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The Force- Good or Bad (or both?)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Vivid_Scripts, Jan 11, 2007.

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  1. Vivid_Scripts

    Vivid_Scripts Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 21, 2004
    This is a discussion on the Force itself- ideas on its nature, and how we portray it or characterize it in our fics. Now, it might seem odd to "characterize" the Force, as often times its simply treated as a tool or weapon, but time and time again, we hear our Jedi and Sith characters say things like "let the Force flow through you", or "the Force will guide us", or "it is the will of the Force"...

    well, I pose this question: In your fics, does the Force have a will? How do your characters view the Force and respond to it in kind? How do you portray the Force? Is there a sort of philosophy you have stapled to it?


    [blockquote]In my most recent fic, the Force does have a will of its own. The characters have conflicting views of the Force, with old-school Characters like Obi-Wan, Siri and Sidious maintaining the traditional view of Light Side // Dark Side, but the younger characters believe in moral relativity and see the Force as single entity with a will (a la Unifying Force). The main character, in particular, adopts the view of the Insidious Force and hates the Force for predestining him to adopt the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith.[/blockquote]

    The idea of the [link=http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_force#The_Insidious_Force]Insidious Force[/link] is something that I'm particularly interested, because it stands as a polar opposite to the other "grey" Force philosophy, the [link=http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_force#Potentium_and_the_Unifying_Force]Unifying Force[/link]. While both are "neutral" when compared to the traditional Light Side // Dark Side spectrum, the Insidious theory believes the Force is essentially malicious or indifferent to life while the Unifying theory sees the Force's will as good. What's also interesting is that while the Unifying theory has many believers, [link=http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kreia]Darth Traya[/link] is the only known cannon believer in the Insidious theory, and its possible that the belief died out completely with her.
     
  2. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    I've never used it as sentient. It's like many things: not necessarily good or bad; it depends on who uses it and for what purpose.
     
  3. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    I had an alien shaman in my one of my games describe it in Viking terms.

    It's a Two headed dragon with a body that unites in the center.

    The Dark Side and Light Side both have wills that are diametrically opposed and the galaxy is their battleground.

    eventually, one will devour the other.
     
  4. Luton_Plunder

    Luton_Plunder Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Hmm, good questions Vivid_Scripts.

    I must admit I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to research into the Force, apart from what Ive seen in the films and read in a select few EU books. But the fic series I'm currently writing deals with it quite a bit, specifically the effect that it has on regular people. The idea of the Force as an all-powerful metaphor for destiny or a divine plan for every being in the galaxy doesn't really sit well with me, as it tends to cancel out the importance of any character that never touched the force.

    What I'm going to try and show in my fic series is that there are things more powerful than the Force that every living being can draw on. My characters are mainly what you would call secular ones though - they aren't connected to the force in a significant way, and the ones that are generally don't want to be. The plan is to disconnect them from the Force and make the point that it actually isn't the most important thing in the galaxy. Whether this will work or not, I'm not sure :p

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I know the Force is pivotal to the entire heart of the Star Wars universe, but I still don't like the idea that every character is just a pawn in the Force's galactic game.

    Though that Viking two-headed dragon analogy was pretty darn cool, Charlemagne19 :cool:
     
  5. iamobiwan1970

    iamobiwan1970 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2005
    An excellent question. Basically in my fan fics my canon characters follow the Force as they have shown to in the novels. So I re-read places in the novels where my characters state their opinions or at least show their feelings about the Force by their actions. My major favorite is obviously Kyp; so I have quite a few sources for his ideas. My OC I am currently playing with is non-sensitive. She has never met a Jedi and doensn't really think about the Force the way a Jedi would. But cause she will meet Kyp I have had to think carefully about how an ordinary, but educated person might think about Jedi and the Force.
     
  6. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    I've never used it as sentient as well. I take my ideas from Obi-Wan's speech in ROTS book where he describes the Force as if it were a river and the Jedi only feeling the flow of it and not knowing if it really has a will or not. He called it the great mystery. So my descriptions of the Force are always river or water-based. If the emotions are negative, then the Force is filled with mud or ice or something else that would make it dark and shadowed. If the emotions are positive, the flow is clear, cool, blue and refreshing. It seems to work well. My readers haven't complained yet. :p
     
  7. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2005
    I think the Force, for lack of a better term, is life energy and non-sentient. Its "purpose" is the perpetuation of life; not necessarily of any one life, but life in general. Like with predators in the wild, there is no evil intent or even good intent. Male lions kill cubs of a female lioness when they become the dominant male in order to perpetuate their genes, a leopard kills an antelope, whatever. There is no evil intent in those actions. Those of us who eat meat eat something once living, but we are not evil (I sure hope).

    Therefore "good" vs "bad" is the user's intent. Even that is a bit simplistic, though. Would you, as someone in 2007 who was born after WWII, willingly kill Hitler if you could go back in time - what about Amin, others?

    "We" hate the terrorists, but the terrorists hate us, and both sides see justification for hate and we both label the other as "evil."

    Where would you draw the line, and when would removing evil turn into vengeance? Is it our right to make that decision?

    Is there a greater good requiring sacrifice of a few?

    Should "the greater good" never be an excuse to let "the one" be sacrificed?

    The Force's will, then, is that life continue without interruption and interference by those who seek to control life or death.

    Wish I had more than a few minutes to rush this reply, so I may edit this later when I have time. This is not a well-thought reply.
     
  8. SpiritofEowyn

    SpiritofEowyn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2005
    I'll give a more thought out response later.

    However I just wanted to say that I never believed the 'it's the will of the force'. It always seemed like an excuse for bad judgement on the part of jedi. Pre destination to do ill, also dumb. Some people use the force's sentience as an excuse for Anakin, that he was forced to kill all those people etc. So for me it's a power. But that there may be something that controls the force. At one point I thought it reflected all life-- so if there was a lot of pain and negitiveness that the dark side gets stronger, but when there is peace and goodness the lightside gets stronger.


    What do you guys think of the 'going back into the force' after death stuff? What are the blue ghosties to you? Does that mean that the force is made up of souls? Maybe the collective of souls control the force?[face_thinking]
     
  9. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jul 20, 2002
    Never really thought about it, but that would be pretty interesting :D
     
  10. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Terrific topic. :D


    I've never really thought of the Force as something separate from the Jedi or the Sith that has a will of it's own.

    I guess if the Force had a will of its own, whether it be good or bad, then Anakin would either never have turned at all, or he would not have ever been able to be redeemed.
     
  11. 1Yodimus_Prime

    1Yodimus_Prime Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2004

    One thing I tend to do with my Sith Lords to separate them from Jedi, is I always have them use the Force, while the Jedi are used by the Force. The fundamental difference being that one pulls while the other is pushed. It's like the difference between sugar and caffine - one gives you a rush and then winks out, the other is less obvious but can let you burn long and bright when taken in reasonable dosages. Which jives with what we see from the movies: Obi Wan and Yoda with their infinite patience, versus Vader and Palpatine with their constant demands, always looking angry and burned out. So it's not that there's some evil version of the Force out there, waiting to be found, hiding behind the dark side of the moon, waiting to fill you with lies and deceit and calling itself the Dark Side. It's simply a matter of: is this person taking the Force, or is this person accepting the Force?

    What you specifically do with the Force outside that question would be irrelevent, because taking the Force is fundamentally wrong. Think of Galadriel, explaining to Frodo what she would do with the One Ring, were she to use it. It's that saying about absolute power currupting absolutely. Had Mr. Palpatine been a man with truly noble intentions, perhaps the galaxy would look like a better place when Luke finds Old Ben, but probably not Luke's kids, or their kids. A world like that never stays good forever, and when it dies (which it always does), nobody ever looks back on it and says "I wish I lived back then"

    Assuming, of course, that there's anyone left alive to look back on it at all.
     
  12. bobilll

    bobilll Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Mmm, definently an interesting question. It's strange, to define something as Good or Bad, since as Palpy said, "Good is a point of view". It's almost like asking, though, whether or not the Force has a will of its own. If it did, then it, in its infinite wisdom, could always choose the Good Path (kind of like a god). If not, then it really is kind of like a tool whose actions really depend on the user.

    I've actually seen it displayed both ways. I've seen the "use or be used" distinction in a bunch of fanfiction, and also some where they totally describe the Force as the all-knowing wise diety (after all, Jedi, as Tarkin explained, is a religion). But if the Force was so Good, then why are Sith allowed to exist?

    Maybe, even with a will of its own, the Force searches not for good or evil, but merely a balance of both. It's up to mankind to weed out the evil for themselves. Now I'm intrigued...
     
  13. Valley_Lord

    Valley_Lord Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    The force has two canon explainations. One is the Bio-telepathic link of medi clorain colonies in living sentient being, who have evolve a means of using the colony' telekinetic/pathic abilities as described by QUi-Gon Jinn in episode one. And the is the energy feild described by Obi-Wan in Episode four, but that have been a super simplified for a young moisture farmer to understand.

    If force abilities were limited to a single species, then they could be attributed to random mutation, as is seen in the X-Men. But with multiple species affected by the ability, one has to conclude that the explaination from episode One is the only explaination.

    With this in mind, we can immediately discount manechian visions of good and evil, any portrayal of good and evil is merely a manner of perspective.
     
  14. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Fascinating topic, Vivid_Scripts.

    You're assuming that a scientific explanation of the Force (midichlorians) and a spiritual explanation of the Force (the Will of the Force) is mutually exclusive.
     
  15. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    If the Force is that energy fleld created by all living things that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together then I like to picture it as something that has a will of a sort that we create. If it's created by living things then we are the creators of the Force and vise versa. In some ways it's like gravity, and Einsteins grand unifying theory. It is life and it creates us as we create it. Like the atom which has positive, negative and neutral particles, so does the force and it tries to keep them in balance. Like space and gravity a Sith, becomes like a black hole if allowed too much power and starts pulling the light into it. Yet a star (ie the light side) is born by similiar means yet shines without that heavy crushing weight of evil.

    Just because someone isn't a Jedi and doesn't have enough midi=chlorians to "see and hear" the force doesn't mean they aren't affected by it and aren't part of the whole process. Like Han who probably is a positive charge and might collects more of the light side to himself which may account for his good luck. :p

    I don't think that the Force determines ones fate and one is pre-destined, but it is life and it guides one to the options you have, then you make the choice. It's a mystery and I like not knowing for sure. :)
     
  16. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Sep 16, 2005
    I like that last explanation: If it's created by living things then we are the creators of the Force and vise versa. In some ways it's like gravity, and Einsteins grand unifying theory. It is life and it creates us as we create it. Like the atom which has positive, negative and neutral particles, so does the force and it tries to keep them in balance. Like space and gravity a Sith, becomes like a black hole if allowed too much power and starts pulling the light into it. Yet a star (ie the light side) is born by similiar means yet shines without that heavy crushing weight of evil.

    That makes an awful lot of sense. I really like this explanation.
     
  17. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Wow, I wrote that this morning and I was afraid after I left for work that I had made no sense. Thanks. :)
     
  18. Vivid_Scripts

    Vivid_Scripts Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 21, 2004
    MariahJade2 already said this, but just because a person can't actively hear the Force or isn't sensitive enough to be a Jedi/Sith doesn't mean that their lives aren't influenced by it. Almost every major war in the Star Wars timeline is the result of one Force-Sensitive group doing battle with another Force-Sensitive group (usually, Jedi vs Sith). And these wars always end up getting non-Force-Sensitives recruited as regulars in Jedi/Sith armies, entire worlds destroyed, economies ruined and millions of people left homeless.

    Now, given that this is fictional universe, we don't think about that that much because our fanfic is always centered on the Heroes and Villains of these wars, and never on the "ordinary people" that are just trying to live their lives. But if this were translated into real life, where the suffering of those "ordinary people" is much harder to ignore?
    If there were two religious groups (two religious groups which are actually just deviations of each other) that were constantly starting wars and leaving people homeless, carving out a thousand-year history of bloody conflicts, would it pay to get involved, either as "Jedi" or "Sith", or would it be more productive to try and abolish both sides completely?

    This is where Darth Traya's "Insidious Force" philosophy comes in: after living through so many wars she saw that Jedi and Sith were both too caught up in trying to use the Force for their own ends to realize that THE FORCE was actually the center of all the conflicts that left so many corpses in its wake. As such, she dreamed of a Galaxy that didn't acquiesce the will of the Force at all, and sought to either blind everyone to the Force, or kill the Force outright.

    When I bought KoTor Deuce, I played through it once and didn't give it much thought, but after playing it again I have to say that the designers who created Darth Traya were on some deep philosophical ish.

    If you had the opportunity to KILL the Force, essentially silencing both Jedi and Sith and ending conflict once and for all, would you? Likewise, translated into real life, if you could KILL God (or the idea of GOD, as it is in various religions/organizations/hearts of people) and silence all the strife created by him/her/it, would you? Would the Galaxy/World be a better place for it?

    HEEE! I like your thinking, but I can't seem the let go of the Force in my writings. The Force is this great unsolved mystery that hangs over the heads of all the characters and serves as a great plot device (as evidenced by almost all the Star Wars movies, particularly AotC and RotS).
    It is also the source of super-cool fantasy-world powers, which is what makes the Star Wars galaxy so such a fun realm for escapists like me. Star Wars without the Force would be kind of boring... wow, I can't believe I just said that after talking about killing the Force.

    The other escapist aspects of Star Wars (flying around in space ships, traveling to exotic worlds, meeting aliens, laser guns) are cool too... maybe I just don't give them enough
     
  19. Valley_Lord

    Valley_Lord Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    I choose to adhere to science for many reasons(common sense among them, the world created in 168 hours, give me a break) but if there are higher powers in existence, then they must enjoy watching's mortal's misery. Fortunately I'll go with Ozzy Osborne on that one(*"There are no beleivable gods") Between mysticism and theoretically possible biological explainations, I am going to stick with the more persuasive of the two. Though I do not discount the possibility that some of the Jedi and force sensitive are merely higher evolved humans(since there seem to be a inordinately high percentage of Human force sensitives in Star Wars.


    *Quote is from the song "I just want you."
     
  20. Luton_Plunder

    Luton_Plunder Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2006
    (Had to cover up some potential spoilers for the TV show Angel. Don't highlight the blackened text unless you've seen the final season or have no desire to see it at all :p )


    This is one of the best discussions on the boards at the moment, I'd say :D

    Vivid_Scripts, I take your point about the Force affecting everyone in some significant way, and actually that's something that I'm very interested in. What I don't particularly like about that idea is that the only ones who have control over those events are Jedi or Sith. Or even less, not even they have control because it can be chalked up to the 'will of the force'. To be honest, that comes down to my own personal beliefs. But! Because its more fun this way, I have chosen to adopt this view of the Force when I'm writing fics :p

    Have you seen 'Angel', the Joss Whedon TV show? They are constantly fighting against an all-powerful evil force calling itself the Senior Partners. There's a great moment in which they realise that there's nothing they can do to affect them - there's no way they can win in a fight to the death. But they take the fight to them anyway, and make sure that they demonstrate for a moment that ordinary people are not the pawns of a higher power. [hl=black]Sure, they most likely all get killed (that's never resolved), [/hl]but the idea behind it - the 'never give up, never surrender' attitude they all adopt - captivated me.

    That's more or less my attitude to the Force from the point of view of regular people. I hate the idea that they are pawns in the galactic game that the Force is playing, and to that end I love writing from the POV of regular people who refuse to be ruled by it. Whether for good or evil, an all-powerful force that pre-destines everything, even in subtle and small ways, can't be a good thing. People are much more capable than such a thing would give them credit for. I guess that's my attitude in a nutshell. For what it's worth ;)

    Yodimus, I like your philosophy that the good try to accept the force while the bad try to take it. And MariahJade, I definitely agree with you when you say not knowing for sure is what makes it fun. In the end, however the force works doesn't matter. It works best however your favourite author has chosen to make it work :D
     
  21. 1Yodimus_Prime

    1Yodimus_Prime Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Of course, us being lifeforms from a world with an Indifferent Force (which is experimentally the same as a Dead Force), we know this would be futile. Religions don't need evidence of their authenticity to kill each other, sadly.

    My philosophy about the Jedi-give/Sith-take look on the Force is actually inspired heavily from subtexual evidence in the RotS novelization, and a vaguely-remembered interview with Lucas where he implied that using the Force for any reason lead to the Dark Side. So I shouldn't be given full credit for that one.


    If there is any such thing as the Force's "Will", I'd look to Valairy_Scot's comment as the best solution to what it was. Especially given that I agree with Luton's distaste with the idea that regular people seem to get no say. Perpetuation of life would be, by and large, the only logical thing on the Force's "Mind" if it has any at all. Nothing else would make sense under my philosophy, since, as you said Vivid, there would be no 'giving' or 'taking' needed if the Force controlled everything.

    Conversely, if its only goal is the continuation of life, then all it really works toward is an outcome wherein Not Everybody Dies. That's so easy, it doesn't even require sentience. The only real barrier to such a goal would be an extremely successful Sith Lord, since their rabid individualism and hunger for power-at-any-cost tends to run as an antithesis to the continuation of life, at least on a small scale. If a truly formidable Sith Lord - someone with Bane's intellect, Sidious's manipulativeness, and Anakin's sheer brute power - were to come into power, I could easily see that small-scale antithesis becoming a large-scale antithesis.
     
  22. Valley_Lord

    Valley_Lord Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Goals?(scoffs)(demurs) hmm. perhaps, the medi clorians are the guiding force behind the force(I couln't resist the obvious pun) Any microbial organism primary goal is to expand. Perhaps the 'force' is an evolutionary bargain between a sentient being and the microbes. The telepathic and telekinetic abilities is a powerful advantage to an individual, and even more so if it can, and appears to be carried on through offspring. Recap: sentients gain telekinesis and telepathy, and the medi clorian are incorporated into the biological proceses of sentient bodies.
     
  23. Persephone_Kore

    Persephone_Kore Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Hrm. I get the idea that several people seem to be equating "The Force has a Will" with "The Force gets its way" -- and by extension, with "Nobody else really has a choice in anything." At least, this seems to be the assumption behind some of the statements here.

    Now, granted, this does seem to have been Han's knee-jerk assumption ("I don't believe in some all-powerful Force controlling my actions," if I'm not wildly misquoting), but it's not something I'm so sure should be taken for granted.

    For one thing, I actually doubt the Force is exactly omnipotent.* If it has a will and is not omnipotent, then it is a very powerful entity among less powerful entities, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the other entities' wills, behaviors, and choices are irrelevant. Generally speaking people are not in perfect control of their own lives -- there's always someone or something else to affect them -- but that doesn't absolve them of all responsibility or preclude their having any influence.

    For another, even if it is omnipotent, or as close as makes no difference, that still needn't mean no one else has any control, responsibility, or effect. Nor, for that matter, that only those who can directly influence the Force have them. The Force might "will" some things that are in conflict with each other (how many of us have never wanted mutually exclusive things?); it might "will," for that matter, to let individual beings make choices that affect themselves and the world around them.



    *Digression: I have run across a description of the Living/Unifying Force division which essentially seemed to be equivalent to the matter/energy division. Don't think it's in the Wiki, but it's neat. If you posit that everything is actually the Force, then I suppose that anything possible would be by definition possible for the Force, and it would in that sense be omnipotent.
     
  24. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Just a little clarification on Luton_Plunder's post about Angel: The Senior Partners of the Buffverse mythology are not the equivalent of the Force. They are powerful players but players all the same. In the GFFA, the Force isn't a player - the Sith, the Jedi and individuals are.
     
  25. Luton_Plunder

    Luton_Plunder Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Heya Leia_naberrie - thanks for pointing that out. I didn't mean to suggest that they were an exact analogy for the Force, I was just using it to illustrate my attitude to The Force while writing my current fic series. The force is an energy force, the Senior Partners are a group of powerful demons. So yeah, for the sake of clarity - they aren't the same thing.

    But, the idea of not being controlled by an external power that is exerting itself over people is universal. The little guys taking a stand against something they can't possibly beat. That was more or less the point that I was getting at ;) Which of course may or may not align with everyone's point of view of the Force, but I quite like it. Whether the Force is unifying or insidious, it isnt always going to be welcome in people's lives. If it does have a will, whether omnipotent or not, I find the concept of defying that will much more fascinating than watching it be carried out.
     
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