 2016
  19. quinlan solo Jedi Knight

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    I basically agree. And I agree with Alexrd that destroying the Sith/bringing balance to the Force does not destroy the dark side, or render greed and selfishness impossible. But I also think that because in SW all life-forms are one in the Force, embracing selflessness does actually serve to hold back the dark side in the world(s) at large, rather than not affecting it at all. As Obi-Wan says in TPM, "You and the Naboo are a symbiant circle - what happens to one of you will effect the other."
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  20. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    Yeah, it's like what Nick Fury says in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is also another Disney-owned property alongside Star Wars. Ultron causes imbalance in the Force because he wants to kill everybody, and at the end, the Avengers stop him. So this is clearly a light side victory over the dark side. However, Nick Fury says this line:

    "No matter who wins or loses, trouble always comes around".

    So while the Avengers have won, and the light side has kept the Force in balance for now, Nick Fury acknowledges that the dark side is as equally part of the Force as the light side: "trouble always comes around". The dark side will return. And when it does return, the Avengers will have to embrace the light once again to bring back balance to the Force and put the dark back in it's place.

    As Lor San Tekka said in the opening scene of The Force Awakens,

    "Without the Jedi, there can be no balance in the Force".

    I, in reality, acknowledge that both good and evil exist in the world, they are both equally a part of the universe. However, we cannot let evil win.

    There was a line in TCW somewhere, I think it was an episode moral that said that light could not exist without darkness. As long as there is free choice and we are not mind-controlled zombies, there will always be a light side and a dark side. We have the choice of choosing which. So I agree with that TCW line in the sense that both exist together. And ultimately, for me, this struggle between good and evil, is what gives life meaning.
  21. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    What contradicts is Father being the one who brings balance to the Force in the Mortis story arc. Anakin Skywalker is chosen to step in his place.

    In this episode, Anakin has to tame the beasts of BOTH the light and the dark side, when the daughter and the son take the form of the flying creatures. If the above mentioned interpretation of balance in the Force in rejecting the dark side was true, Anakin would only have needed to tame the son.

    However, Anakin and Obi-Wan work with both the daughter and the father to stop the son.
  22. quinlan solo Jedi Knight

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    Right. Which is why the whole of the Mortis trilogy needs to be taken into account. If you stop with Overlords, you miss the deeper meaning.
  23. MilakeRaznus Jedi Padawan

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    What does the rest of the Mortis trilogy say?
  24. quinlan solo Jedi Knight

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    As you pointed out - "Anakin and Obi-Wan work with both the Father and the Daughter to stop the Son."
  25. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    What the trilogy says is that the good and evil need to be there, but when the Daughter is killed, the scales tip towards evil. The Father realizes that the only way to stop the Son is to sacrifice himself, which allows Anakin to kill the Son, thus restoring balance to Mortis. The similarities are that this is what happens in ROTJ, when Luke chooses to sacrifice himself and Anakin is able to kill Palpatine, thus bring balance to the Force. When the Father says that too much light can lead to balance, what he is saying is that if everyone was completely good and noble, that would lead to an imbalance. A bit of good and evil is necessary to live.

    Lor San Tekka said it well in TFA, which is that the Jedi keep the balance to the Force. Without them, the Sith and the Ren will disrupt the balance and bring about an age of darkness that will last forever. That's why Yoda and Obi-wan's survival leads to Luke and why Luke's survival leads to Rey. Yoda told Luke to pass on what he's learned and he will do that for Rey.